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Junctionmad

discussions about track

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I see some people still want to let Perfect be the enemy of better.

 

Here we go again.

 

We mustn't discuss the prototype because Peco choose not to follow it.

 

No-one is complaining about that. We are merely pointing out that it is the case. The entire purpose of a forum such as RMweb is to share information.

 

Martin.

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After months of speculation the proof of the pudding. 

 (Snip)

It actually took me a long time to realise that it was Peco rather than handbuilt track .The points he used  are still Code 75 Streamline so I look forward to seeing medium radius BH points in the range.

.

There's no indication (yet) that Peco are adding the medium radius to this range, though its likely they might. My personal preference would be a Y point and or a crossing to make a scissors formation.

 

post-68-0-21094700-1509837249_thumb.jpg

I've been trying the BH track since release, and really like it. It looks excellent, joins the existing range of CD75 streamline with no problems and as with Chris' layouts, used with care and ballasted/painted carefully the variation of the track types can be somewhat disguised.

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You mean you haven't replaced the points on Carrog with the new products yet, Coach? We were all relying on you...

Some changes are in preparation but I have a feeling I will be using the old fashioned trusty Peco Code 75 points. I know from experience they can be curved to suit the location and I know the Peco surface-mounted point motors will fit and work. I also know my camera would be mighty pleased if I laid bullhead points, but my old eyes don't give a crap.  :sungum:

Edited by coachmann
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I bought four today. Lovely.

 

I have been waiting for these since the plain track came out and now I can start my new layout. I have built my own track in the past and it has always been pretty rough, in fact 'shonky' would be a fine description. Now regardless of the compromises inevitable in a mass produced item these look absolutely great. 

 

The big thing for me is that I can now achieve a consistent look (standard). If they aren't your thing then walk on by, nothing to see here. I hope they sell well and Peco expand the range.

 

Finally Peco have been going for 75 years. They are a great company that exports across the world and employs local people down here in Devon. Often folk who have spent their entire working lives with the company. It is family owned and a stable commercial success. OK you can argue they are a bit conservative and maybe could innovate a bit faster, regardless I think the company is something to celebrate. 

 

And no I don't have a connection with them other than buying some of their products.

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After months of speculation the proof of the pudding. 

 

I finally got to see some of the new Peco bullhead track on a complete layout at Wycrail today. This was on Chris Nevard's new Fountain Colliery & Brew St layouts and I was well impressed. It actually took me a long time to realise that it was Peco rather than handbuilt track .The points he used  are still Code 75 Streamline so I look forward to seeing medium radius BH points in the range.

attachicon.gifWycrail2017 006.jpg

Obviously Chris is a superb modeller which helps (he deservedly won the best layout cup today) but this track looked better than a lot of handbuilt EM that I've seen.

You final comment makes me smile as I have for years been of exactly that belief that well laid '00' track can look as good as P4 or EM when the sleepers are at more or less the correct spacing......(please note how carefully I have phrased that comment .....don't want to thread on eggshells :O  ) There are many factors involved in creating such an illusion and I would put Chris Nevard in the David Copperfield league. 

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Having built a p4 layout from c&l track and experienced how good it is and how good it looks, i often wince when i see code 100 trackwork, but each to their own. i take my hat off to Peco, surviving in this hobby for so long when others have disappeared, that is a major achievement and i hope they get the best support from us.

This code 75 trackwork has been a long time coming and will transform the visual appearance of many layouts to come. 

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Here we go again.

 

We mustn't discuss the prototype because Peco choose not to follow it.

 

No-one is complaining about that. We are merely pointing out that it is the case. The entire purpose of a forum such as RMweb is to share information.

 

Martin.

 

Yes - you are letting perfect be the enemy of better. This track is better than anything that has gone before. We should welcome it. Lets recall that no one modelling in OO is following the prototype by your standards. The track is too narrow. 

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This track is better than anything that has gone before. We should welcome it.

