Double crossover

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by winger, Oct 5, 2008.

  1. winger

    winger New Member

    I am still trying to design my first layout and I don't know what some of the terms mean. I have two parallel tracks that I would like to join so that the train could be made to go straight on each track or cross from one to the other. Is this what a double crossover does?

  2. 1218classa

    1218classa New Member

    That's correct, winger.
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Well, if you do it once, it's a single crossover. That is, you can only cross over from one track to the other going one direction. If you want to go from one track to the other in either direction, that's a double crossover.

    Attached Files:

  4. seanm

    seanm Member

    ... and if you have the length, two single crossovers back to back does the same as a double cross with the advantge of a run around for switching.
  5. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    The double crossover with a diamond is very rare in North America, generally only being used in passenger terminals where space is/was at a premium. Almost every "double crossover" on the continent, and certainly every one I've seen myself, makes use of two single crossovers placed next to each other. There is much less to go wrong that way without yet another diamond to maintain.
  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    True, but it's quite common in model railroading, since we're usually much more constrained by space than the prototype.

    Glancing at the Walthers catalog, Kato, Peco, Shinohara and Walthers all offer the scissors-type double crossover as a single unit.
  7. winger

    winger New Member

    I assume the diamond referred to is the center section of SquidBait's double crossing diagram, however, on the Peco link they are talking about electrically live frogs. What are these?

  8. thumsup

    thumsup Member

    :confused:got that? I didn't:cry:sign1sign1sign1
  9. winger

    winger New Member

    Hi thumbsup.

    What didn't you get?

  10. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    This article from Model Railroader explains it pretty well... better than I could, anyways.
  11. thumsup

    thumsup Member

    Hey Winger,

    Squidbait and railohio have been around, they appear to be very
    knowledgeable. I might add they have helpled many people here.
    I'm just lost and confused regarding railroads.:eek:
    But I'm having fun reading and learning as I go along.
    I did figure out the diamond thing. What does it do and why is it
    a problem for the railroads? There I asked!sign1:cry::eek:
  12. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The diamond is indeed the "diamond" shaped part in the middle of the double cross over, above. While not always diamond shaped (tracks at 90* to each other make a square), the function is always to allow one set of tracks to cross another.

    They are a "problem" for the railroads in that they take a lot of pounding from the trains. Since there are gaps to cross (the flangeways from the other set of tracks) the wheels drop ever so slightly, pounding the end of the rail, deforming it, and weakening along any welded joints. Eventually, they need replacing.

    Since the real railroads have a lot of room (most places) they tend to avoid them, as noted above. In (passenger) yards, trains are travelling much slower so the wear is not so bad. They will still be found where different RRs have to cross each other. Who does the maintenance there is subject to agreement between the roads in question.

  13. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    But in a tighter space, it would look incredibly neat on a layout! Won't be hardly anyone else around who's got one on theirs! :thumb:
  14. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    You can also build your own....if so inclined. ;-)

  15. thumsup

    thumsup Member

    tetters, nice job.:thumb:
    Did you use a commercially available jig?
    Where would I start to find the info to construct my own turn outs>

  16. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    WoW Tetters.....That is an awesome piece of work...!!! I tried my hand at a crossing some years back and after several days of cussin' & swearin' I just gave up....

    Wish I had your talent/patience....:cry:
  17. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I should clarify, that is in HO scale.

    You can by commercially available jigs from Fast Tracks at They are not cheap, however once you own the jig, and frog point filing tool you own it for life.

    However I built mine without the use of the jig, by using some simple methods and a paper template printed off of the Fast Tracks site. You can see my progress on this little project here in this thread.

    Hope this helps. :thumb:

    Also, I don't mean to hijack this thread. If you want more info just shoot me a pm. My apologies to the original poster. :wave:
  18. thumsup

    thumsup Member

    Thanks to winger for the thread:mrgreen:
    and to tetters for the info.

  19. winger

    winger New Member

    No apology needed! I thank you all. You folks have answered my questions and everything else is gravy. I learned a lot from the postings and the links provided.

  20. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    If one is into continuous running (guilty) notice that a double crossover allows a single train to completely traverse both the inner and outer loops without changing any switches. Two single back-to-back crossovers do not.
    Just FWIW:mrgreen:

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