Turnout Questions
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Author:  paulrace [ Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:06 am ]
Post subject:  Turnout Questions

A reader writes:

comment: I have some Aristocraft switches with the number 11210/11215 stamped into the underside of the ties. I want to know if these are European gauge or US gauge. Also, what is the radius of the curve part of the switch?


Thanks for getting in touch. These are the "Euro" tie spacing, similar to LGBs.

The mechanics of the Euro and US track are exactly the same. The only difference is the size and spacing of the ties, which, frankly, nobody pay attention to, especially if your track is ballasted. These turnouts have the Euro Ties, but mechanically they're 100% compatible with the "US-Style" track.

The curved sides are also "R1" radius. Like the LGB equivalent, they are designed to replace an R1 curve piece exactly. R1 is the smallest radius that is commercially made, part of a track system designed to have 48" diameter curves.

ANY piece of equipment built by LGB will handle it. Most boxcars will handle it. Bachmann Big Haulers will handle it. AristoCraft's "Sierra" (woodie) passenger cars will handle it. Aristo's heavyweight or streamlined passenger cars will not. Some of the better Bachmann locomotives will not.

If you install ANY turnout, put it where you can reach it easily. No matter the brand, no matter how perfect the installation, trains are more likely to derail on a turnout than anywhere else.

If you want to power them remotely, consider LGB switch motors and related infrastructure - they're more robust than the Aristo equivalent.

Hope this helps,

Paul Race

Author:  paulrace [ Mon Jun 06, 2016 11:15 am ]
Post subject:  AristoCraft Track Joiners

A reader writes:

I have AristoCraft track. Will the joiner clamps, rail joiners and insulated joiners made by other manufacturers work with AristoCraft?


Yes. Don't get LGB, though. The rail joiners from USA Trains are completely compatible. The railjoiners from Bachmann's brass track are completely compatible. The rail joiners from GeneratioNext are actually the old Aristo rail joiners in new packaging. All of those have little screws that make the joint more solid. LGB's rail joiners depend on friction, and eventually they work their way loose.

Hope that helps; let me know how it goes!


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