Code 55 Custom Curved Turnout....

Sumner Jan 23, 2023

  1. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    I needed a short 2 siding spur on one side of the coal mine complex where cars could be dropped with mining equipment and supplies for the mine. The inner track there is on a 16 3/4” radius. I found a Fast Tracks template with a 16” outer radius and an 11” inner radius. I feel it is close enough to work with the ME code 55 flex track I'm using. Trying to use a straight turnout would of thrown everything off in the area and wouldn't of worked as it would of pushed the track further in one direction where there was nowhere to go space wise.

    A big advantage of hand-laying your own turnouts is the ability to put turnouts into areas that you can't with commercial turnouts. If you haven't tried it you might want to give it a try as it isn't all that hard to do after doing a few. Opens up a lot of track possibilities that you don't have using only commercial track.

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    I was able to use the Fast Tracks PointForm tool and the StockAid tool that I had bought when I started hand-laying turnouts. I bought the #6 PointForm tool and it was perfect for this turnout as it has a #6 frog. I've been able to use it to some degree followed by hand filing for #4, #8 and #10 turnouts also. The StockAid tool that notches the recess into the stock rail works for any turnout so you only need one of those. The tools are a big help in making the turnout.

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    It is nice to have a jig to hold the frog rails at the right angle while you solder them together. Fast Tracks has them and I designed some that one can print. I have the links and more info about them ( HERE ). I've also soldered them by holding the rails using a second template as a guide.

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    More info on cutting your own PCB ties down the index a ways ( HERE ).

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    Being able to make this turnout made it possible to add track where I wouldn't of been able to do with commercial turnouts. Think about laying some of your own turnouts. Opens up lots of track possibilities.

    Lots more trackwork projects on my site ( HERE ).

    You can find the files to 3D print the soldering jigs and other model railroading items on my thingiverse.com account ( HERE ).

    Sumner
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2023
    gmorider, BoxcabE50, BNSF FAN and 2 others like this.
  2. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Tested the turnout on my 'Turnout Tester' and made a second one with longer guard rails.

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    If clicking on the image above doesn't start the video use the link ( HERE ).

    Sumner
     
    gmorider, BoxcabE50 and SLSF Freak like this.

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