There is never enough space on any model railroad to fit in everything we want. But working some curved turnouts into your design will go a long way to giving you some extra space! Commercial curved turnouts are notoriously troublesome. Curved turnouts built using Fast Tracks tools operate trouble free as are able to hold the high tolerances needed for a smoothly operating curved switch. We have spent a lot of time determining the most popular combination of radii to offer on our line of HO curved turnout fixtures.
Our curved turnout fixtures are designed around the "bent turnout" principle, that is, we've started with a standard #8 straight turnout, and using some sophisticated CAD software "bent" it to an outside radius of 18"R (457.2mm). The inside radius of 15"R (381mm) is a product of that process. As the inside radius is actually made of 3 different radii, we've calculated an average radius from those sizes and state them as the inside radius. It is safe to rely on that number as an accurate inside radius in your track planning.
Hand laying your own HO #8 code 55, 18" outside radius and 15" inside radius (457.2mm/381mm) curved turnouts is not as hard as you might think! Tools and technology designed and manufactured by Fast Tracks now make it possible for you to build your own high quality, NMRA compliant curved turnouts.
Build curved turnouts that not only look great, but will completely eliminate track related derailments and frustration.
Fast Tracks assembly fixtures will help you build high quality hand laid track that:
- Is Highly Accurate - Build curved turnouts that stay in perfect gauge - permanently
- Performs Perfectly - Completely eliminates track related derailments
- Is Economical - Build hundreds of curved turnouts with one fixture
- Is Easy To Build - No special skills needed
- Can Be Built Quickly - Build a curved turnout in less than an hour!
- Looks Great! - Get results that rival even the most experienced modelers
- Lets You Work in Comfort - Build trackwork at your workbench
- Is NMRA Compliant - Will work with any NMRA compliant equipment
Each assembly fixture can be used to build right or left hand HO #8 code 55, 18" outside radius and 15" inside radius (457.2mm/381mm) curved turnouts.
Building curved turnouts using Fast Tracks tools and supplies is not much different than building straight turnouts and does not require any special skills. The only real difference is that the rail is curved, so you may want to consider purchasing one of our Rail Rollers which will make it very easy to bend rail into smooth and consistent radiuses.
As Fast Tracks curved turnouts are essentially straight turnouts that have been curved, this means that the frog is also curved, but still a standard #8 turnout, which means that you can use our standard PointForm tool to construct the frog.
If you order a Fast Tracks assembly fixture, we highly recommend that you consider including the PointForm and StockAid points filing tools shown in the option list. This will make the construction of the switch and frog points much easier. You may also want to consider including some CopperHead PC Board ties and our matching Laser Cut QuickSticks to your order.
Unlike ready-to-run turnouts, the stated radiuses for Fast Tracks curved turnouts are very accurate.
Use the Fast Tracks RailRoller tool to pre-bend rail used in curved track fixtures.
Failure to properly pre-bend the rail for curved trackwork will result in solder joint failure over time!
TRACK BUILDER'S RESOURCES
Builders Guide - Building Turnouts Using Fast Tracks Assembly Fixtures
Get a head start by downloading our track building guide for turnouts now.
Fast Tracks Knowledge Base
In addition to an extensive Q&A section, we also offer a full library of track building documents.
Fast Tracks Video Channel
Visit our growing collection of track building demonstration videos.