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Reply to "3RS Plan for 25x18 based on John Armstrong plan"

Like the track plan.

As Ted S mentioned, I've had quite a bit of experience running scale wheels on hi-rail track down at the club. The two big issues you'd encounter with Ross turnouts are frogs and point radius. Ross turnouts are built pretty close to NMRA dimensions, except the frogs and guard rails are spread to accomodate hi-rail wheelsets. Scale wheels will dip in the frogs, so you should probably restrict yourself to 11-degree (#5) turnouts. I get very few derailments on the #5's and our #8 curved turnout has a "frog point" so there's no gap to worry about. Curve-replacement turnouts are sketchy for 2-rail use, but pulling a train through an O-72 at low speed seems to work. By the way, I take crossovers at low speed to keep things from bouncing around. Code 172 wheels (Intermountain, Atlas-O, MTH) work well. Code 145 wheels (brass imports, Lionel replacements) will be OK unless your track gauge gets wide (which we have in a couple of spots).

My testing with MTH ScaleTrax has been pretty successful. I like the MTH frog design and their handling of points is scale-wheel friendly (I have #4's and #6's). At some point I'll get my home hybrid layout built.

Don't buy the Ross-Ready turnouts -- use the "raw" ones so you can customize your wiring to energize the closure rails between the points and the frog. On our curved turnout, I wired the closure rails to change polarity depending on which way the points are thrown. This did two things -- extended the "Hot" center rail and extended the "Common" running rail which eliminated stalling on shorter locomotives and those with odd roller spacing. In a 2-rail context it would preserve the running rail power.

Another alternative is to do the build-out using Code 148 rail and add (and possible later remove) a center rail. I've looked at this as a possible solution. The catch is that you'd need to build/modify turnouts (I think Signature Switch will build them with slightly wider frogs and guard rail gaps).

Hope this helps some.

Last edited by AGHRMatt
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
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