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Streamline turnout question


Mr Bones
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Sorry if this seems a daft question, but it’s driving me batty. It could be that I’m missing the obvious as I’m new to all this.

 

I’m using Scarm and at times AnyRail to work out a layout and initially used the Peco settrack turnouts (from what I gather Peco points are supposed to be better). Everything was fine till I then started changing them to Peco Streamline turnouts so they were all Electrofrog points.

 

I fully understand that they are longer and I gather the angle of the turn is less severe, but where I am struggling is with trying to find the right curve to get the tracks after the turnout to run parallel.

 

I’ve tried various combinations of short straights and curves and just can’t seem do it and have now run out of curves to try.

 

Please, please, please, put me out of my misery! 

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the Peco OO streamline points have an angle of 12 degrees. The Setrack OO ones are 22.5 degrees. The Setrack have a parallel track to track centre on 67mm, but the Streamline ones work out at 50mm.

Also I would question why you want Electrofrog points when you have started design with Setrack. Quality of modern models reduces need for Electrofrog, and can make wiring more complex.

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If you contact Peco they can let you have copies of the geometry of settrack and streamline but, as already stated, they are not compatible. As also stated, it is possible to mix them ( foor example I prefer to use settrack for sharp curves), but you will need to be aware of what you are doing.

 

Ed

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I’ve tried various combinations of short straights and curves and just can’t seem do it and have now run out of curves to try.

 

Please, please, please, put me out of my misery! 

Well I do what you are trying to do.  What I do is take a piece of ST-225 and cut it down to 12 deg rather than the 25 it is to start with - that gives you a parallel track at 51mm centres.  You can simulate this on Anyrail for planning purposes by taking a piece of flex and using the Curve command with an angle of 12 deg and a radius of 43.8 cm.

 

If you want more detail you can pm me and I'll try to help.

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When working with scarm, if I want a turnout to return to parallel, I just place another turnout as if a crossover, and continue the track. Then delete the second point and join with flexi.

I would highly recommend you stick to one system, that being streamline. Its better, you will get better running, and the additional wiring really isnt that hard to work out.

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Mr Bones,

 

I am sorry, you will have realised by now that the information I gave you was wrong.  Spitfire's comments above are another way of achieving it, but this leaves you with bending flexi to correct angles and I thought that was what you wanted to avoid.  I certainly want that, as my dexterity is not up to it.  In a perfect world, we would all use Streamline - but I use a mixture as you intend, and I have not had problems.

 

The trick I gave you I used for passing loops to reduce their width and still have room for passing trains.

 

The best you can achieve with Setrack curves to meet the 5.1 cm spacing is to insert an ST-203 on the diverging line of the point and add an ST-238.  This is very slightly out, but well within the wiggle room for laying the track - worked for me anyway.  I also use a Xuron track cutter to cut bits of Setrack up to fit - I find laying flexi straight beyond me.  Though I have been shown how to do it with straight edges I don't have the eyesight of enough hands!

 

Another trick I was shown was to use the curved edge of the point to provide a guide to get a bit of flexi bent to the right angld (sort of like Spitfire's comment but instead of in a planning tool actually on the basebboard).

 

Good luck

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As others have said, the geometry of the Streamline turnouts is significantly different from that of the Setrack ones.  You can use Streamline turnouts with Setrack plain track (ie straights & curves) but you will need to cut some of the Setrack to make it work with the Streamline, because the straight sections of the Streamline turnouts are not the same length as any sensible combination of Setrack straights, and the curved sections subtend a different angle.

 

You can use Streamline turnouts in pairs to form a crossover which will give very close to the 67mm Setrack spacing by inserting a Setrack ST-203 special short straight between the Streamline turnouts.  This is important if you want to use Setrack curves for a double track section.  You will still likely need to use some cut Setrack straights (or indeed cut Streamline flexi track) to make the straight sections line up properly for the start of the curves.

 

To use Streamline for access to a siding which needs to be parallel to the main line, you will need to cut Streamline curves down from 22.5° to 12°.  You will probably also need to insert at least an ST-203 - or a piece of straight track cut to a.n.other appropriate length - to get sufficient track separation between the siding and the main line, because even the largest radius Setrack curve is still a slightly smaller radius than the smallest radius Streamline turnout*.  If you want to insert a Streamline turnout in a curve then you use a Setrack 45° curve cut down to 33° (or a 22.5° curve down to 10.5°) to get back to standard Setrack angles. Doing this does upset the geometry of double track curves, though.  Cutting Setrack curves requires a bit of care; I used a board marked up with the curve radii and the relevant angles, and drilled to take track pins to hold the curves in place while I cut carefully with a razor saw.

 

Designing all this in Anyrail is possible is you use flexi for the cut sections of track, so long as you know the radii of the Setrack curves (438mm, 505mm and 572mm - ignoring 1st radius as it restricts your choice of rolling stock) and the subtended angles of the Setrack and Streamlione turnouts (22.5° and 12° respectively).  A bit of trigonometry can also come in handy but isn't essential.

 

If you PM me I can send you a copy of the Anyrail design file for my mixed Setrack and Streamline layout as shown here, to give you an idea of how you can go about it.

 

* Not counting the special 11.25° curve for use with the Setrack wye turnout, which is too small an angle to work with Streamline turnouts anyway.

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Thank you imt, Spitfire and ejstubbs for the tips. That is exactly what I was looking for.

 

As I said I am new to this and will be learning on an 8x4 with a view (Wife and funding permitting) to putting a shed in the garden and building a larger layout in that in a couple of years. The 8x4 will I hope allow me to make mistakes and learn. I'm feeling fairly confident about the wiring side of things (time will tell...!!) and along with forums like this and Utube I hope to pick up tips and advice along the way.