 

And where is there any evidence of anyone not welcoming it?

 

Martin.

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And where is there any evidence of anyone not welcoming it?

 

Martin.

I would suggest all those threads that have had to be locked because a number of people seem to take great pleasure in posting on them how the new point isnt prototypical at all, because thats not how they did it at Swindon in the 1930s (or whatever).

 

Modellers in OO have been crying out for better point and track work for years. This is exactly what people have been asking for, and constant criticism of how tiny details are slightly incorrect are not going to encourage the manufacturer to expand the range. 

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I would suggest all those threads that have had to be locked because a number of people seem to take great pleasure in posting on them how the new point isnt prototypical at all, because thats not how they did it at Swindon in the 1930s (or whatever).

 

Modellers in OO have been crying out for better point and track work for years. This is exactly what people have been asking for, and constant criticism of how tiny details are slightly incorrect are not going to encourage the manufacturer to expand the range. 

 

John

 

In one way I agree with you in another way I disagree, but we can beg to differ in opinion without falling out or being rude

 

This is a great step forward for 00 scale/gauge modellers, and hopefully the start of a decent size range. But it has only happened now because enough 00 scale modellers showed their dissatisfaction with what was on offer

 

I have used this analogy, if someone was commenting on a error with a loco would they suffer similar comments, if they stated a coupling rod was wrong. I doubt it

 

The turnout is not a direct replica of an actual prototype, so some details will differ for practicalities eg the tiebar. Perfectly acceptable in my book. Others will be due to era or regional differences, again perfectly acceptable. On the other hand why do the switch rails end between sleepers and not on a slide chair ?

 

There are other small details which most will either accept or just be unaware of. For me its just sloppy design as it would be just as easy to do correctly as it is to do it wrongly.

 

As I have said, a great move forward and hopefully the first of a large range, hopefully most will see this as constructive comment, not knocking either a product or producer 

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and constant criticism of how tiny details are slightly incorrect

 

It is not criticism. This is the thing which several on here don't seem able to grasp.

 

It is is simply information/discussion about the prototype. Modellers do that all the time about other aspects of the prototype -- that's what a forum such as RMweb is for. But it seems that such discussion is not to be permitted when it comes to track.

 

Everyone welcomes the new Peco track as a commercial product for modellers. Some are hoping that it will raise awareness of real track.

 

Martin.

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I would suggest all those threads that have had to be locked because a number of people seem to take great pleasure in posting on them how the new point isnt prototypical at all, because thats not how they did it at Swindon in the 1930s (or whatever).

 

Modellers in OO have been crying out for better point and track work for years. This is exactly what people have been asking for, and constant criticism of how tiny details are slightly incorrect are not going to encourage the manufacturer to expand the range. 

 

 

 

simply because people  complain about the product is in NO way a reason too lock a thread, a decent in personal attacks is the only reason 

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It is not criticism. This is the thing which several on here don't seem able to grasp.

 

It is is simply information/discussion about the prototype. Modellers do that all the time about other aspects of the prototype -- that's what a forum such as RMweb is for. But it seems that such discussion is not to be permitted when it comes to track.

 

Everyone welcomes the new Peco track as a commercial product for modellers. Some are hoping that it will raise awareness of real track.

 

Martin.

I agree Martin, whats strange is several people seem to be very sensitive to the fact that they might use PECO track !!.  I mean , nothing is perfect , so use whatever floats your boat, however if the product criticism is valid, people need to accept that 

Edited by Junctionmad

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Although we all hope PECO will push on and expand the range, I hope there will be amendments to compensate for some immediate observations I noted this afternoon.

 

I have studied bullhead pointwork on many heritage railways. I have yet to see a point where the checkrails straddle less than five sleepers. The PECO checkrails only cover four giving a mickey mouse appearance.

