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I have recently started back 0n my trains layout.  Two questions I have on 022 switches please.  First, I am trying to use the switches as connectors between  outer and inner loops. Can I use the switches in a back to back configuration using the curved branch lines to connect the two. I have the insulating pins to keep them electrically divided. Will the trains be able to progress through the two switches smoothly?. The second question is how to physically connect the two. the track clips do not seem to work with the switches,  so can I use the holes in the switches to screw the switch to the platform to hold in place.  If I use a short straight track between the two switches i can not make the needed turns in the inner loop due to lack of space. Thanks for any help, it's neededIMG_20220128_133739160IMG_20220128_133759568


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Going from one loop to the other smoothly depends on the engine you are using. Short wheel base engines might stall (like an 0-4-0) but a regular 2-6-4, 4-4-2, etc or diesel set should be ok.  Of course factoring in length as well - A UP Big Boy will not make that trip.... Assuming you are using transformer control only, it is best to set both throttles to the same voltage level too so when you do go from one loop to the other you dont take off or halt unexpectedly.

I dont see a need to secure the switches if you have secured either loop around place they can really go at that point.

Have fun with your setup!

I have a total of four sets as you have described, back to back in my layout.

I have not had many problems at all with them, and it is a very common configuration for simple layouts..

However, if you run very short engines, with two rollers that are really close together, you can get a stall.   One cause is the two rollers simultaneously being on dead center rail sections,  and the other cause is that as the little engine rattles and jumps over the connections and frogs, one of the outside wheels on the hot outer rail can rise above the track, just a hair, and bring the engine to a stop.

For a novice like me, the first problem can't be cured (except by lashing a car behind the engine and having a roller on it for the center rail), but the second problem can be cured by removing the rubber tires on the engine and also meticulously leveling the track (which is not easy to do with back to back switches.)

If you try to run an old engine with just one roller underneath for the center rail, then you may be in for incurable stalls.

An annoying factor is the noise and jumping as small engines pass over the two switches, and the momentary "flashing" on an off of any light accessory in a car that has a single roller.

If you can avoid the configuration without totally gutting your layout, I would recommend that you do it. Even adding a two- inch straight section between the two switches may help.  If you can't, then avoid getting really small engines, and learn to ignore the rattling and flashing (as we did when we were kids.)

I have never run huge engines on my layout, like Big Boys, but others have said these will create big problems for you.


If you run a very short engine, with

I concur, Donnym, with all of the good advise you have received so far on this thread.

For about 25 years I have had, and still have, 2 independently powered and interconnected main line loops using 022 switch tracks, and they have worked well. Will post photos of the switches later.

Obviously, you want to take it slow going through the S curves made by the adjacent curved sections of the switches.

I have had occasional derailments, which is not a big deal for me.

The use of fiber pins, andkeeping the voltage approximately the same going from one loop to the other is very good advice. I also did not need to screw down the switch tracks. Arnold

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