Which switch to buy?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by XavierJ123, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    :confused: How does one know which Peco code 100 switch to order? I have no idea if I will need a small, medium or large radius. Streamlined or curved? Short or long crossing? And does the switch come with everything that you need or do you have to buy attachments separate? :confused: Sorry, but I couldn't find a thread on this subject.
  2. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Xavier - Peco have sheets of Full-size turnout plans for all their track. You can photocopy them at full size and cut them out to see if they fit. I have all the HO code 100 ones . You can get them direct from Peco if you are in UK, or email me. If you have XTrkCad you can print them out at 1:1 size.
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
    chacmool at lineone dot net
  3. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Your layout should determine what you use. I can't say how complete they are, but if they're like N scale, you should be able to buy them with or without solidoids.
  4. beevee

    beevee New Member

    They come as either live or dead frogs which will affect your wiring. They do not have point motors with them, they have to be bought seperately. The one good thing is that they spring over to the selected route and are held there so you can use a variety of mechanisms to make them work, including digital (ie finger).

    Code 100 track is European style sleepers (ties) and spacings. If you want US pattern ties go for their Code 83 track.

    Its all good stuff I have used it for years here in the UK.
  5. chapmon

    chapmon Member

    Check out the site for Loy's Toys. He has a lot of the measurements you need to determine proper sizing.
  6. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    Peco switches

    Beevee, will the code 83 switch be compatible with my code 100 track? It would seem that there would be a height difference. I read somewhere that after the track and switch is ballasted, it is hard to tell the difference in the UK track spacing compared to the US spacing. I have considered just having three separate independent track loops and not using switches at all because of the problems that can sometime arise from their incorporation; but it would be nice to have more cars and locomotives sitting on the sidelines. I have had a 25 year hiatus from the hobby and I seem to remember a lot of switch problems. I read where Peco was expensive but the best. I hate to make decisions like this.
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    As far as I know, the only Code 83 track that is compatible with Code 100 using just a (special) railjoiner is Atlas. That is because they made the ties thicker on the Code 83 track, so the overall height comes out the same.

    However, virtually all track in the same scale is compatible/usable with all other track. We routinely use Peco switches with Atlas track (different manufacturers), and lots of guys transisition from Code 100 (main line) to Code 83 (branchline).

    There is no reason you cannot use Code 83 switches with Code 100 track. You may have to shim/cut/adjust as necessary, but as you note there will not be much visible difference after you are done.

  8. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Xavier - Coide 83 and code 100 can be joined, but you will need to bend the railjoiners so that they match for height

    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  9. beevee

    beevee New Member

    I think your question to me has been answered by others, and there is nothing to add to what they have said, although some of the info has been useful to me as well !
  10. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    Chapmon: I called Loy's Toys long distance in Arkansas and spoke with Fred who was kind enough to offer mailing the templates if I mailed him a self-addressed stamped 8 X 11 manila envelope. I think that will work. Can't you just see me now on the basement floor with a track plan drawn on some paper drop cloth moving the templates here and yonder. Oops, it's been raining cats and dogs here in Kentucky and my basement leaks.
  11. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Xavier: The Peco short radius turnouts are about 24" radius and the medium are about 36".
    They don't come with any switch machines, but they can be bought separately. The finger throw method works well if you can reach them.
    I would use the code 100. I don't feel the improved appearance of the code 83 is worth the hassle (at this point.) I've gone to the code 75 track for all my future purchases.
  12. beevee

    beevee New Member

    Like Flying Scotsman I also opted for Code 75 track and points. I am just starting a small layout based on Chilean Railways in the Atacama Desert.

    I suppose the bottom line is what you are looking for. Code 100 is a good all round track, code 83 is American style tie spacings, and code 75 gives the appearance of more lightweight trackwork, which is what I am after.

    Take your choice, but Peco offers a full range in all sizes and has a universal good reputation.
  13. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    To transition from Code 83 to Code 100 is very simple - provided you know a little trick of the trade. Before you install your rail joiner, take an Atlas snap saw, or other metal cutting saw. Halfway along the rail joiner, cut the two sides that are folded up (these are the sides that will slide along the side of the two rails). Make sure you don't cut the bottom metal strip!

    Slide a pair of these modified rail joiners onto both pieces of rail (or switch). The Code 83 rail will be 0.0017" below the top of the Code 100 rail (0.0100 - 0.0083 = 0.0017) (I've probably got the decimal point in the wrong place.)

    Slide a piece of shim (a file, some styrene, a tie, etc) under the Code 83 rail. Gently press down on the Code 100 rail until the top of the Code 100 and Code 83 rails are level with each other. Solder the rail joiner and rail.

    Bob M.

    PS - If you use Atlas or Peco rail joiners, you will find that they are quite long. Simply cut off about 1/3rd of the rail joiner with your snap saw. Slide a piece of rail into the rail joiner and file off any rough edges.

    Attached Files:

  14. vk4bcp

    vk4bcp New Member

    Peco Sheets

    How can I obtain these sheets of full size turnouts from Peco. I am also using HO Code 100. I have XTrkCad, but cannot find the sheets. My email address is vk4bcp@optusnet.com.au


  15. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    If I remember correctly from our experiments with Peco turnouts in the modular club, Peco shorts are roughly a #4-#5, Peco mediums are roughly equivalent to #6 and Peco longs are @ #8. Also for anyone wanting to join code 83 to code 100 rail, an easy method is to trim down a small piece of .015" brass shim stock to fit inside the joiner under the code 83 rail. Solder the shim to the bottom of the code 83 rails, and then use a code 100 rail joiner. You will need to "dress" the rail with a file to make it fit the joiner, but the code 100 joiner with a shim installed is much stronger than the code 83-code 100 adapter joiners.
  16. logicman

    logicman Greybeard

    Peco UK web site, peco-uk.com, will be posting these soon for download.

    UK 00 is simply 1:76 scale on HO gauge track, so Peco track is a 'one-size-fits-all' solution.


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