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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

I have been working with a fellow in the UK to build a test dual gauge turnout for a new track gauge he wants to develop to accompany the already established "Cape Gauge 1." Cape Gauge 1 uses the 45mm gauge we are familiar with, but with a standardized scale of 1:24 to model the 3ft 6in "Cape Gauge" in South Africa. The idea is for this new smaller 25mm gauge to model the South African 2ft narrow gauge in 1:24 scale.

The expectation is not that the 25mm gauge will become a very popular gauge and scale to model, since SAR modelling is already quite niche, but as an accompaniment for those who are already modeling Cape Gauge 1 or interested in modelling SAR.

In any case, I was happy to take up the custom job when approached and drew up the blueprints and built the item fairly quickly. I enjoy a break from the monotony of just cranking out #6s all the time.

First, a historical photo of South African Cape and Narrow Gauges together:
Train Land vehicle Vehicle Motor vehicle Rolling stock
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On to the turnout. Code 215 nickel silver rail, cast #4 frog in white bronze, using 1:20.3 ties currently since that's what I have available:

Musical instrument Wood Font Fashion accessory Paper

Musical instrument String instrument String instrument Plucked string instruments Circuit component


And a comparison with the historical photo of the same turnout:
Track Parallel Rolling Slope Railway


I really enjoyed building this little turnout (only about 18in in length)! One of the things I really enjoy about the hobby is how willing many are to create their own solution to a problem of unavailability whether that be track, rolling stock, locos, or in this case an entire standardized gauge! I do hope my customer is successful in introducing 25mm to the Cape Gauge 1 folks and to see some layouts in the future featuring both gauges, I tend to like the interest dual gauge can bring to a layout.

Best,
Mike
 

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Strictly speaking, we would not call this a turnout/switch since nothing is switched, it just separates/combines 2 separate tracks to dual gauge track.

I'm sure there are unique terms for this in each country.

It looks a lot like what is used on a "gauntlet" track, often combining 2 tracks to fit on a narrow bridge

 

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I'm sure there are unique terms for this in each country.
I've always called it an "escape" here in the USA. One of the gauges 'escapes' from the dual gauge.
Rectangle Slope Parallel Font Circle

This is one I built 10 years ago. They certainly are different from regular trackwork.

Rectangle Wood Parallel Fence Metal


I'm just discovering that the 2' gauge Gilpin and the 3' gauge Colorado & Southern had shared dual-gauge track around Black Hawk, CO. That must have been fun.
 

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Pete,
And now I see them!
Your first example - Standard gauge escapes from narrow gauge, would you not need a switch blade for the standard gauge to make the 'turn', or just rely on a check rail.
I would think that a blade would make a more secure escape.
Cheers,
David
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Pete's example seems to use a movable point, I do see the joint there between the 10th and 11th ties. I would prefer to make these "escapes" with moving points since they cause less issues with wheels dropping in the frog throat or point picking that can happen with wheels sets that have slightly out of spec back-to-back measurements. I was to make this item to faithfully recreate what is in the photo though, so no moving points it is...

If the customer finds that the first frog causes too many issues, the design can be altered to use a moving point instead. Functionality trumps a faithful recreation at the end of the day if that is what is required.

-Mike
 

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Yes Pete's example would need a point to shift the wider gauge to the right. The escape should have been the opposite way so the rail that only the "escaping" gauge uses would push the train onto the new track.

Pete's example is really a "half switch" in that only one point is needed. Many times they would switch the wider gauge to the other side and then escape. This of course requires more room.
 

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Pete's example seems to use a movable point, I do see the joint there between the 10th and 11th ties. I would prefer to make these "escapes" with moving points
Sorry. No movable bits. The check rails were dark so maybe they weren't too obvious.

Rectangle Cylinder Test tube Gas Font


Escapes are pretty fascinating. This one has no moving parts - 2' in center of std gauge escapes to one side.

Wood Rectangle Font Parallel Metal


This, on the other hand, needed moveble point blades as there is a switch for the 3' gauge but not the 2' gauge. (Looks like the lever isn't working - there should be a gap at one side!)

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Pete, You're right I missed that check rail near the turnout entrance! Thanks for sharing the pictures, very cool stuff.

I did get some F and Fn3 tie strips probably almost a year ago now from Dave Queener to eventually use in making some exhibition F/Fn3 turnouts. If not for anything else to add to my custom work portfolio in case anyone happens to come across my page and wants something similar. I haven't gotten any bit of down time to work on that yet, doesn't look like I'll have an empty turnout queue for a while, so maybe I'll just make the time in-between orders once I get caught up on the older ones.

Do you still have a dual gauge layout or are these leftovers from an older installation?

Best,
Mike
 

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Do you still have a dual gauge layout or are these leftovers from an older installation?
Mike, these are old photos from my triple-gauge layout. On that middle pic above, where the 2' leaves the middle of the std gauge, there's also a 3' gauge which heads out to the left with the std gauge. The latter was G-3 (65mm) as Dave Q and Don hadn't done their F-scale thing by then.

This is a 3' switch leading to the main line, and the std and 2' gauge both head nto the yard.
Train Rolling stock Vehicle Plant Track


This is an older pic - the layout was changed after a few years. But you can see the 3 gauges.
Train Plant Rolling stock Motor vehicle Track


Ala, in 2003 Hurricane Isabel came to the Chesapeake and destroyed the whole layout.
 

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There used to be a lot of 3'-standard track around Alamosa CO and some other places in CO. They also had cars (I forget what they called them) with couplers for both gauges so locomotives could haul both gauges at the same time. I remember seeing remains of these as late as the 1960's
 

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There used to be a lot of 3'-standard track
I don't know where this was taken, but it's quite impressive. There was dual gauge into Denver station too, I believe. I've seen pics of the idler/coupler cars being used to connect std gauge cars to 3' gauge locos, and vice versa.

Train Sky Vehicle Motor vehicle Cloud


The EBT standard gauge switchers had extra coupler mounts for the 3' gauge cars.
 

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Originally the D&RG/DSP&P-C&S met the standard gauge in Denver. In Colorado wherever the two gauges met there was dual-gauge trackage. As the narrow gauge was reduced the dual gauge was moved to the new interchange location. I Believe the last of the dual gauge was between Alamosa and Antonito where the narrow gauge split off to head for Durango.

Interestingly there was dual gauge in Durango where the standard gauge Farmington branch met the narrow gauge. When the Farmington branch was changed to narrow gauge they took out the standard gauge trackage in Durango.
 
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