A long time ago, I purchased a stash of Peco #8 turnouts, just in case I got fed up with trying to make my own. But abandoning this Proto:87 venture would lead me right back to why I diverged onto the Proto:87 course anyway: Peco frogs don’t look like frogs (see post - Frog Frenzy). With making a suitable turnout moving at a glacial pace, and after another frustrating failure last week, I ordered a half dozen Details West #8 frogs to replace those ugly Peco frogs and move the layout along with at least a temporary track while I figure out how to build a suitable turnout.

One lament with this idea would be that I would have to build this temporary track as a standard HO track, while everything else I’m building would be Proto:87. As I ripped out the Peco frog and refitted it with a nice Details West frog, I had the idea to convert the Details West frog to be usable as a Proto:87 frog. To do so, I simply glued a .030 styrene shim to the wing rail portion of the Details West manganese frogs. This shim was then sanded down to not interfere with the flange-ways, and acts to carry the wheel tread from the closure rails to the frog point without dropping into the enormous HO gap. I also removed the Peco guard rails, filed their bases and moved them closer to the stock rails so that they met the Proto:87 Check gauge. If I do another one, I’ll try to make a video or take in progress photos.


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Greg Amer

  4 Responses to “Peco Proto:87 Conversion (or Diversion)”

  1. Did you try out the P87 Stores frogs? I have fund they drop right into Shinohara turnouts. I imagine the same would be true with Peco as well.

    How do the points work with P87?


    • Thanks Rene,

      I have successfully replaced the Proto87 stores into a Peco turnout. It is really a very simple process, just set the new frog on top of the turnout and align it with the frog and closure rails, mark the turnout and cut out the old frog. It takes a little cleanup to get it pretty, but it’s mostly just shaving down some plastic burs. I glue in the Proto87 Frog. Wiggle the guard rails loose, file the inside base of the guard rails and move them closer to the stock rails to achieve the proper check gauge.

      It takes about 15 to 20 minutes and the proto87 wheels run just fine on a modified Peco turnout.


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