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Better point geometry for OO gauge layouts


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55 minutes ago, Gibbo675 said:

Hi Stephen,

 

Speaking as a production engineer it seems to me that it ought to be a relatively easy exercise to design any and all new models to accept OO, EM, P4 wheelsets and offer said wheels and or axles as optional extras, (think wireless sets and indicator switches as offered by BMW), for those that wish to have them. Perhaps even have them factory fitted within production runs of various models produced. Looking at livery options that ought not to be too much of a problem.

 

Gibbo.

 

Perhaps fitted to order? But I suspect that to keep the cost within reason, the same chassis would have to be used, with width over frames set to 00 clearances, which wouldn't quite meet P4 expectations.

 

But there's no good reason why that shouldn't be the standard for models of stock with outside bearings, pretty well all carriages and wagons, where it's simply a case of changing the pin-point axles, if the brake gear is placed appropriately - this already works for the Bachmann RCH 1923 mineral wagons, I understand. Likewise for most diesel and electric locomotives, along with outside-framed steam locomotives such as the GW City class. RTR P4 Midland Kirtley goods / 156 or 800 class 2-4-0s? Or some of those lovely Sacre MSLR types?

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This thread has drifted around a fair bit and the OP was basically answered by the first response, however as far as I recall no one has mentioned Markway points.  I assume these are more prototypical than Peco but need chair-halves added.

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5 hours ago, Dungrange said:

Does anyone know whether Roco produce templates for these in the way that Peco do?

 

If you have Third Plan-it software you can print out track and turnouts full size including Rocoline and most other brands.  I suspect other track planning software may also have the facility.  If you dont have access to this please PM me.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Smith said:

This thread has drifted around a fair bit and the OP was basically answered by the first response, however as far as I recall no one has mentioned Markway points.  I assume these are more prototypical than Peco but need chair-halves added.

"Marcway" was mentioned on the first page, is that who you mean?

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On 16/09/2020 at 13:48, hayfield said:

 

 

I think the costs of production is higher with bullhead rail, then you start adding tax and retailers mark up and the price between the two widens

 

It is possible that Peco have also considered the likely market - they are going to sell less of the bullhead than the others, probably by some way, and the price may well reflect the reduced economies of scale as much as manufacturing costs.

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On 15/09/2020 at 12:25, kevinlms said:

However, I can't see it happening because Code 100 rail, still vastly outsells Code 75 or any other, because it's cheaper!

Until you overcome the 'average modeller' bit, that seemingly puts up with a lower quality item, to save some cash.

 

 I see also another point. Code 100 is much more robust than code 75. I have never seen that at code 100.  Photo made during building of Donnersbachkogel, the disturbing rod like thing in the picture is the tunnel overhead line. Donnerbachkogel uses code 75.

 

41645457070_5edb18c5b1_h.jpg20180716_205449

 

Fact is that some of my very old H0 stock has trouble with the rail height of code 75, If I build another layout I will either go back to code 100 or try out code 83.

I used code 100 on my last larger layout, if it is proper ballasted it doesn't look bad at all. 

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23 minutes ago, Derekl said:

 

It is possible that Peco have also considered the likely market - they are going to sell less of the bullhead than the others, probably by some way, and the price may well reflect the reduced economies of scale as much as manufacturing costs.

 

 

Reading some of the replies in this thread recon that code 100 outsells everything else, then with the code 75 streamline being compatible with the European H0 market the actual sales may at the moment be quite low especially as there is no range of turnouts and crossings in this range. It was brought in as a response to potential competition in their core market which seems to have been seen off.

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7 hours ago, martin_wynne said:

 

It is that compromise which allows the rest to be right. If you had an exact-scale track gauge with RTR wheels, they wouldn't fit inside a scale-width model. It would need to have oversize splashers, widened valve gear, over-wide bogie side frames, etc., to accommodate the wheels (as H0 does).

