Passing through issue

While we are busy mangling Peco switches, let’s point out and correct a very annoying “detail” of the large radius turnouts (SLE 186 and 187).

The Y 6400 (EPM) and 7400 (LSM) switchers have a wheelbase — 3540 mm or 41 mm at 1:87 scale — which exactly corresponds to two insulated zones of the blades (the frog point and the separation between fixed and switch rails). So inevitable stop at low speed.

This will also be the case for the future REE DU65 draisine: 3600 mm or 41.4 mm to scale.

Peco turnout before transformation

Solution: move the insulating area to one side or the other. For reasons of firmness, the new location of the insulation should remain above a sleeper, hence the new possible positions: 34 or 48. The value 34 brings us closer to the wheelbase of certain bogies of cars (3 metres, or 34.5 to 1:87 scale). The best is therefore 48 (Note: the Y 8400 Roco has a 63.5 mm wheelbase, the C 61000 Jouef 52.8 mm and the Y 50100 Electrotren 45.4 mm).

So, we must:

When I speak of right and left, it is compared to the picture.

Obviously (Murphy’s law), I was wrong and shortened the gap instead of lengthening it. But I have an excuse: I realized the problem when the tracks were already in place and I had to operate in situ. The hardest thing was to solder the small rail coupons without too much deforming the plastic of the sleepers.

Peco turnout after transformation

And, one year later, I realize that the 030-TU has a wheelbase of 35 mm! Aaaargh!