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No. 4 and 6 Turnouts

John K model in N scale and writes:

“I have decided on Kato Unitrack and now need to decide on #4 or #6 turnouts. Is there any preference and why?”

Post your comments below.

6 Responses to No. 4 and 6 Turnouts

  • Andy Belk says:

    Yes, there is a difference. I built my first layout with #4 turnouts and had nothing but problems. My locomotives would derail going through them. Nothing I tried that individuals on YouTube worked. So I ripped it all up and redesigned with #6 turnouts. Working great now.

    • Guy Prior says:

      The turn out numbers reflect the points size, a number 4, from my understanding, are good for marshalling yards. Number 6s you’d put on a main line, the have a wider curve, easier for a faster train to take the curve 😉.

  • Morgan Bilbo says:

    Fairly simple. #4 turnouts have a sharp curve, #6 have a larger curve. So, if you are building a small layout with 18″ radius curved track, then #4 is OK. If you want larger curves, say 24″ to 36″, then #6 are better. To use 18″ curves and #4 turnouts will require you to run smaller engines and cars. And tend to make you feel like they are more toy like. The larger the better.

  • Mike Berke says:

    Agree with the above.
    Also, those wider turns (#6) don’t place as much lateral (sideways) stress on couplers and wheel flanges, and switch points, so derailments are far less common. Use the larger number if you can and ENJOY!!!

  • Barry says:

    Unless things have changed, I discovered the #6 turnouts are not DCC friendly. My EP718-15 must have power at all connections in order to maintain engine performance.

  • Ken Holbrook says:

    I have used #4 turnouts on my entire layout because I only had a 5-1/2’x10-1/2’ room to work with. I have 11 turnouts in total. However, I was very careful about placing them so not to create an unnatural look to the layout. Use as much space as you can and don’t be tempted to skimp on the radii on diverging lines. I can run my trains at 100% speed (I’ve only done this as a test) and the trains fly around like there’s no tomorrow. The only time I had an issue was with a turnout on a downhill grade. Not all rolling stock has the same couplers and couple height. Some are different from front to back. So if I had a car that wanted to in-couple, sometimes all I had to do is turn it around. But ultimately I had to ensure there was limited grade in front and behind the turnout to fix the issue for good. But like others have said, if you have a larger layout you might want to stick with 6’s.

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