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My garage layout started earlier this year is progressing nicely. All the baseboards are complete and the bus wires installed. Using my old peco code 100 track and points I have laid the two sets of storage sidings and the double continuous run link. The design is similar to one in Iain Rice's book "Mainlines for limited spaces". I wish that I could put a diagram of it here but I don't know how.

On the other side of the layout, with new code 75, I have laid the five points and single slip that will be at one end of the station. These form the crossover into a lay-by siding and the entry into a goods loop and sidings. The whole lot are connected directly to one another or with very short pieces of plain track. I have adapted the points to DCC best practice as advised on this forum and installed Tortoise point motors and checked that everything works as intended.

I laid these points first, as I have altered one end of a point and one end of the single slip so that they form a crossover between the double track mainlines at closer than the original peco spacing, as reported on another thread. I wanted to check that this was possible before proceeding with the rest of the track. This forms the only link between the mainlines on the scenic section of the layout. Eventually there will be one more pair of points to lay at the other end of the goods loop.

I recently laid the first piece of code 75 plain track leading from one set of storage sidings. Partly because of comments on this forum about sleeper spacing, I cut the webbing at the back, removed several sleepers, and spaced the others at about 10mm centres and intended to do the same thing with the other 20 pieces of plain track. I think that it looks quite good but I am not entirely happy with it. Perhaps because I was not careful enough when sticking it down, some of the sleepers are not absolutely perpendicular to the track. They are not far out but they do offend my eye.

However, this is not the main reason that I might lift and discard this piece. Apart from the time and care to get it right that will obviously be needed, it suddenly occured to me that when they eventually link up to the points complex, the different sleeper spacing might look very odd. Obviously I haven't dared to try to alter the sleeper spacing on the points.

Has anyone done anything similar? I read in an article by the professional model maker of 'Tupdale' (can't remember his name) that he had widened the sleeper spacing of peco code 75 but I assume that he didn't do it to the points so perhaps it won't look too bad. What do you think?
 

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Sleeper spacing varies on the prototype, depending on the applied load, both tonnage and speed. Plain track has larger sleeper spacings than curves and pointwork. On jointed track there was a close sleeper pair for every joint too. It's a lot less trouble to use SMP or C&L plain track with Peco 75 points, and once ballasted and weathered the overall impression is very good.
 

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Do try and have a look at a copy of Bob Essary's "Railway signalling and track plans" published this year by Ian Allan. This confirms 34C's comments about variable sleeper spacing.
The other reason why it might not look right is because the sleepers are slightly smaller than they should be, and this may be more noticeable when they are spaced further apart.

Personally I haven't bothered to alter the sleeper spacing on my layout. Once ballasted I think the closer spacing and sleeper size is less apparent to the eye than with unballasted track.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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I'm agree with the other posts, that sleeper spacing varies. I've been experimenting with code 100, lengthing the spaces in straights then getting them closer at points and curves.

I now agree with the last post that this is a time consuming job that doesn't reward itself on the final layout.

The part I spent longest on has been rendered invisible because of change of position of a bridge! Typical!
 

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Unless you're going for a full prototype scaled layout, respacing the plainline sleeper spacings is not worth the effort. The spaing used by peco is closer then it should be, but then again the small, meduim and large radius turnouts are way shorter and of a greater crossong angle then anything you will found in mainline use in the real world. Once both are installed and ballested up, they look the part.

True prototype 4mm scale turnout and point work is huge. Unless you've got in excess of 4 foot to devote to a simple crossover, stick to the stock peco 'out of the box' stuff...
 

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another aspect I have noted through casual observation,is the 'appearance' of track curvature, in model form.

Looking down on tracks from high bridges, I am amazed at how 'similar' to model trackage, the curvature and 'appearance' is.

I'm sure it's an optical thing...a trick of perspective....but since we are into selective compression in a big way, perhaps actually replicating radius, angles and lenght, in model form..[with all our other compromises?] is perhaps conterproductive...ie less realistic?

an example some may be familiar with...whilst traversing the A19 at Selby, over teh 'new' bridge, in the direction of York...the road passes over a mainline ...with a group of sidings, to teh left....the curvature of the track, from the road, looks very 'model' like?????
 

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Its not so much a case of being conterproductive or less realistic. It's more of a case of space.

As I mensioned above, the tightes radius turnout you will find on a main line is a CV-9.25. These have a lead of 25.025 metres and turnout raduis of 245.75 metres. In 4mm scale thats 329mm between the switch tips and the nose of the crossing, and a 3.2metre radius. Taking these dimentions a simple crossover (two turnout sat back to back to allow rains to swap between two paralell tracks) would measure 870mm between switch toes.

Most of us don't have the space to use anything near to true scale point work - Unless you're got a very large garden or an aircraft hanger to build you layout in...
 
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