It’s been a while…

IMG_0864This is where we left off…

Onto some roadbed I’d laid out turnouts that I’d built for the west end of Lindsay’s Santiago Yard.  They looked great, and I built a dozen CN No 7 turnouts as I’d perfected a method to build them quickly.



A productive couple of weeks produced a dozen turnouts.  Look good, don’t they?

But then I ran into a little snag.  I should have kept the Code 83 rail separately from the Code 70 rail.  Some of the above turnouts were built using both sizes!  This was followed by identifying the rail height in each turnout and replacing Code 83 rail with Code 70.  A little setback, but nothing insurmountable.

With enough turnouts now in hand for both ends of Santiago Yard.  I laid out a centreline for the main track of the Campbellford Sub. down the north side of the roadbed through Santiago.

With a centreline established, I was able to locate the switch points of both the east and west switches of Santiago Yard.  I drew a second line parallel to the centreline a scale four feet to the north of the track centreline.  I use HO scale eight-foot long ties, so this second line is the north reference line for the tie ends. I drilled slots under the roadbed for a Tortoise or Fast Tracks’ Bullfrog switch machine’s wire through the roadbed to the throwbar under the switch points.

I laid an HO scale CN no 7 turnout plan down on the workbench, then placed a strip of drafting tape across the plan.  Mt Albert Scale Lumber turnout ties were cut to scale lengths called out on the CN drawing and laid out on the plan, sticking them to the the tape.


I spread carpenters’ glue on the roadbed at the turnout location, making sure that the tie-end lines were visible.  I removed the scale 16′ long “headblock” ties where the switchstand will sit on the east and west turnouts for Santiago before I laid the ties in the glue.  The ties were placed on the roadbed, and the glue allowed to dry.

With the switch ties in place, I drilled 1 1/8″ diameter holes using a hole saw next to the location of the switch points of the east and west turnouts of Santiago Yard.  These holes are for Rapido’s Rail Crew switch machines–more on that later. These two turnouts also received slots cut into the roadbed for free movement of the wire “rod” connecting the Rapido machines with the switch throwbar.


Ready-built turnout in place.  Still needs to be spiked down. The missing rail is the sprung wing rail of the spring frog, still to be installed.

I dropped a ready-built turnout in place, and spiked its rails down to the ties.  Looks good!

More to come….



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.