Gap-less Turnouts, reducing wheel dips in turnouts
Let preface this discussion by saying I have just built a fairly large
double deck layout in HO scale,...and utilized almost exclusively Peco
turnouts, which I consider to be some of the best commercial ones available.

Unfortunately I am a little dismayed when I have to shim and fiddle with
them to try to improve their tendencies to 'pick-a-point',... or drop locos
and cars into the chasms of the gap at the frog points.

I also like to operate both American product, and some foreign engines that
have slightly greater flange sizes.

Does anyone make, or try to make a 'gapless frog' turnout??
At first I began to think of the old American Flyer or Lionel ones. Then I went on to the Tru-Scale versions, which I though might be 'modernized'

And more recently I went in this direction,...a swinging frog concept I've come up with.
I'm returning to this idea that I suggested back a few weeks ago,...a swinging frog I think it would be called?

railandsail wrote:
Okay this is just a really rough sketch at the moment, but perhaps it conveys the thought, swinging frog.

I cut out the location of the stock frog area on a Peco medium radius turnout, and inserted a plain sheet of yellow post-it note behind it
The new 'frog' would be that solid piece of metal that wold rotate around the 'pin' at the one end (circular pin shown) . It would swing from one side to the other and its two sides would line up the inner faces of the tracks in either of the 2 directions. It would allow the wheels of the rolling stock to roll over either of its solid metal edges,...thus a true GapLess turnout.

[Image: DSCF8927.jpg]

[Image: DSCF8928.jpg]

[Image: DSCF8929.jpg]

I think I described this incorrectly in my original posting, "The new 'frog' would be that solid piece of metal that wold rotate around the 'pin' at the one end (circular pin shown)". It would NOT rotate around that pin, but rather be a part of the pin,....

My frog would be all one piece,...the short piece of rail attached permanently to a circular pin at one end,...something akin to this...
[Image: DSCF8949.jpg]

That vertical pin must be a true 90 degrees to the rail piece. It accomplishes several things;
1) it assures the frog rail swings in an exact level manner
2) it keeps that frog rail from twisting over
3) it could be longer, stretching down thru the deck work, thus even more stability,... and maybe be rotated ever so slightly to rotate the frog rail

Here is the general configuration,..
[Image: DSCF8952.jpg]

[Image: DSCF8951.jpg]

Wing/Guard rails could be added around that swing frog, and might even be applied in such a manner to limit the swing of that frog piece to either side.
Some 'fake wing rails' could be added to provide a positive stop for the swinging frog piece.
[Image: DSCF8960.jpg]

Those fake wing rails could tend to make the turnout look more prototypical (from a distance),...for those modelers concerned with those details.

I need to think up a simple manner to connect the movement of that frog piece with the more conventional throwbar that operates the point rails, there are not 2 separate motors nor manual operations needed to throw the turnout. I don't see a need for great precision ? That swinging frog piece swings between 2 positive stops on either side,...the stops provided by those fake wing rails. And just like most other commercial turnouts, the point rail's throw bar moves the rails from one side to the other. No precision required?
Very interesting concept. I'll be curious to see how this (pardon the pun) turns out.

Life is simple - Eat, Drink, Play with trains

Occupation: Professional Old Guy (The government pays me to be old.)
Some updated ideas for this swing frog concept

I had previously written,...
My frog would be all one piece,...the short piece of rail attached permanently to a circular pin at one end,...something akin to this...
[Image: DSCF8949.jpg]

With that former iteration the diameter of the vertical pin was limited to the width of the head face of the rail, which can be pretty small.
How about we change this configuration so we have a more hefy size pin, and we don't bring it up flush with the top face of the frog rail. Instead we attach the pin/shaft to the bottom flange of the swing frog rail, these 2 possibilities
[Image: DSCF8971.jpg]

1) larger attachment surface area
2) easier joint to make (maybe even adhesive)
3) better/stronger shaft size

This new turnout as a whole is now easier to build,...less filing/grinding/fitting of adjacent rails, and less soldering.
one would still have to create the V-joint of the 2 rails leaving the frog area, but these 2 would not be the very pointy items they are today. They would end in a 'bluntness',..the width of running surface of the rail being used to build the turnout.

There would still be the grinding/filing of the 2 point rails where they meet the main rails. There likely would not be any gross pivot points between the point rails and the closure rails, but rather something like Shinohara used,..
[Image: DSCF8962.jpg]

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