Author Topic: Who has a fasttracks #8 jig for code 55?  (Read 1221 times)

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robert3985

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Re: Who has a fasttracks #8 jig for code 55?
« Reply #15 on: November 28, 2018, 03:30:50 PM »
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I’m not sure that actual Proto:160 standards are needed, but something more accurate would be nice.
I’ve done a few experiments based off of the 2mm Association’s standards but regauged to 9mm. It looks nice, but every axle has to be reguaged. True scale track gauge seems to be 8.97mm, I wonder if I made if 8.5 or so if anyone would notice. Might not have to reguage everything then. But that’s a different discussion.

I think the biggest initial improvement in N-scale track would be properly dimensioned "N scale" rail, rather than the small HO scale rail we are forced to use now.  Since we are stuck with extra deep flanges on legacy equipment and several manufacturers persist in supplying overly deep flanges on their rolling stock (Micro Trains, are you listening??????) shorter rail with an attachment protocol such as what Micro Engineering uses won't allow the use of anything except "real" low-profile flanged wheelsets.  Part of the problem with the new Micro Engineering C40 flex track (as opposed to their original RailCraft product) is the design of the new "spike heads" which are not only taller than the originals, but also protrude further towards the center of the ties.  Since flanges taper, if the new spikeheads were tapered becoming lower towards their center facing side, then more non-low-profile wheelsets could possibly run on the track.

Micro Engineering C55 flex track has the same larger spikeheads than the old RailCraft flex, but they are lower and smaller than Atlas C55 flex, especially the new stuff, with even bigger "spikeheads" than the original.

However, unless I win Mega Millions, I don't foresee anybody actually making new RTR truly scale track and turnouts in N-scale.

C55 is about .011" too tall to represent heavy mainline rail such as U.P.'s 131 lb rail that got laid from Ogden to Cheyenne in 1941 when the Big Boys were being finished to accommodate their weight.  Modern 133 lb rail that is used today on most of U.P.'s mainlines is actually shorter than the lighter 131 lb rails which Big Boy ran on from 1941 to 1959.  I think Pennsy laid 152 and/or 155 lb rail called "Pennsylvania Special" rail in some places, and I believe both were 8" tall, and were the largest rail laid in the USA for use on railroad mainlines, which still makes C55 rail .005" too tall.

Since the likelihood of any new flextrack/turnouts being made in N-scale that closely represent actual rail sizes and style of U.S. or Canadian track is minimal at best, I decided a couple of decades ago to quit worrying about the rail height, and use both C55 and C40 track to represent heavy mainline trackage and lightly traveled branchline/spur/siding track.  Although C55 is too tall, I like the obvious difference between the two sizes of rails, which sufficiently represent heavy and lighter weight rail for different uses the prototype would lay them for.

So, where does that leave those that want more prototypical looking rail, but don't want to put new wheels on presently available motive power? 

For me, I can run most of my motive power on ME C40 flex if I carefully sand down the cast-on spike heads.  I like the looks better too, so it's a double benefit and really doesn't take that long to do.

However, I limit my ME C40 flex to my center sidings and spurs that come directly off of the mainline.

Photo (1) - ME C40 flex with sanded inner spikeheads at Emory Center Siding between the double mainline RailCraft C55 flex:


For my branchline trackage, it's all hand-laid C40 PCB track...without any spikeheads or tie plates, and frankly, I don't miss 'em.

Photo (2) - CA-8 sitting in the Park City Yard at Echo on PCB hand-laid C40 track with RailCraft C55 flex mainline in the background:


For my mainlines, I use ME C55 or old RailCraft C55 (for signature foreground scenes)...which are the absolute best looking N-scale flextrack available...and pizza cutters will run on 'em if you haven't replaced all of them yet.

Photo (3) - RailCraft C55 Mainlines at Echo Curve with PCB Hand Laid C40 Park City Branch in Foreground:
 

I am totally converted to Fox Valley Models' semi-scale wheelsets for rolling stock, and to my eye, their addition to ANY piece of N-scale rolling stock really makes the model look markedly more "real"...and elevates a lot of cars out of the "toy" category...especially with a bit of appropriate weathering.

Photo (4) - FVM Narrow Tread 33" Wheelsets on Kitbashed U.P. CA-1 Sitting on Park City Branch C40 PCB Trackage:


Since I make all of my turnouts, the narrow treaded FVM wheels work perfectly, and their shiny silver treads and small flanges really improve the looks of any train.