 

I had a train set (not a model railway) as a kid (when my Dad let me touch it) but then trotted off to a life at sea. It's only now after visiting an exhibition in Canterbury that I decided I would love to do this. I'm at a disadvantage in as far as I know next to nothing about trains, how they worked or track and how that works so I'm learning as I go.

 

Thanks once again and imt and ejstubbs I may well take you up on the IM offers.

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Fortunately it is a lot easier to match Streamline points with set track in the real world by cutting a 22.5 degree curve in half.   Hornby do a big 11 point something degree curve a 628 I think 33" radius.  This puts track almost parallel when used with a 10 inch long Streamline point and if you use flexi it all lines up beautifully in AnyRail.  

 

Set track is useful    I use settrack curves and straights on small layouts with streamline points, the 2ft streamline point is shorter than the set track point and gives closer track spacing.The 60mm track spacing is Ok for 14" radius kitchen table layouts but I use 50mm as I stick to 2nd radius as a minimum.  I have cut up set track points to reduce the track spacing and live frogged them but they look awful, not as hideous as Hornby but pretty bad. I also come down to 42 mm approx in straight marshalling and carriage sidings to save width, 58mm per road against 76mm makes quite a difference.

 

I find fine tuning pointwork in situ ends up with much more flowing realistic track than sticking religiously to Anyrail plans

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...As I said I am new to this and will be learning on an 8x4 with a view (Wife and funding permitting) to putting a shed in the garden and building a larger layout in that in a couple of years. The 8x4 will I hope allow me to make mistakes and learn...

 You can save yourself a pile of cash by skipping the set track stage, and learning how using a flexitrack system like Streamline, if there is the intent to build a larger layout down the road. Set track is ultimately very restrictive, these small radii, these dimensions, limited choice of pointwork. That's not to say flexitrack systems are perfect, but they do offer significantly more choice of pointwork, and no restriction in choice of radii.

 

Used carefully, track can be redeployed from layout to layout, and this amounts to a significant saving over the years.

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the 2ft streamline point is shorter than the set track point

 

The Streamline small radius (610mm) turnout is 185mm long (link).  The standard Setrack (438mm radius) turnout is 167mm long (link).

 

I find fine tuning pointwork in situ ends up with much more flowing realistic track than sticking religiously to Anyrail plans

 

I'd agree that Anyrail is mostly useful for getting an idea of what is likely to work/fit, but it shouldn't relied upon completely.  For example, it thinks that the above turnouts are 184mm and 168mm long respectively.  Not a huge amount on the face of it, but the error could add up if you have a complex sequence of pointwork.  IME you need to be prepared to be flexible (even if the track itself isn't) when you start to lay it out on the baseboard.

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The Streamline small radius (610mm) turnout is 185mm long (link).  The standard Setrack (438mm radius) turnout is 167mm long (link).

 

 

I'd agree that Anyrail is mostly useful for getting an idea of what is likely to work/fit, but it shouldn't relied upon completely.  For example, it thinks that the above turnouts are 184mm and 168mm long respectively.  Not a huge amount on the face of it, but the error could add up if you have a complex sequence of pointwork.  IME you need to be prepared to be flexible (even if the track itself isn't) when you start to lay it out on the baseboard.

 

Since there was a possibility of others being confused I thought I ought to post this - this is NOT an attempt to nitpick, so my apologies for any offence caused.

 

As I have built a layout using Peco  Streamline designed using Anyrail  I was a bit taken aback by your assertion - since mine worked out fine and fitted exactly on the printout from Anyrail when I laid the track. I find that an SL-92 in Anyrail is 185 mm long in fact - though reported on selection in Anyrail as you say as 184 mm: I checked this by putting one into 1:1 scale and measuring it.  HOWEVER, as you say, the Setrack point is indeed wrong in reality at (checked similarly) 168 mm (both reported and in outline).  Fascinating.  So anyway your warning to not trust these things is right - but not exactly right.  I agree you need some wriggle room anyway, if only to have enough space to push the various points and track together in complex situations.

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For those still interested I received this reply from Anyrail:

 

"Hi Iain,

 

Thanks for the link. Indeed, some measurements seem to be slightly off.

These items were added a long time ago, with very little information to go on (except measuring them ourselves).

I'll make sure we go through the whole Peco library once again.

 

I wonder though about the ST240/ST241 turnouts. The straight end is indeed specified to be 167mm, while the standard straight track (ST200) is 168mm long. This seems a bit odd.

 

I'll ask Peco about the details.

 

Thanks and best regards,

 

David Hoogvorst

AnyRail"

 

I can see his point.  I have measured some real Peco ST-240/241s and they are indeed 168 mm - as is the standard straight track, which is as you would expect since Setrack is a modular system.

 

Curiouser and curiouser?

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Turnouts need to be 1mm shorter, to allow for the use of insulating rail joiners (which have a 1mm spacer between the rail ends).

Thanks Martin,

 

I know you are Mr. Templot so know far more about this subject than me - I can understand your explanation, but would that be true of Peco/Hornby Setrack which are isolating points in any case?  I have tried measuring physical spare Peco/Hornby Setrack points (i.e. not ones stuck to a baseboard) and they seem to me to be 168 mm - but I have only 1.5 eyes, so maybe I'm not reading the engineers rule properly.  I doubt if you have Setrack available to play with - but if you do, your better eyes might spot something. I have checked Anyrail Hornby points - they report as 168 mm when selected from the menu and measure 168 mm in outline, as does their R600 straight.

 

Anyrail have said they are going to talk to Peco so I await an answer with interest.

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