Re: Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?

John Johnston <towboatjohnston@...>



My answer may or may not be applicable, depending on the brand in question.  I use PECO code 55 electrofrog turnouts, which strangely enough ALL have #6 frogs.  Small, Medium and Large turnouts have different diverging track curves and lengths.  I have found that all of my locos including 2-8-4s run smoothly through both small and medium turnouts (diverging curves 12” and 18” radius respectively.)


That’s the simple version.  The answer may vary with grade, as well as train length.  With the obvious exception of the 12” curve in the turnout itself, my minimum radius is 13 inches.  My passing sidings limit most trains to 22 cars but my 2-8-4 Kanawhas will pull about 30 cars up a 2.7% grade.  Going up a steep grade with more than 20 cars would cause the lead driver would hop the rail on only one curve, causing trouble at the next turnout. Going down, it ran through just fine. It WASN’T the turnout.  Closer examination showed that I had inadvertently laid the curve at 11 inches instead of 13.  Fixing the curve fixed the problem, but it may indicate that a small turnout could be pushing the envelope for a 2-8-4 pulling a heavy load.


The C&O didn’t normally run 2-10-4s on the James River line, so I don’t plan to allow for them.  USRA 2-8-8-2s seem to work just fine.


If you are using Atlas turnouts, or Peco code 80, the answers may be different.





From: <> On Behalf Of Charles Brumbelow via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, February 22, 2019 10:33 AM
Subject: Re: [w4dccqa] Track Voltage for N Scale Sound Decoders ?


Mark - Do your steam locomotives with 8 connected drivers need #8 or gentler turnouts/switches?

Thanks. Charles

On Friday, February 22, 2019, 2:20 AM, Mark Cartwright via Groups.Io <marcdecapri@...> wrote:


You might want to consider...Getting that 2-6-6-4 right away and begin to use it as one of your primary track testers....


Not a GP-7 which is one of the easiest locomotives to accommodate to any layout....Well almost.


If you are so inclined to longer steam locomotives one day.....

Actually I suggest something with a 10 in it..such as a 2-10-4 and then learn to run it not only on straights or gentle curves as a single unit but pulling an ever increasing length of train; upwards of what ever you and your layout feel comfortable with.

OVER every single Turnout on your layout.

For me that is 60 cars; not 158 which was my prototypical goal.


Except...when visiting someone else's layout.

Then ? Yes, it's time to find your best runner over any type of track or grade.

Several of my Kato/Atlas Diesels come to mind.


That is with one (fairly affordable) Steam at $150.


Kato (Japan) JNR C55 4-6-2 Pacific

Kato (Japan) JNR C55 4-6-2 Pacific


Especially their latest version. This model taught me many things about the general design and engineering of N Scale Locomotives; such as the use of Bearing Blocks on every single driver and the overall balance of a longitudinal array of motor, driving gears and flywheels. Along with simply the way a Tender should be electrified to the wheels.These work well with #6 or #8 Turnouts, with a 6 in the driver array. However, my 2-10-4's seem to prefer #10 or larger turnouts.

:)) Mark

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