new here and to model trains

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Wyndigo, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. Wyndigo

    Wyndigo New Member

    Hi everyone, I am new to the model railroad hobby, went to my first train show this past saturday and bought an Athearn HO set, now I have added 4 more 9" sections of track and would like to add a switch onto the setup. Now my question is this, exactly how do they work? (no laughing sign1 ) I'm thinking of a basic layout, small town on one side and a
    business of some sort on the other. therefore the need for a switch.

  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge:wave:

    What part of hurricane country do you live? I'm over to the panhandle.
  3. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    :wave: Welcome to the Gauge! :wave:

    Hope to see more questions from you Wyndigo, because for the most part, we have the answers!

    Ok, here's a diagram. The red and blue lines are opposite rails, ok? now the switch has movable points (two of them, they move in unison with a small strip of metal holding them together called a switch rod) ? Now those movable points come into position, determining which way the train travels, and with the flick of a switch, you can send the train down a different set of rails to it's destonation. Got it?

    Attached Files:

  4. Wyndigo

    Wyndigo New Member

    Shaygetz: thanks for the welcome and I'm near Tampa for now, planning to move north to michigan before next winter (yeah I know, kinda crazy lol)

    MilesWestern: thanks for the welcome and yep, I kinda understand what it does, but how hard is it to hook up, I'm using eztrack with the athearn engine and cars

  5. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge :wave:
  6. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    Wyndigo it's easy. It just goes together like any other section, you just push fit it on to the next piece of track.
  7. tonyevans

    tonyevans Member

    MMMMMM it's easy is it .lol.
  8. Wyndigo

    Wyndigo New Member

    Hi Jim and thanks for the welcome :)
    lol ok Webmaster & Tonyevans, is it easy or not? gotta remember, I'm new to this and trying to keep it simple .. as in rather not have to solder, even though I can .. was into RC trucks for awhile. anyways, thanks :)

  9. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    Not sure exactly what you're asking. How do switches work? How do they connect? Since I don't know what track you have, I'll be general. There are essentially two type of turnouts, selective and non-selective. Selective routes power only to the track path that you have chosen. This can be great for sidings and not require a power on-off electrical switch for that siding.

    The other type powers both legs of the turnout at all times. Atlas is the most common brand of this type. If you want to shut off the power to a siding using this type of turnout, you will need an on-off electrical switch. Both types require insulated rail joiners to work effectively.

    Then there are manual turnouts where you 'throw the switch' and powered turnouts that use 'switch machines' to throw the turnout. There are twin coil machines that go clunk when you press a button and slo-motion machines that remain powered all of the time to hold the points against the fixed rail.

    I would suggest that as a new modeler, you might get some useful information from the NMRA 'Introduction to Model Railroading' pages at:
  10. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    Yes Wyndigo it is easy. You do not need to solder the track together, just use the fish plates* that you connected the rest of your track together with. (*I presume their called the same the other side of the pond?)

    As Roger says, if you want to keep the soldering to a minimum, then choose the ones that are powered no matter which way the switch is. All switches can be thrown by hand so you don't have to worry about switch motors at this point if your happy throwing your switches manually.
  11. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    You said that you are using the Bachmann EZ Track. There are switches (turnouts) made in this line as well. They go together like any other section of the EZ Track. With any kind of sectional track (like the EZ Track, or Atlas "snap track") you will be limited in the geometry of your layout. If the pieces end up too far apart when you try to close the loop, you will have to reconfigure, rather than just forcing it...

    Take a look at the Bachmann website (or the Atlas one for that matter) to see if there are plans that use sectional track that appeal to you.

  12. Relic

    Relic Member

    Unless I missed it , nobody mentioned good ol' Atlas snap switches. These little honeys have their own "motor" with a simple three wire activator. If the wire that comes with it isn't long enough use telephone wire. They are quite robust but will Melt if you get a short (don't ask) Welcome, have fun
  13. Wyndigo

    Wyndigo New Member

    Hi everyone :wave: I bought a switch today along with a little more track, now I have an oval with an inside turnout, thinking of maybe building either a small train station or work place to add to my layout.
    Thanks to everyone for the welcomes and the quick answers, I'll be asking more soon :D
    for now I'm just having fun with the set and looking up information on how to add scenery.
    Take care everyone

  14. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I saved my burnt out motor. the coil was melting through the bottom
  15. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Glad you could join us Wyndigo!
  16. Arizona Heat

    Arizona Heat Member

    Welcome aboard Wyndigo and I can assure you that if you have any questions, just ask here and some of the engineers here will give you the information..I am also a newbie here and by me asking questions and getting advice from the pros here has helped me starting my first layout. Just ask and you will receive answers to your questions.
  17. Wyndigo

    Wyndigo New Member

    Thanks for the welcome Ralph & Arizona Heat :)

  18. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    Nice one Wyndigo, it won't be long before your looking for extra space to extend your layout.:thumb:

    Just remember to keep 'Er indoors' happy :D
  19. Wyndigo

    Wyndigo New Member

    hi everyone again :wave: well, now I have an oval with an inner loop that reconnects to the main track which is now about 6 x 4 in size.
    now to start working on some scenery... little at a time, any ideas on making cardboard buildings? Thanks again for all of the replys

    Wyndigo aka Alan
  20. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Take a look in The Academy for "Robin at his Best" - many of his buildings were built exclusively with cardboard from cereal boxes ("cerealboard"). Lots of people use cardboard mock-ups for planning purposes and stand-ins until the kits are done, but Robin took it to a whole new level...

    Link in my signature.


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