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Thread: How do you know what switches to use?

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    Default How do you know what switches to use?

    I am using Peco Code 55 track and want to use Peco turnouts, but how do you know what you need?

    There are L, M, and S in the Peco line.

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    I used Peco Code 80 on my layout- L (#8’S)for mainline and M (#6’S) for yard and sidings. If you have the space use L for everything.

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    I mostly use mediums but have a couple of longs where I have the space. I wouldn't use shorts anywhere except maybe cramped industrial sidings.

    Ultimately you use what fits. You can print templates and cut them. https://peco-uk.com/collections/turn...ng-plans/n-9mm Note the inch/cm scales which lets you adjust your printer's zoom to get them right sized.

    For some reason I ended up using more lefties than righties.

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    Personally, I play with track planning software to determine what fits where. I like AnyRail.

    Shorter turnouts are useful in yards and staging areas. Mediums are better, but one doesn't always have room for them.

    Medium turnouts are appropriate for stations, regardless of the size of your layout.

    The long turnouts should be used for crossovers on main lines.

    Do I always follow these guidelines? No. Compromises are a necessity in model railroading.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Go with the largest geometry you can. Large and medium Peco turnouts will not only look better, your equipment will perform better, especially passenger cars and other rolling stock with long wheel bases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    Personally, I play with track planning software to determine what fits where.
    Love free tools to help the process.

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    All of my switches are Atlas #6 Customlines
    Modeling the Pacific Electric Playa Desnuda Branch in N Scale

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    The Peco smalls , are very small . The large and mediums are good for what @Paul Schmidt said . I personally would never use the smalls , they are just too tight

    And i would use the new medium Unifrog series where ever possible instead of regular mediums , to have the option of a live frog or not , or powering it up at a later date

    Steve

    Posted a clarification on the medium unifrog use

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    I just spent some time learning about Insulfrog, Electrofrog, and Unifrog. The unifrogs seem to be a really nice piece. Anyone have any idea if the large and curve turnouts will become Unifrog?

    Is it difficult to combine a L with a M turnout? Say L turnout coming off the mainline, then an M for 2 sidings, then will attach back to the mainline.

    Those Peco templates are very helpful!

    --------------------------------------------

    Switch motors:

    The other thing I need to consider is having under the table motors. It seems like the Tortoise motors are very popular and easy to install. Though they are quite tall and I would have to do some work to my main level as the upper section is only 2" of elevation.

    Also note, I think running the switches outside the DCC system would be best for me. I think I simple switchboard would work with toggle switches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by aflica View Post
    The Peco smalls , are very small . The large and mediums are good for what @Paul Schmidt said . I personally would never use the smalls , they are just too tight

    A
    To each his own. On my main deck all but two turnouts are the small. They have given me no trouble and enabled me to have a more complex layout than I could have had with the mediums.

    As I said above, though, if one has the room the short turnouts should only be used in yards and staging areas. I do plan to use turnouts as I described above.

    You will find that prototypical turnouts in stations are tighter than crossovers on main lines.
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    Quote Originally Posted by el Gato Gordo View Post
    You will find that prototypical turnouts in stations are tighter than crossovers on main lines.
    At the risk of sounding argumentative, that's not always the case. Perhaps in Europe.

    But I work around a real life example where in at least control point the mainline crossover turnouts are no. 11s, very sharp for the mainline, while some of the turnouts at the station, King Street Station in Seattle, to be exact, are broader, more like no. 15s.

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    Can someone explain the # system for turnouts? I see a lot of #6 and #8 being talked about, but Peco just says S M and L.

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    In Peco , a #6 is a medium and a #8 is a large . As far as i know . I use mediums and large on my layout . But as Gordon pointed out , not all have that kind of space . But i make it work for me . And i also use curved . Mine are all C80 insulfrogs as i use C80 track . Kinda stuck with it as i have about 50 or 60 turnouts in my collection , even tho im not gping to be currently using all , its too much money now to switch over ....... well maybe

    Steve

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    The number is a ratio referring to the geometry of the switch through the frog. A #6 diverges one part for every six parts of length from the point of the frog. The larger the number, the longer the switch. A #6 turnout diverges at 9 degrees, 32 minutes from the normal route.

    Please see the link below. It should direct you to a PDF:

    https://images.app.goo.gl/ocazCn8umBUsr5Ae6

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    Speaking in generalities, Paul. I know there are exceptions in the real world. I base my conclusions on many Google Maps observations, both in Europe and the US. Like in modeling, much depends upon the space available. So obviously I've seen real world turnouts as you describe.

    Perhaps, too, my observations of European high speed rail colors my impression. I do remember being surprised at the shortness of many station switches and the elongation of main line turnouts.

    Always appreciate your views, my friend, adding to my education!
    Cheers!
    Gordon
    Rheinland Bayern Bahn
    https://www.nscale.net/forums/showthr...4-x-9-5-layout

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    I've been playing around with the Peco code 80 points, and I have a couple of questions.
    Just say you're making a parallel track next to a mainline do you use the M or the L point off the mainline? How long do you make the track coming off the point, I'm guessing you use the radius and the angle specified?
    I hope this makes sense - When you put two turnouts together (point to point) how do you make them wide enough for the 1 1/4" track spacing?

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    Not sure I understand the situation. If you want to use two switches to cross over to a parallel track on a main line, you place the two switches so that the spacing is what you want and the divergent rails are aligned (by eye or with a straightedge) with each other. Then you cut a piece of flex to the right length to span the gap and connect the divergent rails. You may end up with this itty bitty piece of track but its doable.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NtheBasement View Post
    Not sure I understand the situation. If you want to use two switches to cross over to a parallel track on a main line, you place the two switches so that the spacing is what you want and the divergent rails are aligned (by eye or with a straightedge) with each other. Then you cut a piece of flex to the right length to span the gap and connect the divergent rails. You may end up with this itty bitty piece of track but its doable.
    That's what I was after, thanks. It works out that a straight piece of track 47.4mm long will be required to make parallel tracks with centres of 33mm.

    Coming off the divergent part of the point, to make a parallel track how long should that piece be before it becomes parallel? I've attached a pic to hopefully make it clearer!

    Layout.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by stuffandthat View Post
    That's what I was after, thanks. It works out that a straight piece of track 47.4mm long will be required to make parallel tracks with centres of 33mm.

    Coming off the divergent part of the point, to make a parallel track how long should that piece be before it becomes parallel? I've attached a pic to hopefully make it clearer!

    Layout.jpg
    I make the radius of that area in red , as long and gentle as I can with in reason . I find the 7" works well for me in a situation like yours . It's a open area so no reason to go too tight of a radius . I also use peco C80 . And I would use a large turnout there if it were me . I use a large where ever I can , and mediums where space is tighter and speeds will be slower

    Steve

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    Thanks, Steve. The turnouts on the mainline are the large ones SL-388 / 389.

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