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Kato HO double-track dog-bone

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  • Member since
    April 2021
  • 2 posts
Kato HO double-track dog-bone
Posted by SD90MACHII on Wednesday, April 7, 2021 11:19 AM

Hello,

 

I am new to the HO model railroading world, and am planning a temporary track only layout to run DCC trains and to learn more. I am using Kato HO Unitrack, because I like the look of it and find it easy to use for a neewb like me. Again this is a temporary layout, I am using XTrackCAD software to design the track and I am trying to build a double-track dog-bone reversing loop, but I am having trouble finding the right track so it all connects nicely. I managed to make a wye reversing section.

I want the distance for the double track to be the one provided by the Kato HV4 (3-114) and I am using Kato 2-230 670mm (26 3/8") Radius 22.5º Curve Track

 

Any help and advice is relly appreciated!

Tags: ho , Kato , Unitrack

Thank you so much,

Stay safe

Erik

  • Member since
    January 2007
  • 367 posts
Posted by azrail on Friday, April 9, 2021 2:58 PM


I see an S-curve situation with the the top of the crossover. I would move the crossover forward so you would have a straight piece of trackage as long as your longest car/loco.

  • Member since
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  • From: Shenandoah Valley
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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, April 9, 2021 5:00 PM

I think the OP's dilemma is there is not matching piece of track to fill the gap. 

Having only used flextrack and not roadbed track, I have nothing to contribute.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

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Posted by jjdamnit on Friday, April 9, 2021 5:20 PM

Hello All,

BigDaddy
I think the OP's dilemma is there is not matching piece of track to fill the gap.

My suggestion would be to move the crossover turnouts ("S" curve) farther to the left in the diagram and add a section of straight track between the turnouts.

This will move the curved section of the ballon track farther apart so a single piece of track can fill the gap.

BigDaddy
Having only used flextrack and not roadbed track, I have nothing to contribute.

The OPs delima seems to be a product of using track with built-in plastic roadbed.

I use sectional track and DIY flex track so I can avoid these situations.

Hope this helps.

"Uhh...I didn’t know it was 'impossible' I just made it work...sorry"

  • Member since
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  • From: Shenandoah Valley
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Posted by BigDaddy on Friday, April 9, 2021 5:32 PM

jjdamnit
The OPs delima seems to be a product of using track with built-in plastic roadbed. I use sectional track and DIY flex track so I can avoid these situations.

I commented in the Diner that I am weary of the replies to legitimate questions about alternatives in modeling, where the answer is I don't do it that way and neither should you.   Lots of people use Kato and EZ track and are happy campers.  Those folks need to step up with an answer.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

Shenandoah Valley

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: California - moved to North Carolina 2018
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Posted by DSchmitt on Friday, April 9, 2021 6:30 PM

If none of the KATO straight sections are the correct length, it should be possible to cut a longer section to length to fill the gap. The plastic clip that holds the sections together would have to be removed on the section adjoining the cut and standard metal joiners used on the rails.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    September 2003
  • From: California - moved to North Carolina 2018
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Posted by DSchmitt on Friday, April 9, 2021 6:32 PM

If none of the KATO straight sections are the correct length, it should be possible to cut a longer section to length to fill the gap. The plastic clip that holds the sections together would have to be removed on the section adjoining the cut and standard metal joiners used on the rails. I have done that with N scale KATO track.

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Danbury Freight Yard
  • 240 posts
Posted by OldEngineman on Friday, April 9, 2021 9:57 PM

Kato makes HO Unitrack straight sections in 60mm, 94mm, 114mm, 123mm, 149mm, 174mm (and longer) segments. Quite a wide variety.

It looks to me like the solution lies in experimentation.

That means seeing how close you can get in "filling the gap". Maybe one of the availble sizes will fit right in.

If that doesn't work, it might be necessary to shorten the "intermediate straight sections" equally on either side of the curve, or perhaps ADD a little length, so that "the gap" grows either slightly shorter (or longer) to the point where all the pieces fit together.

If you can get to, say, 1/16" either way, that oughtta be "enough"... Cool

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Posted by peahrens on Saturday, April 10, 2021 7:51 AM

OldEngineman
it might be necessary to shorten the "intermediate straight sections" equally on either side of the curve, or perhaps ADD a little length, so that "the gap" grows either slightly shorter (or longer) to the point where all the pieces fit together.

