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 Curved Turnouts
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Author Previous Topic: CNR Blackwater division Topic Next Topic: Chuck Diljaks Wyoming Valley Railroad  

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/19/2021 :  5:15:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am laying out plans for a helix on my train layout. What I need is a curved turnout with a 36 inch inside radius as an ingress/egress point to my helix which has a 36 inch radius. Does any one know if there is such item that is commercially produced? Or can I use a modified straight numbered type of turnout such aa a #8 turnout slightly modified? I am hoping someone else has already dealt with this issue and has a solution. Walthers/Shinohara used to produce some curved turnouts and listed the different radii in the Walthers catalog. However since Walthers is no longer selling those turnouts, the info on curved turnouts has been removed from their web listings. Maybe someone is building the turnouts I need from a FasTraks template or template they have made. Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks....John

GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 398

k9wrangler
Engineer



Posted - 03/19/2021 :  5:33:35 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Have you looked at Fastracks site to see if then have a template to match your specs? I made a curved turnout from one of their templates and some micro engineering rail and fastracks pc ties and some unknown makers wood ties, micro engineering spikes and a fair bit of time. Cut nfit, repeat. It worked ok but I found a pre-made one close to same specs and swapped it out. Any superelevation would really be unwelcome Im sure.

Id be nervous about using anything like either type in relationship to a helix. You might find a Murphy family law firm in close proximity.


Mega Dittos

Karl Scribner
Manistique, Michigan

Country: USA | Posts: 12069 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/19/2021 :  8:29:46 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My staging yard throat starts with a pair of curved turnouts from FastTracks jigs. The jigs work well, the videos are great. BUT I've had problems with rail coming loose when the Pliobond gives way. So I'd suggest spiking after the rails are in place. A FastTracks jig is quite an investment for 1 turnout, though.

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8968 Go to Top of Page

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/19/2021 :  9:07:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Karl & Dave. FasTraks makes a jig (I found after further research) that is a 50 inch outer rad and a 35 inch inner rad. All Fastrak jigs are for code 83 or 70. Although I will be using code 83 rail throughout my layout, I have opted to use code 100 in the helix for an extra measure of safety. So I am wanting code 100 turnouts, then use the code 100 to 83 transition pieces after the turnout. Murphy family near! I found a Peco #SLE96 code 100 turnout that states it has a 36 inch nominal radius. Just wondering if anyone is using this turnout and can double check that 36 inch rad claim? I have no Peco turnouts on hand. The price for these Peco turnouts is not that much but I hate to pay for an item (plus shipping) that may not work. I guess I could always sell it on feebay but I would still take a lick on it. Maybe someone can verify the 36 inch rad on the Peco. That could very well solve my problem or answer my question. Thanks....John

GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 398 Go to Top of Page

dave1905
Fireman



Posted - 03/19/2021 :  10:17:02 PM  Show Profile  Visit dave1905's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Check out a Peco #7 curved radius, that might work. A trimmed #7 or #8 regular turnout might work, or use a CV tie strip, curve it to fit and hand lay it.

Dave Husman

Iron Men and wooden cars
Visit my website : www.wnbranch.com

Country: USA | Posts: 1203 Go to Top of Page

jbvb
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/19/2021 :  10:21:16 PM  Show Profile  Visit jbvb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
When I was learning to handlay, I was given a rule of thumb for designing curved turnouts: the outer radius from the points through the frog needs to be about 3X the inner radius, otherwise you wind up with an acute frog angle which is difficult to build in HO, at least.

James

Country: USA | Posts: 6901 Go to Top of Page

dave1905
Fireman



Posted - 03/19/2021 :  11:12:29 PM  Show Profile  Visit dave1905's Homepage  Reply with Quote
What I do for a curved turnout is to lay a piece of Atlas flex track along the alignment of the large diameter route. Tack it down, making sure to put a tack about where the points/head blocks will be. Put a large piece of paper over the area and use thumbtacks to tack down one edge of the paper.

Take a pencil and trace over the rails and outside ends of the ties on the flex track. Fold back the paper, not removing the thumbtacks.

Untack the flextrack up to the points/headblocks, and realign it to the inside radius. Tack it back down.

Fold the paper back over the area and trace over the rails and the inside ends of the ties.

