I have convinced myself that I would go with Peco code 55 Universal Fine Streamline turnouts and tracks for my layout. Although code 55 is actually code 80 rails embedded onto the ties, Peco is the only manufacturer that makes flex tracks with concrete sleepers for N-scale. It is a pity that other such as Minitrix, Fleischmann, Piko and even Atlas have not being able to convince themselves to offer flex tracks with concrete sleeps. For the US model railroad manufacturer Atlas, it is understandable as most US tracks do not have concrete sleepers. But for the European/German manufacturers, hmm …..
Peco UK has finally updated their track turnout templates, which can be downloaded from this link. One year ago, this library of templates was not complete; resulting in me acquiring each piece of their code 55 Universal Fine turnouts at Modellbau Süd fair in Stuttgart.
I printed out the templates that I needed based on the bill of materials from Oliver Bachmeier’s track plan (only those that I wanted to model). It is a good thing that Peco made the templates for non-commercial uses. Thank you Peco (correction: and Fast Tracks too – handlaid tracks templates here)
I cut out the turnouts. You can use the cut-outs as templates or the leftovers too as templates, where you can lightly air-brush to get the shape of the turnout.
Don’t forget to mark the product/article number of each turnout template. You need to know which is which once you cut out a bunch of them like I have here. This is the most economical way to try out the turnout configurations.
So, between the real turnouts and these paper cut-outs, I would go for the latter (at least for now)
Now, with these bunch of cut-outs, it is time to fit the puzzle. You have a free hand to try out various turnout configurations. Bear in mind you need to leave some spaces for straight tracks but at least you could try out on table rather than on computer/tablet. Nothing feels better than the touch and feel of 1:1 scale turnouts.
Next stop, a 1:1 mock-up of my track plan.