 

The only way to have a scale-size model on a scale-size track gauge is to use scale-size wheels, as in P4. Then you would need very carefully laid track on a very flat baseboard demanding good carpentry skills, gentle curves no less than about 4ft radius in 4mm/ft scale, all totally unsuited to the RTR market.

 

Folks will keep referring to 00 gauge as an "error" or a "mistake", when in fact it is a sensible way to have good-looking models capable of running on train-set curves. Those who designed it did actually know what they were doing.

 

Martin.

 

 

 

Or, doing some straightforward simple engineering instead of unnecessary "modeling compromises dogma", many RTR models with scale wheels can reliably run on ultra sharp track curves on glued down bumpy rail on dynamically flexing thin foam core board at very high speed.


Andy

 

I believe in Science, not Magic. Simple Maths typically will clearly expose which is which, but only to those who look and do not instead shoot the messenger.

 

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10 hours ago, Vecchio said:

 I see also another point. Code 100 is much more robust than code 75. I have never seen that at code 100.  Photo made during building of Donnersbachkogel, the disturbing rod like thing in the picture is the tunnel overhead line. Donnerbachkogel uses code 75.

 

41645457070_5edb18c5b1_h.jpg20180716_205449

 

Fact is that some of my very old H0 stock has trouble with the rail height of code 75, If I build another layout I will either go back to code 100 or try out code 83.

I used code 100 on my last larger layout, if it is proper ballasted it doesn't look bad at all. 

 

If it's any help I am using code 83 and everything except Lima cookie cutter wheels and old Tri-ang run on it. Dublo and Wrenn are mostly ok too.  Simple replacement of wheels on coaches and wagons  overcomes that issue.  Loco wheels get replaced if necessary but its not always necessary.

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12 hours ago, Vecchio said:

 I see also another point. Code 100 is much more robust than code 75.

 

Fact is that some of my very old H0 stock has trouble with the rail height of code 75...

Any track/rail and wheel system is a 'package', and appropriate standards have to be applied. The loss of robustness means more care required, the reduction in rail height may well require older deep flanged wheelsets to be changed.

 

Then the question is 'do I want the benefits of this rail section sufficiently to accommodate it?', and for many - for the reasons you mention - the answer will be 'no'.

 

I should think many of us choose to mix it up: cheaper and more robust code 100 out of sight, pay more for smaller rail section track in the scenic locations for better appearance.

 

15 hours ago, Jeff Smith said:

... Marcway points.  I assume these are more prototypical than Peco but need chair-halves added.

Typically follow prototype geometry and look very well. On a previous layout I used these in a goods yard where the accumulated filth was up to the rail web in order to avoid the need for adding chairs. The thin 'copperclad' point timbers were matched by the then available RTR OO code 75 plastic sleepered bullhead track by C&L and SMP.  That was a whole order of magnitude less robust the than Peco's bh code 75.

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16 hours ago, Vecchio said:

 

Fact is that some of my very old H0 stock has trouble with the rail height of code 75, If I build another layout I will either go back to code 100 or try out code 83.

I used code 100 on my last larger layout, if it is proper ballasted it doesn't look bad at all. 

 

The fact is there is no such thing as track which covers all requirements. You have to make choices over appearance, compatibility with older/newer stock, range of points/crossings available, robustness etc. Only YOU or a club if the layout belongs to a club, can make that decision.

 

One thing I will say is that rolling stock of older times, were made to conform to a much coarser standard, usually in practice meaning the flanges were much deeper and the back to backs less. You cannot do anything to change history, whether you want to or not.

 

Elsewhere, there is an example of original Rovex/Tri-ang track, which has warped and the gauge has shrunk. The owner has regauged it and got it working, with trains of the era. That seems to be the best way of dealing with mixed standards, have a different layout to run it on, or indeed a part thereof. But it's your layout, so you are more than welcome to do as you wish.

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20 hours ago, hayfield said:

 

 

Reading some of the replies in this thread recon that code 100 outsells everything else, then with the code 75 streamline being compatible with the European H0 market the actual sales may at the moment be quite low especially as there is no range of turnouts and crossings in this range. It was brought in as a response to potential competition in their core market which seems to have been seen off.

