ground throws-which side?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by santafewillie, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. santafewillie

    santafewillie Member

    I use some ground throws to operate turnouts. All of the commercial turnouts are made to have the throws on the straight side, but I have reversed some to the diverging side in my yards due to clearance factors. Which side do the real railroads use? Is there a standard or is it dependent on the situation? I know that they don't like their employees stepping over any more track than they have to.
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Not sure about the prototype, but I'm using Atlas code 83 and Walthers/Shinohara turnouts and they all have the throwbar extending out from both sides. I usually mount the ground throws on the side of the track nearest the operator, but track layout and/or close clearance situations sometimes dictates otherwise. Just trim off the unused side with a knife.
    I vaguely recall the rail system where I worked as using either side as the situation warranted, but that was an industrial setting. (Although I'm told that it was at one time one of the larger railroads in Canada: not sure in which category, though.)

  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    It could vary with the situation. In yards with a series of swithes, the switch stands would be on the same side when possible to reduce crossing the track. This would usually be the straight side in ladders.
    On double track maimlines, it would usually be on the outside, i.e. not between the tracks, which would tend to be the curved side of the switch.
  4. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    I was out yesterday and had a look around here, it seems like they put them on either side so I spoke to the real railroad people about this, the decision is one of safety.. if it is just a single track it can be placed on either side but usually the side where the track has to be crossed the least. If there are more than one track it is placed so the person does not stand in between two tracks, again all for saftey reasons. Like Wayne says on a model RR I would put them towards the opperator side for convenience of not having to reach over to throw the switch...Ron..
  5. galt904

    galt904 Member

    doctorwayne, which rail system did you work on? ex-Canada Southern?
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I've been digging around trying to find where I read about the information I mentioned, but no luck, so far. The company was Stelco, the Steel Company of Canada. I do know that they owned more diesels than the TH&B, my favourite road, but I thought that the reference was to trackage. As I said, in an industrial setting the requirements are sometimes quite a bit different than on a common carrier as far as track layout. Unfortunately, much of the track is gone and most of the semi-finished steel in the plant is moved by large rubber-tired vehicles.
  7. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Don't know about down south... but up here the throws are on the side away from the main. There is a small yard in the town I live in, as well as two spurs into a large factory.

    On the north side of the yard are the two sidings to KWP Pipe, the throws are all on the east side as that is the way the two sidings come off the main... first one comes off the main to the east, and the other comes off that one to the north east side. Two turnouts in a row, throws both on the east side.

    However, as the mainline reaches the small yard at the station, the yard lines run on the west side of the main and the throws are all on the west side as well.

    To my way of thinking this was done so that all turnouts could be thrown by one person, without having to risk crossing the mainline.
  8. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Usually the switch throws are on the engineer side long hood forward.That is called a straight yard..There is a "reverse" type of yard where the switch throws was on the fireman's side.So,the yard engine would be turned so the switch throws would be on the "correct"side.This was done so the engineer could see the brakemen,.The exception would be older out laying yards where space was at a premium or where the switch was in a reverse mounting such as a crossover or switch back..

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