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Discussion Starter #1
I have attached 2 photos , this turnout is a SL-89 insulfrog large radius left
About every 3rd train that runs over it shorts out the system
I have shown a close up of where I think the problem may be.

It looks like the first wheel on the first truck jumps over the right rail whe it shorts heading left to right.
Any suggestions.
It looks like the first wheels on th
e first truck jumps the tracks.
 

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Clear nail polish on the converging rails at the frog. About an 1/8" or so should fix your problem.
 

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There's about a 75% chance that the short is happening because the metal tire bridges the two frog rails simultaneously immediately after that small black insulator insert. As Michael urges, paint two coatings of clear nail polish for another 0.25 inches past that insulator. Let the first coat dry for a few minutes before applying the second, and then let the whole thing dry for at least a full hour. You don't want it lifting and wrapping around your metal tire.

The other 25% is that the same thing is happening at the neck of the closure rails, just as they begin to flare into the two frog guards. That's more like a gauge problem with your wheelsets, and it shouldn't happen on an 'insulfrog' turnout where the open point ought to be electrically isolated.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks , I will give it a try , that would solve the electrical short what about 1st set of wheels jumping the right rail moving lest to right?
 

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Bob

Does ANY car or loco short and derail...or does only specific ones?

When you have a derail problem, get a good light, get down close to
the derail point, run the derailng car as slow as it will go. When you
see a wheel RAISE...STOP! There is something at that point that
is not right. Often one rail higher than the other sometimes rails
out of gauge or the points are do not have tight closure to the rail.

It is very unusual to have derails on Peco turnouts.
I had more than 20 on my HO layout and never had a derail that
was turnout caused. If only a certain car derails, check the wheel
gauge...could be too narrow or too wide...even by a fraction.

Don
 

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I use a push pin and keep moving it to isolate exactly where the problem is, Makes it easier to concentrate on the exact spot you need to look.
 

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I have attached 2 photos , this turnout is a SL-89 insulfrog large radius left
About every 3rd train that runs over it shorts out the system
I have shown a close up of where I think the problem may be.

It looks like the first wheel on the first truck jumps over the right rail when it shorts heading left to right.
Any suggestions.
It looks like the first wheels on the
first truck jumps the tracks.

Bob;

I didn't see your photos either, perhaps they didn't go through.
Do you have an NMRA gauge? If you do, have you checked the wheel gauge, and the track gauge, at the trouble spot?
If you don't have a gauge, I strongly recommend that you get one. It's an essential tool on any model railroad, and can often quickly find problems like the one you're having now. The gauge comes with a printed & illustrated direction sheet that shows you the many things it can check, and how to use it.
The attached file "Improving Atlas turnouts" shows how to check flangeway width with the gauge, and how to fix flangeways that are too wide. This starts on page 8 of the file. Since you're not using Atlas turnouts, but Peco, you can skip the first seven pages. The gauge costs about $12 and can be ordered through your local train store, or from www.modeltrainstuff.com or www.trainworld.com Something that may be part of your problem is the flangeways on your turnout. Except for Micro Engineering turnouts, every commercial turnout I've worked with, including Peco and Atlas, has flangeways that are too wide to meet the specs. of the NMRA gauge. So what? Well the entire "wheelset" (two wheels on the same axle) can shift sideways enough to let one wheel get across those two rails the others were describing, causing a short. If off far enough, the combination of out-of-gauge wheels, and too wide flangeways, can also cause a wheel to climb up the rail and derail.
The problem of overwide flangeways causing derailments is fairly common on Atlas turnouts, particularly their "Snap Switch" turnout.
As mentioned, Peco also has their flangeways too wide, but it's unusual for that to cause derailments. Peco has a long-standing good reputation for no/few derailments. That doesn't mean it's impossible though.
I suspect you may have more than one cause behind the problem. The first question to narrow things down has already been asked twice, but I didn't see an answer from you. Is it only one or two cars that consistently have problems going through that turnout, or do many cars do it? Second question. Does this only happen on one turnout, or do your other turnouts have the same problem?
If it only happens with one or two particular cars, then the problem is most likely in those cars, probably out-of-gauge wheels. If many different cars act up on one particular turnout, then the problem is probably in the turnout. In either case, the gauge can be used to find the problem(s).

