Looks like I'm stuck with Peco

Frustration is not a kind enough word. Multiple exasperating moments added to that, leave me without any sort of description. It's like a no win scenario where the ridiculous is screaming about going from bad to worse, my imagination has run out of room and logic has taken a vacation in Venice.

What on earth are you talking about?

The problem with specialized stuff is the gobbledygook used. Terminology which those who are part of that community speak and everyone else hasn't the remotest clue what they are talking about. So the easiest way is to try and describe the discipline as best I can.

Railroads have 3 common types of track.
  1. The main line, which you are normally on between stops.
  2. A siding, where one train stops and another can pass by without smashing both to smithereens.
  3. Spurs, similar to those cowboys wear, which sort of stick out to something and stop. Train go by them and the locomotives on the spur do not move much.

What happens on switches of model railroads. Electricity flows in the direction of the arrows.

Figure A is set to go on the spur. Figure B has the spur closed. If a loco is on the Figure B spur, no electricity should go to it, because the points of the switch are set against it, for the main line. So the engine will not move—it's not supposed to. Some layouts have on/off switches for spurs, but they're ugly and I don't want that.

A disaster with Peco turnouts was bad enough, but at least I could have one loco on a spur and another doing something elsewhere not affecting the one on the spur, fair enough. To have another try at it all I bought some Roco switches and track from Germany, because the profile of the rail was more like that seen in North America.
The Roco turnout is physically much better made than Peco, but...

The exasperation

The Roco turnouts work, contact is there like it should be—and then some. So much so, that an engine on a spur will move as well as another on the main line and result in a crash! I guess that Roco is for toy trains which just run around in circles to make children laugh. I am not going to waste any more time or money on them.

All I can now do is: go back to Peco switches (very reluctantly), use them with the Roco flex track and be done with it. I bought the mainline 009 ones which have a larger radius, but they still don't contact all that well. I'll have to work on them, but at least I know the spur concept of my track plan will work.
The left shot are the points and throw bar from above, the right from underneath. The area between the throwbar ties will be kept as clear as possible when doing the scenery.

In hopes that I don't have to do too much to the Peco stuff, I've put some heavy card under all the track. For the switches, a gap has been left beneath the throw bar, which I filed down some. If push comes to shove, I can add another layer of card to the existing lot and/or add the extra contact strips so that the switch blades will get the electrical juice.

Once all the turnouts are working without fault, in all conditions, then the whole lot will be glued down to the foamboard base and I can get on with everything else.

No I won't—Peco's trashy, rubbish, turnouts failed again. More later on what will be done.
Nov 02, 2020

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