Powered turnourts - Industry's manual or powered too?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nolatron, Jan 14, 2008.


Industry Sidings

  1. Powered

    11 vote(s)
  2. Manual

    20 vote(s)
  1. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    For those with powered mainline turnouts (or planning on it), I'm just wondering what the general consensus is for industrial siding turnouts.

    I'm considering using a mixture of methods...possibly. I know want the mainline siding turnouts to be powered, for possible automatic computer controlled running in the future. But for those turnouts that run to an industry (and then those inside it), I may go manual for a more interactive feeling when doing switching and what not, not to mention the lower cost of going manual. Of course, if I go all powered using CML hardware, I can simply make a local control panel to toggle turnouts via DCC still.

    So, are your industry turnouts also powered, or did you make them manual for more interactive switching?
  2. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Powered because I plan on all computer control if I need to.
    I will also have the ability to control from a wireless hand control. I dont want to have to reach into the layout to hand switch. Besides with a controler in one hand and a beer in the other how could I.:mrgreen:
  3. nolatron

    nolatron Member


    If I go manual industrial, I was thinking of using Humpyard throws to avoid the "hand in the layout" situation as well.
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I would say that it doesn't matter as long as you're consistent. Having the occasional powered switch in an otherwise manual yard is frustrating. One yard manual and the other electric would be OK. If you have crossovers going into a yard I would make sure both switches in that were powered and from the same button.
  5. Roger Hensley

    Roger Hensley Member

    I use manual to give myself something to do. :)
  6. tetters

    tetters Rail Spiking Fool!

    I say powered, but right now everything is manual. Eventually, I'd like to get it all powered and wired to decoders so I can sit on mah butt and control everything from the cab. I'm just lazy that way.
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    For you guys doing manual turn out controls, there is no need to reach into the layout to throw switches. You can put your turn out controls (Caboose Industries ground throws or what ever) on a small shelf in front of the layout and run automotive choke cables from the ground throw to the switch under the layout. If you are doing power routing turnouts, there have been a number of articles over the years in modeling magazines that suggest drilling a small hole in a slide switch handle. You put the wire from the choke cable through the handle and to the linkage for the turnout. Then you can route the power through the contacts in the slide switch.
  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Heh. I've been in this hobby for, well, basically all my life. Let's say 45 years. You'd think I could answer this question! But no.

    Originally, and up till recently, I could answer. I powered all turnouts. The last industrial area I built (actually the one just before the last) has turnouts powered with Tortai (that's an accurate plural, right?) and all before it used some type switch machine.

    And, this area I speak of was the first to use the switch kits by Central Valley. Before that for some time I was handlaying.

    Then, I discovered the turnouts by Micro Engineering. These things are gorgeous. And, they have a sprung mechanism which I decided to use to just throw the turnouts manually. In opposition to the comments above about reaching into the layout to throw a switch, on my 16" wide shelf industrial area, the turnouts will actually be thrown by manually moving the throwbar. No Caboose Industries oversized mechs in sight. No linkage. Just push the throwbar and it snaps in place. This is, admitaadly, an experiment and I hope that in a years time, or more, I can come back and say I don't regret the choice. I'll let you know!
  9. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I voted manual, because that's the way it is on the CN track down the road.
    The 2 turnouts from the main line to the passing siding are manual and the 2 switches branching from that siding to 2 industrial spurs are manual too.
    It's justified in that case because both industries receive only 1 or 2 boxcars a week.
    See the picture.
    P.S. As you can see on the picture I'm helping the CN to clear the snow of their turnouts.


  10. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    Are you wanting to do things prototypically? If so, I'd say leave them manual.
  11. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    If you want realism, then go manual. I like the ME switches too, since they can be lined by hand without the use of an oversized caboose ground throw that doesn't look very realistic. That way, you can use Details West switch stands (non operating) next to each switch to make for a very realistic scene.

    Another piece of advice, whichever way you decide, I'd recommend going with Tortoise machines. They are NICE, but don't let your cat(s) in the train room if you have one. When a Tortoise moves, it sounds like an electric can opener, and mine would go nuts thinking he was getting fed.
  12. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Thanks for feedback everyone. I've decided to go with tortoise powered turnouts.

    I recently installed one using the tortoise remote mount accessory and discovered it's capable of guiding up the throwing wire through 1.5-2" of foam with no problem. It'll make the installs much easier now.
  13. lester perry

    lester perry Active Member

    for what its worth I have 1 manual switch out of many many many I use atlas machines because I want to hear th snap. I also use under bench type. I use push button gontrols from radio shack mouted to layout facia In my yard I have a switch board for routing. before you ask what that is let me show you.

    there is a contact on the board for each switch and a wand that is powered when wand is touched to contact it sends power to switch machine changing th points. it works very well. I have had many copliments on the simplicity of it. on the rest of the layout I I use lines with red & black buttons. black clearing the main line. to give you an Idea of the amount of switches this is one end of yard.
    I guess I am trying to say I suggest using power every where. I have monthly operating sessions and the operators love it especisly the yard they fight over it.
  14. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    Woweee! That looks awsome!

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