Author Topic: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder  (Read 5482 times)

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nscalemike

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Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« on: March 14, 2012, 01:54:35 PM »
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I am getting ready to lay my staging yard ladder and trying to develop the most length for my buck.  Initially I thought the #5's would be the best, but they have around 2" length before the switch.  The total #5 length equals the #7 length, but the angle is less on the #7.  But according to Anyrail, the two basically equal out, and a #7 ladder doesn't take any more space than a #5.  Is this true?  Is it possible to shorten the #5 and get enough track spacing and maintain good operation?  Is there a magic combination of the two sizes to make it work?

The reason I'm asking more than anything is because I think I have enough #7's to do the entire ladder, but I would need to buy 3 or 4 more #5's.  Obviously I don't want to spend the money for new and let #7's go to waste, but I will it makes a difference.  An inch difference maybe not, and car length, I probably would. 

Thanks for the help,
Mike

Dave V

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2012, 02:16:14 PM »
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My yard ladder is made of shortened #5s...  It's possible.
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davefoxx

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2012, 02:29:22 PM »
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You can cut the tail of the #5s off and save a lot of space over the length of a yard ladder.  Leave at least three ties at that end near the throw bar, though, to have something to hold the track in gauge through there.

I used #5s on a yard on a previous layout and plan to do so on the next layout.  They operate fine.  People are probably tired of me posting this picture, but it shows the ladder that I built on my old layout with #5s:


In that case, I believe that I did not cut the tails off, because the geometry allows a perfect 1-1/4" spacing between tracks, if I remember correctly.  If you want to tighten up your yard tracks, you can do so by cutting the turnouts up, but this will be at the expense of operations (finger room when rerailing, visibility when reading car numbers, etc.).

An example of where I have cut the tails off was when I needed to squeeze a turnout between curves.  Probably difficult to see in this picture but the turnout on the far side of the highway crossing that brings the passing siding (where the train is) off of the mainline in this picture has been cut to fit at the end of a HCD layout.  The layout was only 36" wide, so I needed to minimize the length of this turnout to maximize the radii of the curves:


Heh, that wye turnout in that picture was butchered even more.  I cut not only the tail off, but I also cut the spacers out between the ties to make the radius of one leg flex to fit the existing mainline curve when I built the yard.

Hope this helps,
Dave Foxx

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nscalemike

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2012, 02:39:34 PM »
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Thanks for the comments!  I'm not concerned about the spacing as it's only static staging and straight track, it should not cause many derailments. The two outside tracks will require some manual car shuffeling so I will leave those extended the usual distance.   If you trim the tails back do you need to leave them longer than three ties for the rail joiners then?

Thanks again,
Mike

davefoxx

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2012, 02:44:01 PM »
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If you trim the tails back do you need to leave them longer than three ties for the rail joiners then?

Yes, about one-half of a rail joiner length.  You may be able to go to two ties only, but I remember cutting one down to one or two ties and the gauge tried to tighten.  The adjacent piece of flextrack was called on to bring that gauge back into spec.  Not recommended.   :)

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dnhouston

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2012, 02:48:18 PM »
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Here you can see the shortened versions on my yard before I inserted ties into the gaps

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wm3798

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2012, 03:07:30 PM »
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If you clip the #5's, be advised that you have to wire the frog.  The truncated spacing means that the front truck of a typical Geep will be on the dead frog at the same time the rear truck is on the point rail with its spotty connection at at the hinge.

Lee
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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2012, 03:11:31 PM »
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Given the diverging angle of the 5's is 11.25 and the 7's is 8.1, wouldn't the No. 5 turnouts still save a bit of space overall?
I did a few quick measurement drawings, and the 25% increase in diverging angle does save 25% of the total diverging length from the first turnout.  It would take 3" of savings to add a car length to any track, so maybe you only catch up after about 9 tracks capacity wise, but it might make a half car difference on some other track.

BTW, medium Peco's, which I used for my last class yard are 14 degrees, so the No. 5 Atlas are a bit more broad than those while the no. 7 are a degree shallower than the Peco Large radii.

davefoxx

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2012, 03:57:41 PM »
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If you clip the #5's, be advised that you have to wire the frog.  The truncated spacing means that the front truck of a typical Geep will be on the dead frog at the same time the rear truck is on the point rail with its spotty connection at at the hinge.

Lee

This is good advice, because not only can a four-axle locomotive sit on the frog of one turnout and the point rails of the next turnout if the turnouts are trimmed, but, even if not trimmed, the locomotive can sit on the frog and the point rails of the same turnout at the same time.  Once your rails and wheels start to get dirty and those points become less than reliable due to the power being supplied through the hinges, stalling may occur, especially if the frog is not powered.

DFF

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nscalemike

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2012, 04:16:29 PM »
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If you clip the #5's, be advised that you have to wire the frog.  The truncated spacing means that the front truck of a typical Geep will be on the dead frog at the same time the rear truck is on the point rail with its spotty connection at at the hinge.

Lee

Powering the frog is not a problem, I power all of them anyway with slide switches.  Dn, what is the track spacing after triming them down?  It looks decent from the pic.

Thanks, Mike

dnhouston

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2012, 04:51:57 PM »
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I'll measure when I get home, but I believe it is 1".
David

Scottl

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2012, 06:17:40 PM »
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 I must be feeling dense today.  How does trimming the extra track off a #5 impact the power supply to a loco?  The frog-point configuration remains the same, right?  I've trimmed off most of my #5's.

dnhouston

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2012, 06:53:17 PM »
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Mike,
(Bad memory) The track centers are 1-1/4". 
Trimming the switches gained me about 8 inches per yard track (approx 1" per switch) which gives me an extra car or two per track.
David

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2012, 07:16:39 PM »
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If you think you can get away with using #7, then by all means do so. Our group used #5 and #7 for sidings and yards, but reliability of Atlas #5 are flaky at best (derailments and electrical contacts). Thus we've decided to stop using #5s altogether and stick with #7 until Atlas can work out tolerance issues.

davefoxx

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Re: Atlas Code 55 yard ladder
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2012, 07:31:26 PM »
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I must be feeling dense today.  How does trimming the extra track off a #5 impact the power supply to a loco?  The frog-point configuration remains the same, right?  I've trimmed off most of my #5's.

Lee was referring to the distance between the frog on the first turnout and the points on the second turnout, if you are navigating through the yard ladder.  If the tail of the turnout is not clipped, there is plenty of track between the frog and the next turnout's points, eliminating the problem that Lee mentioned.

DFF

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