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Most switches on 1:1 railroads, especially mainlines may be #20 or higher, especially for hgh speed lines.

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Note well: the "number" of a switch is related to the frog angle, just as Pete explained it. The LENGTH of the switch can vary, so there is no magic formula to have the equivalent curved track.

I will tell you that a #6 is broader than 10' diameter though, just as a rough gauge.

Regards, Greg

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The Number does not change for any particular measuring system or unit of distance... inches, feet, meters, millimeters, etc., even furlongs! A Number 10 switch is 10 inches long for 1 inch of divergence and 10 millimeters long for 1 millimeter of divergence and 2200 yards long for 220 yards of divergence (220 Yards = 1 furlong).

If it were "Curved" then at 10 centimeters it might be 1 centimeter of divergence but 10 inches it would have much more than 1 inch of divergence (maybe infinity!) because a curve is not linear (and at 10 inches it might have already curved to be perpendicular to the tangent track it emanates from).

Unfortunately, most folk perceive the switch to have a curvature and want to know what that curvature is so it can be mated to curved track or what part of a circle of curved track the switch takes the place of.

Also, some switches actually have a curved divergence and as such you have to know what unit of measurement to use to determine what the equivalent Number of the switch is.

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Good post. I wanted to say something like that too. With our large scale switches we are talking two kinds of animals. The more toylike curved turnouts that are made to match the curves on sectional track and the more prototype numbered turnouts. It seems now that most of the new product falls into the more prototype numbered turnouts, which I think is a good thing for the hobby.

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The LGB R5 if you can find it is about 12 foot diameter.

PS, the USA is exactly 36 inches long on the straight portion, it is not a metric length.

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http://www.cocry.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Category_Code=LCRY

They list several different radius switches with the following recommendations:

#3 3-ft Radius

#4 4-ft Radius

#5 6-ft Radius

#6 9.75-ft Radius

#8 15.5-ft Radius

#10 26-ft Radius

BUT, every manufacturer of rail/track has different rail styles/profiles and if you mix brands/styles you might have some difficulty mating the track and switch. So I would recommend sticking with the same manufacturer if you can.

You should pick the next larger radius switch for your track curve so the switch eases into the curve.

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