Re: Which Peco Turnout?

Marcus Ammann

Hi Bill and All

"Which Peco" depends on what sort of locos are in your Roster.

I've been building my dream layout now for 20 years and wanted/chose Peco
Electrofrogs due to the small "Frog" area because I operate some small Tank
Steam locos and a fleet of 4-6-0 Tender Steam (no Tender Pick Ups) where
essentially these locos have 0-6-0 "electrical" pick up.

This 0-6-0 arrangement makes the electrical foot print very small, combined
with the loco dropping into the Gap as it negotiates the Turnout, at low
speed, choosing Electrofrogs reduced these "stalls".

Whenever I could not purchase an Electrofrog, I purchased an Insulfrog. My
larger steam locos, ones that I've added extra pick ups and ALL my all wheel
pick up Diesels, do not stop/stall on when operating slowly.

Recently I installed some TCS KA2 Keep Alives in some of my problematic
locos including the C30 Steam loco, one of the small locos mentioned above.
It was a tight squeeze including a Micro Tsunami and speaker but it now
negotiates Insulfrogs easily.

I am adding ballast to my layout and have be progressively making my
Turnouts "trouble free" by adding the Jumpers to the Point and Stock Rails
and isolating the Electrofrog Frogs by cutting the rails around the Frog as
per Allan's pages here on Turnouts. This creates a 45 to 50 mm dead section
and in most cases this would be powered by the Tortoise etc Turnout Motors,
not a biggie but extra expense and what I find harder to find now days, is

For more details see the bottom of my "alive" page at:

I have a double deck layout where operators follow their loco/train around
the layout. They set their "road" accordingly by "digital" - that is using
their Finger. Most of my Turnouts are manually operated.

Now to the reason for this message.

Bill if you are using all wheel pick Diesels and longer Steam locos, these
have a much longer "Electrical Foot Print" so you can use the longer dead
section Insulfrogs. These are more easily modified, no Frog to worry about,
just add the "Jumpers".

I am adding "Gosford (NSW Australia) to my layout where each train heading
to /from Sydney, had a loco change (lots of slow swithing/shunting) and I am
installing Peco Insulfrogs.

So it depends on your loco fleet.

Small locos - use Electofrogs but extra hardware is required.

All wheel pick up locos that include most of the later model on the market
these days, I'd use Insulfrogs, no need for the extra time/cost for switches

If you are intending on installing Tortoises on all your Turnouts, then

So there are a few things to consider.

But this just my own opinion.


-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of Vollrath, Don
Sent: Wednesday, 23 October 2013 7:43 AM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: RE: [WiringForDCC] Re: Which Peco Turnout?

1) Use the ElectroFrog turnouts. 2) Install with insulated joiners on each
of the frog rails. 3) Feed DCC power to each of the stock rails. 4) Add a
frog Juicer to provide polarity corrected power to all frog and point rails.
See 5) there should be no need to cut
and isolate the point rails... correct wheel gauge or fix your oversized
wheel flanges instead. See also

If you don't want to do 4) at least drop down a frog wire so you can do it
later or add a supplementary mechanical switch that flips the polarity when
the throwbar is in mid throw..


-----Original Message-----
From: WiringForDCC@... [mailto:WiringForDCC@...] On
Behalf Of Robert Morrison
Sent: Tuesday, October 22, 2013 2:39 PM
To: WiringForDCC@...
Subject: [WiringForDCC] Re: Which Peco Turnout?

Please read the instructions that come with the InsulFrog turnouts.
They show an insulated joiner on one frog rail.
This will prevent a short if a wide tire wheel should make contact between
the two frog rails.
There is some plastic molded between those two rails, but the rails are so
close that some wheels bridge the gap and cause a short circuit.
I put insulated joiners on both frog rails. It is not painful, and insures
fewer problems.

Rob Morrison


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