switch machines

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by alkcnw, Apr 20, 2002.

  1. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    I hope this is in the right section! I am building the extention to my layout. I have the bench work built (which is also a storage cabnet) 1/2" plywood base with 1 1/2" foamboard glued down on top. This is the first time I have used foamboard for a base, I have seen it used and it looked like some thing I would like to try. Anyway my question is there will be 15 turnouts in this section. How would I mount switch machines to operate the turnouts or should I operate them manually. If I went manual I would like to use pulls through the face board of the base. and how would I hook them up. Any help would be appreciated!!!!!:eek:
  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hello alkcnw, you don't say what gauge you model in or what kind of track you are using. If you are going to use Peco track & Points(Switches) then it easy to use the Peco PL10 point motor which fits underneath the point.
    Somewhere in the hauge if you do a search, is a photo of the PL10 attached to a point.
  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    I see your point. :rolleyes: (pun intended!)

    To fix the PL10 switch machines under the baseboard, would mean a rise of >2" for the shaft to meet the point. They do sell the PL10 is two shaft lengths (short & long), but I don't think the "long" will be long enough. You can get shaft extenders though.

    I'll just go check....

    Nope..... just measured the drive pin on a new PL10E, and it's 1 1/2"

    However, the actual motor only requires 1" under the turnout if fixed directly to the turnout using the provided lugs. (enough for you to just dig a hole in the foamboard.

    Another "however", you will not be able to fit a DPDT switch onto the bottom of the turnout (for double slips, reverse loops etc) unless you drill a big hole right through the lot (foam & baseboard).

    If you are thinking about the big hole you will need under the turnout, and the affect it will have on the ballast and scenery, don't worry, just place a piece of strong paper (cut up old photos, or something similar) between the turnout and the motor when assembling. The paper will be enough to stop ballast etc falling down the big hole which encases the turnout motor.

    BTW.... I assume the same as Shamus, that you are HO (as you are in the "HO Scale Model Trains" bit.

    Hope this helps. :)
  4. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    Thanks, I am modeling in HO thats why I came to the HO section. I am using Atlas code 83 custom turnouts, I can't afford the Peco. I can buy two of Atlas's for the price of one Peco. I thought about putting the switch machine into the foam under the turnout but if it ever went bad you would have to tear up a whole lot of layout to get it out. I found the manual pull throws I was looking for, they have several differnt ways to mount them and I think they might work just fine. They even have led lights mounted in the fascia mount to tell you which way the switch open. Thanks again for your help!:eek:
  5. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    Yep..... a very decisive moment in layout building..... Do I bury the turnout switches and what happens if one of them blows... I made the decision to dig em up if this ever did happen. Only once so far, and it was my fault it blew..... overload. I don't have a capacitor discharge unit installed yet. However, where possible, I have mounted them under the baseboard, for easy access, and used the extended switch bar. I'm using 1/2" pine particle board as a baseboard, with cork roadbed. No intermediate layer. I only have 5 turnouts that I'd have to dig up, should they blow (cross fingers and touch wood) of which they have not done yet. I suppose it's the same concept as having to dig the whole turnout up, should you break a throw bar, or the pressure spring break or something like that too.
  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    No need for those long pins just attach as per photo, much easier.

    Attached Files:

  7. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    On my original layout I have all the switches mounted under the table, 1/2" plywood and 1/4" cork roadbed, They work fine and are easy to get to if repair is needed. The new extention is only 2' deep, and I now have a walk around controler, so I kind of like the idea of operating the switches manualy. With this under the table cable system you don't even have to reach over the tracks and scenery to throw the switch. I like hands on!!!!!!! Its like being a little more in command.:eek:
  8. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    Them's is Peco ones in the pics! Yep....

    I've done my elevated turnouts like that (in the pics). Those that sit on track above the baseboard. They are buried in ballast and scenery now, and I'd have to dig the whole lot up if I blew a turnout motor. The ones for track directly on the baseboard, I have mounted, using the long pins, under the baseboard.

    With the ones I've buried, I just figured that I'm more likely to break the turnout, than have the motor blow, and I'd have to dig the turnout up as well.

    As with everything to do with Garahbara, I've got "one of everything" on it. I'll see if I live to regret burying the turnout motors. :eek:

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