Jump to content

Better point geometry for OO gauge layouts


Recommended Posts

I'm sure it's a question that's been raised before, and certainly one that many a modeller has considered at the design stage, and that's 'I want to create a OO gauge layout, but the standard Peco geometry pointwork just doesn't work for me'

 

Personally, I'm quite surprised in this era of exquisitely detailed RTR locos and stock, and now beautiful RTR bullhead track,  that Peco or AN-Other manufacturer hasn't thought to offer ready made longer turnouts in OO. Or maybe they have, but either way, as of right now, we have Peco long turnouts, and nothing else 'off the shelf' as it were.

So, if one wanted to model a realistic mainline turnout, and didn't want to convert to EM or P4, what options are there for the OO modeller?

Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, Foden said:

So, if one wanted to model a realistic mainline turnout, and didn't want to convert to EM or P4, what options are there for the OO modeller?

Do just the same as the EM and P4 modellers have to do. Build it yourself.

  • Like 6
  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Grovenor said:

Do just the same as the EM and P4 modellers have to do. Build it yourself.


But are templates available for OO like they are for EM and P4 modellers to work from?

Link to post
Share on other sites

As far as I understand: Peco only go as large as they do because all 3 radii share a common geometry at the toe end, so you can make a crossover out of 1 long & 1 short point. Any longer & this will not work.

Hopefully someone will be along soon to confirm this or put me right.

 

Yes, C&L do the components you need. Templates are available for OO, EM or P4. I don't know what the sizes mean (A6, B7 etc). Someone told me once but I have forgotten.

A roller gauge or 2 will be useful & you may also want a 3 point tool.

 

I need to learn this too because I want to have a go at Scale7 :banghead:

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suspect RTP turnouts in realistic sizes are not likely to sell in viable quantities for the likes of Peco, who are for UK practice the only game in town except for setrack, which of course they also make.  Scale modelling of this sort is a niche market and few of us have the space to indulge in it, so we compromise, in my case on Peco medium radius as minimum for the scenic area of the layout.  The trade is still wedded to the train set concept of a 6 x 4 tailchaser sitting on a table top, and they presumably know what they are doing.  They have been phenomenally successful at making tolerably realistic models despite the compromises needed to get them around sharp curves of the wrong gauge

 

Whether there's a market for 19mm gauge RTR is debatable; none of the current manufacturers are likely to dip their toes in that particular water!

Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, The Johnster said:

I suspect RTP turnouts in realistic sizes are not likely to sell in viable enough quantities for the likes of Peco, who are for UK practice the only RTP game in town except for setrack, which of course they also make.  Scale modelling of this sort is a niche market and few of us have the space to indulge in it, so we compromise, in my case on Peco medium radius as minimum for the scenic area of the layout.  The trade is still wedded to the train set concept of a 6 x 4 tailchaser sitting on a table top, and they presumably know what they are doing.  They have been phenomenally successful at making tolerably realistic models despite the compromises needed to get them around sharp curves of the wrong gauge

 

Whether there's a market for 19mm gauge RTR is debatable; none of the current manufacturers are likely to dip their toes in that particular water!

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Pete the Elaner said:

I don't know what the sizes mean (A6, B7 etc). Someone told me once but I have forgotten.

 

The letter defines the length of the switch, with A being the shortest.  C&L produce machined blades for A, B and I think C switches, but although the railway use larger switches in real life there is not a market for such long turnouts in the model railway world.

 

The number is the angle between the rails at the common crossing.  Six mean that the diverging line diverges at a rate of one unit for every six units travelled along the straight line.

 

If you are looking for something larger than a Peco large radius point, then you're probably looking for something like a B8, C9 or even C10 turnout.

 

As for templates, you can plot out templates in whatever scale / gauge you like if you download Templot.

  • Thanks 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, The Johnster said:

I suspect RTP turnouts in realistic sizes are not likely to sell in viable quantities for the likes of Peco, who are for UK practice the only game in town except for setrack, which of course they also make.  Scale modelling of this sort is a niche market and few of us have the space to indulge in it, so we compromise, in my case on Peco medium radius as minimum for the scenic area of the layout.  The trade is still wedded to the train set concept of a 6 x 4 tailchaser sitting on a table top, and they presumably know what they are doing.  They have been phenomenally successful at making tolerably realistic models despite the compromises needed to get them around sharp curves of the wrong gauge

 

Whether there's a market for 19mm gauge RTR is debatable; none of the current manufacturers are likely to dip their toes in that particular water!

