Thursday, October 15, 2020

Peco turnout panic

Over the years I have used many Peco turnouts, both code 55 and code 80.  In most cases I have removed the spring that presses the points against the rails because the Tortoise motors I have used could not reliably push the point past the tension and the motor itself would keep the points against the rails.

In this project on the entry end of the yard I had used 5 of the MTB MP5 turnout motors on 4 new and 1 old Peco turnouts.  In most cases the MP5 motors can force the points past the spring tension so I did not bother to remove the spring.  The 5th turnout on the return track siding was of the old design and I did have to remove the spring as the linkage was going through very thick bench work in that location.

At the loop end of the yard I was using 3 new and 1 old Peco turnouts with Tortoise motors.  I removed the springs on all of these and everything was going well until I started to install the turnout linkages on the 3 new ones.  As I fiddled with getting the linkage into the hole on the moving tie, the tie came completely off of the points.

What I had not realized until then was that the design of the Peco turnouts had changed and the current ones rely on that spring to keep the moving tie connected to the points.  There is a wider gap between the moving tie and the head tie on the single track end.

My solution for this was to insert a .060 x .040 Evergreen styrene rod into the space between the moving tie and the head tie on the single track end of the turnout.   I used a black sharpie pen to blacken it but left it white on the bottom so it would stand out in this photo.  That tab that is covering half the strip in the middle helps to hold it into place.  I had to fully remove the turnout and do this on the work bench.

For the two turnouts that had not fallen apart I was able to slip a shorter section of styrene strip in from each side of the turnout and glue it into place with ACC being careful not to get any adhesive on the moving tie.  I was able to do this without removing the turnout.  I found it impossible to slide one longer section of strip past that tab in the middle so that is why I had to do it this way. 

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