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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for advice on what points to use where on my layout. My primary equipment will be 1:20.3 narrow gauge stuff. Eventually a K-37 with some J&S coaches. But I want to accommodate every possibility in case I have guests or my interests expand, say a big boy or really long coaches.

What points should I use (#6, 8ft radius, 4ft radius...) Should I use for switching between parallel mainlines, and which would be good for a shunting yard?

I was also going to aim for 8.5 inches between centers on parallel tracks. I currently have 8 inches between centers in my garage on the straight section. But nothing stays parallel in the curves. I figured the worst case scenario was a rake of Accucraft J&S 1:20.3 coaches on the outside curve approaching a 1:32 Big boy on the inside curve. My mainline will be no less than 15ft radius curves.
 

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I run 1:20.3 and 1:32 with really long coaches also have many visiting trains of up to 1:13.7 scale, so my advice would be use the biggest radius points you can fit in such as minimum 10 foot radius with 8 foot radius points at a pinch and for changing between parallel tracks go for the largest curve points like 14 foot radius as coach length on a train in an 'S' curve can be a problem. Keep track centres at around 7 inches (maybe 8 inches on the curves) but with your 15 foot radius curves, 7 inch between centres should be no problem and everything should pass without hitting.
I have 10 foot radius curves and points and switching with knuckle couplers is good but when running European stuff with link couplings and buffers I do get derailments when pushing due to coach overhang. Running 1:20.3 with knuckle couplers you will have no problems and I am jealous of your 15 foot radius curves mine are a little bit too tight.
Russell
 

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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
That does make a big difference Greg. Although I will correct you that the website for USA trains states a 16ft diameter, not radius.

I think I understand Jim when he says it's the couplers on long coaches that cause the problems with derailments.

I should clarify my mentioning of the Big boy was not for trackability through the yard and layout. Because I figured if a K-37 can navigate my layout, an articulated loco should be able to. My concern was the amount of outside overhang on the front end in a curve of 15ft radius. Versus the amount of overhang on the inside of that curve with a long coach.

I figured the Big boy would be the item with the largest outside swing because of the geometry of the articulation with the long boiler.
 

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Ahh, my mistake.... was going too fast! Yes, most people look to a 20 foot diameter curve for the USAT BB. Thanks!

Interestingly, the minimum radius for the BB is dictated by the tender! It has mostly a rigid frame for the wheels, crazy stuff!

On 15 foot radius curves, overhang will not be an issues comparatively. I would though see if you can run #8 turnouts on the main line so you could at least bring the BB into the switchyard. In the yard if you could use #6 switches, then 80' cars will be no issue. #4 switches can be tough in a switchyard when cars get over 50'

For what you are apparently building, please do not use the "toy" switches as designed by LGB, i.e. "curved" diverging angles, but use prototypically accurate switches, where the switch is defined by the diverging (frog) angle which is normally expressed as frog number.

I'd be interested to see a sketch of your proposed track plan, sounds like you are going first class!

If you are designing a switchyard, you might find this page helpful:

It is the compendium of what I could learn from several excellent articles by some of the very early model railroaders trying to map the hobby to the prototype.

Greg
 

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Ahh, my mistake.... was going too fast! Yes, most people look to a 20 foot diameter curve for the USAT BB. Thanks!

Interestingly, the minimum radius for the BB is dictated by em the tender! It has mostly a rigid frame for the wheels, crazy stuff!

On 15 foot radius curves, overhang will not be an issues comparatively. I would though see if you can run #8 turnouts on the main line so you could at least bring the BB into the switchyard. In the yard if you could use #6 switches, then 80' cars will be no issue. #4 switches can be tough in a switchyard when cars get over 50'

For what you are apparently building, please do not use the "toy" switches as designed by LGB, i.e. "curved" diverging angles, but use prototypically accurate switches, where the switch is defined by the diverging (frog) angle which is normally expressed as frog number.

I'd be interested to see a sketch of your proposed track plan, sounds like you are going first class!

