• The Plug Track functions are experimental and still being developed. Some of the earlier pages of this topic are now out-of-date.

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Setting up for American trackwork?

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Marsh Lane

Member
Location
UK
Chaps,
I dont know if this is possible, but a friend of mine in the US is designing his new layout and while most of the trackwork will be handbuilt, for some of the point work he's going to use FastTrack guides for quickness. FastTrack provide a template download, which has details on point length, sleeper spacing/widths and radius angle. I said I thought we should be able to recreate that template in Templot to make it easier for him to design the layout, but having had a go tonight I cannot make the turnout match. I can get the timber settings in, but then with the right ratio angle, the length is different. I am obviously missing something, but can anyone tell me what, so I can tell him?

The template he's using is https://www.handlaidtrack.com/assets/downloads/tt-n-t-10.pdf

Rich
 
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Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
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Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
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@Marsh Lane

Hi Rich,

The first thing I noticed about that template is that the check rails are too short, and do not properly check the crossing gap from the knuckle. I keep being told that FastTracks stuff is wonderful, so I suppose it must be. Hey ho, go with the flow Martin. :(

And what is this 9.1mm gauge? It's news to me.

There is a BOX file with some USA-style templates with custom USA-style switches for download at:

https://85a.uk/templot/archive/topics/topic_1335.php

They can be adjusted to other V-crossing angles using F5 in the usual way. The switch sizes won't change because they are custom switches.

They are for H0 but can be converted to N-NMRA (1:160) using the convert group function. But first you will need to create a custom 9.1mm gauge/scale setting to convert them to.

However, I have done that for you, files attached.

I scaled the image to match the provided scale bar, as instructed. But then the turnout did not match the quoted length. Hey ho.

Here's the result. 16ft-6in switch + #10 RAM. Crossing entry straight adjusted to match the turnout lead length. Exit fully timbered:

rich_fasttracks.png


Files attached. I have not done the timber spacings. Over to you to do that. If the turnout is being assembled in a jig, the timbering shown on the template is irrelevant and only the rails footprint is wanted for track design. Check rails have been modified.

cheers,

Martin.
 

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Marsh Lane

Member
Thread starter
Location
UK
Hi Martin,
That is very kind of you, thank you. I’ll pass that on to my friend so he can explore further.

The template appeared a little odd to me, especially that 9.1mm gauge! His previous layout used Peco trackwork and everything ran superbly, so what that is all about I am not sure. fasttracks alsodo the frog differently, bringing both pieces to a point, rather than our way of aligning one against the other with an offset.

The FastTracks system ‘appears’ quite a good way of working, but looses some of the flexibility of hand-built track, in that each point has to match the aluminium template block, rather than being able to be designed to fit the space, where Templot excels. However, being American he has such a large basement in the new house, I think it’s ‘easier’ in his view to make the railroad match the Template!! Perhaps a case of letter the tail wag the dog?

Thanks again tho, much appreciated.
 
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AndyB

Member
The first thing I noticed about that template is that the check rails are too short, and do not properly check the crossing gap from the knuckle.

Perhaps they are purely cosmetic? There are a couple of turnouts not too far from here. I'll try to take a few pics.

It was interesting to see some turnouts in the US that had no check rails at all :). They have "bumpers" at the crossing that bear on the outside edge of the wheels instead. I'm not sure how common that type is. I saw them on New Jersey Transit lines.

I suppose they will work on a model too, but only if the tread to flange dimension is very consistent.
 
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Martin Wynne

Admin
Location
West of the Severn UK
Info
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Enjoy using Templot?
Thanks.

Please do not send requests for help direct to me via email.

Post your questions on the forum where everyone can see them and add
helpful replies.
It was interesting to see some turnouts in the US that had no check rails at all :). They have "bumpers" at the crossing that bear on the outside edge of the wheels instead. I'm not sure how common that type is. I saw them on New Jersey Transit lines.
@AndyB

Hi Andy,

They are called "self-guarding frogs". They are quite common in the USA on goods lines, in yards and sidings:

https://www.voestalpine.com/nortrak/en/products/Frogs-Solid-Self-Guarded-Manganese-Frogs-SSGM/

They require all wheels to be the same width. Which is not the case in the UK -- locomotive wheels are normally wider than wagon wheels.

Available in model form:

http://www.proto87.com/Making_self_guarding_frogs_help.html

cheers,

Martin.
 
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Location
Up North
Andy,
Some great details in those pics, thanks for posting them. I like the adjustment provision on the stretcher bars - choose which holes to use on the angled brackets bolted to the switch rails, very clever.

Rob
 
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AndyB

Member
Andy,
Some great details in those pics, thanks for posting them. I like the adjustment provision on the stretcher bars - choose which holes to use on the angled brackets bolted to the switch rails, very clever.

Rob

Thanks Rob.

I just noticed there are actually three stretcher bars!

Looks like it's track circuited too. The stretchers and the metal plate on the tie at the end of the points all appear to be insulated.

Cheers,
Andy
 
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Location
Up North
Thanks Rob.

I just noticed there are actually three stretcher bars!

Looks like it's track circuited too. The stretchers and the metal plate on the tie at the end of the points all appear to be insulated.

Cheers,
Andy
....and fixing brackets for a 4th bar! Your 4th picture shows electrical bonding across the expansion gaps near the frog (crossing ) for track circuiting too. I wonder what the two small wires are that enter the frog area - if it was a model they would be for changing the frog polarity :)

Rob
 
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AndyB

Member
If you zoom-in on the fishplates in 5093 it looks like an "overscale" (Lima?) wheel flange might have clonked a fishplate :)
 
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