Home Open Account Help 251 users online

Model Railroading > Curved Turnouts

Date: 03/01/13 22:36
Curved Turnouts
Author: BlackWidow

Do any of you use curved turnouts on your layouts? If so have you been satisfied with their performance? Do they give you any problems?

Date: 03/01/13 22:51
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: alaska

The only HO scale code 100 curved turnouts I use are Shinoharas that are sold through Walthers.
They work fine but are delicate turnouts and should be handeled with care.


Date: 03/01/13 23:29
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: MarkG

I ended up building the ones used at the Napa Model RR from scratch, using PCB ties to keep everything in gauge. This came about when I took an NMRA track gauge to most of the commercial turnouts available at the time and found that NONE of the them complied with the NMRA Standards.

Building them from scratch allowed me to keep precise gauging and fit the curve to the in-place track work, not the other way around. It also allowed me to include a spiral transition ("easement") from the points up to the frog heel, which reduces derailment problems. And it allowed me to use whatever rail height I needed.

There is a lot to building turnouts from scratch, especially the specialty ones like curved or double slip. It's not for everyone. It takes a fair amount of metal work skill and a good knowledge of turnout dimensioning. However, I've found doing it this way insures what most everyone wants from turnouts - reliability. Check out the Fast Tracks website ( http://www.handlaidtrack.com) for various videos, supplies and tools for scratch building if your interested in more details.

As far as the commercially available ones go I believe that Micro Engineering( http://www.microengineering.com/products_to.htm) and Central Valley Model Works( http://www.cvmw.com/turnouts.htm) makes kits for custom turnouts. As stated above Shinohara makes then as well (code 83 under the Walther's brand) but they curvature is fixed and the rail heights are limited. I'm sure there are other manufactures out there but those are the ones that come to mind that I've seen operate the best.

disclaimer: I have no affiliation or financial interests in the above cited companies.

best regards,
Mark G.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/01/13 23:30 by MarkG.

Date: 03/02/13 00:05
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: up833

I have one #10 curved Fastrack turnout (N scale) that I bought already made up off ebay. Smooth as silk.
Roger Beckett

Date: 03/02/13 01:59
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: wpdude

Personally I would never even consider one. This is based on years of happiness vs. heartache I have seen on other people's layouts. JMHO, not scientific data! I'm sure some have had great success with curved turnouts, just personally, I have not seen it. Also, you don't see too many on the 12":1 foot scale railroads. Again, just my opinion, but um, you asked. Good luck!

Date: 03/02/13 05:32
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: DocJohn

I have nine (9) curved turnouts on my model railroad. All are code 83 Walthers/Shinohara. They work fine. I would need a much larger layout if I did not use them.


Date: 03/02/13 06:38
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: TCnR

Curved turnouts are very protoypical, they had been used in all sorts of places but are less common on modern trackwork. I'm using pretty wide curved turnouts on the mainline and have been very careful with keeping the rail before, after and through the turnouts very consistent, not level, just consistent. I'm using Shinohara turnouts, 70, 83 and 100.

As mentioned above, they allow all sorts of extra room to be used compared to strictly straight large numbered turnouts. that concept was also used in many prototpye situations during the big construction years o the RR's. However the low numbered turnouts just don't work on the mainline unless you're using shorter cars and engines. they are definitely one of those design tools to be used in the right situation.

Date: 03/02/13 06:44
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: 200chuck

I have Peco curved turnouts on my layout very pleased with them.

Date: 03/02/13 07:42
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: jsnoy

I totally agree with TCnR's comment about track consistency into/out of the curved turnout. Use the widest turnouts possible- sharp turnouts invite problems. I try to maintain a 30" radius across my entire layout which means #6 turnouts or better for the mainlines. Use long wheelbase steamers to check your track work through the turnout - they will quickly find any problems with your track work. I use BLI 2-10-2, 4-8-4 and Genesis FEF 4-8-4 for my "proof of operation" (brass steamers could be even more picky). Here are some useful suggestions: 1) use track gauges to control the track alignment into/out of the turnout, 2) I use about a 4" piece of straight track to "enter" the curved turnout. This gets all the drivers on steam locos aligned prior to entering the curve - that seems to make a big difference in successful operation. Avoid entering a curved turnout from a curve. WYE turnouts are the most finicky. I model the WYE at Tennessee Pass on my layout. It is composed of 3 #6 Walthers WYE turnouts. I used track gauges to ensure the track curvature out of the turnouts was perfect and a short piece of straight track into the WYE kept my steamer's wheelsets in alignment.

BOTTOMLINE: Curved turnouts are reliable. Its your track work that leads into the turnout that really controls how successful your operation will be.

Just my 2 cents


Date: 03/02/13 09:47
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: BlackWidow

Thanks for all your replies and advice! I am looking at using Walthers #8 curved turnout, with 36 inch and 34 inch radius curves. With what I have seen here, I think I will go ahead and give it a try.

Date: 03/02/13 13:17
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: cf7

I too have used Peco curved turnouts and was very
happy with their operation. They were Code-75 used with
ME Code-70 track and together they worked flawless.
Makes me wish I still had that layout!!

Date: 03/02/13 17:00
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: atsfmodeler

Amen, I have very good luck with Peco also.


Bob Miller
Kansas City, KS

Date: 03/03/13 14:29
Re: Curved Turnouts
Author: kcjonz

I use the Peco curved turnouts also. Very pleased with them . Peco needs to retool the headblock ties to be thinner. I think they're made wide as to accept their switch machines. I believe if they made the tabs on their machines to bend lengthwise to the tie, the ties themselves could be made thinner.

[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0702 seconds