Difference in track?

Gavin Sowry

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Funny, I was researching terms on a UK site, and I found "turnouts" used in modern prototype documents as much or more than "points".
Points are a component part of a turnout. They are the skinny rails at the start, that, strangely, are ground down to a point, hence the name. Turnout is the universally accepted name for this type of track structure... even the Americans (real railroad types, not the train nutters) are (slowly) coming around to this terminology.
 

David1226

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Many of us here in the UK are old enough to remember the BBC show "6-5 Special".

"Over the points, Over the points, Over the points, Over the points."


Paul
Not sure if I should be proud or ashamed to say 'Yes, I remember it well'.

David
 

dunnyrail

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Can you explain what "points" are?
Sorry for talking points, but that is what we use in UK predominantly. Easy to forget and not look at a flag! I also failed to mention that my Merlins with my sorted ‘switches’ ran just fine through the R1 LGB that I used in that layout. Most of my current line uses Diameter of 4ft though I do have a couple of stations with LGB R2 curves and R3 points and my puffers run happily on these as well.
 

dunnyrail

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Many of us here in the UK are old enough to remember the BBC show "6-5 Special".

"Over the points, Over the points, Over the points, Over the points."


Paul
Oh how I used to wait for that program with those little glimpses of Steam and the Forth Bridge, heaven oh and sometimes the music was good as well.
 

JimmyB

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Funny, I was researching terms on a UK site, and I found "turnouts" used in modern prototype documents as much or more than "points".

By the way, R3 is still tight, Live steam locos are sensitive to grades and curves, so you wind up playing with the throttle more on them. I would not go R3 unless you have to. Get at least 10 foot diameter (R3 is 8 foot diameter).

Any increase in diameter, and reduction in turnout frog angle will help.

Greg
I think this depends on the steam loco manufacturer, I have a Roundhouse Fowler that manages R2 (6 foot diameter) curves, 1:25 (4%) gradient and R3 turnouts. so I realise the bigger the curve and the flatter the track the easier the loco (and more over the train) will run, but what is the fun in that :)
 
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dunnyrail

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I think this depends on the stem loco manufacturer, I have a Roundhouse Fowler that manages R2 (6 foot diameter) curves, 1:25 (4%) gradient and R3 turnouts. so I realise the bigger the curve and the flatter the track the easier the loco (and more over the train) will run, but what is the fun in that :)
Many moons ago I had a RH Fowler, in fact I bought it when they first came out so as long ago as pre 1994. I collected it from the old concrete bunker that RH were located in at that time and they demonstrated it to me on the LGb R1 Curves that formed their test track. I subsequently sold it on to a friend that kept pestering me for it who then constantly moaned about its inability to pull a worthwhile load. Turned out when I visited him that he was expecting it to drag 3 LGB Pullmans over roughly laid track on LGB track laid on his lawn. Needless to say his RH Stanley Steam Tram managed OK, it was pointed out to him that he was not comparing cheese with cheese as the Fowler has a lumping great big heavy bogied tender and a set of trailing wheels on the loco plus a blind centre one, all those things affect traction. Whereas the Stanley has all its weight concentrated on just 4 driving wheels.
 

JimmyB

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Many moons ago I had a RH Fowler, in fact I bought it when they first came out so as long ago as pre 1994. I collected it from the old concrete bunker that RH were located in at that time and they demonstrated it to me on the LGb R1 Curves that formed their test track. I subsequently sold it on to a friend that kept pestering me for it who then constantly moaned about its inability to pull a worthwhile load. Turned out when I visited him that he was expecting it to drag 3 LGB Pullmans over roughly laid track on LGB track laid on his lawn. Needless to say his RH Stanley Steam Tram managed OK, it was pointed out to him that he was not comparing cheese with cheese as the Fowler has a lumping great big heavy bogied tender and a set of trailing wheels on the loco plus a blind centre one, all those things affect traction. Whereas the Stanley has all its weight concentrated on just 4 driving wheels.
Have to admit, when new (received last day before fist lockdown) it struggled a lot, especially with a couple of Bachmann JS coaches on the gradient, but now it has run in it is quite efficient :)
 

