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I think the new O-100's  work great, actually their not so new now. The old regular Gargraves have some issues with large steam locomotives such as a SP GS4 or any of the scale 3rail Northerns or Mountains.  I don't think Gargraves ever gave an official radius or diameter of those switches which were approximately O-72. They have been around since the sixties I must have sixty of those and they work fine with "toy scale" locomotives and most diesels. Still usefull in yards and city scapes. But to the point I think the new O-100 are fine and if I ever get my basement cleared out have about 30 of them and plan to use them exclusively on mainlines. Back in the eighties after my divorce my layout ended up over in my brothers basement at some point we tore it apart and built an around the wall layout with the track but in the late eighties when lionel came out with the Reading T1 and the NYC Mohawk they had trouble going through the old Gargraves swiches so when the O-100 came out in the 90s we swapped the old switches out for the new O-100s.          j

Last edited by JohnActon

thanks john, thats one thumbs up. everyone just to be clear I know the old ones had issues. I will be buying brand new 072 and 0100 for my layout and some 042 for sidings. seems the prices are just right and I actually have 3 manual 042 switches and one 072 manual switch. these are of the new variety. I am going to get some straight track and try various configurations on a plywood scrap board and see how they perform this weekend maybe.


Last edited by Lionelzwl2012

In my past 3-rail experiment I switched to GarGraves exclusively. I had older and newer GarGraves. Mechanically, they're great. No derailment issues, etc. (Note: I ran mostly traditional sized engines.) I also loved their sectional track w/plastic ties. 

If/when I do another 3-rail layout, I will not hesitate to return to GarGraves.

GarGraves offers a good line of track products.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that used some 042's as crossovers to an industrial spur. Both can be seen on the track to the left in this photo. No issues.

Picture2 055a



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Last edited by laming

wow, thanks guys for the great input. I did a layout search on youtube today with track layouts using gargraves switches and liked what I saw.

I am planning a big layout and while I currently am using fastrack and while I like fastrack and it has been bullet proof. I feel the amount of track and switches needed for my next and finall layout would cost too much using fastrack. that when I remembered gargraves. I had forgoten about them. why I do not know. 

so armed with this info I think I will use ross on the mainlines and gargraves manuals on the siding tracks. using the gargraves on the sidings will sure cut down the track switch cost and using ross on the mains means bullit proof main line running and crossovers. I am planing a modular 3 foot deep island design. more like the HO guys do things. only the railroad will be represented with lots of switching and nice staging yards.

I want operation not loop running. so when I have all my engines I need to represent my railroad roster. I then will start getting the track plan together and roughed out. that is once I get the space I need for my layout. for now though I am going to by some gargraves remote switches to make a small test set up. and see how that goes. as we all know good track is key to a great layout. 

This will be my finnal and biggest layout yet. I have been accumulating lots of knowledge and tips not to mention engines, accessories and rolling stock over the last 20 years now. this should keep me busy when I finnaly do my last move and retire. that is if the world is not in total kaos by then. 


I have DZ-1000 machines on most of my switches and I still have a few NJI machines.  The only problems I have had with the DZ-1000 machines were caused by the way I use (or misuse) them.  The NJI machines use more power than the DZ-1000s so if I have a DZ-1000 and an NJI wired in parallel (for a passing siding), the DZ-1000 doesn’t always work.  Exceeding the DZ-1000 voltage rating can cause them to come apart, but that can generally be repaired.

I don’t have any DZ-2500 machines, but from what I read, they are slower speed and easier to set up for remote (TMCC/DCS) operation.

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