Sidebar: Handlaid Turnouts

Back before the days of the White River & Northern IV, I'd started the short-lived White River & Northern III, which was to have all Code 40 track. I was using the Rail Craft flex, and handlaying the turnouts. My preferred method was to glue PC board ties to a slab of thick sheet styrene, remove the copper cladding from the ties save for the "tie plates," and solder the rail in place. The points on the first one I built were sprung via pivot rods towards each other, with pins on the point ends that engaged the lever of a microswitch.

I'd even gone so far as to hand-carve wood grain into the PC board ties.

The crossover I built tie-for-tie based on a real one on the old Reading line, which was about a block away from my condo at the time. The design was a little different: the points were both sprung to the normal route, and a rod with a spacer engaged the points and moved them to the diverging route. You could say I was in a mode of experimentation and discovery back then... the date was 19 May 1991.


Copyright 2017-2019 by David K. Smith. All Rights Reserved | Site Map