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Thread: What is the meaning of the turnout numbers

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    Default What is the meaning of the turnout numbers

    [General]
    Turnouts (railroad switches) are defined by a number.

    There are two paths through a turnout. The path that goes straight is called the 'through route'. The path that curves to the left or right is called the 'divergent route'.

    The number of the turnouts is an indication of the amount of divergence the turnout provides, measured at the frog point.

    It is really a ratio that should be expressed as 4:1, 5:1, 7:1, 10:1, etc.

    The ratio is measured from the point of the frog in equal increments.

    A #4 turnout would show a divergence of 1 increment at four increments along the through route side, measured from the point of the frog .

    A #7 turnout would show a 1 increment diversence at 7 increments from the frog point, along the through route side.

    An increment can be an inch, a centimeter, or any other linear measurement.

    The lower the number the shorter the turnout, and the tighter the turn
    radius.

    # 4 and #5 turnouts are usually reserved for yards and ladder track.

    #6 an #7 turnouts are good for sidings and industry track.

    The larger numbers are usually used for mainline switching, such as crossovers.

    The higher number turnouts are quite long and careful space planning is necessary to fit them into a layout.
    (The voices I hear in my head may not be real, but sometimes they come up with a good idea.)

    Have fun.

    Moose
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