19mm r-t-r would impose the same issue of large minimum radii that P4 does, even if made to coarser standards.

 

As soon as you move the wheels further apart, all the clearance for valve gear that exists in OO disappears, and you then have to get rid of all the side-play in the axles that allows OO locos to go round train-set curves to prevent the Walschaerts tying itself in knots.

 

Accepting a minimum radius (if one wishes to run large, outside-cylinder locos) of five or six feet means, unless one has loads of room available, limiting oneself to layouts of a "straight line" nature such as a shunting plank or MPD.

 

If you (like me) want to be able to run trains from one place to another in a room that's 10' x 12', and find 2mm scale too small to satisfy, OO, precisely because of all its compromises, is your saviour.

 

John

Edited by Dunsignalling
  • Like 3
  • Agree 5
  • Informative/Useful 1
  • Friendly/supportive 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Foden said:

So, if one wanted to model a realistic mainline turnout, and didn't want to convert to EM or P4, what options are there for the OO modeller?

 

There is Marcway, still here after all these years. Study their website thoroughly. If you can't find what you want, they custom build what you need.

 

http://www.marcway.net/point.php

http://www.marcway.net/list2.php?col=head&name=Marcway+00+%26+EM+Pointwork

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

Peco's large radius turnout is the largest radius possible within the constraints of their geometry. That is: 2in (50.8mm) between parallel track centres and 12 degrees of turn mid-crossover. That large radius point is actually ~45.75in (1162mm) radius, despite what Peco claim. If they made the radius any larger then the turnout wouldn't connect easily with the rest of the system.

 

The question is, why doesn't Peco Streamline pointwork work for you? If you've got the space for scale formations, then fair enough.

 

If the appearance is the problem, then the Bullhead range will help eventually - although development is glacially slow...

 

It is possible to make reasonably smooth junctions and other formations by using the full Streamline range creatively, in particular by using the curved points and the large Y, which have a 60in (1524mm) radius.

 

If you do want to build your own pointwork then OO-SF might be work a look. Stoke Courtenay is a good example.

 

Edited by Harlequin
Clarification of track centres
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies guys.

Phil, the reason I'm saying 'it doesn't work for me' is purely in one instance of a track plan I was working on. I work on lots of track plans, it's a small hobby of mine. They're unlikely to ever get built as I have the layout plan finalised that I want, I'm merely biding my time until a change in circumstances kicks into place where I can implement it. Until then, I like to draw plans, it passes the time.

I digress. A simple realistic branch line turnout can fit in a modest space, yet Peco's largest turnout is still too sharp to realistically represent this.

Link to post
Share on other sites

"Realistically"?

Surely that depends on lots of other stuff too? I've seen many layouts in OO that ooze realism.

 

Sure you can build it to rigorous scale, but the size of room needed would make almost every layout out of your reach. Far too big.

 

Compromise...the word might have been invented for us modellers. 

PS: go and look at Gilbert's "Peterborough North". Compromise, OO scale,  but it just WORKS.

  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, JeffP said:

"Realistically"?

Surely that depends on lots of other stuff too? I've seen many layouts in OO that ooze realism.

 

Sure you can build it to rigorous scale, but the size of room needed would make almost every layout out of your reach. Far too big.

 

Compromise...the word might have been invented for us modellers. 

PS: go and look at Gilbert's "Peterborough North". Compromise, OO scale,  but it just WORKS.

 

Quite, however my post is certainly not suggesting for a second that everything has to be exact to scale to be realistic.

 

Infact I think the look of a well modelled 'long' point isn't necessarily the issue, if there is one. More the look of a train traversing said point at a scale speed which can from certain angles look 'off'

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's not strictly necessary to use turnouts longer than Peco to get a realistic result. What you do need is turnouts having a much less sharp exit angle than Peco's 1:4.7 (12 degrees).

 

Here for example is an 00 gauge track plan for a double-track market-town terminus, drawn by Iain Rice for Peco Streamline 00 geometry in 11ft-6in x 7ft-6in:

 

2_311850_080000000.jpg
© Iain Rice, 1994, used with permission.

 

Here I am designing over it, not in 00 Peco Streamline, but for handbuilt EM:

 

2_010737_290000000.png

 

2_010737_300000002.png

 

Those turnouts are B-8s with a 1:8 curved double-slip -- the smallest radius in them is 36".

 

As you can see, it can be made to fit the same space without too much compromise, apart from the unavoidable sharp curves.

