The two turnouts I’m using on the Coy Paper layout are both single point “trolley” turnouts. That’s what was in place when Pinsly installed the two car runaround in West Claremont to make switching Coy Paper easier and certainly they were, one more thing, that made this so appealing as a model railway for me.
As the above image from the Richard Orr catalogue illustrates, the single point is on the inside of the turnout and the point’s job is to catch the back of the wheel flange and guide the wheels into the diverging route.
In my model I estimated the end of the fixed point by the width of a flangeway, like I’d use elsewhere, found marked on the side of my NMRA gauge. I filed this fixed point down to a fine tapered edge so a truck glides across this space.
A real turnout is a series of tangents, not curved rail, but in a model I’m not that bothered with a rail that’s slightly curved. In these single point turnouts I think that ensuring the rails are tangents and parallel (point is parallel to the stock rail) becomes more crucial.
When building a “regular” turnout we never really think there’s much concern on how long the points actually are. If we’re building an accurate model of the real thing we simply measure the real thing and divide by our scale factor. In a purely model form, if it looks right it’s probably darn well close enough. When I built these turnouts, as shown in the photos, I have left the point itself fixed to the rail because I’m not sure if I’m going to hinge it or not. As well, as mentioned, the idea is that the point is supposed to guide the back of the wheel flange into the diverging route. When I built this turnout I set it up so that point was at least as long as the truck’s wheelbase that would be navigating through it. This made sense at the time.
As luck would have it, the first turnout (the one starring in these turnouts) is the one on the right in the track plan. In a typical operating session it’s the one that isn’t under a lot of pressure to work flawlessly every time. When I built the second turnout, the one that connects to Coy, I made the point too short and that helped me appreciate how important that point’s length is in these turnouts. I can easily replace the point with a longer one but am writing this to acknowledge that lesson learned.