Turning a Train

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by sirrab, Aug 25, 2006.

  1. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    LM -

    Sorry, didn't revisit this thread to see your response. If you'd like another option (besides cassettes) for a staging yard without all those expensive turnouts (it's just staging, not an operational yard... ;) ), take a look at my friend John's solution:


    The picture at the bottom left of the page shows his "sector plate" which has a length of flex track running across, but not fastened to, the surface. This allows it to line up with any number of tracks. John has nine, but you could probably double that...

  2. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    You know, I'd wondered about that before. Kind of a cross between a turn table and a transfer table. It's a ... swing table, swinging from one end to align at various points. Is there such a thing in real life? It also resembles a massively long turnout, of sorts.

    Maybe sometime I'll draw plans of what I had in mind. Someone may be interested to build such a critter.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The only problem with this (more or less) fixed option is that it does not turn the train...

  4. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member




    This is almost EXACTLY what I was imagining.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6694656723789802042&q=model train
  5. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Wow! Look at that!
  6. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    I see nine decks (?) and five sets of track per level. Looks about six feet long. That's one hell of a staging system. I'd want it about four times that long and with two levels for trains to leave from and maybe twice as many decks. That would be brilliant for a big 2400 sq foot club layout.
  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I saw that thing work before. It worked fine at the demonstration, but wonder how it lines up so well...
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    MR did an article a while back about a "train elevator" constructed from drawer slides and a screw mechanism to raise and lower it. The idea was to eliminate a helix, but add a dozen levels and 50 more tracks, and you've got what you see in the movie clip... ;) :rolleyes: :D

  9. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think Art King used an old phonograph turntable to turn his train on. You could mount a bridge on the turntable the correct length for a train as long as you want to run. The table doesn't even need to be powered, you could turn it by hand. Cut a couple of rerailing sections of n scale snap track in half and put half on each end of the table bridge and a half section on the end of the track where it runs onto the table. No fancy electrical hookups needed. Put a 2 wire receptical on the end of the track and a matching 2 wire plug at each end of the turn table. Run the train onto the table, shut down the power and unplug the table from the layout, spin the table by hand until it lines up the opposite way, plug the table back into the layout, turn on the power and reverse it to run the train back onto the layout. If you need it a hole on the opposite side of the table from the layout could lock the turntable in place and index it with a nail as a locking key. Remove the nail spin the table and reinsert the nail.
  11. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    It seems like segues into monstrous mechanical storage systems kind of defeats the purpose of the original poster's question on how to turn a train in minimal space.

    A three-foot or four-foot "whole train" turntable seems kind of silly: why not just build a reversing loop if you have a four-foot radius space? If you're modeling something that can't handle a 22" minimum radius, four feet is probably too short for the whole train anyhow.

    The whole point of a cassette is that it's something you can take down and put elsewhere, rather than having it be a permanent part of the layout: the calliope-style multi-level mechanically actuated monstrosity LoudMusic envisions seems like something that would require a ton of space and be a maintenance nightmare--not to mention the exquisite fun of extracting a derailed train from one of the inner chambers of such a beast, far from the reach of even the nimblest fingers!

    Besides, if what you want is a way to roll trains onto your six-foot shelf switcher, that monster machine is just a tad of overkill!
  12. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I would agree with you if he is looking at running a train 4 feet long. I'm presuming that since he says he doesn't have room for a return loop to turn the train around that he is envisioning shorter trains, probably on the order of 18-20 inches in total length, or even less.

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