When you are done you should have a template for the curved switch. You know where the point of switch is (headblocks) and you can see where the frog will be, plus have an idea of the pattern of the ties.

Not sure that I would subscribe to the outside radius being 3x the inside radius rule of thumb. I know that Fast tracks has curved switch templates that are 30-21 in radius and 36-24 in radius, so that not anywhere close to 3x the radii.


Dave Husman

Iron Men and wooden cars
Visit my website : www.wnbranch.com

Country: USA | Posts: 1203 Go to Top of Page

resqrk
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/20/2021 :  06:42:34 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
just a thought, there are online groups where you can get a turnout from someone that owns a fast tracks fixture you don't have. probably a lot cheaper route if you only need 1 or 2.


Country: USA | Posts: 181 Go to Top of Page

MarcusF
Engine Wiper

Posted - 03/20/2021 :  10:57:14 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I think Walthers basically absorbed the Shinohara track into their own line. They show a 28"/24" curved turnout coming in April.
Peco had a Code 80 #7 curved, with an outer radius of 1092mm, or about 43". They're out of stock as Peco is switching from their Electro/Insulfrog turnouts to a single "Unifrog" model.



Country: Canada | Posts: 125 Go to Top of Page

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 03/20/2021 :  3:47:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Again, thanks to all who have taken time to reply to my post. Some other points of views and different approaches to my situation supplied by others, is what I like about the Forum. No need for any of us to re-invent the wheel. After further research, FasTraks does have a code 100 template (don't know how I missed it the first time I looked but....). The template is again 50 inch outer and 35 inch inner rad. Purchasing all I need from FasTraks will be over $200.00. I found someone who can make the turnouts for me but they are $59 each and I will need 6. And again the radius I need is 36 inch inside not 35 inch. And at my age, it will be a blessing if I ever get my layout anywhere close to being complete so time and money are two very important items I need to consider. The Peco turnouts I referred to earlier are readily available and at approx $20 each sure seem to be the way to go for me. I believe I will order one for now and check it out to see if it will work for my use. After I receive the Peco item, I will post more info on the 36 inch radius as claimed by Peco and if it solves my dilemma. Maybe this can help someone else in a similar situation. At $20 each, I may save enough money (as opposed to the FasTrak prices) to purchase some switch motors. Thanks again....John

GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 398 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/20/2021 :  4:20:10 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
After my first FastTracks assembly, I got pretty good at it. I'd budget about 90 minutes for a completed turnout, and I'm not necessarily the best/fastest track worker. But if you want to do a "cost benefit analysis", that'll give you a time factor to use. Rail isn't cheap, but it's a lot cheaper than assembled turnouts. (I bought my rail from http://crusaderrai.com, good prices and good service.)

dave


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8968 Go to Top of Page

BurleyJim
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/20/2021 :  5:00:42 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by deemery

After my first FastTracks assembly, I got pretty good at it. I'd budget about 90 minutes for a completed turnout, and I'm not necessarily the best/fastest track worker. But if you want to do a "cost benefit analysis", that'll give you a time factor to use. Rail isn't cheap, but it's a lot cheaper than assembled turnouts. (I bought my rail from http://crusaderrai.com, good prices and good service.)

dave



Try https://www.crusaderrail.com it works better.


Take the red pill

Country: USA | Posts: 6320 Go to Top of Page

deemery
Fireman

Premium Member


Posted - 03/20/2021 :  5:07:38 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Yeah, fat-fingered again! Thanks Jim!!


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

Country: USA | Posts: 8968 Go to Top of Page

john holt
Engine Wiper



Posted - 04/05/2021 :  7:56:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Well it appears the Peco, SL-E95 (electrofrog) code 100, Medium Radius right or left hand turnout, does in fact have a 36 inch radius, diverging route. The Peco SL-95 (insulfrog) has the 36 inch rad also. After further layout of my helix, I will need 3 right hand and one left hand turnout for my application. Maybe this info will help someone else tying into a 36 inch rad curve and needs to maintain that 36 inch rad, with a viable solution for a turnout. Going to use 5/8 plywood for my helix. I am still in the layout/drafting stage of my helix but should have that done in a few evenings. Quite the project as I have absolutely no experience with this type of track support. I will try to post pictures in the future. Take care....John

GULF COAST & WESTERN


Country: USA | Posts: 398 Go to Top of Page
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