News

Due to heavy spamming attempts on this forum, automatic registration has been disabled. We will approve registration requests as quickly as possible (unless you're a spammer of course :) )

Topic: Turnout clearance warning / overlapping throwbars on compound ladders  (Read 170 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline TrainzLuvr

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
I'm sure someone had asked for this already but I'll ask again (and again and again and...)

Could we please have a big flashing red warning when connecting fronts of two turnouts directly to another turnout's through and diverging route ends?

It looks really good in AnyRail, but when you put the plan into the real world, you suddenly realize that throwbars and ties around them will overlap, clash, and fight, fight, fight.

This does not have to be anything fancy, nor does it require any math. If you place a turnout and then connect a turnout each on the through and diverging route of that first turnout, the screen will turn blood red and lock your computer...or simply all three turnouts will turn red and a message will popup saying that throwbars of the two turnouts that were just added to the end of the first one overlap and cannot fit in this configuration, suggesting one of those two turnouts is offset with a piece of rail 1.5-3" long.

Offline Keesoldscool

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Artem Doctrina
Re: Turnout clearance warning / overlapping throwbars on compound ladders
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2018, 07:17:03 am »
I can imaging the need for such a facility, but otherwise when you create a new plan, it is handy to have knowledge of the geometry of the tracksystem. I can also imaging that this question doesn't have a high priority for the developer. But I agree, it would be handy. :)

Offline David

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3634
Re: Turnout clearance warning / overlapping throwbars on compound ladders
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2018, 10:39:19 am »
The problem with this is that it depends a lot on the track system and the wishes of the modeler.

Some track systems indeed do not allow certain combinations of track elements. For instance, with RocoLine, you can't combine multiple 4mm or 5mm pieces.
For other track systems, certain turnouts cannot be combined, or need some adjustment. Point motors may overlap, but only if the modeler does not use motors that are mounted under the board.

So all in all, it's not so easy to prevent these errors in all cases, and often, modelers will just cut off roadbed or sleepers, because they want that specific track configuration.

As Kees says, it's always a good idea to study the geometry using examples from the manufacturer. We have some of these available on our website as well un der the 'Libraries' tab.



Offline TrainzLuvr

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
Re: Turnout clearance warning / overlapping throwbars on compound ladders
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2018, 06:15:36 am »
That truly beats the point of having a CAD software for layout design then. If I have to study designs from the manufacturer or otherwise use physical methods, I might as well drop the software altogether and go back to butcher paper and pencil directly on the benchwork.

Offline David

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Administrator
  • Posts: 3634
Re: Turnout clearance warning / overlapping throwbars on compound ladders
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2018, 10:24:37 am »
If you switch on 'Roadbed' and 'Sleepers' on the SHOW tab, it's often clear if things are not going to work, as you will see these overlap.

Offline Bob Bryce

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
Re: Turnout clearance warning / overlapping throwbars on compound ladders
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2018, 02:18:29 pm »
I'm sorry, but I feel I must chime in here, anyone who thinks that ANY type of software, Cad or otherwise, within the price ranges we are dealing with, can totally replace research on and investigation into the compatibility of MODEL railroad components, needs to come back to reality.  This is a model railroad software package that has a free trial version and sells for well under $75.00 for the full version with years of free upgrades, not a CAD program that sells for well over $1000.00 like AutoCad and charges hundreds of dollars every time an upgrade comes out.  This is not CATIA, software for aircraft and submarine design which will do what you are asking for but sells for anywhere between $6,000 to $65,000 per seat, depending on how many features you want. 

Everyone should and needs to do their do diligence to determine if the parts they want to try to use will work in their situation, and, if they will, implement them with the software.  In many cases, the software WILL alert you, but I don't expect or rely on it to cover every condition.

But, you are correct, you can go back to the old way to do it, but you will find that you need to do MUCH more research, trial and error than you will with this software, even with it's very few "weaknesses".
« Last Edit: December 08, 2018, 08:48:19 pm by Bob Bryce »

Offline Nick the Nomad

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 342
Re: Turnout clearance warning / overlapping throwbars on compound ladders
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2018, 09:37:16 pm »
My two bob's/cents' worth.

Peco specifically state that you may have to trim sleepers (preferably on the flexible track) when attaching flex to points/turnouts/switches/crossings (delete where applicable).

In scales larger than N, point motor clearance for under-board mounted Peco motors is not usually a problem; in N you have to be a bit more careful.  In any case, it is blindingly obvious that putting points immediately on both legs of another point is going to cause problems, and sleeper/tie and/or throwbar trimming will be necessary.

