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Discussion Starter #1
I am looking at making the next purchase for my railway.... Switches (or turnouts).
Can someone please explain to me the difference between the Aristo Craft #6 manual @ $100+ and the Aristo Craft WIDE or extra wide manual switches which cost about half that.
As well as why/where I could/would use one over the other?

As always thank you for your input.

Todd
 

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The Wide Radius is about 10' diameter, and is basically not a "normal" switch, since the rails of the diverging side are curved past the frog.

The #6 is a much longer and "gentler" switch, much more suited to mainline operation.

In the real world, the "frog number" is always stated, the Wide Radius is about a #4 in my estimation.

The answer to which one to use is based on your available space and minimum radius.

If I am to give a short answer, use the #6 wherever you can, better for long trains and long cars, and just much smoother in general.

Quick question, are you going stainless or brass?

Also, check my site, there is a lot of information on each of these switches and what you have to do to make them smooth operating, both of them need work right out of the box.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunately Brass. That was all I could afford on my first order.
I am okay with it... better then not having a railway


As for space that is not really an issue. I live on a cul-da-sac and can use my entire backyard as I please (already approved through the wife).
The only thing I need to be cautious of is the easement that goes along the back.

On that note - Has anyone ever run into an issue with their railway on an utility easement?
I hate to see all that space (probably 150+ feet) not being used but I may hate it more to have to rip up part of a layout should the city need access to something.
Thoughts?
 

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I would recommend the USAT #6 over the Aristo. The Aristo has a significant problem with the frog, it's too "big" to keep it simple.

The wheels drop into the frog because it's too wide. The micro switch and electrics corrode easily. The USAT #6 is far superior from the reports I have received. The Aristo frog is plated pot metal.

The Aristo WR switches can be made to work as smoothly as a baby's butt though, need a few things, but easy and quick to do, and they match 10' diameter curves perfectly. Follow ALL the instructions on my web site, it takes longer to read them than to execute them.

Easements are dangerous, the utility company has the right to drive right over your track with no notice. I would put what I can afford to replace there!

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Can manual switches be comverted to electronic or pneumatic pretty easy or do you need to purchase electronic up front.
 

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USAT only makes the #6 and a VERY sharp turnout, maybe a 4' diameter... do not use switches this tight unless you are forced to!

That's why I recommended the Aristo WR turnout. They also work well in switchyards:



Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So Aristo WIDE swithches for a yard type situation and USAT #6 everywhere else that I can use them.
That helps tremendously.

Thank you.
 

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If you can fit it... It will allow much smoother operation, longer trains, and the ability to back the train up without derailments. Like curvature of track, the more "gentle" the turnout the better.

Real railroads would consider a #10 sharp, and often had #20 switches... of course narrow gauge curves and switches were sharper.

What do you believe your tightest track diameter curve will be?

Regards, Greg
 

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Easements! I have easements. I ignore them. While my easement is a utility easement the only utility there is the electric company. The other utilities are on the other side of the fence. The likely hood that the electric company will have to access them is very small. While there may be a utility easement or other kind of easement on your property you should get a copy of the easement documents from whomever you need to get them from and read them. Remember you still own the property, someone else just has the right to use it for a specific pourpose. Here in AZ the easement is linked to the use which means that after the use is removed the easement goes away and if it was never used the easement was never there. Example, the gas company has an easement along the side of your yard. They remove the gas line the easement ends. If the phone company wants to come along later and add a phone line there they need to buy a new easement from you. (That's why most utility easements are utility easements in AZ (as opposed to specific utility companies), so all the utility companies can use the same easement.) I happened to be involved in another legal mater when I bought my house so I had my attorney look them over. He discovered that while there is a utility easement along the back side of my back yard there is no right of access. Which means they can't come across my back yard to access it. They will be tresspassing. Further they can't remove the fence since it is mine. If they want to climb over the fence to access it they can but if they need equipment to dig they need to get a crane to raise and lower the equipment over the fence. And since the easement is only 3 feet wide they need a very narrow piece of equipment!. Most likely they will need to dig by hand. A good use of your easement would be an access/viewing path or plants of some sort. Remember you will need access to most of your RR at some time or another. It is your property it's just if they need to access it for something anything in their way may need to be removed. Unless it is an emergency they just can't come in and start bulldozing things up. They need to give you notice. Get a good attorney and you will be dead 50 years before it is out of court but please, please check with your local and state laws th be sure just what that are in your area.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Worst case would be 8' as I have a few already purchased (lesson learned) but I am planning on trying to keep them 10 or better...
 