 

The sleeper spacing is far too wide, especially in the area of the frog. On the prototype sleeper spacing is closer than on ordinary track to create greater stability for the pointwork as a whole unit. Also the sleepers are not at 90 degree rightangles to the straight stock rail creating an odd appearance.

 

My understanding from years ago is that PECO's large radius points roughly correspond to the sharpest pointwork in real life i.e. sharp siding points.

I have now had a chance to take a close look at a point.

I do hope that they do not take too much notice of your comments.

I too have studied track but obviously not to the depth that you have done.

My interests lie to the east and the north so my first thoughts were "what does it do for me".

The joggled rail is not my cup of tea but it does work in a positive manner.

My initial reaction to the undernourished inside of the chairs has changed as it is not as bad as I first thought, due partly to the actual rail section. The head hides the shallow depth rather well.

The number and layout of the timbering could vary from area to area and on the usage, so I find that acceptable.

As for your remark about the length of the check rails. I dug out a drawing for a 1911 NER 1 in 7 turnout and this clearly shows the check rails covering four sleepers. As the Peco version is supposed to represent a slightly tighter radius than that, then all would seem to be well. The check rails in fact measure up in length and position remarkably accurately. Given that the Peco point is slightly shorter and slightly sharper in radius than the NER drawing it makes a pretty good representation size wise and in respect of most details.

I would say that the biggest visible problem is, as pointed out by John (hayfield) the end of the switch not sitting on a slide chair.

Just tried running a short wheel base 0-6-0 through it and without wiring the frog it performs very well with no wheel drop or wobble.

Well done Peco.

Bernard

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Unlike say a Hornby locomotive, Peco are not claiming this new track as a model of any specific prototype.

 

So we can't criticise it for being wrong. It can only be "wrong" if the product doesn't match the original production drawings.

 

All we can do is compare it with a typical REA bullhead turnout, and note anything which looks different, or odd, or unlikely.

 

Some of those things will be intentional for production reasons. Parts have to be sized to be capable of being held in jigs and fixtures for assembly. Some parts may need to be interchangeable with other items in the projected range, and have been sized accordingly.

 

And of course the track gauge, flangeways, chair height, have to match 00 gauge requirements, not the prototype. So even if they got every other detail exactly prototypical, it still wouldn't be a scale model of anything.

 

And Peco have also made the decision to match their existing geometry, which makes sense commercially regardless of prototype considerations.

 

It is a welcome addition to the commercial track products available to modellers, and Peco are to be congratulated on taking the investment risk to manufacture it. Easy to be critical when it is someone else's money riding on it. It won't have been cheap -- they could have made a lineside hut instead.

 

Martin.

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Unlike say a Hornby locomotive, Peco are not claiming this new track as a model of any specific prototype.

 

So we can't criticise it for being wrong. It can only be "wrong" if the product doesn't match the original production drawings.

 

All we can do is compare it with a typical REA bullhead turnout, and note anything which looks different, or odd, or unlikely........

Thanks Martin

A very sensible and thoughtful view IMHO.

 

The thing that I can't quite get my head round in the discussion about prototype accuracy in trackwork is that length is the dimension where we compromise the most. Even if we use a dead scale model of a real turnout with a crossing angle of 1:6 we're probably, unless we have vast space at our disposal,  going to use it to represent a main line point not confine it to low speed sidings. There is a question of perception here so even if we had enough space would it look right to model the length of the railway in full?  I won't name it but I well remember seeing a P4 layout that modelled a very small terminus exactly to scale and with no compromise on anything; figuratively, every blade of grass was modelled.  To my eyes at least it just looked wrong and I don't think this was just from being used to looking at models of railways rather than the real thing.

 

My question is, given the compromise on length that most of us are forced to make and maybe should make, is it better to represent a typical main line turnout with a scale model of a far shorter design or to design a model that looks like the main line version? I don't have an answer to this but maybe Peco do.

