Sulligent Layout

Discussion in 'Divisions' started by trainchaser007, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Would I need to taper the code 100 rail down to code 83 height at those particular 100/83 joints or do they make transition track?

    That's what I thought but I wasn't certain at all. If I understand "power routing" with electrified frogs correctly, the points send power to either track and kill power to the "other" track. If so, it seems as though I wouldn't need insulated rail joiners and power on/off switches for passing sidings because the turnouts themselves would determine which track is powered, and which tracks are not powered. Is that correct?
  2. Karl

    Karl 2008 Engineer of the Year Supporter

    That's the whole point. The joiners function like compromise bars on the prototype. Code 100 rail is inserted into one side of the joiner, and code 83 rail is inserted into the other side. The model joiner like the prototype compromise bar aligns the rail head and accounts for the difference in rail height. No tapering necessary.

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  3. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Thanks, Karl.
    In the meantime, I've been giving thought to including the Mississippian Railway interchange at Amory and the Brilliant Branch interchange at Winfield. There's room for industries on each side of each line. The Mississippian would provide a variety of freight opportunities and the Brilliant branch would allow me to use my collection of coal hoppers.
  4. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    With power routing, the polarity of the frog changes based on the route through the turnout. The points should be isolated from the frog and are connected to their adjacent stock rail. For DC or DCC the frog gets its power from single-pole double-throw switch of some sort that is moved when the turnout is thrown or for DCC the frog can get its power from a device like the frog juicer.

    I recommend doing some research using the internet so you can study this on your own.
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  5. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Do they require hard wiring or are they factory connected to their adjacent rails? I will definitely be researching electrified frogs and power routing.
  6. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Depending on the manufacturer, the points may need to be connected to the stock rails with some very fine wire at the pivot end, however this is a good practice as relying on the connections that exist in most turnouts is tenuous.
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  7. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I read some information on power routing. routing model railroading&f=true

    IF (big IF) I understood it all correctly, the electrical charge of the frog (and rails beyond the frog) is completely dependent upon the alignment of the points. Also (if I understood correctly), 2 powered (red) rails have the same effect as 2 common (black) rails. I have a few more questions...
    1. Aren't the insulated rail joiners only necessary to prevent short circuits when the turnouts at each end of any given track aren't aligned to the same route?
    2. How would I wire feeders to every section of rail where the electrical charge of the rail changes based on the points? The two rails that never change would be easy, but what about wiring feeders to the rails that DO change?
    3. Am I getting closer to understanding power routing or am I still way off?
    4. Here is a diagram I made with track planning software and MS Paint. Is it correct?
    power routing.GIF
  8. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    The best way is to have the frogs insulated from all other rail in the turnout. Then the power to the frog is routed based on the polarity it needs to be to prevent a short. The diagrams above reflect something far more difficult to control and is completely unnecessary if the frog is isolated.
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  9. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Keith, I don't question your expertise, but I have to ask, did you take into account that I'm still running a DC layout? The reason I ask is that, after reading your last reply, I googled "isolating a power routing frog" to find a diagram of what I need to do. My search led me to, "the site that coined the phrase, DCC friendly." Down the page and under the heading, "INFORMATION #2-15: What is power routing?," it reads,
    "Power routing was popular during the days of DC block control. (As if no one still runs DC block control. Whatever.) It was a way for using specially built turnouts to turn the power on or off to a siding or yard track automatically. For example, this allowed you to pull a train into a siding and have it stay there automatically when the turnout was thrown back to the main line. Generally, no additional switches or wiring was necessary. Given that DC block operations required control panels and lots of switches, you can see the appeal; especially where a yard was involved."
    I understand the need for isolating electrified frogs in DCC layouts where all tracks are powered all of the time, but for a simple DC layout, do I really need to isolate the frog, wire the frog to a polarity switch, and then STILL have to power each block with an on/off switch, -OR- can I simply wire feeders to the point end of each turnout on the main, and use the alignment of the points to power the selected route? For what it's worth, if I can use power routing as described above, I will make my layout exclusively of turnouts and flex track to eliminate as many joints as possible. I would also solder every joint to reduce resistance as much as possible. As long as power routing works "as advertised," I don't understand why my idea wouldn't work. If you do indeed believe my power routing plan won't work for DC, please let me know. Thanks.
  10. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Brandon, let's lay some ground work here, especially since you have indicated the possibility of converting to DCC at some point in time.

    I used the phrase "power routing" referring to what needs to happen to the electrical polarity of the frog, not as a selection of what section of track might be powered.
    Your illustrations in post #67 show the use of the turnout points to select the power polarity of rails based on turnout position, but the turnouts at opposite ends of a siding have to be aligned the same otherwise a short will occur as soon as a locomotive crosses the insulated joints or a metal wheel on a car fills the gap at the insulated joints. Therefore most all commercially made turnouts are built using the logic that follows.

