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Thread: Flange-ways in our Turnouts

  1. #31
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    To be clear, my only interest in this conversation is because of the jostling of the locomotives and cars on my layout as they pass through some of the turn-out frogs on my layout. I am not having derailment problems with these turn-outs. The action of the cars and locos is similar to a car hitting a pothole. This is happening because the wheels fall off of the rail head into the bottom of the flange-way, generally .020 below where the flange of the wheel normally rides. On full scale railroads the tread of the wheel never leaves a railhead so falling into the flange-way never occurs. However, because of the build up of tolerances and how turn-out frogs are made for model railroad track, the flange-way (at least for Atlas turn-outs) is much larger than it needs to be. Adding a .020 thick shim to the base of the flange-ways on my Atlas Custom line turn-outs will cure this problem. I know this because I have experimented with doing so. I use plastic shims and there is no worries about electrical shorting. However electrical continuity is lost for the very short time the driver or diesel drive wheels are in the bottom of the flange-way.

    So, for me this issue is only about an unrealistic lurch my cars and locos make when crossing some of my Atlas Custom Line Turn-out frogs.

    Atlas Code 100 track and turn-outs may not be the best products on the market. However, they can be made much better with some extra work. At the time most of my track was laid, Atlas was still in the mainstream, Code 83 was coming on; but, much more expensive!
    Last edited by NP2626; 02-10-2018 at 05:11 AM.
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  2. #32
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    Looking at the turnout afterward, I would say it's wear on the sides of the rails, allowing the wheels to wander off course, so falling into the flangeway is the probable result. The tracks get used for all sorts of different rolling stock scales. If it will run on code 100 HO, it does. It would be interesting to compare Code 100's gaps between stock rails and frogs etc, with the smaller codes. I suspect they would be narrower, in anticipation of narrower wheel treads being used. If wheels are correctly gauged and check/guard/frog rails are correctly placed to prevent excess side movement of the wheels, then the depth of the flangeway, if deep, shouldn't matter. Not deep enough, yes, if the flanges can make contact. If the wheels can't leave the inside edge of the rail it's traversing, then it shouldn't fall into the flangeway.

    The main thing I think that caused my little excursions would be wear on the point of the frog, allowing the gap between it and the stock rail the wheels were aiming at to get to be too far away, combined with too wide a gap between the opposing guard and stock rails controlling sideways movement of the axle. Too an extent, it's the fault of using too wide of wheel treads on most of the production rolling stock. If we were to use the narrower tread profiles, we would be forced to make sure our wheel guaging was accurate. Then we could also make sure that the gaps between rails and guard rails was narrower, thereby eliminating side to side oscillation of the cars. We could still do that anyway, even though the treads may be wide, doesn't matter if they overhang the outside of the rails, does it?
    CONVICTED SERIAL KIDDER

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  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tootnkumin View Post
    ... We could still do that anyway, even though the treads may be wide, doesn't matter if they overhang the outside of the rails, does it?
    Interesting observation, Toot! I learned one of the "down sides" of wide wheel treads the hard way ~15 years ago, after I laid track for my steel mill. I wanted it to look the way it did in prototype mills, i.e., rails sticking out of the dirt. So I embedded my track in tile grout and made sure the grooves were deep enough on the inside edges. I totally forgot about the extra-wide wheels treads, and when I test-ran an SW7 on it...ouch! It stalled out every 4-6 inches!



    I wound up having to gouge-out little depressions along all the outside rail edges to ensure the loco wheels would always make contact. Lesson learned!
    - keN in Maryland

  4. #34
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    You don't want anything near the rail standing proud of the railhead.
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  5. #35
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    When they resealed (tarseal) the grade crossing not far from where I live, they just ran it almost level with the tracks and allowed the weight of the passing trains to cut the grooves for the flanges. 'fraid our trains don't pack that sort of "heft" to allow that.
    CONVICTED SERIAL KIDDER

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  6. #36
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    I have just scanned to NMRA RPs for the depth of the flange-way of the frog and could not find any reference to this dimension. Does anyone have any information on what this should be and if so, where did you find a reference to this dimension? I looked through RP-12, RP-12.x TN-12 and all of RP-13.
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by NP2626 View Post
    I have just scanned to NMRA RPs for the depth of the flange-way of the frog and could not find any reference to this dimension. Does anyone have any information on what this should be and if so, where did you find a reference to this dimension? I looked through RP-12, RP-12.x TN-12 and all of RP-13.
    Did you check S-3.2?

    Frederick

  8. #38
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    Frederick, NMRA S-3.2 does describe how deep the frog flange-way should be, .025.

    My study of what I found with my Code 100 Atlas Custom Line Turnouts has been brought forward here:

    "My findings for the flange-way depth of some of the turnouts on my layout are as follows: For Atlas Code 100 Custom Line Turnouts I found by checking 11 turnouts that the depth of the flange-way of the frogs varied between .044 to .050 in depth. I measured one Atlas snap switch, with a plastic frog at .056 deep. My Shinohara Double (Scissors) Cross Over had 8 frogs on it and all measured .060 deep. So, what does this mean? Without knowing the depth of the flanges on my locomotives and rolling stock, nothing!

    So the next step will be to take some measurements of flange depths."

    I also thought I would bring forward what I found as far as Flange Depth of my wheels were:

    "I took 16 readings off of various manufactured wheel sets and found the flange depths to be consistently around .025 deep. Variation ran from .024 to .030, however, the .030 reading was taken from a Varney Docksider (Little Joe) which is possibly older than 60 years. So RP-25 is older than July of 2009, the latest revision".

    ​Obviously Atlas Code 100 Custom Line Turnouts are not compliant with NMRA RP S-3.2
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

  9. #39
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    Default Depth of Flangeways

    I think by now we find that most commerically built turnouts are a bit deep for our modern American models with small flanges as found on RP25 wheels.

    But in general the depth of the flangeways does NOT seem to be as important as width of the flangeways at the outer guard rails. and the inner wing rails of the frog. And this is particularly true if we are running the wider wheels rather than those skinny scale wheels.

    Personally give me the wider wheels (with the small scale looking flanges), for the most trouble free running.

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by beiland View Post
    I think by now we find that most commerically built turnouts are a bit deep for our modern American models with small flanges as found on RP25 wheels.

    But in general the depth of the flangeways does NOT seem to be as important as width of the flangeways at the outer guard rails. and the inner wing rails of the frog. And this is particularly true if we are running the wider wheels rather than those skinny scale wheels.

    Personally give me the wider wheels (with the small scale looking flanges), for the most trouble free running.
    I pretty much agree with you about the Code 110 wheel sets. While trying various wheel set manufacturers goods, I purchased some Reboxx Wheel-Sets from ModelTrainStuff. The wheel width was not described for Reboxx Wheel-Sets at MTS. I assumed they would be Code 110. They where not! All Reboxx Wheel-Sets are Code 88 per RP-25. I have used these Reboxx wheels and found they seem to work O.K. However, I have more confidence in the Code 110 Wheel-Sets.
    Mark D.

    Opinions given are my own and not meant to ruffle any feathers.
    Northern Pacific, really terrific!

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