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Discussion Starter #1
I recently got left and right Lionel O27 switches (with remote) for my layout (#5121, 5122). I also recently purchased an MTH Rail King Santa Fe SD-90 diesel engine which is quite wide. As the engine passes by the switch, it gets derailed because it bumps into the housing for the switch motor. A lot of my freight cars are also much too wide to pass by freely. I'm hoping that there are switches out there that will provide enough room for wider engines and freight cars to pass without getting derailed. I see Lionel has O42 switches (5167, 5168) and O72 switches (5165, 5166). Any ideas if these wider radius switches will work? I'd hate to buy them and have to return them for having the same issue. Thanks.
 

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You really have two issues. The tighter the turn the more overhang the engine will have. Also the tall switch machines. So you can either use wider radius switches or replace the remote control switch with a manual one. As a kid I only had manual 027 switches which have a simple low lever. As to which larger remote switch would work probably only someone with that same type of engine could answer for sure.

Pete
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. Also, I just noticed that K-line has "wide radius" switches for O27 gauge. I've asked the ebay seller to measure the clearance, but from what I can estimate it looks to be about 1 inch, whereas my Lionel switches have only about 3/4 inch clearance.
 

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The instructions clearly state the loco is for use on ''0-31 track'' (switches). You need wider radius switches to use this engine.
Always check the specs of rolling stock to see what the minimum radius track it will operate on.

Larry
 

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Couple of thoughts. Gargraves track is the same height as 027 and they offer pins to connect their track to 027 or 031 tubular. Their switch machines are low enough to clear most all engines. Lionel 031 switches are made so the switch machine can be mounted on either side of the track on the outside of the curve. There are pins to adapt 027 to 031 as well. K-line switch machines appear to be very tall as well and also are fixed to the inside of the curve so they may not solve your problem either.

Pete
 

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There's Marx O-27 height switches in both O-27 and O-34 radii. The trains run through the older Marx O-27 switches very smoothly due to their design - an easy fix required to support Lionel roller pickups. The O-34 switches not quite as smooth. For the O-27 switch pic, below, I placed a ruler to measure between the inside rail and the solenoid housing.

For both types, the switch control power is completely isolated isolated from rail power. If you want self tending switches, you need to use isolated rails on the diverging routes to throw the switch. And that can lead to switch solenoid burnout if you park a train on the isolated rail. I've devised a simple delay circuit to mitigate that using two common Arduino modules and two diodes and a capacitor.

Here's a video of that in operation. The first LED lights when the train activates the isolated rail. The second (as seen in the reflection of the blue relay) activates when the the module discontinues power to the switch solenoid after a brief delay. Notice how the LEDs are lit while the entire train passes yet no power is going to the solenoid as indicated by the second LED (reflection). The train can sit on the isolated trigger rail all day and no power is going to the solenoid. The switch in the video is a Marx O-34.

Self Tending Switch Control

.Here's a pic of a Marx O-27 switch with a ruler. Sorry, this switch was in the middle of a repaint job. And then a stock pic of the Marx O-34 switch. The mechanism nearest the rail is low profile while the switch machine sits back abit.

Switch (2).JPG Switch (3).png
 

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OK, please tell us where you get the information that this engine will work on '027' track.

The instructions I linked to above say '031' and the 1998 catalog here, page 9, says '031'.
Please enlighten us as to your source of information.

Thank you
Larry
 

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OK, please tell us where you get the information that this engine will work on '027' track.

The instructions I linked to above say '031' and the 1998 catalog here, page 9, says '031'.
Please enlighten us as to your source of information.

Thank you
Larry
I just went by the OP's original post. He has O-27 switches and the problem seems to be interference with the switch motor, not the tight radius. And the O-27 switches might imply more O-27 radii that doesn't seem to be the problem, just the switches..
 

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Millstone:

Remove the switch housing covers from the switches where the engine derails and try running it through.

I removed the housing covers from all of my 0-27 switches years ago and have a number of engines listed as minimum 0-31 that operate through my switches with no issues.

Please see photo below for reference.

542905
 

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Discussion Starter #11
OK, please tell us where you get the information that this engine will work on '027' track.

The instructions I linked to above say '031' and the 1998 catalog here, page 9, says '031'.
Please enlighten us as to your source of information.

Thank you
Larry
on the box
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Correct, the radius isn't the problem, it's the narrow clearance between switch housing and track. The description of the specs for my engine on one end of the box it came in says it's compatible with O27 track
 

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It seems the housing corner near the electrical control posts is the culprit. From Juniata Guy's pic, there's room to remove that corner leaving the remaining housing intact. Maybe a little plastic surgery (pun intended) and it would look close to original.

542910
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The Lionel O27 gauge switches for 42 inch diameter curves (6-65168 and 6-65167) have at least another 1/4 inch of clearance. that may be the solution
 

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If you can find them, K-Line made some with switch machines no higher than the rails for various radii and style.
They are also non derailing.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Received a Lionel O27 switch for a 42 inch curve... plenty of clearance for the O gauge wide engine.
 
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