    The following apply for reliable operation on DC or DCC.

    1) You should not rely on the points of a turnout to provide power to any track.
    2) The points of the turnout should be connected electrically to their adjacent stock rail.
    2) The frog needs to be isolated (or insulated) from the rest of the rails in the turnout to simplify overall wiring of the turnout. Some manufacturers make insulated frog turnouts, but they present the issue that you have previously mentioned about short wheelbase locomotives stalling in turnouts. Isolated frogs usually have some way to connected a wire to them to selectively change the polarity of the frog based on turnout position.
    3) An isolated frog will most likely cause a locomotive with a short wheelbase and two-axle trucks to stall when passing across it. Thus, in the interest of reliable operation, one should want to provide a method of selecting the correct polarity of the frog based on turnout position.
    4) To prevent problems with expansion/contraction due to temperature or humidity changes, do not solder rail joiners except on curves. If no gap is left at rail joints for contraction of the road bed and no way of allowing for rail movement, you will have kinks develop in the track as temperature increases or humidity decreases.

    You have no reverse loops in your track so there is no need to compensate for that, but since you are starting in DC, if you want more than one locomotive on the rails at any time, you will need some way (a single pole, single throw switch (or switches) to interrupt power to a section (or sections) of rail where you can park a locomotive that is not in use.
    trainchaser007 likes this.
  11. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Thanks, Keith. That's not the answer I was hoping for, but I understand exactly what you're telling me to do. :cry: I already wire isolated tracks with on/off switches. Isolating and wiring the frog is even more work, but I'm going to do it to avoid stalls on plastic frogs.
    1. Does anyone manufacture a commercially available turnout with an isolated metal frog, or do all electrified frogs have to be isolated by hand?
    2. How do you toggle the polarity of the frog? Do you use another electrical switch or what?
    3. If the points are supposed to supply power to routes solely via contact with the appropriate stock rails, what makes the points unreliable conductors? Just curious.
    My straights are not soldered like I thought earlier. That was on my last layout (the shorter one with 3 oval tracks). On my current layout (longer and only one oval with a passing sidings and some industrial stub sidings), I only soldered the joints in the curves. Soldering straights on the last layout caused slight curves in my long straights like you described.
  12. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    First, plastic frogs can't be powered and that is why locomotives will stall on them. They are undesirable. There is much more at play here.
    1) Most manufacturers have isolated metal frog turnouts available; Atlas Mark IV and Custom Line, Peco Electrofrog (with a simple cut of jumpers), Walther's DCC Friendly, to name a few. These are desirable for DC and/or DCC. Take a look at
    2) The polarity of the frog can be controlled with micro switch that is contacted by the turnout throwbar or by a switch that controls the movement of the turnout (take a look at Blue Point Switch Machines) or something similar.
    3) What makes the points an unreliable power routing solution is that the electrical contacts happened at the end of the points and the stock rails. A mechanism that would ensure reliable electrical contact would make the points more difficult to throw; there has to be significant spring pressure to make a good electrical connection.

    Brandon, I am trying to summarize what years of reading and training on electricity and electronics has taught me, along with years of reading about model railroad electrical systems, and the experiences of long-time model railroading (DC, CTC-16, CTC-80 and DCC) friends of mine have shared