Good Luck;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bob

Does ANY car or loco short and derail...or does only specific ones?

When you have a derail problem, get a good light, get down close to
the derail point, run the derailng car as slow as it will go. When you
see a wheel RAISE...STOP! There is something at that point that
is not right. Often one rail higher than the other sometimes rails
out of gauge or the points are do not have tight closure to the rail.

It is very unusual to have derails on Peco turnouts.
I had more than 20 on my HO layout and never had a derail that
was turnout caused. If only a certain car derails, check the wheel
gauge...could be too narrow or too wide...even by a fraction.

Don
It occurs on a number of engines all of which I have checked the engine wheels gauge and they are good , I will continue looking using your advice thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Bob;

I didn't see your photos either, perhaps they didn't go through.
Do you have an NMRA gauge? If you do, have you checked the wheel gauge, and the track gauge, at the trouble spot?
If you don't have a gauge, I strongly recommend that you get one. It's an essential tool on any model railroad, and can often quickly find problems like the one you're having now. The gauge comes with a printed & illustrated direction sheet that shows you the many things it can check, and how to use it.
The attached file "Improving Atlas turnouts" shows how to check flangeway width with the gauge, and how to fix flangeways that are too wide. This starts on page 8 of the file. Since you're not using Atlas turnouts, but Peco, you can skip the first seven pages. The gauge costs about $12 and can be ordered through your local train store, or from www,modeltrainstuff.com or www.trainworld.com Something that may be part of your problem is the flangeways on your turnout. Except for Micro Engineering turnouts, every commercial turnout I've worked with, including Peco and Atlas, has flangeways that are too wide to meet the specs. of the NMRA gauge. So what? Well the entire "wheelset" (two wheels on the same axle) can shift sideways enough to let one wheel get across those two rails the others were describing, causing a short. If off far enough, the combination of out-of-gauge wheels, and too wide flangeways, can also cause a wheel to climb up the rail and derail.
The problem of overwide flangeways causing derailments is fairly common on Atlas turnouts, particularly their "Snap Switch" turnout.
As mentioned, Peco also has their flangeways too wide, but it's unusual for that to cause derailments. Peco has a long-standing good reputation for no/few derailments. That doesn't mean it's impossible though.
I suspect you may have more than one cause behind the problem. The first question to narrow things down has already been asked twice, but I didn't see an answer from you. Is it only one or two cars that consistently have problems going through that turnout, or do many cars do it? Second question. Does this only happen on one turnout, or do your other turnouts have the same problem?
If it only happens with one or two particular cars, then the problem is most likely in those cars, probably out-of-gauge wheels. If many different cars act up on one particular turnout, then the problem is probably in the turnout. In either case, the gauge can be used to find the problem(s).

Good Luck;

Traction Fan 🙂
Thank you very much!
 

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Thank you very much!
I think Traction Fan has the right answer. I have 2 Peco SL 89 connected (large radius to large radius) and sometimes the 2nd switch when thrown to the smaller radius will derail at the frog. Careful inspection showed this to be too wide a gauge problem. This can be solved by adding a very thin shim to the guard so it guides the wheelset into alignment. Paint the shim to match the black existing guard.

Good Luck
 

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I think Traction Fan has the right answer. I have 2 Peco SL 89 connected (large radius to large radius) and sometimes the 2nd switch when thrown to the smaller radius will derail at the frog. Careful inspection showed this to be too wide a gauge problem. This can be solved by adding a very thin shim to the guard so it guides the wheelset into alignment. Paint the shim to match the black existing guard.

Good Luck

DOOFUS;

Yes, that's correct. The flangeways on nearly all commercial turnouts are too wide to meet the specs. of the NMRA gauge. The one exception I've encountered is Micro Engineering turnouts. Their flangeways are very slightly too narrow, rather than too wide. This is easy to fix. One pass with a Dremel tool, or some light filing, will widen the M/E flangeways enough to meet NMRA specs. I have glued thin styrene strips inside the guardrail flangeways on Atlas and Peco turnouts, and both stopped derailments. The improvement in Atlas Snap Switch turnouts is spectacular, since they have plenty of derailments before the shims are added. Peco turnouts don't cause anything like as many derailments as Atlas, but the modification helps them too.
This assumes that all the wheels are in gauge, but the OP says he has checked that.

Traction Fan
 

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