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Question Regarding Unitrack Track Feeder Placement Near Turnouts

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  • Member since
    August 2019
  • 25 posts
Question Regarding Unitrack Track Feeder Placement Near Turnouts
Posted by Trainguy1988 on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 7:35 PM

Hello,
I had the benchwork for my HO Scale model railroad layout installed today, and have begun laying the track (Kato Unitrack). As I may have mentioned previously, the layout will include sidings, two reversing loops, and a passing siding. I plan on running my trains from a DCC controller attached to a feeder track below the passing siding, but also read that Unitrack feeder tracks should not be directly connected with the diverging tracks of turnouts. I'm wondering, then, if I should place the feeder track farther away from the turnout(s) or if I should place a feeder just before a turnout.

Automotive tire Road surface Wood Tire Urban design right before the bottom turnout. Thank you very much.
  • Member since
    February 2018
  • From: Danbury Freight Yard
  • 456 posts
Posted by OldEngineman on Wednesday, December 13, 2023 9:38 PM

Which turnouts will you be using?

Most Kato HO turnouts can be set for either power-routing or non-power-routing by setting two screws on the bottom.

I believe the only turnouts that CAN'T be changed are the powered #4's with the metal frogs. They are power-routing. I believe they're now a discontinued item.

I think you need to post an image of your track plan for recommendations on where power feeds and insulated joints should go. In the image above, I would put the feeder at the bottom of the pic, beyond the points of the lower switch.

  • Member since
    April 2023
  • 27 posts
Posted by Lost in A2 on Thursday, December 14, 2023 1:32 AM

Because of the power-routing "feature" of Kato turnouts, I use their feeder unijoiners. I put a feeder on every segment, after the turnouts. 

I use Kato's power extension cords as the 'bus.' A daisy-chain has worked for me. 

 

In the past, I isolated the turnouts with insulating unijoiners. I don't think I'm using them on my current layout. 

  • Member since
    February 2002
  • From: Mpls/St.Paul
  • 13,873 posts
Posted by wjstix on Thursday, December 14, 2023 2:24 PM

Kato Unitrack turnouts can be set to be power-routing or non-power-routing by moving the two screws under the turnout. I think some of the older #4s were only power routing, but I believe now all their turnouts come with this feature. Check the card backing of the turnout's packing for more info.

If they're set to non-power-routing, it doesn't matter where you connect up the power; you only need to use insulated joiners to make separate blocks (if you want to).

Stix

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