Electric switches and tortoise motors

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by stanC, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. stanC

    stanC Member

    After many years I decided to go back to my Lima Electric HO train. Reading your very interesting site I can see I have been living in the dark ages so please excuse the question if it appears to be silly. I see a lot of information about tortoise switches and connecting them to switches. I have electric switches that are complete and work very well. My question is why would someone get involved in the work required to install a tortoise motor ect when there is a readily available switch. It is not the expense. Is it the the satisfaction involved or are there other more basic reasons.
    Regards Stan
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Not all turnouts (switches) come with switch machines (motors) to throw the points. In other cases, people prefer the slow-action of the Tortoise over the *snap* of a twin-coil solinoid machine.

    There are always three or four right answers (minimum) to any question in model railroading...! ;)

    Welcome to The Gauge!

  3. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    I am employing the Tortoise switch machines not because they work slowly (I feature I actually do not care about) but because the operation is completely concealed from the surface of the layout (just a wire sticking up to move the frog points), and they happen to mount very well in my foam board benchwork. They are pricey, but I believe they will work out very well.
  4. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Stan! Another Tortoise feature is a stall motor with very low current draw. Coils will not burn out, pushbuttons do not arc, no CDUs required, two-position toggle switches can be used.
  5. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    They need not just be used for changing points though, you can use them to actuate other things on the layout too.

    I guess one nice thing about the snap is that you know the point has definatelly changed, if I ever buy myself a few then I will only use it in my main yard of the layout- I consider them a luxury.

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