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Well-Known Member
I realize a lot has been written about this subject of double crossovers, but as I was going back thru some of the posted subject discussions on various forums I was getting confused by some of the great variety of opinions and facts. I thought I might extract some of these various postings and solutions offered into this subject thread in hopes of LEARNING and REMEMBERING the best of the ideas presented. So please excuse my 'duplication' in this subject.

A number of years ago I began collecting components for the construction of my 'retirement layout'. There were several occasions were I ran across Shinohara crossovers, both single ones and doubles. My understanding at the time was that this was a premium name, so I bought them. The 4 singles were all new, and the 2 doubles were used. They were all CODE 100 rail.

Again, before I knew of details/problems with these switches I went ahead and included one of the double crossovers in my new layout plan. Its fitted between the 2 mainlines close to where the freight yard connects to those mainlines. It's 2” centerline aspect fits in nicely with my plan, so I am hoping to utilize it if at all possible, ….otherwise I would need to go back and modify a lot of my plan.

Yesterday I got the 2 Shinohara double crossovers out and put them on my outdoor workbench to do a little testing

I wired then up straight DC for the initial test. Mechanical all of the locos I tested on these switches seemed to work fine, derails, no point picking, etc. This was encouraging considering all the negatives I've run into on a number of forums. BUT electrically I could see there were problems,...even with just plain DC,...

a) the point rails need a more consistent contact arrangement,

b) there was one consistent problem with proper contact between the point rail and its closure rail on one leg of the turnout,

c) as I was closing up for the day, I experienced some sort of a short when I was running a nice Bachmann northern across the actual center crossing portion of the turnout (no derail I could determine, just short that affected the DCC ready board in the long distance tender...smoke).

So a couple of my initial questions,

  1. what is the actual contact detail of the point rail to closure rail? I'm still have trouble determining it with magnifiers on?
  2. has there been any experimentation with a 'closure type spring' for the point rails, as in the Peco switches?


Well-Known Member
The rail point to the full rail is the contact.The part that looks like a rail joiner where the rail joint is on the switch can be helped by adding a small jumper wire that goes to either side of that joint.
Really don't need a spring, a tortoise switch machine will stall out and keep it tight and will also allow wires to power route it.With the steam engines your running I would suggest Frog juicers for smoother operation.
Being used are they DCC friendly that'll make a difference.If they are power routing will be easier.


Well-Known Member
I have one of these switches. It gets used more then any other switch. The only thing I had to do is add some nail polish to expand the insulated zones. George



Active Member
If budget allows I'd go with tortoise stall motor machines - will provide some tension from point to stock rail. For manual only operation ground throws will provide some tension as well. If you are on budget and have ability to fabricate things servo motors can be used on the cheap.

At any rate I would not rely on this tension to establish a bullet proof contact, you will need to solder flexible wire on the underside. And if you do decided to go digital then there is quite intensive modification suggested for old shinohara switch material. Whether it's worth the effort is up to you, I do have eight #4 s in my yard, conversion was quite a chore.

Good luck!


Well-Known Member
Beiland I'm not sure where these switches are located on your layout but mine happen to be right in front of my controller. I saved the price of 4 tortoise's and created a mechanical setup.


I found on mine (Shinohara Code 100, that with DCC that I need to throw all four switches, even though I am only entering the switch from one side; or, the other. I have a breaker in my system, so I don't get shorts, strongly suggest you do the same! What I mean to say, in your first photo, if a loco is where your passenger car is and wants to cross over to the other track, I need to place all of the four turnouts in the cross over mode. Otherwise I get a short. It's the same with the loco wanting to go through the straight portion of the crossover. I'm uncertain why this happens, and am uncertain how to fix this. I just know that to use the crossover, I need to heed what I have just said.


Well-Known Member
Double Crossover Tutorial
G.T. Galyon has shared his experience with the Walther's/Shinohara double crossovers. Click below on his tutorial on implementing these crossovers.

This is one of the most clear explanations I have run across. He also describes how to utilize the older crossovers with very minimal modifications. I need to reread it again to insure I understand it all.

There are a few additional questions I would like to ask of him. Would anyone know how to contact the gentleman thru email??

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