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Discussion Starter #1
Today I installed some new Peco N-scale, "code55" Unifrog turnouts on my layout. They are very good turnouts with several nice features, but there's one feature I found not-so-nice. Peco uses an unusual type of rail. Part of the rail, including a second rail base, is embedded in Peco's thick tie strip. The rail measures .078" from top to the bottom of the lower of the two bases. The part that shows above the tie strip is supposed to be "055" or code 55. I didn't measure that, as it isn't the problem. On the good side, this makes the joint between the rails and the tie strip super strong. On the bad side, you can't easily connect this two-based rail to conventional code 55 track from another manufacturer.
There is provision for a rail joiner to fit around the lower base, and that works OK if you are connecting to Peco track with the same two rail base setup, or probably if you were connecting to another brand's code 80 track. However, I was trying to connect these Peco "code 55" turnouts to Atlas code55 track. When the rail joiner is on the lower base of Peco's unique rail, (the only place it will fit) then the other end of that joiner goes around the one-and-only-base of the Atlas code 55 rail. This leaves a considerable difference in the height of the rail tops. The same thing happens with Micro Engineering code 55 track. The only way I could connect the turnouts to Any other brand of code 55 track, and have the rail tops come out even, was to grind the lower base and part of the rail web off the Peco turnouts and then cut them to shape where I could semi-force a rail joiner on. That's another weird thing about these turnouts, there are no rail joiners packed with them. For a very reputable, premium brand, I find that disappointing though not as disappointing as having to grind/cut to fit the things just to attach them to a piece of track. It shouldn't be that difficult! :mad: Has anyone had similar problems mating Peco to another brand? Does Peco sell special rail joiners for this task?

Thanks;

Traction Fan :confused:
 

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I think I know what your saying. Could you slide the rail joiner over the PECO rails then crimp the other side down flat and lay the track rail on top of it till it’s a smooth transition and then solder it to it? Or cut the sides off the joiner at the track side and bent it up like an offset then solder to that?
 

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Never had that problem with HO code 83 turnouts. Although the tie strip goes to the end of the rails and must be cut back or popped out of the strip to install the joiner, the rails do mate up correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What about Peco HO?

Good discussion of this odd-ball track joiners here
https://www.nscale.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-38876.html
Denis461;

Thanks for the photo and the link. Looking through the link, it seems everyone there did the same thing I did, cut off the bottom of the rail. This is a major pita in my opinion and i'm disappointed in Peco for not providing an easier system to connect to standard code 55 track. A slot cut in the end of the rail would have worked. Easy enough at the factory, but not so easy once the the rail is embedded in the tie strip. That got me wondering, does a similar situation exist with Peco's HO-scale track? Do they embed code 100 rail in a tie strip, complete with two rail bases, in order to make it "code 83?"

thanks again to all who responded;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks

Google " n scale transition joiners" they may work for you.
bewhole;

Thanks for your response. I tried your tip and found no transition rail joiners that would fit my situation. Most were intended for connecting HO-scale code 100 rail to code 83. Still it was a good thought.

Thank you

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks

Never had that problem with HO code 83 turnouts. Although the tie strip goes to the end of the rails and must be cut back or popped out of the strip to install the joiner, the rails do mate up correctly.
MichaelE;

Thanks for the response. If you're talking about Peco brand HO-scale, code 83 turnouts, then you may have already answered a question I just posted.
I was wondering if Peco made their HO-scale "code 83" turnouts & track like they make their N-scale "code 55" ones. That is with code 100 rail buried deep in a tie strip with .083" of rail sticking up above, and two rail bases. Apparently not.

thanks again;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks

I think I know what your saying. Could you slide the rail joiner over the PECO rails then crimp the other side down flat and lay the track rail on top of it till it’s a smooth transition and then solder it to it? Or cut the sides off the joiner at the track side and bent it up like an offset then solder to that?
Cousin Eddie;

Thanks for your response. I sent, or at least typed, an earlier answer to you, but it seems to have disappeared. I wanted to avoid soldering turnout rail joiners, since that adds another layer of difficulty to removing them intact, should that ever be necessary. You can probably relate to that with your nailed-down, & ballasted-in, Atlas turnouts. Good news on that front though. Look at gimme 30's last few entries in his thread "Kato GG1 leading/trailing trucks derail like crazy", in the N-scale forum. He had a similar situation on his Atlas turnouts, and now it's fixed.
I cut off the bottom of the Peco weird rail (see Denis461's photo above) and got a joiner on it, but the joints are flimsy and I probably will need to solder them.

Thanks again;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:
 

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Ok I have A idea (Good,bad or dumb)LOL. This is what you are looking at with the atlas track and peco switch. If you was too take the rail joiner and on the peco side put a "Slit" in it and fit it above the the base(Between the the rail so it sits on top of the bottom rail) make it tight so you get good contact and it should "Lift" the rail up to being mostly even.
 

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I think I know what your saying. Could you slide the rail joiner over the PECO rails then crimp the other side down flat and lay the track rail on top of it till it’s a smooth transition and then solder it to it? Or cut the sides off the joiner at the track side and bent it up like an offset then solder to that?
Cousin Eddie;

Thanks for your response. I sent, or at least typed, an earlier answer to you, but it seems to have disappeared. I wanted to avoid soldering turnout rail joiners, since that adds another layer of difficulty to removing them intact, should that ever be necessary. You can probably relate to that with your nailed-down, & ballasted-in, Atlas turnouts. Good news on that front though. Look at gimme 30's last few entries in his thread "Kato GG1 leading/trailing trucks derail like crazy", in the N-scale forum. He had a similar situation on his Atlas turnouts, and now it's fixed.
I cut off the bottom of the Peco weird rail (see Denis461's photo above) and got a joiner on it, but the joints are flimsy and I probably will need to solder them.

Thanks again;

Traction Fan
I followed the GG1 conversation I got busy this week and didn’t get to order the stuff to fix my turnouts but hopefully I’ll get a chance over the weekend I’ll keep you posted thanks.
 
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