Edited by Pacific231G
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My question is, given the compromise on length that most of us are forced to make and maybe should make, is it better to represent a typical main line turnout with a scale model of a far shorter design or to design a model that looks like the main line version? I don't have an answer to this but maybe Peco do.

 

The answer is largely a moot point. Because very few people have the space to model anything prototypically correct , hence we compromise as required, as any model of a steam locomotives will aptly, demonstrate

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My question is, given the compromise on length that most of us are forced to make and maybe should make, is it better to represent a typical main line turnout with a scale model of a far shorter design or to design a model that looks like the main line version? I don't have an answer to this but maybe Peco do.

I like that question. As a committed modeller of mainline railways I have puzzled over the conundrum of the model pointwork being far shorter in length compared to what the prototype would be yet wondering how it often still looks OK in the round.

 

I have convinced myself that it is all to do with the viewpoint. Unless we deliberately crouch down, we typically view our models from a bird's eye view whereas most pictures of the prototype are from the lineside or a station platform. From the foreshortened prototype viewing angle, points can seem far steeper / tighter (sorry - there's probably a better word for 'more curved') than they actually are hence, when we look at a Peco long radius point it seems, at a glance, to be a long and graceful point. It's only when we count sleepers and do the maths that we realise... Otherwise, it is in effect a trompe d'oeil.

 

Put another way, when you do look at an aerial view of the real thing (such as on the excellent britainfromabove website) then the pointwork can look very elongated compared to the lineside view.

 

It's a similar thing with train lengths. Whilst a 16-coach model express train is a truly impressive thing, actually a 8-9 coach long formation goes most of the way to conveying the same impression ... because we are seeing it from a fundamentally different viewpoint compared to the prototype.

 

Well, that's what I've convinced myself of anyway. And that's not in any way an excuse for laziness; I'm entirely comfortable with Peco trackwork, carefully arranged to replicate a prototype formation. It looks OK - and in the future will look even better assuming a full range of the new type is developed.

 

FWIW - single slip next for me. Then we really can start replicating some traditional steam age mainline track formations, with their pre-dominance of trailing points.

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I like that question. As a committed modeller of mainline railways I have puzzled over the conundrum of the model pointwork being far shorter in length compared to what the prototype would be yet wondering how it often still looks OK in the round.

 

I have convinced myself that it is all to do with the viewpoint. Unless we deliberately crouch down, we typically view our models from a bird's eye view whereas most pictures of the prototype are from the lineside or a station platform. From the foreshortened prototype viewing angle, points can seem far steeper / tighter (sorry - there's probably a better word for 'more curved') than they actually are hence, when we look at a Peco long radius point it seems, at a glance, to be a long and graceful point. It's only when we count sleepers and do the maths that we realise... Otherwise, it is in effect a trompe d'oeil.

 

Put another way, when you do look at an aerial view of the real thing (such as on the excellent britainfromabove website) then the pointwork can look very elongated compared to the lineside view.

 

It's a similar thing with train lengths. Whilst a 16-coach model express train is a truly impressive thing, actually a 8-9 coach long formation goes most of the way to conveying the same impression ... because we are seeing it from a fundamentally different viewpoint compared to the prototype.

 

Well, that's what I've convinced myself of anyway. And that's not in any way an excuse for laziness; I'm entirely comfortable with Peco trackwork, carefully arranged to replicate a prototype formation. It looks OK - and in the future will look even better assuming a full range of the new type is developed.

 

FWIW - single slip next for me. Then we really can start replicating some traditional steam age mainline track formations, with their pre-dominance of trailing points.

I always liked the principle that “Fiction is life with the dull bits left out" (Clive James but probably based on a similar phrase by Alfred Hitchcock)

If you'e ever walked along a greenway converted from an old railway line you'll realise fairly quickly why faithfully modelling every inch of a railway is likely to result in a very tedious model railway. The interesting bits are awfully spread out so selective compression isn't an unfortunate necessity but an essential part of our craft. 

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