Two turnouts almost there

I’m inching still closer toward the next layout project and this is a pretty decent milestone to share. This morning I had some time to warm up the soldering iron and finish the second turnout and share a photo of what I was able to get done.

These two turnouts are both N scale built to NMRA gauge spec’s using copper-clad ties and Micro-Engineering code 40 rail. With every turnout I keep trying to refine my approach and this time I’ve finally jumped into using only copper ties. With rail soldered to every tie the resulting turnouts are a great deal stronger. I’ve been following along with the superb tutorials Henk Oversloot published on his website ( and as he notes, it takes a little extra thought planning the order in which to solder the rail to the ties since it’s quite difficult to shift a length of rail over to fix gauge errors.

I still have some work to do before completing this pair. Obviously I need to trim the ties on the wye. I also need to use a file to tidy up the mating surfaces on both turnouts where the point blades meet the stock rails. When it gets closer to installing these on the layout I’ll need to solder in some feeder wires and gap the frog rails.

I’m looking forward to trying hinged points on this pair. This will be another first for me. Again, Mr. Oversloot has an overview describing hinged points on his site:

The 2mm Association has another nice tutorial on their’s:

In both examples, instead of soldering the point blades to a sliding PC board throwbar I’ll be soldering short lengths of wire to the inside web of each blade and then threading them through a under-layout mounted throwbar. This approach should be slightly more durable. The big attraction for me will be the potential for the visible piece of the throwbar being much closer to scale.

While working on these this morning I’ve been enjoying some coffee I’ve brewed from some really great beans roasted by Row142 here in Charlottetown. I can’t imagine better coffee than what they produce and it’s the perfect compliment during a morning’s model railway pursuits.


Categories: Trackwork and Handlaid Track

Tags: , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Nice job on the turnouts. And I like the coffee reference at the bottom of the post, too…
    -Trevor (enjoying a cup of Liquid Mettle from 23 Degrees, a roastery here in Toronto…)

    • Thanks, Trevor. I’m pleased with the progress so far and especially keen to try hinged points.

      Making track and coffee just seems like a much better use of a Sunday morning than shovelling all that snow that landed on the Island last night.

  2. There is nothing better than seeing laid track being built and finished, the coffee is just a bonus. Really neat work Chris and I’m looking forward to seeing them installed on the layout.

    • Thanks for the compliment. I really appreciate it.

      I’ve just finished trimming the ties on the wye and the filing. I’ve also cut in the last of the insulating gaps. Both turnouts are now ready to install in a layout. I’m actually thinking of assembling them as complete modules ready to drop into place. Chief in this module idea is to have the DPDT switch or whatever I chose to use to actuate them already mounted and the wiring complete.

      I’m really excited, almost uncontrollably, to see these in a layout and get back to running trains. I’m equally embarrassed to confess that I’m at a roadblock in getting the layout base completed. A little bit of performance anxiety and something I need to overcome and soon!

  3. You are to be commended for your precision work, Chris.

    Personally, I had a Revv in the Keurig Sun. morning.

    Seen this David Othen RSC-14 video? Hope it doesn’t take you away from the trackwork…


    • Thanks for the compliment, Eric.

      I haven’t tried Revv yet. Krista picked up a mess of different cups yesterday at Timothy’s and I’m curious about which ones are winners…

      That David Othen video is wonderful. I saw his note on the Atlantic Rails Yahoogroup this morning and watched it, immediately. There are several units in those shots that ran on PEI and it was great watching them in action again. Like many Islanders, I made many trips to Moncton and Halifax to see our displaced diesels in the years after railroading on PEI stopped and before this perfect fleet was scrapped or sold on.

      Isn’t it amazing how much everything has changed from what we see in that video? Open auto racks and check out all those Dodge Caravans! Watching this video really drives home the importance of keeping in touch with the current scene and recording what is going on now so I don’t keep finding myself in the position of: “…wish I had photographed that when I had the chance!”

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