If you are designing a switchyard, you might find this page helpful:

It is the compendium of what I could learn from several excellent articles by some of the very early model railroaders trying to map the hobby to the prototype.

Greg
Yes my HO Rivarrossi challenger handles my 18 inch curves better than it’s own tender 😅
 

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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Greg, I don't have drawings of the plan but it is under construction in phases. Phase 1 is the dual mainline loop around the outside. I'm documenting the construction in this thread on this website. In phase one I merely want to be able to switch tracks.
Phase 2 will be the switch yard, yet to be determined if it will be a through yard or stub ended.
Phase 3 will be a turn table, then buildings and other accessories.
 

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TDREABE, When I first built My live steam track I had Aristo switches( nothing but trouble) I gave them away.I switch to Pete Conleys switches # 10 on mainline and # 8 on sidings. Never had a problem.
on the layout, I had a 20 ft Diamator which worked out fine till I got a Pennsylvania T-1 and it would not like the 20ft curve.
So now I have a 35ft Diamator and it and the BigBoy love it.I can pull 80 cars with the BigBoy on this Diameter.
Don't waste Your money go to Peter Conley web site Sunsetvalley https://www.sunsetvalleyrailroad.com/ and get his Switches. He will talk to You
Good luck and happy Steaming
Bob Weltyk .
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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bob, I was just looking at the Sunset valley website. I would get #10 from him right away but I've already purchased my track in 332. I also want to stick with the heavier rail in the even I dual gauge my outer loop to have a standard gauge F scale run. No serious plans on that line yet, but just keeping my options open.

Anyone know where to get 332 frogs? Or someone who could scratch build some switches for me?
 

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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Greg,
I've explored your site before. The sample drawing of a yard has caught my eye.
I am curious if the fast laid tracks nmra pdf templates scale right? If I scale the PDF to the rail width, will everything else fall into the right place?

I'm looking at #10 switches for switching between the mainlines.

Maybe once I build them, I'll just get the fever to build all my switches.

I'd be interested to see a sketch of your proposed track plan, sounds like you are going first class!

If you are designing a switchyard, you might find this page helpful:

It is the compendium of what I could learn from several excellent articles by some of the very early model railroaders trying to map the hobby to the prototype.

Greg
 

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When I switched to code 250 I had some old 332 turnouts that I connected with joiners that converted from 250 to 332 which worked well. Mike Gates builds turnouts for Llagas Creek and maybe he could help you. For F scale standard gauge Dave Queener from Cumberland Model Engineering has the parts. Years ago Kevin Strong helped me build some turnouts for my garden railway. It wasn't too hard so maybe going down that road would be something you would enjoy.
 

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All of my track is Aristcraft 332, But the Switches are Peters Code 250 with His adapters and it works out fine I could not find 332 switches. and peter doze does not make 332 switches
 

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Pete Comley here from Sunset Valley.
I have #10 switches in stock in brass and nickel silver. They are code 250 and will accept all the usual wheel profiles (LGB, Aristo, USA etc.) I also make the adapter clamps to connect seamlessly to code 332 track. Give me a call on 206-396-2756 if you'd like to discuss.
 

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Accucraft Ruby, Accucraft 1:20.3
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Pete Comley here from Sunset Valley.
I have #10 switches in stock in brass and nickel silver. They are code 250 and will accept all the usual wheel profiles (LGB, Aristo, USA etc.) I also make the adapter clamps to connect seamlessly to code 332 track. Give me a call on 206-396-2756 if you'd like to discuss.
Pete,
I was poking around your site and wanted to clarify if you offer the #10 switch with narrow gauge tie profiles. Or only as 1:29 mainline tie spacing.
 

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Our switches are made in special metal jigs that hold the ties and rail in place while the spikes are inserted to build the switch. A different jig must be used for the mainline and narrow gauge ties, and unfortunately the #10 is only available with mainline spacing, I can't put narrow gauge ties into that jig. However, if you intend to ballast your track you will find the difference in tie size and spacing on the switch to be not too noticable. What do you think?
 
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