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Thread: Peco insulfrog switch rail joiner

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    Default Peco insulfrog switch rail joiner

    I picked up a couple of Peco insulfrog switches and am getting ready to install them. Track is Atlas flex track and I've heard the rail joiners are a bit tight when going to Peco rails. Whenever I install rail joiners, I cut above the ties to allow the joiner to slide under the rail. With the Peco switches, is the install the same? I'd hate to cut the spike heads if there is a different trick that doesn't require cutting the Peco switch.

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    The answer might depend a lot on whether you are talking about code 55 or code 80 track. Peco's code 55 is a very unique animal, and I have joined it successfully to Atlas code 55, but with some effort. Peco code 80 to Atlas code 80 is simple, though. I don't have one in front of me, but I would think that their turnouts already have the flange way cleared of spike head detail where the rail joiner is intended to slip on. If you modify the turnout, though, by trimming one or more of its legs, then I would guess you would need to slice off the spike head where you've made your cut.

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    It's code 80. I would just slice off the spike heads to let the rail raise slightly above the ties letting the joiner fully seat. The turnout has spikes all the way to the end.
    20180711_172420.jpg

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    I think if you look closely you'll see that the spike head on the last tie is actually smaller than others, as it doesn't grab the base of the rail. They've left room for the rail joiner. You might need to carve it away if you plan on using a thicker insulating joiner, but for a standard metal joiner I don't think you need to do anything.

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    That's as far as it will go. If there isn't some secret squirrel trick then I will just cut the spike heads and slide that joiner home!
    20180711_174735.jpg

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    After looking at it again, I think you're right WP&P. From the top down the spikes don't cover the rail. Hmmmm

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    It might not even be the spike head that is blocking further insertion. It looks like the joiner fits into a bit of a recess into the top of the tie, and that channel might not be wide enough.

    One option is to do what I do while laying flex track: cut the whole tie off. Then, after track is in place, re-insert the tie... after having shaved off the spike heads of course. Might want to sand the bottom side of the tie to thin it a tiny bit, too, before sliding it back under. A dab of white glue can hold the tie in place until ballasting really locks it in place.

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    I was being too gentle. With a little wiggling and some pressure, the joiner went on. Thank you WP&P.

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    Missed the last post - oops never mind, umm did you hear the one about...

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    I'm sorry, I can't resist this. "If brute force doesn't work, you're not using enough." Sherrilyn Kenyon of the band Styxx.
    Tim Rumph
    Modeling the Southern Railway in N-Scale

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    Indeed, brute force works with these. I managed to puncture a nice hole in my thumb trying! Now I use a cut piece of rail as a joiner inserter. Pecos are tight.
    Last edited by danb; 12th Jul 2018 at 11:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danb View Post
    Indeed, brute force works with these. I managed to puncture a nice hole in my thumb trying! Now I use a cut piece of rail as a joiner inserted. Pecos are tight.
    Just get a small piece of scrap wood, say 1" x 1" of ply or pine. Put it between your thumb and the joiner and push it right on. Of course you have to start/set the joiner a little bit on the rail first.

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    I use a curved section. For some reason, it seems to work better for wiggling the joiners past the first tie. Your bigger problem will be the rail sections you join to the turnout. Ties usually don't line up right and overlap. You'll need to remove some ties from the rails connecting to the turnout, then after you've fixed where the two tracks (four rails) are, come back and slide ties in to finish the track work. If you can come up with longer switch ties, a couple of them will look great before resuming use of regular ties.

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    True enough, the turnout ties will overlap the flex (or sectional) ties, well the first 3 will. The cleanest solution is to over lap the two rail sections (turnout and flex/sectional) then cut the ties that over lap flush. No need to remove any ties and you will only loose a very small amount of the tie from either piece of track.
    Cheers Tony

    "Knowing what to do is one thing ... being able to do it is another"
    "It is easy to criticize ... a lot harder when you have to justify it"

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    Quote Originally Posted by danb View Post
    Indeed, brute force works with these. I managed to puncture a nice hole in my thumb trying! Now I use a cut piece of rail as a joiner inserter. Pecos are tight.
    Been there, done that lol
    Cheers,

    Russ

    CEO of Devil's Gate Mining Co.



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