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Something I've frequently read about, but never seen in operaton (or diagrammed) is the use of a 'wye" to turn a train.  I'm envisioning either a large deadend loop for a drive around, or a triangular layout of three switches with the appropriate track  for a back and forward - do I have it right?
 

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Picture a triangle. When you come up on it, you take the right fork and run out onto the right side, then back past the left switch, then back to the line where you came from.
 

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Posted By Skip on 01/21/2008 7:06 AM
Something I've frequently read about, but never seen in operaton (or diagrammed) is the use of a 'wye" to turn a train.  I'm envisioning either a large deadend loop for a drive around, or a triangular layout of three switches with the appropriate track  for a back and forward - do I have it right?


Skip,

It is a triangular layout of 3 switches.  Think of an inverted "Y" connected to your straight piece of track.

The East Broad Top [ www.ebtrr.com/ ] used them extensively - every station had one; and still does.  The tourist railroad uses the wye at Orbisonia to turn the whole train, and they installed a leg from the mainline to a siding to make a wye at the Clay Pit Spur siding.  It is now the Colgate Grove picnic area and the end of the current line.  See the unofficial EBT website for more details: Colgate Grove Wye

The following photo shows an EBT Mikado on the tail end of the wye at Robertsdale.



A wye is also very useful as a connection to a branch that splits from your mainline.  If the branch is the tail of the wye, you can use it for turning trains, and/or pass on/off the branch with your train pointing forwards or backwards.  The EBT wye at Orbisonia is also the beginning of the Shape Gap branch.  The affiliated trolley preservation group, Railways to Yesterday, now run trolleys on the branch, whcih was upgraded to standard gauge.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks - the triangle is what I suspected - The loop would take too much acreage and not have the functionality that the triangle could encompass.
 

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I'm told the WP&YR used loops instead of wyes for turning because they could be plowed through without having to put a plow on the rear of a consist.... but I don't know if that's entirely accurate.

If you're thinking of building one of these, and use track power, ask ... there are a number of ways to avoid it, but some special wiring of one kind or another is required to avoid a short circuit.

Matthew (OV)
 

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Posted By SlateCreek on 01/21/2008 11:08 AM
I'm told the WP&YR used loops instead of wyes for turning because they could be plowed through without having to put a plow on the rear of a consist.... but I don't know if that's entirely accurate.

If you're thinking of building one of these, and use track power, ask ... there are a number of ways to avoid it, but some special wiring of one kind or another is required to avoid a short circuit.

Matthew (OV)


Agreed that some special wiring is required for a track power wye.  But this is actually easier to do than with a single turnout reverse loop.  Wyes are cool just to be able to run your trains in either direction without "The Hand of God."  Our wye was made using three LGB 1600 series turnouts and an LGB EPL for power routing.  We also have our turnouts "matrixed" so that when either lead in track is activated, the wye turnout automatically throws to that direction and vice versa.  That saves a lot of unintentional short-circuits.

http://michelleswebkids.com/layout.jpg
image changed to link - exceeds 640 max. width - K
 

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Paul

The triangular arrangement of switches is the wye.  The third track is called the tail and is usually, but not always, the easiest part to wire for the reversing section as you can use the switch throw to change the track (for track powered railroads anyway).  The typical reversing loop was called a balloon loop because its shape looked like one.  There is a ballloon loop around the roundhouse in Durango if you want to see one.

I am mostly familiar with Colorado, so I will give you a couple of examples from there.

At Red Mountain the Silverton Railroad had a wye.  The tail was just long enough to hold the loco and the combine for turning.  The track arrangement was set up this way as the railroad went into the town and then back out on the same track to continue down the line.

On Lizard Head pass the Rio Grande Southern had a very large wye.  The tail could hold quite a few cars.  In fact the sheep pens for livestock loading were located along the tail.

Which was chosen varied greatly.  Hope this helps.
 

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Posted By toddalin on 01/21/2008 1:03 PM
Posted By SlateCreek on 01/21/2008 11:08 AM
I'm told the WP&YR used loops instead of wyes for turning because they could be plowed through without having to put a plow on the rear of a consist.... but I don't know if that's entirely accurate.

If you're thinking of building one of these, and use track power, ask ... there are a number of ways to avoid it, but some special wiring of one kind or another is required to avoid a short circuit.

Matthew (OV)


Agreed that some special wiring is required for a track power wye.  But this is actually easier to do than with a single turnout reverse loop.  Wyes are cool just to be able to run your trains in either direction without "The Hand of God."  Our wye was made using three LGB 1600 series turnouts and an LGB EPL for power routing.  We also have our turnouts "matrixed" so that when either lead in track is activated, the wye turnout automatically throws to that direction and vice versa.  That saves a lot of unintentional short-circuits.

http://michelleswebkids.com/layout.jpg
image changed to link - exceeds 640 max. width - K
Your pix was way too big to post here. I see it did not take long to turn into a link. This is the re-sized one if you have no convenient way of bringing it down to 640 pixels wide: I set this one up the way I do mine with a direct link on the picture to the original-sized image. Thus, if you click the image here, you get the larger one.

