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On my current layout design, which I am actually getting ready to order the first batch of track for. In the current design, I use two #4 switches to do a crossover (I have two sets of these). Ross on their website seems to indicate using the 11 degree switch or the #6, both of which would require some tinkering with the design (not hard, just some more tinkering).

Can I get away with this (I won't be running the really huge scale engines, the only one I have is a Williams Brass hudson), or am I courting trouble and should redesign to the 11 degree or the #6?

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If you dont have room, its still better than a pair of back to back O72s, but using something with a larger radius would be better. Yes huge equipment factors in, but so does the speed you're running through them.  I'd print out a pair of Ross templates for Regulars and see what you can do. The Ross version of a #5 is a bit of a fudge, its designed to fit in the space of a Gargraves O100 switch.  It is much shorter than an actual #5 and doesnt take up more space than a #4 would. A #6 crossover is going to need much more real estate, but I think its worth it to get the Ross Regulars in there.

Last edited by Boilermaker1

My two loops at one end don't have much room, so I used the #4 switches for the crossover.  They work fine, but obviously stuff like the Challenger or Big Boy sure look funny going between the two tracks!   I actually cut these down on the thru path a bit to fit them into the straight section, the curves start right after the switches.  I added a length of track between them as I wanted more space between the tracks, which is also why I had to cut down the long end.  The length of track between them also does smooth the transition and resultant S-curve a bit.

I have to trim the roadbed yet, I'll get to it one of these days.

#4 Crossover

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  • #4 Crossover
Last edited by gunrunnerjohn

Thanks, guys, with some cursing using Railmodeller pro, was able to reconfigure to use #6's. The trick was replacing an 072 with a #11 on a diverging route right after the crossover and using the mysterious center return curve piece for the  #11, allowed the substitution, took a lot of trial and error. I suspect there is going to be some fun cutting and fitting, but that is the fun part....I hope.....*lol*. 

"using the mysterious center return curve piece for the  #11"

You mean the TR35? Thats not a mystery item... its a ross stocked item. Used em many times.   Its basically just the curved leg of a switch in the form of a track. I think they come in 3.5, 4 and 4.5" offsets. If you need more, just add straight.

Ross track is extremely easy to modify. You can pull the spikes out and splice different tracks together fairly easily without leaving 100 joints in your track work. Just make sure you buy spikes from Ross if you're going to do that. The staples from machine assembly come out, but dont go back in well. Steve sells pointy ended spikes to put back in.  A lifetime supply bag is pretty cheap.

To ease up crowding of a crossover up against a curve,  instead of two #4or #6 regular switches,

Consider using something like an 072" Ross switch as the last piece of curve track and feed the tangent side into a number switch.

Or a curved switch coming out of a curve to feed a number switch.

Or two curved switches to accomplish the crossover totally within the curves of both circles.

Or a pair of 072, a right and left or opposite with the tangent feeding the curve.

Curved switches can be a real track plan life saver.

In either event it can be easier to start the installation by setting the switches in place and configuring the curves according to the position that the turnouts would provide without fudging.

I have to agree with Tom on some of these points.  I have several places where I used a curved switch in those situations as the numbered switches didn't work well.  In the places I used the #4 switches it was because I had two concentric loops so a curved switch wouldn't have fit in to do the crossovers in that case.

I spent a lot of time with the track planning package trying to see what would fit where.  Even with that, I still had to make a number of modifications on the fly when it came time to actually put track down.

It's all in the fun of the game.

Boilermaker, I said mysterious simply because this is the first time I am working with Ross track and spotted that in the track list in rail modeler by accident, and it worked for what i needed, after struggling with trying to find the right way to connect into the existing plan. It is where having a program is huge, let me do the what if stuff. Also appreciate the tip about the spikes, that likely will save me a lot of grief,I will have cutting to do to make this plan work, so removing ties/resetting them is likely. I prob could of designed a layout where the track is all stock length, but where is the fun in that? I look at this as a learning experience, I am going to experience a 40 year gap in all of this, plus hopefully I have a better grasp of why it is important to do neat, labelled, color coded wiring).

Tom and John, yeah, curved switches can do miracles, I have at least one of them and it solved a problem I had with one of the paths on my setup. It is nice to have the flexibility that Ross gives with all their offerings.

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