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

  • Like 5
  • Informative/Useful 1
  • Craftsmanship/clever 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, roythebus said:

Looks like a Really Useful Layout to me. I may well build that to go in my chalet holiday home in Belgium.

 

Hi Roy,

 

Iain's original 1994 article about it can be downloaded from here: http://85a.co.uk/forum/view_topic.php?id=3471&forum_id=1&jump_to=27388#p27392

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

Edited by martin_wynne
date added
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
  • Informative/Useful 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Pete the Elaner said:

As far as I understand: Peco only go as large as they do because all 3 radii share a common geometry at the toe end, so you can make a crossover out of 1 long & 1 short point. Any longer & this will not work...

Quite, that's the established practise that the RTL track manufacturer is being asked to move away from. Go on, now give us a yet longer point that is based on a prototype layout, that thereby cannot be  geometrically 'compatible' with the smaller points.

 

I would hope the penny will drop by analogy: Peco cannot be unaware that the flood of superior RTR OO is invading the territory of what once was exclusively achieved by kit and scratchbuilding. Why not the same for the track? Access to some of what was previously only achievable by building track, now offered in RTL track. This will never get anywhere close to what can be achieved by a full handbuild with the ability to make every point bespoke, but will offer a significant improvement to many.

 

Despite the naysayers - and there were not a few such decrying the newly emerging superior RTR as the death of the hobby - twenty years on I believe the evidence is better RTR product = expanded customer base and more sales. Why

should this not be true of track also? Peco's interest should lead them to test this, and if I am any judge, the signal they are getting from their limited range of bullhead track should be making it clear that superior OO track is the right direction.

  • Like 2
  • Agree 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

People are still not getting it despite Martin's excellent explanation (and drawing).

 

You can have a realistic turnout (B6) in no more space than a Peco "large" radius point. It is all about that 12 degree crossing on the Peco and an overlarge track spacing. Even a B7, is only about the same length as the Peco.

 

If the OP has plenty of time on his hands, there are some very long threads on RMweb on this subject (started one of them myself).

 

Next move for Peco surely has to be a decent OO flatbottom track and pointwork for diesel era modellers.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Peco are very well clued-up about prototype trackwork. For example correctly calling them turnouts instead of points.

 

They are making some prototype-derived pointwork in code 75 bullhead for the EM Gauge Society, see: https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index.php?/topic/139084-emgs-commissions-peco-for-rtr-em-gauge-bullhead-trackturnouts/

 

EM track render 1.jpg

 

http://www.emgs.org/society-announces-ready-to-lay-em-gauge-track/

 

But their 12-degree 00 geometry has served them well for 50 years. They didn't get to dominate the market by accident. They will need some strong marketing evidence to move away from it -- I suspect the evidence isn't really there. Modellers wanting more, or even knowing about more, are a tiny percentage of the market, and most of them are capable of building it themselves.

 

The EMGS initiative is about getting folks started in EM. I don't think anyone is expected to build an EM layout consisting entirely of straight B-6 turnouts, but they form a sound foundation from which to try handbuilt track. I imagine it will be a long time, if ever, before the investment is available to expand the range.

 

cheers,

 

Martin.

Edited by martin_wynne
EMGS note added
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • RMweb Gold

All good points (sorry) and great ideas but what are the chances that Peco will do anything like that in our lifetimes?

 

Look at the development speed of the Bullhead range - and even the first bullhead points are flawed and in need of revision!

 

Perhaps it needs someone new to step in and shake things up a bit.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

People are still not getting it despite Martin's excellent explanation (and drawing).

 

You can have a realistic turnout (B6) in no more space than a Peco "large" radius point. It is all about that 12 degree crossing on the Peco and an overlarge track spacing. Even a B7, is only about the same length as the Peco.

While true, that way lies confusion. Make it visibly different when breaking the mould.

 

17 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

...Next move for Peco surely has to be a decent OO flatbottom track and pointwork for diesel era modellers.

I would hope this is a natural follow on from the bullhead. I suppose there is a question of what rail height.

Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, Harlequin said:

 

Perhaps it needs someone new to step in and shake things up a bit.

 

No, they don't want that at all.

 

They are a company who make money & employ people by manufacturing things which sell well.

Most of their range is always available at any good model shop, unless someone had just cleared them out of something in particular :D.

Maintaining this is much more of a priority than releasing something new for a small minority of customers.

  • Like 2
  • Agree 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.