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Hello everyone! I am starting to redesign my layout for it has two concentric O-48 loops of track.  The outer loop has 7 (10 inch)  straights. There is one 10 inch straight in the middle of the loop at the ends. That loop exists now so consider its dimensions fixed. Now fitting a disconnected  O-48 loop inside the outer loop is easy. However, I would like to connect the loops with at least O-48 switches. Can anyone make some recommendations? I have a SCARM file attached.



Thank you!

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I used pairs of 072 switches for crossovers between the two mainlines on my Fastrack layout. It's a nice smooth transition, even for my LC+2.0 Big Boy, Legacy DD35A, and 20" super liners. It also gives you the natural 6" center-to-center spacing Fastrack was designed for. I wouldn't go any tighter for crossovers

@Mike0289 posted:

I used pairs of 072 switches for crossovers between the two mainlines on my Fastrack layout. It's a nice smooth transition, even for my LC+2.0 Big Boy, Legacy DD35A, and 20" super liners. It also gives you the natural 6" center-to-center spacing Fastrack was designed for. I wouldn't go any tighter for crossovers

Great! What is the equivalent number of straights I should remove for a O-72 switch?

I think this is what the suggestion would look like without cutting any track.  Note there are 1-3/8" half roadbed pieces and no roadbed pieces attached to the O-72 switches.  Scarm file attached.

5x10 V4a

O72 O-72 switch

EDIT: I started this reply before the previous two were posted.

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Images (2)
  • 5x10 V4a
  • O72
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Last edited by SteveH

I'd be concerned about the far side in that design - you have 6" center to center on the side with the crossovers, but only 4" center to center on the other side since you've functionally got an inner 48" loop and an outer 58" loop. Any loco with significant overhang on 048 curves running on the inner loop will probably swipe the train running on the outer loop. Slapping an additional 1 3/4" straight in the short sides of the outer loop will bring you to almost 6" center to center on the far side as well.

I'd also recommend putting a short straight section between the curves and the switches on the outer loop, even if it's just a short fitter. I had an issue on my layout where one of my locos would derail when backing through an 048 curve straight into the diverging route of an 060 switch (in the same direction as the curve) - adding a 1 3/4" straight between the curve and the switch fixed it.

As I was looking over the layout. I was considering an elevated loop of O-36 track. When you use the Elevated FastTrack Trestle set how many trestles do you need per track section for planning purposes? The Elevated FastTrack trestle comes in package of ten. I am not using the graduated trestle set.

Thank you everyone for providing your good advice!

Last edited by Madockawando

I think the sets come with spacers that connect the trestles. I think they're about 10" in length to line up with the joints on regular straight sections, but I can measure a spacer from my graduated trestle set later tonight and report back. The spacers are nice for evenly spacing the trestles but also for adding stability and rigidity to the entire elevated track section. The included spacers are a good starting point, at least.

My current loops (O-48 outside and closed off O-36 figure eight in the middle) are spaced apart by 2.5 inches at their closest. I never had any issues with locomotive over hang so I expect that I can use tht distance between the new loops as well

Are you talking about edge-to-edge (i.e. outside edge of ties or roadbed) or center-to-center (i.e. center rails)? My earlier comment about 4" was center rail spacing, which with Fastrack's 3.3" overall width, only leaves about 0.7" of space between the pieces.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 12.04.36 PM

I'd be very worried about sideswipes with the two lines this close.

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  • Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 12.04.36 PM

@Mike0289

It's 2.5 edge to edge, roadbed to roadbed.

That's what I suspected. The image I shared is how close the two lines would be on the far side of the plan @SteveH shared - 048 inner loop & effective 058 outer loop with 6" center-to-center on the near side means 4" center-to-center on the far side. Without some additional straight or a switch to 060 curves on the outer loop, I think you're going to have issues.

As I was looking over the layout. I was considering an elevated loop of O-36 track. When you use the Elevated FastTrack Trestle set how many trestles do you need per track section for planning purposes? The Elevated FastTrack trestle comes in package of ten. I am not using the graduated trestle set.

Thank you everyone for providing your good advice!

You may want to look at the MTH Elevated Trestle set for Fastrack - maybe 40-1134. They can be centered at each FT connection point and, IMHO, are better looking, sturdier and easier to assemble than the Lionel ones.

One of the MTH sets will fit Fastrack, I just don't have the exact product number - see pic of my layout. The FT slides into a groove in a plastic clip and is a tight fit. The plastic clip then snaps/mounts onto the top of the pier.

