Question from a newbie

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Play-Doh, May 13, 2006.

  1. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Thats what I thought....why cant I find any remote switches made for a 22"?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Switches are not listed by the radius of the curved portion (possible exception-curved turnouts where both routes curve), but they are given a number based on the angle of the frog, ie #4, #6, #8, #10, etc. The only turnouts offered as "remote" ( I presume you mean with switch motors powered by a remote electrical switch) are the Atlas Snap switches and probably similar ones from other manufacturers. The Atlas Snap switches are @ a #4.5 that is slightly larger radius than a #4. You can get Atlas Customline switches in #4.5, #6, & #8 I think. The reason they don't include a switch machine with them is that modelers would rather buy them without the switch machine and use what ever their favorite type of switch machine would be. Some modelers like to use automotive style choke cables with a bell crank to operate switches manually from the fascia. Others like Tortoise slow motion switch machines. Some like twin coil machines like the Atlas snap switch has but made to mount under the table and operate the switch through a hole under the switch out of sight. Some modelers use Caboose Hobbies manual ground throws to operate turnouts, and some prefer the turnouts made by Peco that have an internal over center spring, so the turnout can be thrown by hand and the spring will hold it in whichever position it is thrown to. By the way, Peco switches are not listed by #s they are small medium and large, which I think correspond to #4, #6, & #8 but I'm not sure.
  3. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    Thanks for the help. The loco I FINALLY found will do 15" but im not even going near 18" so it should handle that. THanks for the help! And, after throwing away that little 18" piece I dont forsee it to be a problem....but, I guess I will know next week when I finally run it around the track.
    *crosses fingers*
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Not a problem. I think the diverging section of an Atlas snap switch is a transition into 18 inch radius rather than an actual 18 inch radius. If for some reason you do need it, Atlas sell 1/3 pieces of 18 inch radius Snap track in packages of 6 very cheap. By the way what loco did you finally get?
  5. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    From what I've seen the IHC steam locos are really nice runners in a low priced steam locomotive. My local hobby shop doesn't stock IHC because the company burned them a few years ago by selling them a bunch of 2-6-0 Moguls at "wholesale" when they first were introduced, and then selling them direct to consumers mail order at less than wholesale when they had too many left over. I wouldn't hesitate to buy an IHC steamer.
  7. Play-Doh

    Play-Doh Member

    You just put alot of my fears to rest....thank you. Its nice to have some answers. Ill make sure to fill you all in on how it runs! Thanks for all your help folks!

  8. Agamemnon

    Agamemnon Member

    I think the Pacific is an excellent choice, in that it gives you all the bigness and impressive looks of the golden age of steam without the necessity of having to plan your railroad around it. Also, the ability to run tighter curves than your design specs call for is always welcome when you want another hidden rail or a helix.
  9. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The 4-6-2 from IHC is a good choice. It is a good puller - mine can handle up to about 12 40' boxcars plus caboose on 2.5% grades and 18" radius curves. Since it only has 6 drivers, its relatively short rigid wheelbase handles snap switches without problems.

    The Pacific-type was "on the scene" from the early 1920's (when it was a spiffy new high-speed passenger engine) through to the end of steam (various freight duties).

  10. Agamemnon

    Agamemnon Member

    And it's not like the Pacific's a small engine, either. I've seen one* up close, and have to say it looks considerably more impressive IRL. All in all, I can't say I'm a big fan of the concept of getting the biggest imaginable locos for every track.

    *Well, it was a Finnish Hr1, looked like this:
  11. richhotrain

    richhotrain New Member

    The 4-8-2 works fine on 22 inch radius cause I used to run one on my old layout before re-doing the layout to handle 34 inch radius.

    As for ballasting, go ahead a lay down the ballast now, just don't cement it in place till you are sure that the trackwork is permanent.
  12. HarryHotspur

    HarryHotspur New Member

    Play-Doh -

    I'm a newbie too, so take what I say for what it's worth. I have found that many HO locos will run just fine around curves far less than the minimum recommended radius.

    For example, I have a Kato NW2 which runs beautifully around my 10" radius curves, even though the track is rather uneven. My 4-4-0 IHC does the same. My IHC 2-6-0 Mogul won't quite make it, but it does run as smooth as silk through 15" radius curves on a 4% grade. I estimate 12" curves would be its minimum.

    I realize this goes against the conventional wisdom, but I have found it possible to do more in a small space than I originally believed. On the other hand, any train will look better with as large a radius as possible.

    Good luck and have fun!

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