Please help: Adding a Crossover 101: I am ready to get brave!


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I read my Trainz 2012 book and I could not find anything about adding a crossover junction on two existing parallel tracks. I am trying to add a crossover on a grade and this might be tricky. I am trying to find a step-by-step tutorial on this I have no experience in track laying. I need to get my passenger train from the mainline to the siding where my station platform is without having to drive into the Bakersfield yard ahead of the station and back in through a yard switch to the platform. I need a listing of all the assets needed to build the xover, where to find them in Surveyor and how to build it so it looks neat and functions. I don't need to yet worry about signal operation at the junction.

Using your chosen track, click on Switch A, drag out the spline and click on Switch B, and the crossover is formed complete with switch levers. You may have to straighten the main tracks and you can change the switch lever for another, or a motor, of your choice - even an invisible one. You can change which side the lever is on, and you can change the change the default direction taken by trains.

If the grade is smooth, with both tracks at the same height and at a consistent slope, the crossover should go in with little visible overlap. If ballast edges show up at the overlapping ends you may need to do some slight track height adjustment at one or both junctions. If that proves to be unworkable then you may have to add a new spline point an arbitrary 20 or 30 meters beyond the proposed junction, to each track (4 spline points total), making sure the 2 spline points at each end are at the same height; then delete the track between points, and redraw the tack, then add the crossover. This last option should work. Junctions on a grade are usually troublesome if careful attention isn't paid to laying the base grade.
To add to the very helpful hints above, I add in an additional spline point about 10 or 20 meters on the outside (long part of the track) of your designations A and B.

With these extra points, you can then straighten the track through the switch so there is no jerk in the tracks by straightening the small piece of track between the two spline points.

I highly recommend signaling the crossover. There is probably a prototypical method, and one that works in Trainz. I happen to use the one that works with the AI drivers 99% of the time! I put in a Type 06 diverging signal just before the split in the tracks at the base of the "Y". Note the junction in the picture below as this shows the placement of the additional spline points used to straighten the switch. In the distance, just outside of the view here, you can see the bases of the signals for the crossover just past the level crossing:


Photo condensed to show details.

A yard crossover is @ 160 ft, and a mainline turnout is @ 260 ft ... check on Google Earth, and measure a crossover for yourself, using the GE/Ruler/Ft/Line measuring tool

Get used to the small football shape overlap of double spline points just before a turnout, on curves ... too much overlap is bad ... too little overlap is also bad ... it should be @ 1 to 2 ties overlap ... after a while it will become second nature of visually measuring the overlap.

To place a spline point with exact precision, do not use the "insert spline point" tool button ... instead, hold down on the "Shift" key, and place a temporary track, start spline point, (you may have to zoom in a ways to get it to stick) ... now release the "Shift" key, and stretch the track spline to exactly the precise location you wish, and make it click on the track ... now delete the un-needed temporary track tail, and the precision placed spline point will be there, all alone.

I should write a book on how to lay track, as I lay track within a couple inches tollerance, with curves perfect to exact radius within precision tolerances.

Gradients is another story ... I have a technique of using a temporary straightened, straight edge track, to line up permanent tracks spline points, and to measure, and apply the temporary spline point height measurement, to the permanent track spline points.

Get on Skype, and I'll give anyone a tutorial on tracklaying

Skype UN: cascaderailroad
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Actually, US switches (junctions) are measured as divergent offset per foot; i.e. a #6 switch is offset 1 foot per 6 feet in length, a #8 switch is offset 1 foot per 8 feet of length, etc. An easy way to lay out switches is to use 'lead'. Lead is measured as a horizontal line from the tip of the switch points to the center of the crossing frog. Below is a table which may come in handy.
#6 switch lead is 16.76m.
#7 switch lead is 18.3m.
#8 switch lead is 19.92m.
#9 switch lead is 21.34m.
#10 switch lead is 22.94m.
#12 switch lead is 29,6m.
#16 switch lead is 39.93m.
#20 switch lead is 46.33 m.
These lengths were taken from railroad documents and references. The lead value may vary somewhat from road to road, depending on the sharpness of the radius at the entrance to the points. However, they are a good reference for prototype track, and consistent switch building.
That is true, in Trainz I commonly place a spline point right in the middle of a frog, for the next switch in line ... but if you are modeling MO Interlocking in Cresson PA, and Google Earth shows a crossover measurement of 360 ft, (or the metric equivalent) switch machine, to switch machine ... applying that same measurement in Trainz works out very well
I found this link. This is the simple install for a crossover.

[h=2]Adding a Turnout[edit][/h]In the Track Tab, click-LMB on the Add Track button, and then click on a section of your existing track in between two spline points. A new spline point appears and you can now Click-LMB again, away from the exisiting track, to create your turnout. Use the Move tool to position the direction of the track to give the best appearance. Notice that the check rails and sleepers are placed automatically, and move as you move the rail.

I found out the frogs are for looks and the switches will still function without them.

This crossover worked when tested.
There was only a modest percentage of grade in this spot. +/- 0.13 %

I had to flip my switch lever from the outside of the switch to the inside of its curve radius as locomotive overhang in front
on these sharp turns might get the pilots to close to the lever and hit it. I like to carefully test for adequate train clearance
when installing track-side objects. The GP9 engine has grab irons that extend further out than most modern locos.