Author Topic: Pinwheel ladder  (Read 1840 times)

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basementcalling

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Pinwheel ladder
« on: April 03, 2013, 05:29:11 PM »
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I am trying to extend some yard tracks with a pinwheel ladder using Atlas C55 components, and just cant seem to get the geometry to work out.

#5's even are too long, and I really want to use #7's in my yard as it will see lots of longer modern cars, mostly 60-73 foot centerbeams and longer covered hoppers. I know I could trim each #5 where the rails extend beyond the points, but cannot show that in my track planning software.

Atlas curved turnouts are too sharp, and I am not sure I want to use these hard to find pieces anyway. Besides being out of stock almost everywhere, they have a 15 inch radius on the inner curve, which seems very sharp to me compared to the Peco 36/18 radius curved turnout.

Anyone have any luck designing a pinwheel ladder with Atlas C55? The extra length in yard trackage would really be helpful in this spot.

Peter
Peter Pfotenhauer

davefoxx

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Re: Pinwheel ladder
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 10:36:08 PM »
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What you need to do is use the #5s and trim them.  But, trim them not only at the points end, but also at the frog end.  For example, you can pull the small rail out between the frog and the end of the turnout in both routes.  Use the rail from the next piece of track to join to the turnout (slide the rail into the spikes and you'll eliminate a rail joiner on each rail).

I can post a picture of a "butchered" #5 turnout that I worked on last week.  It's not a pinwheel ladder, but the turnout will give you an idea of what you can do to shorten them.  I never measured it , but I bet you can cut a couple of inches out of the length of a #5 turnout.

Oh, and forget the track planning software for this.  It'll never work.

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Cajonpassfan

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Re: Pinwheel ladder
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2013, 12:51:56 AM »
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Instead of cutting the turnout back, another, easier way to do it is to put a bit of curvature into the stem of the #5; there is almost 2" to work with and it compresses the required length of the ladder quite a bit. All you need to do is cut perpendicular slots in the plastic underneath the inside rail to allow the tie plate to bend.
Regards, Otto K.

basementcalling

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Re: Pinwheel ladder
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2013, 01:12:09 PM »
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Otto, I've done that with Peco turnounts on NTRAK modules before to get a better flow to the track geometry, but they are a bit more substantial than the Atlas C55 lineup. With the Peco, I'd cut gaps in the ties and curve the entire turnout.

I'd forgotten that trick. Thanks for the reminder.

I did some more sketching in Anyrail last night and played around some, but still am not happy with the whole yard layout. It's hard to put even an N scale yard into a space 2 x 10.5 feet and get long tracks.
Peter Pfotenhauer

DKS

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Re: Pinwheel ladder
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2013, 02:11:38 PM »
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Why not use a compound ladder, instead of a pinwheel?

Can you post some images/drawings so we can see what you're working with?
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

basementcalling

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Re: Pinwheel ladder
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2013, 08:48:20 PM »
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Here's a screen shot of the yard area. 1 square is 1 foot.

David, I kind of went compound pinwheel. Two curved turnouts are Pecos, but I have those already.

This is supposed to be the main yard for the layout, 19x20 with 5 town/switching areas. It is supposed to take in cuts of cars off trains from staging and classify for local drop offs, but not be a full division point yard.



Track colors are as follows:

Dark blue arrival
Red departure
Pale blue is lead/passing siding
Black is mainline
Green is classification dead end
Staging has throat visible to add length and to make access easier.

I think I need a couple crossovers in additional spots.
I will add one more industry in center at bottom, but not sure what yet.
Large building in bottom left corner is a cold storage wharehouse with specific doors for spots. Worried this turnout off the main might cause operational issues for local clogging the main.

Sharpen your knives and dissect please.
Peter Pfotenhauer