Quay Points… an update re Canute Road Quay and / or improving Peco turnouts

My new little timesaving / timewasting project Canute Road Quay has progressed slowly over the last few weeks. This post brings you up to date with that progress and also the details the modifications that I make to Peco electrofrog turnouts to improve both the appearance and the electrical performance that is especially important as I am using  Peco short radius turnouts including Y’ turnouts.

Canute Road Quay is starting to take shape

From the pictures left you can see that I have now completed following: painting of the baseboard with matt black paint to all the external fascias, leaving the inside faces and underneath white, the trackwork is now laid and glued in place (I actually on the recommendation of a fellow modeler simply used superglue for this) the LED lighting is in place (more of which anon) also the brickwork of the quayside along the very front edge has also been added.

Another view on progress so far.

Although not visible from the picture the DCC Concepts Cobalt point motors have been installed, and initial track feed and frog wiring completed. This has not yet been taken back to the control panel (which I have also made up, but more about this in a future post) as this will itself be mounted on the small bespoke fiddle yard module on the left hand end and I am still awaiting this from Tim Horn Baseboards.

The next steps will be the initial weathering or the track sleepers and painting rail sides in track colour, the addition of the check rail for the inset trackwiork sections and the construction of the remaining buildings. In addition to the low relief Bachmann Scalescene bonded warehouses, I have opted for using Skytrex Models resin components for the engine shed and the two warehouses / loading docks located at the front using laser cut components from LCut Creative.  Once in place I can make a start on the various ground covers.

Improving Peco turnouts

With respect to the Peco turnouts there are a number of improvements that can be made especially electrically to ensure better running which includes:

A diagram showing modifications to Peco points from underneath

Firstly, I always recommend  switching the frog polarity using the built in micro switch on the point motor (or a separate micro switch depending on the motor type you are using, the DCC Concepts Cobalt point motors convenient have two built in switches) and therefore not relying on the switch blade contact, which can be unreliable if any dirt gets between the stock rail and switch blade.

The Peco short radius ‘Y’ turnout does not have wire links so requires the actual rails to be cut between the frog and links between the stock rails and the switch blade (just visible)

This requires any electrical link between switch rails and the frog to be cut, and as such is made simple on most Peco points as there is an exposed wire link underneath the point that can be cut. However on the short radius ‘Y’ points this wire link does not exist and therefore requires the actual rails to be cut between the switch blade pivots and the frog.

A diagram from above

Secondly, I electrically link each switch blade to its adjacent stock rail with a short wire link as this ensures good electrical continuity. Conveniently Peco leave a gap in the sleeper webbing, on most of their turnouts, to ease the soldering of this wire link, which is then hidden one ballasted etc.

Hopefully the diagrams / images to the left help to show this more clearly.

Picture showingthe tiebar has been cut either side and the spring and housing removed

To improve the turnouts visually I also remove, by simply cutting them off the hand operating lugs either side of the tie bar and as I am using DCC Concepts Cobalt point motors that are of the stall rather than solenoid type that hold the switchblades in the required position the non prototypical Peco spring housing and spring can also be removed, these are held in place by a metal clip that can be easily unclipped from underneath the turnout.

I hope that the above post is of interest and use especially with respect to wiring and improving Peco elctrofrog points and clarifies the issue on the short radius ‘Y’ point where the wire links underneath are not provided by Peco.

Watch this space for further updates on Canute Road Quay over the next few weeks.




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