I think their "OO" bullhead track has been selling quite well in France where about half of the pre-SNCF companies used double champignon rail it. It is apparently sufficiently close to scale in H0 for the sort of modellers who'd appreciate the difference between that and Vignoles (FB) rail. 

 

Development of their manufacturing processes clearly now enables Peco to offer a wider range of tracks than used to be the case including H0n3 (10.5mm gauge) and 83 line primarily for the more discerning end of the N. American market, bullhead,  two codes of Streamline H0 (OO) track, two sorts of 009/H0e and so on. What they're not going to produce is anything that has too small a market to be profitable in their supply chain to retailers even if people think they "ought" to or somehow "owe it" to British modellers to produce it. Given that they were able to produce specialist EM track for the EMGS in presumably relatively small quantities, I suspect that it's the marketting, distribution and retail chain rather than design and manufacturing that defines how large a potential market is likely to prove profitable. 

 

Peco probably could  produce  a OO sleepered version of their 83 line turnouts with different frog angles (I can't see any obvious difference in rail geometry between a medium radius Streamline turnout and an 83 Line #5   that makes the latter specifically North American) but if they did, would enough people buy them? 

 

Going back to the OP, I'm not quite sure what is supposed to be fundamentally wrong with the geometry of Peco's current range apart from the fact that it doesn't offer a range of longer crossing angles. Apart from tramways and docksides a no. 5 crossing is tighter than prototype but most of our layouts are a lot shorter than prototype. Something has to give and a nominal three foot radius point was actually the BRMSB recommended minimum for pointwork in OO and HO. It is AFAIK perfectly normal practice on this side of the Atlantic to create shorter turnouts with the same crossing angle and that's what Peco did to get their "small" nominally two foot radius turnout with the same crossing. It's quite instructive to look carefully at both sizes to see how much of the mouldings and steelwork (nickel silver work?) are common to both. 

I also note that long before Streamline, when Peco were offering Pecoway ready made and components for hand laid trackwork, they only offered a single cast frog that seems to be a no. 5

 

Peco know that most of their customers won't want to hack their points about before they can use them so, making it possible to create fairly complex pointwork by using one divergence angle and cutting the rails at each end appropriately makes perfect sense. I would prefer it if their large radius points did have a larger crossing number and straight diverging track- apart from anything else that would surely make for less throwover and risk of buffer locking, real or apparent, on straight crossovers- but they know their market. 

Apart from big city terminals, N. American trackwork seems to be based far more on discrete turnouts than complex combinations of switches and frogs while model layouts also tend to be larger. I suspct that's why RTL manufacturers have long offered a range of crossing angles (most commonly nos. 4, 6 & 8)    

Edited by Pacific231G
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On 27/09/2020 at 17:03, Compound2632 said:

One need to be broad rather than narrow minded. The track gauge of 16.5 mm is narrow if one is modelling British, Irish, Indian, etc. railways at 4 mm/ft; it's pretty much spot on if one is modelling British / European / North American railways at 3.5 mm/ft or 600 mm / 2 ft gauge railways at 1/3 in/ft (1:36). Does anyone do the latter?

Smallbrook Studios do a small range of kits at 1:35 for 16.5 mm track. I'm currently building their Bluetit side tank, and also developing the CAD for some laser cut coaches to suit. So maybe not quite 1:36, but pretty close.

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3 hours ago, PatB said:

Smallbrook Studios do a small range of kits at 1:35 for 16.5 mm track. I'm currently building their Bluetit side tank, and also developing the CAD for some laser cut coaches to suit. So maybe not quite 1:36, but pretty close.

 

I've never actually done anything about it but my thoughts on 1/36 for 2 ft gauge railways on 00 track were prompted by having an old steel rule that on one edge was marked in 1/12ths of an inch.

