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On real world railroad switches & turnouts, is the degree listed somewhere?

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  • Member since
    March 2020
  • 77 posts
On real world railroad switches & turnouts, is the degree listed somewhere?
Posted by Random_Idea_Poster_6263 on Sunday, May 24, 2020 6:13 PM

I visited a railyard today near where I live as its an inspiration for an model railroad, or part of one I would incormate the yard in. I then wondered how I could find the degree number on the various switches, turnouts and points in the yard for planning model switches.

Could I find the degree number of said switch somewhere on the rails where the manufacturing data is stamped. I gotta ask how those looking for prototypical information on their yards and switches would find the right ones and what to use?

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Posted by NittanyLion on Sunday, May 24, 2020 6:49 PM

If there is anything, it would be somewhere on the frog. Everything else is generic material, but the frog is the only part specific to a certain switch number. 

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Posted by rrinker on Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:18 PM

No, but the angle is easily determined from the number. The switch number is the number of distance units for 1 unit of divergence. Draw it out, it's a right triangle, foor example a #6 will have one side 6 units (they do not matter, as long as whatever unit you use is the same for both dimensions - it coould be feet, inched, miles, yard, paces, meters, rods, lengths of a random piece of lumber you have, etc), and the side at right angles to it is 1 unit in length. In tigonometry you learned SOHCAHTOA - Sine of an angle is the Opposite/Hypotenuse, Cosine is Adjacent/Hypotenuse, and Tangent is Opposite/Adjacent. What we have values for is Opposite (1) and Adjacent (6), so the TAN of the frog angle is 1/6. Or the angle itself is Arctan(1/6) or about 9.4 degrees. 

                                   --Randy

 


Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's

 

Visit my web site at www.readingeastpenn.com for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by cuyama on Sunday, May 24, 2020 9:33 PM

Random_Idea_Poster_6263
I then wondered how I could find the degree number on the various switches, turnouts and points in the yard for planning model switches.

Randy gave the answer, just measure along and across and that will give the frog number. Works for prototype or model.

But note that most real-life modern railroad locations use turnouts that are much broader than anything we can use on the model – unless you have a gymnasium to build in. 

How much space do you have? What scale?

Good luck with your layout.

Byron

Tags: Frog , Frog Number

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