I’ve built a few stub turnouts before and found myself faced with two issues that were new to me. On a “traditional” turnout the tie, or whatever you’re using, to move the point blades slides underneath the stock rails and controls any vertically-inspired urges in the point blades attempt. On a stub turnout, since there are no point blades and what we’re moving is the stock rails there is nothing to keep these rails from lifting upward. Understandably, this becomes a nuissance. The second issue I’d discovered was that there was nothing to limit the travel of the point blades when aligning the departure road for the turnout. The latter problem was easy enough to solve with a pair of tiny nails driven into the roadbed to act as stops for the rod connecting the two stock rails (“bridal rails” is the correct term for the moving rails in a stub turnout). I never did settle on a way to keep the rails from drifting upward.
The last stub turnouts I built were for that On30 layout I had been fooling around with two years ago and this past blog post shows what I did and the finished effect. Caution: more terrible Mears-quality photos are loaded into the post:
I can’t shake the urge to build a few stub turnouts in N scale but I’ve resisting for the above-noted two reasons. I’m content to come up with something like my “nails in the roadbed” approach to limiting throw distance but the vertical question becomes even more prominent in N. Off to Google Images I went in search of photographs of prototype stub turnouts to take a lesson from folks who actually know what they’re doing. In the real world, these turnouts are built with really heavy lengths of rail and I don’t expect they have the same problems I do with my tiny code 40 rails as I honestly don’t expect even seventy pound rail ever starts to lift and even if it does, hundred ton locomotives should fast and literally, “put it back in it’s place”. While I didn’t see any examples that caught my interest, I did come across thsi blog post on Bernie Kempinski’s USMRR blog:
The above post features his stunning double-slip stub turnout. What caught my attention were those two little strips of metal laid across the ties adjacent to where the throw rod is and that they were being used to keep it in place vertically. Here’s the picture showing what I’m referring to:
That looks like the easiest thing to do and it’s stunning for it’s simplistic elegance. I’m using PC board ties and have been hoarding packages of Detail Associates flat wire for a very, very long time and think a few short lengths of this could be soldered across these ties in N scale the same way Bernie did with his O scale ones. Not only should this work perfectly, but it actually looks sort of prototypical or at least close enough for me.
Armed with this “that’s so obvious, why couldn’t I think of something as simple as two tiny strips of flat wire soldered over the throw bar…idiot” solution in mind I can’t wait to get home later today and give this a try. I have a #6 I built earlier that I can cannibalise for this project and if successful I find myself one step closer to giving this 19th century PEIR Souris West station inspired layout a true chance.
I can’t wait.
I’m pretty excited.