I don't have any experience using them with the 10" girder bridges. Since the girder bridges are wider than the FT, I don't think they would fit into the trestle clips. However, if you changed the trestle spacing on either side of the bridge you could support the FT on either side of the bridge with the trestles and clips with the two pieces of FT connecting in the middle of the bridge. It might be strong enough to leave like that or, if not, you could place one of the MTH piers under the middle of the bridge without the clip on it, but you would have to make up the spacing difference of the height of the missing clip with either a piece of foam or wood painted grey and placed at the top or bottom of the pier. 

FAKE TURNOUT 2ELIZA'S CORNER

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  • FAKE TURNOUT 2
  • ELIZA'S CORNER
@rthomps posted:

Joe ... Any way to configure a reverse loop in that space?  I'm not sure how without major re-thinking, but a R-L always adds fun.

Good looking plan in any case.

Hey RT!! I have an O-36 figure eight/oval in the inside loop right now. But After awhile it just felt cluttered and I wanted to upgrade to an O-48 minimum on boot loops. However, maybe some of the SCARM Power Rangers could come up with a reversing loop that maintains the O-48 minimum.

Anyone up for the challenge?

Hey RT!! I have an O-36 figure eight/oval in the inside loop right now. But After awhile it just felt cluttered and I wanted to upgrade to an O-48 minimum on boot loops. However, maybe some of the SCARM Power Rangers could come up with a reversing loop that maintains the O-48 minimum.

Anyone up for the challenge?

There are a couple of brilliant track planners in this group;  I hope the challenge is met!

This design includes all the suggestions thus far, as I understand them.  Note the two added 1-3/4" pieces, shown in blue, move the center to center distance between the upper tracks to 5-3/4" (approx distance between roadbeds 2-1/4").  Tools-Settings-Tracks_Roadbed will reveal this in SCARM.

5x10 reverse w4 spurs

SCARM file attached.

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  • 5x10 reverse w4 spurs
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Last edited by SteveH

I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. I installed a simple O-48 loop inside the outer O-48 loop that has a ten inch track on the short ends. As you can see it is a tight fit. The photos show the clearances on the sides between the two loops. It’s far less than what I thought I would have. It probably makes linking these loops impractical.AC1CF1AE-D5B0-4281-AA8E-39AE49028846DB30E7AD-6CFB-4B8F-9586-86F5ABB9B483

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  • AC1CF1AE-D5B0-4281-AA8E-39AE49028846
  • DB30E7AD-6CFB-4B8F-9586-86F5ABB9B483

@Madockawando the pictures you posted look as if it may be possible to insert 1-3/4" pieces (shown in blue) into the short ends next to the 10" straights of the outer loop as @Mike0289 suggested and as shown in the most recent plan I posted above.  If this were possible, that plan may work to accomplish your stated goal.

Here is another possibility with a center to center distance of 4-3/4" and inside roadbed distance of ~1-1/4", using two 4.5"s and one 1.75" straights on the ends.

5x10 reverse w4 spurs_Alt2

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  • 5x10 reverse w4 spurs_Alt2
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Last edited by SteveH

@SteveH I would also like to had that the more I study your plan, the more I see that this one of the best uses of a relatively small space I have seen.  I like that you have a reversing loop, sidings, long straight runs and yet, it has a simplicity and elegance (for lack of a better term) that is very appealing. And with the O-48 curves it can run most anything.

Last edited by Madockawando

@SteveH ... I have never used the O-72 Fasttrack switches before: . Is it necessary to use the curve extensions? ...

Thank you Madockawando and @Mike0289 for the kind words.

To answer the question about O-72 switches, no it's not necessary if you are willing to trim back part of the roadbed of the adjoining pieces to fit into the switches.  Using the 1-3/8" fitter pieces allows everything to go together without cutting.  These fitter pieces also have the added advantage of removable jumper wires underneath that allow one to create an electrical break in the center rail for making an isolated block section.  From the factory, each switch comes with two 1-3/8" half roadbed pieces (shown below) and one 1-3/8" no roadbed piece (used for joining the divergent ends back to back of O-60 and O-72 switches).

O72

O-72 Switch end

Note that the bottom cover plate has been removed from the one pictured above.

O-72 Wye switches also benefit from using the included fitter pieces.

O-72 Wye

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  • O-72 Switch end
  • O72
  • O-72 Wye

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