My idea for switches - comments?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Colton_modeler, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. I've been designing a modular HO scale model rr, and I've come up with an idea for manual switch control that I'm so excited about, I can't believe I haven't seen it done already, and i like your comments.
    Automated and dispatcher-controlled turnouts will be actuated by under-the-layout switch motors, but I've been searching for a method of controlling manual turnouts that meets the following criteria: Nothing out of scale visible on the layout - I'll be using Details West SP-style single tie switch stands, linked to the throw bar so the targets rotate; No reaching onto the layout to throw the switch - as is done with locking style switches where you can just pull or push the points into positon; Convey a sense of "railroadmanship" when operating - I want something more than pulling a simple knob on the fascia.
    I've been toying with the notion of fascia-mounted levers made by Hump Yard - Home, but they're still not quite right (if I was modelling an operational old-style interlocking, I'd use them in a heartbeat).
    Then the idea struck - large scale operational switch stands, mounted on a rail running the length of the layout. I've seen shelfs like this before - they're useful to hold car cards & waybills, drinks, etc. Wherever I have a manual turnout, I'll builde a little niche to mount a fully detailed switch stand, 1/20.3 scale or so, mounted on a scale tie, ballasted, etc., with the linkage running through a hole in the fascia where it can tie into the switch and control power routing, as in my sketch (attachment). These can be bought here Llagas Creek Railways as shown in the picture, but I think I'll scratch build my own, each a faithful model of it's fullscale counterpart.
    What do you guys think?

    Attached Files:

  2. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer

    Looks like a great idea.

    I would caution that there be enough clearance along the front of the fascia that someone would not accidentally snag their shirt or arm and damage the switch stand.
  3. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    Maybe a clear plastic shield to keep those switch stands safe?

    Sounds like a great idea, though - good luck!
  4. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    I don't know if you can still find those lever types in the US, but even now in modern times there are some places on our railways that use semaphore and lever signals.
  5. I've done some drawing and scaling, and determined that 1:12 scale is just right for these guys. They'll be big enough to stand up to all kinds of abuse, and I'll make the target and extension easy to replace, if need be.
  6. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Ask Ralph to show you his control stand :) Same philosophy. I've heard of people using interlocking type levers but never mineature switch stands. I kinda like the idea, but be careful in yards, your shelf may get kind of congested :) Maybe have switch stands along the main line, but then interlocking levers for the yards...

  7. ScratchyAngel

    ScratchyAngel Member

    There is a company that makes little Archimedean ground throws as brass kits for N scale. I'm not sure I'd be up to assembling one of these for every switch...
  8. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I have a memory of seeing an arrangement like you're describing in a magazine photo years ago. I like the idea!

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