My inclination also was to shorten one of the 3 pieces of straight track on the upper and lower left side of the loop.  It would be nice to solve it that way, to have a continuous curve, rather than add a length of straight track at the right IMHO.

Does XTrackCAD show all 5 straight track lengths as options to choose?  You might check that for both the wooden tie and concrete tie Kato track inventory in XTrackCAD, if there are separate components for the different types.

If the XTrackCAD Kato inventory is lacking all the pieces actually available, I believe you can separate and connect the whole right hand curve section as one  moveable segment.  Then eliminate a piece of straight track (upper and lower) on the left.  Then move the curve segment until it lines up properly with the left components, but with upper and lower gaps between the left arrangement and right curved segment.  Then draw in straight connection pieces (upper and lower), like a piece of flex track.  I think you can then click on your drawn connection pieces and XTrackCAD will tell you the details (including length) of that piece.  Hopefully it will be close enought to one of the 5 straight pieces available. 

I last used XTrackCAD in 2012, so I'm worse than rusty on the details. 

Let us know what you discover as a solution.  It's interesting.

Paul

Modeling HO with a transition era UP bent

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Saturday, April 10, 2021 8:34 AM

Make your own custom length straight from a longer one?

To preserve the proprietary end connections you slice the extra length out of the middle and connect the cut ends with standard rail joiners. If desired you could probably fabricate road bed connection with appropriate dimension styrene from Evergreen. I don't know what the cross section cut of Kato track would look like but if you support at least the underside of the cut joint all should work out well. 

A quick google search indicates that possibly the Kato joiners might insert into any point along the underside of the ballast moulding if you cut the track. You cut off one end and insert the joiners. I hadn't realized that Kato joiners were a separate component. Much better idea than the Bachmann or Atlas versions.

Also, looking at the variety of short straights available it seems hard to believe that one of those won't fit the gap. Maybe the software you're using won't find the piece you need in real life because maybe no length tolerances are built into the track planner. A bit like GPS nav systems that don't know about some roads so detour you unnecessarily.

Finally, is it possible to extend the dogbone loop by inserting some straight track pieces at an angle less than 90 degrees to the mainline double track? That will extend the straight gap you now have and maybe by the correct amount.

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, April 10, 2021 9:59 AM

OldEngineman
Kato makes HO Unitrack straight sections in 60mm, 94mm, 114mm, 123mm, 149mm, 174mm (and longer) segments. Quite a wide variety. It looks to me like the solution lies in experimentation.

Yes, 100% correct. Experimentation will get a solution faster than CAD will.

The filler piece does not need to be exact, +/- 5/8" will be just fine. The solution is there. Just buy a few short pieces and see what works.

I have hundreds of pieces of HO scale unitrack, and it is has forgiveness and tolerance built into the system for things like this.

Another solution is to substitutes a few pieces of the next-larger radius curve sections into the loop near the gap.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Sunday, April 11, 2021 8:49 AM

Looking more carefully at the plan I note three straights each side of the loop. Those are likely the cause of the geometry problem. 

Using broader radius curves as suggested might work more easily and provide smoother running as well. 

Without the CAD I only speculate that removing the straights would eliminate that gap completely. Adding straights or substituting broader radius curves should get you to a suitably sized gap for a stock length filler piece. 

Kato also makes one "one half" curve section of 10" length in their maximum radius size. 

https://www.katousa.com/PDF/HO-Unitrack.pdf

 

Alyth Yard

Canada

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Posted by wjstix on Monday, April 12, 2021 2:24 PM

One thing folks who are unfamiliar with Kato Unitrack don't understand is that the straight track lengths aren't random, each is meant to allow you to do a specific thing like add a passing siding or do a yard ladder track. Their website - and the info included with their No. 6 switches - explain a lot of this:

http://www.katousa.com/PDF/plans/HO-plan-6-manual.pdf

http://www.katousa.com/HO/Unitrack/g-single.html

That being said...yes, sometimes in an unusual situation you have to experiment a bit. It usually is best to buy some of each length of the straight sections to have on hand. (Note that sometimes you can only get the correct length by combining straight tracks.)

 

Stix
  • Member since
    April 2021
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Posted by SD90MACHII on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 12:03 PM

Thank you everyone for your help! 

I did find an N scale equivalent with Kato Unitrack:

Link

 

The turnout manual is so res it is very hard to read the diagrams Sad

Thank you so much,

Stay safe

Erik

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