So, that's my solution to the "Proto:160" question, and so far it's worked out pretty well, with only wide-tired/deep-flanged motive power being the fly in the ointment...but I am NOT going to replace the wheels on my motive power unless somebody makes drop-in conversions that are the equivalent of the FVM narrow wheelsets.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore





« Last Edit: November 28, 2018, 03:41:02 PM by robert3985 »

Santa Fe Guy

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Re: Who has a fasttracks #8 jig for code 55?
« Reply #16 on: November 28, 2018, 06:07:24 PM »
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In 1994 I had the good fortune to be able to fly to Portland from Australia to attend the 1994 N Scale convention. This was I believe the first to be held simultaneously with the NMRA convention held in a hotel next door. Robert Hundman the original editor and publisher of N Scale Magazine displayed (made by him) a #24 N Scale hand laid crossover. I had never known about Railcraft track as we had only grown up knowing Peco. Then to attend the exhibition that weekend and see that ME were releasing their code 55 #turnout boy was I in heaven.
My layout came down the minute I returned home and have been using ME track and turnouts ever since, all 85 on my now sold N Scale SFRSD. I have used their track and turnouts in ON30 and now hand laying my own in HOn3 using Fast Tracks jigs and their paper templates.
I have found using the paper templates to be very accurate and match the jig.
Rod.
Santafesd40.blogspot.com

draskouasshat

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Re: Who has a fasttracks #8 jig for code 55?
« Reply #17 on: November 30, 2018, 09:33:01 PM »
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I recieved a built #8 from @Mark W! Now im wondering if a #6 or #7 might be closer to what I'm trying to achieve. The #6 has a 23" radius and the #7 has a 26" radius diverging route. By normal standards, they will both work in theory with the radius but the look will be the deciding factor. Now if someone wanted to sell me a built #6 and #7, ill hopefully be able to make up my mind so the search continues!
@robert3985 Bob, do you have any photos of your #6s that are built off of the FT templates?
Thank you

Drasko
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Mark W

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Re: Who has a fasttracks #8 jig for code 55?
« Reply #18 on: November 30, 2018, 09:46:16 PM »
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Well.. I have some old #6's too...   :D

Actually, I better check, I may have scrapped them. 

If you have the room, stick with the 8's at minimum.  6's are quite noticeably 'toyish' in comparison, especially for large steam. 

These are 8's on the mainline, and 6's in town. 

https://i.imgur.com/RXzidSG.jpg

Maybe a better look, you can see the 6's significantly shorter with greater diversion.

https://i.imgur.com/gI4KhHh.jpg
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draskouasshat

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Re: Who has a fasttracks #8 jig for code 55?
« Reply #19 on: November 30, 2018, 11:14:05 PM »
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the thing is as times progressed, turnouts have become longer and more streamlined. the other deal is that the crossovers im modeling were only used for helpers as they moved to the downhill main to return to help another train. they did see the occasional train but directional running limited this to emergencies and need to situations.
here are a couple photos that aren't very good. take note of the crossovers and switches that lead to things other than a maintrack.

drasko [ Guests cannot view attachments ] [ Guests cannot view attachments ] [ Guests cannot view attachments ]
EFM (Elite Fleet Modeler) member #1
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
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robert3985

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Re: Who has a fasttracks #8 jig for code 55?
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2018, 11:01:30 AM »
+1
As per your request, here are some C40 and C55 #6 turnouts both leading to, and integral with my Park City Branchline Yard.

Photo (1) - Hand laid C40 and C55 (on west-bound mainline) #6 turnouts at east end of Park City Branchline Yard:


Photo (2) - Here's another view of the east end of Echo with the Park City Yard directly west of the coaling tower:


A direct comparison between a #6 and a #8 might be helpful.

Photo (3) - East entrance/exit to/from Emory Center Siding w/turnouts built on both FT and P87Stores paper templates, with #6 (bottom) and #8 (top) with a #4 wye to the right:


Photo (4) - East end of Emory Center Siding still on paper templates:


Photo (5) - Emory Center Siding assembly in place on layout showing relative looks between #6 and #8 turnouts:


I agree completely that if you've got room, from a purely cosmetic standpoint, you should go with at least a "true" #7.  Look at the comparison between the proportions of a #6 turnout and a #7...the #7 is MUCH longer than a #6, and large steam or passenger equipment will look exponentially better running through #7's or #8's.