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No one seems to have mentioned Shinohara points, which I believe are now made by Walthers. I didnt like the short look of even the longest Peco point, and I still use code 100, so these fit perfectly. They are number 8 turnouts. I have the older non DCC friendly ones, so Ive had to make a fair few modifications to them, but they look very good. The new ones are DCC friendly and from the pictures I've seen are constructed in a similar way to the Pecos

IMG_9491.JPG

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2 hours ago, Marcyg said:

No one seems to have mentioned Shinohara points, which I believe are now made by Walthers. I didnt like the short look of even the longest Peco point, and I still use code 100, so these fit perfectly. They are number 8 turnouts. I have the older non DCC friendly ones, so Ive had to make a fair few modifications to them, but they look very good. The new ones are DCC friendly and from the pictures I've seen are constructed in a similar way to the Pecos

 

According to American sources,  Shinohara's owners retired in 2018 and Walthers, who'd been selling their track, took over their code 83 tooling but apparently much of it was worn out so Walthers are bringing  out their own line. Nobody seems to know whether anyone will pick up Shinohara's code 70 and code 100 track but my impression is that code 83 has become the de facto standard for "ordinary" scale modelling .

I used Shinohara track for a N. American layout back in the 1980s and remember it as being very good. I can't remember whether it was code 100 or code 70 but, since both track and the wheelsets of my rolling stock were all to NMRA specs everything just worked. (Would that that had been true in Britain and the rest of Europe!) Were I doing the same today I'd certainly go for Peco's 83 line which seems to be very well regarded by American modellers.

 

The real problem is the sleeper and timbering (or should we say tie) spacing. Peco Streamline's sleepers are scale for typical dimensions and 60cm spacing in H0 scale which is fine for European main lines (which suits me!) but close for British sleepering in OO, both because of the larger scale of OO and also because sleepers on Britain's railways (and on lesser lines elsewhere) were typically more like 75cms or 30 inches apart. 

In N. America tie spacing was much closer and ties were usually narrower than standard European sleepers   and thats what both Peco 83 line and Shinohara reproduce.

 

I'll probably be shot down in flames for saying this but the advantage of unprotypically close sleepering is that our even more unprotypically sharp turnouts look less obviously so with more sleepers. It's something of an optical illusion so if that works for you that's great. The argument against that is generally that the sleepers look too close together when seen from the side with a train on them but you could argue that at that point everyone will be looking at the train not the track!

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, Pacific231G said:

 

I used Shinohara track for a N. American layout back in the 1980s and remember it as being very good. I can't remember whether it was code 100 or code 70 but,

 

N gauge Shinohara came in two profiles. 80 and 60, I think. Quite a range of items including some rather useful spacesaving "ladder" points.

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9 minutes ago, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

N gauge Shinohara came in two profiles. 80 and 60, I think. Quite a range of items including some rather useful spacesaving "ladder" points.

 

N.=North, not Nine mm.

 

Martin.

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On 01/10/2020 at 16:47, Joseph_Pestell said:

 

N gauge Shinohara came in two profiles. 80 and 60, I think. Quite a range of items including some rather useful spacesaving "ladder" points.

I was perhaps not being clear enough Joseph.

By N. American I was referring to North American not N gauge American. I said North American because I was never very clear whether my HO scale layout was set in Canada or the USA  - it sort of gradually moved north.

ISTR that Shinohara had some useful track formations in HO as well though I contented myself with plain turnouts. 

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In December 2019 I received an email from Scalelink that said 

 

"Mr. Shinohara has now sold his business to another Japanese toy manufacturer who will begin production in the 2nd quarter of 2020.

We will be the UK stockists once items become available again... 

 

 

...with the exception of 4 or 5 Shinohara products, we have reasonably good stocks available.

 

For 00/H0, we have Code 100, Code 83, Code 83 DCC-friendly, Code 70 + SN3, H0/H0n3, H0n3, H0n2.5 (009), H0m and N (Code70 & Code 60) are also in stock" 

So it seems, subject to covid, it should be back. 

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