Lowa

Curved Train Switches

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Posted (edited)

We just released our new curved switches!

curved-switches.jpgcurved-signle-crossover.jpg

They are very handy to build compact layouts as you can move your switches to the curved sections and thus use the full length of the straight sections for platforms, cargo terminals, etc. As shown above, they can be used to build curved single crossovers.

You can see our curved switches in action in the video below:

The curved switches are designed to be fully compatible with the LEGO® grid. They fit into standard R40 curves; the inner line requires 2 and the outer line requires 3 standard curves to complete a 90 degree turn. The curved switches split the main line into two separate lines that are separated by an 8 stud wide gap at the end of the turn.

curved-switch-dimensions-top.png

They are also fully anti-studded, just like all our other train tracks.

curved-switch-back.jpg

Let me know if you have any questions, comments or suggestions!

Edited by Lowa

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Nice!  Good choice on the geometry.  Should be interesting to see the resulting layout using some of these.  :classic:

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These are really nice! Particularly the single cross is really attractive.

Would electrification still work in that case? This would call for a very compact switch mechanism for the drive between the two tracks, right? In that case it would be of benefit to move the throwing mechanism to the other (straight) side, right? @Haddock51 wanted to do a similar modification - however due to other reasons.

Best,
Thorsten 

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Posted (edited)

This looks great - good work!

What would be a real deal would be a large radius bi-radius switch. E.g. R104 inside and R120 outer curve (without the straight track piece at all).

That switch would make beautiful layouts with smooth, sweeping curves. My experience is from H0 railroad track design.

Edited by Henry 991

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On 6/10/2019 at 6:40 AM, Toastie said:

These are really nice! Particularly the single cross is really attractive.

Would electrification still work in that case? This would call for a very compact switch mechanism for the drive between the two tracks, right? In that case it would be of benefit to move the throwing mechanism to the other (straight) side, right? @Haddock51 wanted to do a similar modification - however due to other reasons.

Best,
Thorsten 

Im sure @Lowa can correct me but I am pretty sure that this is designed as an add-on to the modular switch system so the position of the throw is easily ordered on the other side. 

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15 minutes ago, supertruper1988 said:

Im sure @Lowa can correct me but I am pretty sure that this is designed as an add-on to the modular switch system so the position of the throw is easily ordered on the other side. 

Wow. That is really really nice. I am all 9V; nevertheless I do share all the excitement! Moving the switches into curved track segments even with perfect half cross overs is an extremely nice solution.

Thanks for the note!

Best
Thorsten 

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On 6/9/2019 at 8:47 PM, coaster said:

That's pretty cool, Tom!  Nicely done.

Thank you!

On 6/9/2019 at 10:17 PM, pirzyk said:

Nice!

Thank you!

On 6/10/2019 at 3:18 AM, deraven said:

Nice!  Good choice on the geometry.  Should be interesting to see the resulting layout using some of these.  :classic:

Thank you.  So far the geometry is working out great.  I'm indeed also wondering what other types of layouts you can make with these switches.

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On 6/10/2019 at 9:40 AM, Toastie said:

These are really nice! Particularly the single cross is really attractive.

Yes, that's indeed a feature of this switch that I like a lot!

 

On 6/10/2019 at 9:40 AM, Toastie said:

Would electrification still work in that case?

At first sight it looks like electrification of the single crossover should be possible, unless I overlooked something...

 

curved-switch-power.png

 

On 6/10/2019 at 9:40 AM, Toastie said:

In that case it would be of benefit to move the throwing mechanism to the other (straight) side, right? @Haddock51 wanted to do a similar modification - however due to other reasons.

The switches are modular so you can customize the position of the ground throw.  The switch consists of two tracks a 'split track' and a 'divergent track'.  Only the divergent track is new, the split track is the same as in our other R40 switches.

curved-switch-right-inside.pngcurved-switch-right-outside.png

 

On 6/10/2019 at 2:48 PM, LEGO Train 12 Volts said:

It's since I was a child I want to see switches like this for lego trains! :wub_drool:

I'm happy I was able to fulfill a childhood dream...

21 hours ago, zephyr1934 said:

Brilliant! That makes curves so much more efficient.

Indeed, it gives you the possibility to do something in the curves.  You can pack a lot more functionality in your layout without needing extra space.

9 hours ago, Henry 991 said:

This looks great - good work!

What would be a real deal would be a large radius bi-radius switch. E.g. R104 inside and R120 outer curve (without the straight track piece at all).

Thanks for the suggestion. We’ll certainly take a look at feasibility of making a large radius version of this switch.

6 hours ago, supertruper1988 said:

Im sure @Lowa can correct me but I am pretty sure that this is designed as an add-on to the modular switch system so the position of the throw is easily ordered on the other side. 

Absolutely correct! I could not have worded it better myself...

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Now this is awesome! I have no use for large radius curves on my compact track, but these will really improve and increase design options for people who run R40. 

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Shut up and take my money! ... Seriously great work here are they availible yet?

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9 hours ago, Roadmonkeytj said:

Shut up and take my money! ... Seriously great work here are they availible yet?

Here you go.

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I wonder if they will work for a crossover on R4O curves like I have pictured or does the outer curve need to be a bigger radius?

2019-06-14_12-45-33

 

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4 hours ago, sed6 said:

I wonder if they will work for a crossover on R4O curves like I have pictured or does the outer curve need to be a bigger radius?

2019-06-14_12-45-33

 

That's exactly the set up where they'd work. All curves need to be R40.

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On 6/11/2019 at 10:17 PM, icemorons said:

What a brilliant idea!!

Thank you!  

On 6/12/2019 at 2:03 AM, sed6 said:

Now this is awesome! I have no use for large radius curves on my compact track, but these will really improve and increase design options for people who run R40. 

Indeed, a LEGO train layout gets pretty quick, pretty fast.  So we have been working on a couple of solutions to build compact layouts with more functionality.  These curved switches fit into the category.  We recently also introduced a 'short' variant of our inside switches; the image below compares the standard one (on the left) to the short one (on the right).

S-Tracks-1.png

 

With these new parts it's possible to build double crossovers with the same footprint as the 7996 but that have independent control over all the switches.  That's the double crossover with the smallest possible footprint and ideal for compact layouts.  Although the ground throws are closer to the tracks there's enough space for the trains to pass; can you find additional information in this blog post: https://www.4dbrix.com/news/blog/index.php?postid=16

double-crossover-inside.png

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9 hours ago, sed6 said:

I wonder if they will work for a crossover on R4O curves like I have pictured or does the outer curve need to be a bigger radius?

@Chromeknight Correct! That's indeed what they are designed for.  

@sed6 You two options, you just need which one works best for your layout:

4dbrix-220-crossover-layout-1.png4dbrix-220-crossover-layout-2.png

 

Both options shown above use the same parts so you can try what is most convenient.  If you want both ground throws in between the two lines you need to decide which option you want before ordering because you need to know which switch (left turn or right turn) needs the ground throw on the inside and which one needs it on the outside.

 

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21 hours ago, Lowa said:

@Chromeknight Correct! That's indeed what they are designed for.  

@sed6 You two options, you just need which one works best for your layout:

4dbrix-220-crossover-layout-1.png4dbrix-220-crossover-layout-2.png

 

Both options shown above use the same parts so you can try what is most convenient.  If you want both ground throws in between the two lines you need to decide which option you want before ordering because you need to know which switch (left turn or right turn) needs the ground throw on the inside and which one needs it on the outside.

 

Awesome! Thanks for showing the digital view, I was having a hard time imagining the pieces! How about between my middle and outer loops, will that work too, can you show that digital?

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