Friday, November 30, 2007

Handlaying Turnouts

What has become one of my favorite parts of model railroading is making handlaid turnouts. Now all of my experience has been with a FastTracks jig (, so some folks wouldn't really call that "handlaying". Whatever it is, it produces a good looking, smooth running turnout with relatively little effort and less cost than purchasing an RTR turnout (provided you don't count the cost of the jig). To the right are a couple of photos of N scale code 40 turnouts constructed with these jigs.

Carl Lester MMR has put together a clinic on handlaying turnouts that you might find helpful. Take a look at it here. Just click the "next" button to see the next page in the clinic. I plan to use Carl's ideas to build a curved turnout in the future. I've found that properly formed check rails and frog wing rails are what keep a turnout from "looking" handlaid. I figure I can use the FastTracks jig to build my check rails and frog wing rails. I reckon the rest of a curved turnout can be accomplished following Carl's method. I'll let y'all know how this comes out once I try it.

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