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Good idea. I have 10' diameter minimum, have run 40 car trains for 6 hours straight, on inner mainline with 2 WR switches... it will work. You could also bend the 8 footers out or use them on spurs...

I use #6's on the mainline except in 2 spots, where the WR switches are... notice the picture of the yard above, the crossover off the main is #6, all else is WR. The wye is a #6, in each direction.

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Posted By rpc7271 on 01/12/2009 3:09 PM
Easements! I have easements. I ignore them. While my easement is a utility easement the only utility there is the electric company. The other utilities are on the other side of the fence. The likely hood that the electric company will have to access them is very small. While there may be a utility easement or other kind of easement on your property you should get a copy of the easement documents from whomever you need to get them from and read them. Remember you still own the property, someone else just has the right to use it for a specific pourpose. Here in AZ the easement is linked to the use which means that after the use is removed the easement goes away and if it was never used the easement was never there. Example, the gas company has an easement along the side of your yard. They remove the gas line the easement ends. If the phone company wants to come along later and add a phone line there they need to buy a new easement from you. (That's why most utility easements are utility easements in AZ (as opposed to specific utility companies), so all the utility companies can use the same easement.) I happened to be involved in another legal mater when I bought my house so I had my attorney look them over. He discovered that while there is a utility easement along the back side of my back yard there is no right of access. Which means they can't come across my back yard to access it. They will be tresspassing. Further they can't remove the fence since it is mine. If they want to climb over the fence to access it they can but if they need equipment to dig they need to get a crane to raise and lower the equipment over the fence. And since the easement is only 3 feet wide they need a very narrow piece of equipment!. Most likely they will need to dig by hand. A good use of your easement would be an access/viewing path or plants of some sort. Remember you will need access to most of your RR at some time or another. It is your property it's just if they need to access it for something anything in their way may need to be removed. Unless it is an emergency they just can't come in and start bulldozing things up. They need to give you notice. Get a good attorney and you will be dead 50 years before it is out of court but please, please check with your local and state laws th be sure just what that are in your area.

yea... that is my concern... I have about 12 feet from the corner of my home to the back fence, but only about 4 foot of that is my property. There is a sewer line, gas line, phone line and cable lines all running through that. To make matters worse.... in the same corner of my yard I have the power company's distribution box, a phone company box and a cable TV, and a sewer manhole. So while it is not everyday, it is not uncommon to see someone in the backyard doing something. I think I will stick to the plan of using the easement area to view and access the track from the back side.
I have no idea about access rights? The property right behind mine is city owned.... so I know they can access it from that side without having to go through my side... but my side is MUCH more convenient.
 

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I remember in a city where I worked, they had a 6 foot easement for sewer/water and the landowner refused to allow them to use his land when time came to put the pipes down, so they ended up working in the 6 foot easement only, made for some entertaining viewing....
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I think I will take a few pictures of my backyard and post them. Maybe I can get some input as to the best use of the areas without to much easement use/obstruction.
 

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If you have to put track in that area you could always secure it to some plywood or something so that it could be removed and then put back down. While utility service people are accessing it I bet they are only accessing control or access boxed and not digging things up which is nice in itself. Once you get things done most of them will find it interesting and try not to disturb it. Just make sure there is access to the junction boxes and manhole.
 

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Natural gas line only at the end of the property.

Take a risk. They will announce and give time unless this is an emergency.

gg
 

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yea... that is my concern... I have about 12 feet from the corner of my home to the back fence, but only about 4 foot of that is my property. There is a sewer line, gas line, phone line and cable lines all running through that. To make matters worse.... in the same corner of my yard I have the power company's distribution box, a phone company box and a cable TV, and a sewer manhole.


I have the same thing, except for the sewer, in the back of my yard. The only people to dig over the last 26 years were the telephone company. Cable installers are lazy, they don’t dig, just lift the sod and hide the cable under it. No wonder they have to come back so often.

The hydro people will not allow grade changes or anything else within 10 feet of the transformer box. When the lights go out, they will ring your doorbell. If you are not home, they proceed with the repair. If there is a locked gate, they will unbolt the hinges and set it aside.

Lots of people in the next subdivision got a surprise when the underground hydro lines had to be replaced. A lot of fences, hedges and other outdoor equipment installed on the easements over the years had to moved.
 

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Learn something new on the switches!!! I have the same problem with easements too. I'm taking a chance, I will be out it about 3 feet!!!
 
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