Question about switches/turnouts

Hello all.
Been away from model trains for over 30 years now. I guess I'm entering my second childhood now since I want to get back into it. I really like what
DCC can do, so I bought a small Bachmann HO DCC set to tinker around with. Nothing really fancy, but not a bad deal to get my feet wet again.
When I was a kid, I had a big loop with a smaller loop within on a 4x8 piece of plywood. I had four remote switches connecting them together. As I recall (and I believe that I'm absolutely sure), when the train went thru a switch backwards (merging tracks), it didn't matter how the switch was thrown, the train wouldn't derail.
I seem to recall that the moving parts (thin rails) of the switch had an extra spring and could easily move over when the wheel flange started to hit it from the back side. This had the great benefit of preventing the wheel from binding and derailing. Now my trains derail if I don't throw the switch. What happened? Doesn't anyone make remote switches with the cool little extra springs?
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Anthony Fremont wrote:

No.
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"Wolf K." wrote:

Maerklin. (three rail/stud contact system) The 'problem' with 2 rail systems is that the unused point is at the opposite polarity to the wheel that would deflect it, so a short circuit occurs in the situation you're envisaging.
Greg.P.
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Greg Procter wrote:

It's not a reverse loop, it's just coming thru the turnout traveling the opposite direction trying to force the switch over. The only short occurs when the engine derails. Allot of times the engine makes it thru just fine, it's the lightweight cars that tends to ride up onto the rail instead of forcing their way thru. It's really not a complex mechanism to implement, I'm surprised it's not commonplace.
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Anthony Fremont wrote:

In that situation you need a light over center spring on your points tie bar so that the loco pushes the points across and they snap to stay there. If electrified this would require a solenoid with a very light movement. It is quite practical to do.
Alternatively you could arrange common rail contacts so that the solenoid is automatically thrown by the train approaching the frog of the turnout in question. This is probably a better solution than having the loco/train wheels drive the solenoid. HO is really too light for non-powered vehicles to individually fight a reliably sprung turnout.
Greg.P.
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On Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:44:02 -0600, "Anthony Fremont"

I know that they have them in the real world. The track for the horse-draw streetcar on Main Street at Disneyland works just that way. In fact, there is no mechanism for it to operate any other way. Cars approaching from the front always go to the right.
Gary
--
Gary Edstrom < snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net>
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We called them slip switches back then. I liked 'em.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Bill's Store--Books, Trains, and Toys: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,200 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
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On Mon, 17 Dec 2007 15:50:48 -0800 (PST), Bill wrote:

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Never heard that name used that way - this is a slip switch:
http://www.irishtracklayer.com/slipswitch/slip.html
--
Steve

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Steve Caple wrote:

Nice, but that pricing is a killer. :-O As far as I can remember, they were fairly ordinary looking turnouts, allot like they look now. There were just little springs inside that let the sliding part (I know zilch about the terminology now) move without the switch actually being thrown. No matter what position the switch was in, you could manually manipulate the little sliding part with very little resistance, just enough spring pressure inside the switch to push it back to where it was supposed to be when you released it. So when a train went thru, the switching rails moved right over. Once the train wheel was thru, it would simply snap back to the original switched position. Very simple, very failsafe.
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You can get the effect of a spring switch by building your own. Take the switch machine off an Atlas turnout, and place a spring on the throwbar, so it forces the points closed. Use a rapido coupler (N scale) spring or maybe a motor spring for the spring. You want something strong enough to move the points back in to position, but not so strong they don't move.
Puckdropper
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Puckdropper wrote:

The best way to get a light spring to give a relatively constant pressure over 'X' length of movement is to use a longer spring so that the percentage change is as small as possible. This probably dictates an under baseboard mechanisim. Under basebard gives one the possibility of using levers. I used a small brass tube vertically into the baseboard as a pivot point and an 'L' wire as the lever. The position of the spring end on the wire was controlled by two pieces of ball point inner tube just tight on the wire so I could adjust the leverage and spring tension to optimum. Once that was found I locked the plastic tubes in place with a drop of instant glue.
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Steve Caple wrote:

> > I remember them i the modeling world being called "spring switches" rather than "slip switches"
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wrote:

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You're thinking of a spring switch.
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Frank Rosenbaum
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wrote:

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Yep! I forgot...old age at work.
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Bill's Store--Books, Trains, and Toys: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,200 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
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On Mon, 17 Dec 2007 17:20:20 -0800, Bill wrote:

<snip>
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
And you've both forgotten how to snip :-).
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"Frank A. Rosenbaum" wrote:

"Sprung ..."
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Greg Procter wrote:

[...]
You say tomayto, I say tomahto....
Greg, please keep in mind that English railway (railroad) terms are not international.
Odd fact: In the early to mid 1800s, the British preferred "railroad" (or "rail road") and the Americans preferred "railway." The preferences switched sometime in the later 1800s.
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"Wolf K." wrote:

Putting two nouns together tends to give them (nearly) equal prominance. Putting an adjective in front of a noun tells us the noun is modified.
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Greg Procter wrote:

Erm, it seems you were not well taught about the role of intonation is expressing syntax. A compound noun is not the same as a {modifier + noun} phrase. I don't know about your dialect, but in all the varieties of English I've ever heard {modifier + noun} and compound noun have different intonations, even when the first element of the compound noun is an adjective, as in 'black bird' vs 'blackbird'. NB that when 'black' is a modifier it gets somewhat less "prominence" (to use your term), whereas when it is the first element of the compound it gets markedly more "prominence".
Actually, you can tell whether the speaker thinks of "spring switch" as a phrase or a compound by listening to how he _says_ it. Ignore how he writes it -- in English, there are no rules about how to write compound nouns. In general, long established compounds are written as one word, but new ones are not. Some people like to use hyphens to mark a compound noun (a hyphen is a spelling mark, not a punctuation mark, BTW, despite what your school grammar text told you.) There are also cultural differences: Americans don't like to write compound nouns as single words, so they usually don't. They don't like commas, either. These two quirks often require one to reread a sentence written in American.
If you really want to understand all this, I'll give you a lesson on the English noun phrase, which is a thing of beauty and joy forever. ;-)
HTH
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Bill wrote:

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"Slip switch" is a term already used for slip switches.
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