Large Scale Central

Curved Crossover Build

Thought I’d document this separately to my main build log – easier to search etc.

I’ve got two curves on a 1% grade that I want to put a crossover into. Custom build territory… The tracks aren’t down yet but I have the roadbed in place. First step was to install some temporary track, and bent up a crossover track to match. Took a bit of fiddling to get a smooth curve, joining the outer curve smoothly made me shift the frog about 8” further away than I first thought it would be.

I traced out the parallel rail heads first. The paper is A3 sheets taped together.

Then I removed them and installed the crossover track, and traced it too.

The whole shebang ended up at 2.5m, just over 8’ long. I moved it to the workbench, had to laugh when it was too big to actually fit. I thought momentarily about requesting permission for more bench space from the Authority but self-preservation kicked in. :blush:

Next step is to get some rail shaped up to fit. Not sure whether to cut the tracing in two or just work with it in one piece, second option seems safer (as it everything ‘should’ line up), but might be more of a pita to manage.

More to come.



Looks like you are doing a great job on your build, but for myself I have always tried to stay away from trying to make things work in areas that are going to be a problem. It looks like you have the know how on what to do and how to do it, it’s just like everything else, a lot of work and time will be involved. Go for it.

If I was to trim the drawing, I’d trim in after the last set of points. Your critical areas are the frogs and points and if you use continuous rail, that curve on the end would be easy to add after the fact.

Honestly I think the next step is to get the car out of the garage and give yourself some working space!


Looks great. I used the dining table when I had an 8’ custom track to build!

Thanks Craig,

Yeah, I’ve got some overhang at both ends that I can target, that’s where I’m thinking as well. Maybe 6" past the point blades? That should let the railbender work those sections a little bit if they need tuning to the eye after install.

Even tho I’ll be making two turnouts I’d like to keep the drawing between the frogs together for peace of mind.


Yep, totally understand the idea behind it all. I’d just start at one point or frog and just work until I ran out of rail. When I build turnouts I don’t trim any of the stock rails until after it’s all done and I can place it on the layout.

Got a plan yet for your frogs?

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Pete, not even gonna ask how you got away with that… :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Edit: I actually remember that pic from a long while back. Maybe thats where I got the notion to trace rails. Is that what you did?


Not sure I’d actually call it a plan - but I’ve got this far.


I didn’t trace the rails - just drew it freehand, although I had a couple of large templates that were various radii so I could follow them.

Wife was working in Chicago some of the week and I was home in MD, so it was fairly easy to use any part of the house I wanted. :grin:

When I was making switches/points I found it helpful to attach ties/sleepers to battens underneath which kept them in place while I spiked.

OldGR4 locating frog

As you can see, I also cut some rulers [yard sticks actually] and notched them at 1.75" as track gauges. (The extra notches were for 32mm gauge G-0 and 64.5mm, G-3.) The best tool I had was a small cordless Dremel that was used to pre-drill the redwood ties/sleepers, which have very hard rings in them.

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Pete - I like your track gauge solution. I went with a different home-brew method using threaded rod and nuts…

Progress this weekend.

Got the rails for the for the first turnout shaped up to where I’m happy.

Some final trimming needed on the wing rails but I’ll do that once it’s on ties.

Laid up with gauge spacers in place.

Pretty happy with the frog. It measured out to be about a #7.5. The rails are curved through the frog rather than straight - should be ok as long as I keep a tight spec on the check gauge using the guard rails



Tut, tut. Rails through the frog should be straight. Makes it much easier to get the frog to work?

Yes. I know… :frowning_face: I’d bent everything up before I remembered to leave that bit straight.

Let’s see how it pans out. I’m gonna have to rely on the guard rails to pull the leading edge of the wheels across to the clear the frog.


Probably will have no problems !!!

Second turnout bent up, closure rails on both turnouts filed and fitted. Time to see how much cedar I have in stock for ties. It’s not that easy to come by downunder any more… :upside_down_face:


And the answer was yes. Much relieved.


Absolutely masterful turnout construction…dinning room table and all!
Your variety of tools and jigs to assist in gauging is a tribute to your quality work.

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Neil, if you ever open a pub in your basement or back porch, I think you’ve nailed the name:

The Bent Frog

:beer: :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

And yes, gorgeous turnout work!!

Thanks Richard. Very kind words.

I thought I’d lost my mojo for building turnouts after my #5 & #6 marathon a while back. But the drag of creating all those tools, jigs and processes has made these two reasonably painless. So far… :laughing: