2D-Turnout Rapid Prototyping with 3D Effect

As you can see I am picking up speed with my layout. The track plan is decided and fixed. Yesterday I had a good chat with Dirk over parts of the track plan and we looking into many areas such as positions and configurations of turnouts, positioning of signals and turnout mechanisms, how to build the layout and special considerations for vertical distances, tight curves and superelevation.

As explained before in my earlier post on turnouts jigsaw puzzle, I printed out all the 45 Peco turnouts for my layout from their drawings and cut them to shape.

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I tested with one part of the turnout configurations that would be challenging to build. Although it may look simple, these part of the turnouts consists of large and curved turnouts. The challenging part is that it is located 107cm from the floor and there will be tracks leading to 2 different levels – 109cm and 105cm. As Dirk highlighted to me, the challenge is how to handle the transition from 105cm to 109cm involving 4 tracks coupled with the need to have superelevation. This challenge will be addressed through rapid prototyping. I started by laying these one the floor but will transfer either to a cardboard or a piece of plywood that I would use. By doing rapid prototyping, I can gauge the angle of slant and how to adjust the positions of each turnout and leading and trailing tracks to 2 different levels. Confusing eh?

Let’s take a look at the 2D view first.

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I simulated the above configuration on the floor. There is a gap between the top right turnouts which I would need to connect with a small piece of flex track.

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The Budd RDC cars and my DB BR111 serve as test train for this purpose, lending a 3D effect to an otherwise 2D rapid prototyping. There is minimal overhang as I use large left/right-hand radius and curved turnouts.

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Again, no serious overhang from this angle.

So there you have it. Something I mentioned few months ago and until now did not put it into practice as I was thinking which layout to build. A Peco turnout costs 15 Euro and it would be too expensive to buy so many when you are not sure of the track/turnout configuration. Furthermore, what you see is not what you get. It is always good to translate the digital drawing from the planning program back into some 2D/3D form and play around with it. I chose to use turnout jigsaw puzzle as rapid prototyping. Feel free to test out your track plan this way.

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