By: Mark Paskus
My HO layout included a small, somewhat detached oval of C-track at the lowest level. It was constructed primarily for the smaller, early models in Marklin’s catalog, for example, my “Adler” steam set. I’d always wanted to connect this part of the track system to the rest of my layout so that these trains could travel throughout the layout. But, knowing how fragile the couplers are on these trains, I didn’t want to have to back the trains up for any great distance. With this part of the layout fairly established, I found it challenging to come up with a viable solution. After much experimenting, I eventually came upon a solution using curved turnouts.
The original section of track used the smallest radius curved sections (R1 – 24130), which only compounded the problem. Fortuitously, the track included a portion that had seven (7) curved sections connected in a row making a sort of “pimple” at one corner. This configuration was set to have the track pass around a cemetery.
I first removed the seven pieces of 24130 track and laid them out on a flat surface as they appeared on my layout as appears below.
(Click to Enlarge)
Then, with some additional track sections, I went about trying combinations that would fit within the footprint and yet produce an entrance and exit to this section. The result was a configuration commonly known as a curved Wye in railroad parlance, due to its resemblance to the letter “Y”. The configuration included the following track pieces:
1 – 24672 Right Curved Turnout
2 – 24671 Left Curved Turnouts
2 – 24188 Straight Sections
7 – 24130 Curved Sections (The original pieces)
The result of this combination of C-track appears below.
I learned that Marklin’s curved turnouts (2467x) have a couple of interesting aspects. They are a combination of R1 and R2 curved sections and both curved sections are a full 30 degrees worth of curve. This allows their use as a substitute for the 24130 curved sections. Here’s how: Referring to Fig. 2, replace the third 24130 from the left with a 24672. Continue with three 24130’s. Next use a 24671 to finish off the original “pimple”. To the left turnout (24672) add the two 24130’s salvaged from the original configuration. To the right turnout (24671) add two sections of 24188 Straight Track. Finally, at the two extensions of the curved turnouts, install the second 24671 Turnout. This completes the ‘Y’ assembly.
In reality, the assembly is not a perfect combination but I have found it to have so little stress so as to make it very stable. I must admit that I jumped at the first solution I found to my problem. I’d expect other combinations might also work. While ‘Big Boys’ might have some difficulty manipulating through the plethora of 24130’s, several diesel locos now use this section of the layout to good purpose.
Several years ago Marklin published a brochure that showed another Wye configuration. This one was made up of 3-24611’s, 3-24230’s and 3-24206’s, all of greater radii. If you have enough real estate on your layout, this might be another way to go.
©2012 ETE Eastern New England Chapter. All rights reserved.