Eeyore.Boater

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I think this depends on the steam loco manufacturer, I have a Roundhouse Fowler that manages R2 (6 foot diameter) curves, 1:25 (4%) gradient and R3 turnouts. so I realise the bigger the curve and the flatter the track the easier the loco (and more over the train) will run, but what is the fun in that :)
It's better than you think, LGB R2 is about 5 foot diameter. (With Piko R3 coming in at a little under 6 foot diameter).
 

JimmyB

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It's better than you think, LGB R2 is about 5 foot diameter. (With Piko R3 coming in at a little under 6 foot diameter).
Yes :), but these are Aristocraft, and sort of close to LGB R2 (ish) ;)
 

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This was the reason I built my little "powered" match wagon for my MSS loco. This allows it to be controlled so that the the speed it picks up on the straights can be checked before the 2'9" radius curves. The loco can drag the motor along the flat without power applied to it, so a bit of reverse throttle will bring the train to a halt while a bit of assistance can be provided on the steeper curves or if the poor thing runs out of puff in an awkward location.

I would like a fully radio controlled steam loco at some point, but this is the next best thing and certainly beats running around the garden!!

Steam loco and match wagon.jpg
 

Greg Elmassian

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Warning to the OP: the "R numbers" are NOT standard.

LGB R3 is about 8 foot diameter
Piko R3 is about 6 foot diameter as eeyore points out

It is a mess for everyone.

Also be careful to compare diameter to diameter or radius to radius.

Greg
 

Greg Elmassian

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Ahh, I forgot I had a page comparing R numbers between Piko, LGB and Train Li:


Hope this helps as you consider buying track.

Greg
 

Dean Palmer

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As others, I do not obsess over the appearance of the ties and such, unless they are just odd, which is rare unless you are buying a niche brand. Brand-wise, you can't go wrong with USA Trains (USAT) or LGB. I've come to favor USAT recently and will be buying from them direct when I want new (not used) track. The main thing, as others have said, is to get the largest radius that you can, or get a size larger than you think you will ever need. I'm favoring the USAT product as they have screw-down rail connectors included, are built quite well, and brand new from the manufacturer the shipping is flat rate starting at $9. Look good with my LGB track as well. I have moved to a 10' diameter curve as even locos and cars rated for 8' seem to need a larger diameter curve so not to create binding/resistance in the curves.
 

Squirrel40

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My locos are pretty short wheel based so hopefully they will be alright with the r3 curves. It's going to be an expensive mistake if not.
 

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Gavin Sowry

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My locos are pretty short wheel based so hopefully they will be alright with the r3 curves. It's going to be an expensive mistake if not.

You'll be right. ;)
 

Gizzy

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Hullo and welcome to the forum.

Don't write off R1 curves. They can be brought cheaply and straightened/re-radiused with a cheap rail bender.

I've even used a Black & Decker Workmate to straighten track until I brought a second hand rail bender at a model exhibition near me for a fiver!

Also, look at the real railway, and you will see different types of rail and sleepers/ties used. So mixing and matching is prototypical.

In the UK concrete and steel sleepers have largely replaced wooden ones on main lines.

The narrow gauge Ffestiniog Railway now uses recycled plastic sleepers, just like us railway modellers....

 

dunnyrail

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My locos are pretty short wheel based so hopefully they will be alright with the r3 curves. It's going to be an expensive mistake if not.
They will both be fine as I said earlier with both of them you may find that the drivers may want to climb up at the pointy bit of the frog. Do a gentle push test with eyes at same level to see how they fare, my guess is that the check rail will not pull the wheels quite far enough over to stop it banging. Not much needs to be done to pull them over just a small slither or metal, I used code 100 Flat Bottom Rail but any metal just right size say a couple of mm will do the job and LGb wheels will still be ok.
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