And, TrainzLuvr, don't you check what works before you go ahead with a design?  Assuming that your clients tell you what track system they want (you) to use, I'd be spending a few minutes researching that what you are going to use will work, else you will have one very annoyed client.

That's my rant for today!

Nick the Nomad
Geelong, Victoria

Offline Bob Bryce

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 233
Nothing that you said that I do not agree with, in fact, completely agree with.  I use Atlas flex track with all Peco turnouts and I have had to trim ties in yards to make some of them work.

Also, I am surprised at how many users here say they are designing for clients, which means they are "professionals", and would be having this kind of problem.  Them above all I would assume they know the need to do research into parts compatibility well before designing anything.

I am an amateur (not designing for clients) and I have laid out track that I truly thought had sufficient clearances with other tracks, tested it in Train Player and still found that in real life, I needed more clearance.  I don't argue with the software or complain about it, I just adjust the tracks for it.  If people are doing this work on a professional level, perhaps they should construct a mock-up before delivering it to the client.

The software can't do it all, and one should not expect it to.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 04:32:41 am by Bob Bryce »

Offline TrainzLuvr

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 115
Sigh.

For god's sake it's 2019, this kind of thinking like it's 1999 leads to stagnation. There's no excuse not to have any imaginable feature, that's why we have machines - to do more computational work for us.

I can't have every single little detail in my head every moment of my waking life. As you age, you can focus on less things as well, and computers should provide assistance no matter what.

Once again we go back in circles talking about bad UI/UX, that I've mentioned time and time again before. Disregarding it in 2019 should be a crime.
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 04:38:31 am by TrainzLuvr »

Offline The Track Planner

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 53
I've read the posts regarding this subject and felt I should probably comment since I'm one of those "professional" mentioned in the posts.
Having designed track plans for a number of years, I would probably be the first to know if my clients are having problems in this area. Frankly, I can't remember the last time a client contacted me with this complaint. I assume, my clients understand this can happen and they figure out work arounds, like moving the throw bar to the other side of the turnout. Which, I’ve done numerous times on my layouts. At least, the client is not having me redesign plans for them. This may have something to do with the minimum standards, I maintain.
Let’s step back for a quick history lesson. In 1959 the NMRA standards for centerline tangent track spacing was 1-25/32”. By 1964 the standard had moved to 1-15/16. Why the increase? I have to assume, everything from rolling stock to motive power was getting larger and longer. Eighty-five (85) foot passenger cars had been around even in 1959, but as a designer, you made sure radii was large enough to handle passengers of that length, which meant you were probably working with larger tangent track clearances as well.
Fast forward to 2019. Today, most clients want to run modern equipment. Meaning the standards of 1959 and 1964 are obviously obsolete. In my business, I go with two standards, regardless of what NMRA suggests. My minimum tangent spacing is 2¼” to 2½” regardless of location. Even in yards, I maintain a minimum of 2¼”. Maybe, by maintaining these minimum clearances, is the reason I don’t get do overs.
With a 2¼” minimum standard, I’m required to add in small sections of straight track off of diverging routes. This could be another reason. Bottomline… by maintaining decent minimum standards, you don’t eliminate the problem, but you can certainly minimize it. I just don’t see this as a major issue.

Offline Nick the Nomad

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 342
I would have thought that designing for specific track systems would be a little like driving different cars; you adjust your thinking as soon as you start.  My car has a column auto shift, the vehicle I drive for work has a 5-speed manual shift on the dash (Toyota HiAce Commuter Minibus).  My car has the indicator stalk on the right, European-built cars have it on the left.

Surely it can't be that hard to adjust to different track systems in the same way.  If you are doing designs in many different track systems, maybe make up a chart with the various parameters listed, or a list of "don't forgets".  There isn't an issue for me; I have only ever used Peco since 1969 (when I learned that having a proper layout was better than having my train set on Mum's dining table - she entertained enough that I only ever got a week, sometimes not even that).

I would be interested to learn whether there are any readily-available systems where putting a point immediately on each leg of another point does NOT cause a clearance problem.  And anyway, going back to the original post, my understanding of what a ladder yard is wouldn't cause a problem anyway, because for each point, one leg is straight flex and the other has a point.  In Peco, to get the clearance you need a small bit of flex anyway, otherwise the 1:1 fingers ain't gonna fit.

That's it from me for today, time for other things!

Nick the Nomad
Geelong, Victoria