--RS
 

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Posted By toddalin on 01/21/2008 1:03 PM
Posted By SlateCreek on 01/21/2008 11:08 AM
some special wiring is required for a track power wye.  But this is actually easier to do than with a single turnout reverse loop.  Wyes are cool just to be able to run your trains in either direction without "The Hand of God."  Our wye was made using three LGB 1600 series turnouts and an LGB EPL for power routing.  We also have our turnouts "matrixed" so that when either lead in track is activated, the wye turnout automatically throws to that direction and vice versa.  That saves a lot of unintentional short-circuits.
I installed a large wye in my Phase II setup and avoided the wiring problems by utilizing remote control battery operations This wye extends from just inside my bar, enabling me to back my consists back into place with relative ease.  (click)
 

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My Phase III project, the Klondike Mines Railway, which was a kind of spin-off of the White Pass & Yukon, had two wyes built into their 31 mile line, plus a third one planned at  Dawson City that was never constructed.
One of the dominant features of this railroad was the wyes, so I have planned them into the scheme. Fortunately, the KMR consists were always relatively short.
 

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Quick question on WYE track....
I bought a Aristo WYE track switch the day the prices rose...(at the OLDE price)
for use at a future date.
Do I requre one more or two more switches to complete the WYE ???
 

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Posted By SlateCreek on 01/22/2008 2:38 PM
Ron,

Where can I find out more about the KMR? I've seen photos of the 2-6-2 that was later WP&Y #4 ... the builder's photo shows it lettered for KMR. I'd love to learn more about it.

Matthew (OV)
The KMR is one of my projects. You can find out more about it by going to my thread on the topic, Phase III, the KMR. I have a lot more on that subject which will be appearing in the referenced thread in the coming weeks.

--Ron Simpson
 

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Posted By blackburn49 on 01/22/2008 11:13 AM
Posted By toddalin on 01/21/2008 1:03 PM
Posted By SlateCreek on 01/21/2008 11:08 AM
I'm told the WP&YR used loops instead of wyes for turning because they could be plowed through without having to put a plow on the rear of a consist.... but I don't know if that's entirely accurate.

If you're thinking of building one of these, and use track power, ask ... there are a number of ways to avoid it, but some special wiring of one kind or another is required to avoid a short circuit.

Matthew (OV)


Agreed that some special wiring is required for a track power wye.  But this is actually easier to do than with a single turnout reverse loop.  Wyes are cool just to be able to run your trains in either direction without "The Hand of God."  Our wye was made using three LGB 1600 series turnouts and an LGB EPL for power routing.  We also have our turnouts "matrixed" so that when either lead in track is activated, the wye turnout automatically throws to that direction and vice versa.  That saves a lot of unintentional short-circuits.

http://michelleswebkids.com/layout.jpg
image changed to link - exceeds 640 max. width - K
Your pix was way too big to post here. I see it did not take long to turn into a link. This is the re-sized one if you have no convenient way of bringing it down to 640 pixels wide: I set this one up the way I do mine with a direct link on the picture to the original-sized image. Thus, if you click the image here, you get the larger one.

--RS

Thanks, I appreciate it.
 

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Posted By aankus on 01/22/2008 3:26 PM
Quick question on WYE track....
I bought a Aristo WYE track switch the day the prices rose...(at the OLDE price)
for use at a future date.
Do I requre one more or two more switches to complete the WYE ???

Two more..., a left and a right.
 

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Posted By aankus on 01/22/2008 3:26 PM
Quick question on WYE track....
I bought a Aristo WYE track switch the day the prices rose...(at the OLDE price)
for use at a future date.
Do I requre one more or two more switches to complete the WYE ???


You do not need to buy anymore Y switches.  The WYE switch should go at the tail track or if you picture the letter Y that's where you use it.  The switches coming off of the "main" can be the size that you need.   Actually can build a Y without using a Y switch.  I'm used all wide radius switches and it works just fine.  

Tom P
 

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Posted By Tom Parkins on 01/22/2008 6:01 PM
Posted By aankus on 01/22/2008 3:26 PM
Quick question on WYE track....
You do not need to buy anymore Y switches.  The WYE switch should go at the tail track or if you picture the letter Y that's where you use it.  The switches coming off of the "main" can be the size that you need.   Actually can build a Y without using a Y switch.  I'm used all wide radius switches and it works just fine.  

Tom P
Indeed. I am using a right hand switch for my wye, as you can see from my photo. It works just fine. All of mine one the wye are #8 switches. 


--Ron in CC
 

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Durango and Silverton have 4 wye's in normal use. 2 can take a full train, wel sometimes the end car is in the dirt in Silverton on a double header.

Not sure about the ablity to easily plow them, equipment is kept up in Cascades to specifically keep it clear, the train backs in over the tail.
 
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