In keeping with that philosophy, since many passenger trains ran through Echo Yard in the 1940's and 1950...as well as Big Boys, Challengers, TTT's, E's and Turbines, I thought it was necessary from a cosmetic standpoint to make turnouts as big as what were prototypically placed at Echo.  My 1950's evaluation map of Echo tells me that all the turnouts on the east end on the mainlines were #10's and #9's.  I assumed that this was the same on the west end, but I wanted to make some #12's just for the helluvit, so I did.

Photo (6) - Echo Yard west end with #9, #10 and #12 turnouts to accommodate long-base steam engines, passenger diesels and turbines:


Photo (7) - Echo Yard west end - Another shot:


For me, the minimum turnout size is a #6, and I use them for branchline yards, MOW sidings such as the spur that services the sand drying facility at Echo...anywhere that nothing larger than a USRA Light Mikado will run on.  Everything else, where my Big Boys, Challengers, FEF, TTT's and passenger equipment run, will have a minimum of a #8 (with a few space constricted exceptions).  I attempt to use prototypical #9, #10 and #11's wherever possible, even on my branchline.

A good friend of mine Bob Gerald, has over the last few years, constructed a really great double-decked rendition of the Great Northern in his basement.  Bob is well-versed in hand-laying his own turnouts, but decided to go with Fast Tracks #8's as the turnout he would use most on his layout.  Many of his scenes (LDE's) are approaching being finished, and I was highly impressed a few months ago when I visited his layout with his combination of ME C55 and PCB hand-laid turnouts...very prototypical looking, but also...and I think this is important...you could tell immediately that his trackwork was not the typical, out-of-the-box trackwork that is most commonly associated with N-scale.  Treating N-scale track as a model just as worthy of your attention to detail as your engines, cars and structures, is a very good attitude IMO.

Hope this assists you in making your decision about turnout sizes.

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore
« Last Edit: December 01, 2018, 11:29:03 AM by robert3985 »

draskouasshat

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Re: Who has a fasttracks #8 jig for code 55?
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2018, 01:48:27 PM »
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Thank you Bob. Im beginning to think that a 6 is the way to go but i need to try it before i buy it.
@Mark W, let me know if you come across any #6s in your scrap like and ill get you some more money sent over!   :D
I did find an article on the late Andy Sperandeos Cajon Pass layout and the was mention of Santa Fe designed #6 1/2 turnouts.
You guys might think im OCD here but there's a reason I'm doing all of this. As many of you know, I'm a Signal Construction Foreman for BNSF. i see the railroad and how things are laid out first hand daily so this effects how i see the proportions of things. It's not that I'm necessarily trying to be prototypically accurate but its more that i have to please my eyes with what i see. This is why I'm starting over on my layout as we speak.
Drasko
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I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
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Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947

Angus Shops

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Re: Who has a fasttracks #8 jig for code 55?
« Reply #22 on: December 01, 2018, 06:18:48 PM »
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No OCD. This one of those choices that will have a big impact on your layout and you don't want to regret your choice at some point in the future.
Have you considered the #7? It's considerably longer than the #6 but quite as much of a space hog as the larger #'s. I do find it curious that the #7 is so much longer than the #6 but the difference between the 7 and 8 is not as great...
I chose to use #9 for the main track to siding locations, #7's for almost everything else, and I'll need a few #6's in tighter locations on yard and industrial track.
Geoff

draskouasshat

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Re: Who has a fasttracks #8 jig for code 55?
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2018, 09:25:17 PM »
+1
Well im going #6 for the crossovers at this point. Found a good deal and hopped on it. It includes FT #6 quickstick lasercut tie sets, pc board ties, pliobond, other needed items for 33 turnouts. It also includes the point filing tool. All for $225 shipped.
The kicker is that the jig was custom made for #6 code 80 turnouts. Ill have to buy a code 55 jig but i still made out well as there's $230 of last cut ties alone, not including the other items included.
Does anyone need a code 80 #6 FT jig? :D [ Guests cannot view attachments ] [ Guests cannot view attachments ]
EFM (Elite Fleet Modeler) member #1
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
I want a 3800 class santa fe 2-10-2!
Modeling Cajon Pass in 1947