I have nine Gargraves switches on the 4 x 8 layout I am creating for my for my grandson, five manual and four remote.

Short Back Story: Because the layout will stand vertically behind a cabinet, I could not use the manual Fastrack switches because the posts stick straight up and will be broken off the first time my daughter stands it vertically behind a cabinet.  That many Ross switches would have cost me a fortune so that left Gargraves.  The layout consists of an outer loop of Fastrack and an inner loop of Gargraves with some sidings of Gargraves straight track, Gargraves switches, and the curved ends of the loop are Menards tubular.  The curved ends of the loop are 031.  Couldn't bend the Gargraves flex track that tight (tried).

I am testing the layout as I go and the cars (especially passenger cars) derail consistently.  At the first outer rail switch point the wheel rides up on the point - outer rail combination (but only when the switch is preceded by a curve.  It is much worse with the tubular curved track than the Gargraves curved track (but those are 042 and the Menards are 031).  I have attached some photos and videos.

Thanks for the help.

John

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Last edited by Craftech
Original Post

What you are showing is a curve in one direction leading into a switch where the diverging track curves in the opposite direction... creating what is known as an "S" curve (because of its shape). This is bad practice in real life and in model form. Is there where the derailments are occurring, when the train takes the diverging route? If so, try putting a piece of straight track between the curve and the switch itself to create a more gentle bend.

I agree, track geometry is working against you.

This would be the ideal use for all FasTrack. Just remove the switch stands and put them away for later. The points throw easily w/o the stands by nature of their excellent non-derailing spring overthrow design.

@BenLMaggi posted:

What you are showing is a curve in one direction leading into a switch where the diverging track curves in the opposite direction... creating what is known as an "S" curve (because of its shape). This is bad practice in real life and in model form. Is there where the derailments are occurring, when the train takes the diverging route? If so, try putting a piece of straight track between the curve and the switch itself to create a more gentle bend.

No.  The diverging route isn't hooked up yet.  It is happening on the straight route.  When it enters the turnout, the wheel bumps up on the moveable point where it touches the outer rail creating a thicker obstacle for the wheel flange to clear.  Instead, the wheel flange hits the double thick point and rides up on it.

John

You could try filing down the corner of the point rail where the "double thickness" is that you are describing.

I agree, track geometry is working against you.

This would be the ideal use for all FasTrack. Just remove the switch stands and put them away for later. The points throw easily w/o the stands by nature of their excellent non-derailing spring overthrow design.

You mean get rid of all the Gargraves track and buy what I should have bought from the beginning including the track?

Neither my daughter nor my wife have any idea how much I have spent already on this project for my five year old grandson.   I got a lot of help with it in this long thread.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...five-year-old?page=1

I would like to get this to work if possible.  I have the kids trains for months now with a promise to build him a layout that can store in my daughter's apartment behind a cabinet.   I seem to be getting nowhere.

John

@BenLMaggi posted:

You could try filing down the corner of the point rail where the "double thickness" is that you are describing.

Can it be removed?

Thanks,

John

1. You could try gently bending the switch point towards the outer rail to minimize the thickness the wheel flange has to negotiate, but be forewarned. The switch points can be fragile and subject to breaking, so go slowly and carefully.

2. Have you tried other cars and engines  to see if they go through ?

@Craftech posted:

You mean get rid of all the Gargraves track and buy what I should have bought from the beginning including the track?

No no no... I thought you already had a stock of FasTrack the way you were describing it.

However, GarGraves does require a little bit more finesse to work with than a 5 y/o should need to deal with.

The root cause is your track geometry, coming off that curve and hitting the switch points like that is going to be an ongoing challenge with the cars picking the points and the transition from "O"(I would use O-27 in 34" or 42" diameters if 27 is too tight).

The derailment after the points is a tracking issue with the fast-angle wheelsets and can be minimized with extending, and perhaps shaping, the guard rail(s).  Doing so on the curve portions will help too.

No no no... I thought you already had a stock of FasTrack the way you were describing it.

However, GarGraves does require a little bit more finesse to work with than a 5 y/o should need to deal with.

The root cause is your track geometry, coming off that curve and hitting the switch points like that is going to be an ongoing challenge with the cars picking the points and the transition from "O"(I would use O-27 in 34" or 42" diameters if 27 is too tight).

The derailment after the points is a tracking issue with the fast-angle wheelsets and can be minimized with extending, and perhaps shaping, the guard rail(s).  Doing so on the curve portions will help too.

I have a lot of 036 Fastrack for the outer loop - no 031. After that thread I bought a lot of Gargraves switches.  The only remote ones are the four at the top that allow movement from the inner loop to the outer loop.  It looks different than this now, but look at the top.  On the inner loop the two 042 gargraves switches are further apart meeting the 031 Menards tubular track curves with no straight piece in between.  I did that because I added a second Gargraves 042 switch on the inner and outer Fastrack loop for better access.  So now it looks like (forgive the sloppy pencil work).

I suppose I could try adding the short straight inner loop pieces BACK IN so that instead of transitioning from the tubular curved ends DIRECTLY into the switches it enters a short straight piece of Gargraves track first and THEN goes into the switch.

John

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@Craftech posted:

I have a lot of 036 Fastrack for the outer loop - no 031. After that thread I bought a lot of Gargraves switches.  The only remote ones are the four at the top that allow movement from the inner loop to the outer loop.  It looks different than this now, but look at the top.  On the inner loop the two 042 gargraves switches are further apart meeting the 031 Menards tubular track curves with no straight piece in between.  I did that because I added a second Gargraves 042 switch on the inner and outer Fastrack loop for better access.  So now it looks like (forgive the sloppy pencil work).

I suppose I could try adding the short straight inner loop pieces BACK IN so that instead of transitioning from the tubular curved ends DIRECTLY into the switches it enters a short straight piece of Gargraves track first and THEN goes into the switch.

John

OK.  That helped.  I'll have to see how short I can get away with.  I cut a 9.25" piece of straight to test with which is way too long.

John

I'm currently working on a layout with no switches. I want to run trains and not keep putting them back on the track after they go through switches. Most people will say I'm nuts and it gets boring watching trains run in circle. However Lionel knew this years ago and that's why they had little to no switches on the big showroom layouts in the 50s. They needed the trains to run and run without problems. 99% of the time if a train is going to derail its on a switch. Make separate tracks put the trains on and let em go.

I found a solution.

Use short straight Gargraves custom cut transition pieces between curved tubular Menards track and

Gargraves turnout.

To make that all fit on the layout there can be no short piece between the Gargraves turnouts.  One has to attach to the other.  With Gargraves use of a plastic frog instead of an outer rail when the two turnouts face each other the plastic frogs end up eliminating TWO pins leaving only the center rail with a pin.

That means I will have to secure the turnouts in place lined up with only a single track pin.  But I guess I will do that since there doesn't seem to be any other solution.  The cars seem to navigate this setup pretty well when I roll them through by hand.

John

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