    I hope you understand I want you to choose wisely and plan for a fulfilling experience as well as build for the future; crossing over to DCC as you grow in the hobby. Unfortunately, you do not have the benefit of a great multitude of modelers that are geographically close to you so you can see and experience first hand what I am trying to teach you.
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2016
  13. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I recently discovered a track planning software called AnyRail ( Unlike Altas Track Planning Software, AnyRail gives users many options to mix and match from various manufactures. Even though the demo limits users to 50 pieces, I was able to use the demo to experiment and try out Peco code 100 SL-E87 curved turnouts with Atlas code 100 track to see if the Peco curved turnouts would fit in my track plan. They WILL!!! What I came up with is basically the same dog bone design as in post #63, but with the Peco code 100 curved turnouts instead of the Atlas code 83 curved turnouts. It seems like I will be able to do everything I've been wanting to do:
    1. Recycle my code 100 track without using code 83 Atlas Customline curved turnouts. (I really didn't want to switch back and forth between code 100 and code 83 or have to start all over with code 83.)
    2. Use Peco turnouts since I love the way their center springs hold their points up against the stock rails.
    3. Maintain a minimum of 22" curves on the main.
    4. Have sidings with minimum curves of 18."
    5. Have sidings with minimum curves of 15."
    6. Make all of my sidings as long as possible without getting any closer to the double track curves going into "Sulligent." I wanted to separate the dog bone scenes from the "Sulligent" scene as much as possible by putting some distance (36"-long, parallel curves) out past each end of town.
    7. Represent the interchange with the Mississippian in "Amory" and the interchange with the Brilliant Branch in "Winfield" with spurs that "go to" Fulton and Brilliant by way of some off-layout imagination.
    8. Keep the turnouts at each end of each siding close to each other since I switch turnouts manually.
    The length of the tracks in each dog bone are (22"r) 13'11", (18"r) 11'2", 15"r) and 9'4"... long enough to hold some decent trains for the overall size of my layout (12x9).
    Untitled.gif Untitled.png
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  14. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I found some track planning freeware last night called "SCARM," ( It's almost exactly like Atlas Track Planning Software with the exception that (like AnyRail) it includes track options from various manufacturers. The default unit is metric but I changed it to inches. I found PECO Streamline and Set-track systems under "OO - 1:76." Since I was able to use the PECO SL-E87 & SL-E86 curved turnouts without the 50-piece limit of the AnyRail trial version, I tweaked my track plan a little more.
    Sulligent (SCARM).gif
    Sulligent SCARM.gif
    You can see the double track and sidings at Sulligent (top on layout) in the next image. I can't be accurate with placement of the sidings due to limited space, so I'm only trying to represent the double track and sidings.
    I included more elements of the Mississippian Railway yard and interchange at Amory as well as the Brilliant Branch yard and interchange at Winfield. At Amory, I included the 3 tracks that cross Earl Frye Blvd., as well as the 2 tracks to the MSRW's engine house. Here's an image of the Amory scene that will be in the left end of the dog bone.
    I intend to build a model of the MSRW's engine house... someday. Former SLSF 76 & 77 probably spent time in there.
    Engine House.gif
    At Winfield (right end of my dog bone), I included the curved track to Brilliant, as well as the pulpwood yard track. All that's left there now is the (disconnected) pulpwood yard track. The line to Brilliant curved & crossed U.S. 78 / Bankhead Hwy. just west of Burgers & More. That was a rough crossing by car when I was kid before BN ripped it up. "Winfield" is upside down on my layout.
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  15. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    Well would you look at what I found tonight... the J. Parker Lamb collection, including a pic of former SLSF 76 & 77 in the MSRW engine house in 1955. There are a lot of Amory-Sulligent-Winfield images in the J. Parker Lamb collection that I've never seen before. There's even one of a coaling tower in Sulligent in 1973! Anyone know when they tore it down?!
    MSRW engine house.GIF
  16. yardmaster

    yardmaster Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    I think it rather begs to be modeled. Talk about a distinctive structure that goes a lot way toward identifying a particular locale. It seems like it'd be a reasonably easy building to scratchbuild with either Plastruct corrugated sheeting or Campbell corrugated aluminium sheets over a cardstock sheeting or a wood frame.

    Best Regards,
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  17. trainchaser007

    trainchaser007 Passed away September 22, 2017

    I've been ill since Jan. 20. I was diagnosed with the flu and didn't return to work until Jan. 30. On Feb. 1, I thought I had a pulled muscle in my back. I was misdiagnosed and treated for a small kidney stone. On Feb. 9, I went back to my doctor. He scheduled a CT, without contrast, on Feb. 10 to find the stone. Instead of a stone, they saw something else. Another CT, with contrast, on Feb. 13 clearly showed a tumor in my left kidney. I saw a urologist on the 14th and had surgery on Feb. 20. The tumor looked malignant so they removed the entire left kidney. Fortunately my right kidney is healthy. They believe the cancer was contained within the kidney but I will follow up with an oncologist soon as a precaution. I will be off work for a total of 6 weeks but I am currently unable to do much more than rest, eat, and walk a little each day. I have all of this time off and I can't even run my layout. On the bright side, I have some temporary disability insurance and my faith in God so I think everything will be fine.
    In other news, it is looking more and more like we will be finally be settling into a home of our own, sooner than later, hopefully around the end of May into June. Since we'll need a storage building, I told the "superintendent" that I want to build a layout around the perimeter at desk height, with storage space and a skirt underneath and cabinets or at least shelves with curtains above. I wanted at least a 12 x 12 building, but when we went to a dealership lot, my superintendent wanted a 10 x 14 side-lofted garden shed for the loft spaces. As a result, I've expanded all 6 of my dog bone tracks by about 18". Please wish me luck the layout plans and keep me in your prayers.
    Sulligent 10X14.gif
  18. Larry F.

    Larry F. Member

    I, for one, wish you a full recovery. The best therapy in the world is to get that layout started. It will definitely take your mind off other problems. Wishing you the best!! Larry F.
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  19. Ozarktraveler

    Ozarktraveler Member

    Praying for a speedy and complete recovery.
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  20. klrwhizkid

    klrwhizkid Administrator Staff Member Administrator Supporter

    Brandon, you are in my prayers. Best wishes on your possible move.
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