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May 1996 - Page 13


HRNDtR V I N G N - SCnt fRRCH
b Doug Geiger. MMR
P hotos b the iluthor

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10 The bridle bar on a prototype turnout is quite compli cated with a l l the angle brackets and supports. There are numerous adjustment mechan isms, too.
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his month's article co nti nues our discussio n of han dlayi ng N scale co de 40 rail as we scratchbu i l d co de 40 turnouts i n N-scale. Last mo nth, ge neral tracklay i ng was covere d. Begi n ni ng this mo nth a n d next, w e cover turnouts. Although there are several varieties of turnouts, most can be built u s i ng these proce dures. The most common type is the normal turnout. There are curve d turnouts, wye turnouts, gau ntlet turnouts, si ngle- a n d dou ble-slip switches a n d three-way turnouts. All are variations of the normal type. On most prototype rail roa ds, a turnout is k now n as a switch. But there are some that call it a turnout. I n mo del railroa di ng, "turnout" is preferre d to avoi d confu sion with an electrical switch. Figure I describes the vocabulary of a typical turnout. This dia gram shows the split switch which is the most common turnout type. However, there are also two other disti nct forms of turnouts: stub an d tongue. The stub switch has no poi nts. I nstea d, the approach rails are bent to con nect with the closure rails. This type of turnout gave mai nte na nce hea daches w h e n try i n g to keep the approach rai l s alig ne d. Derailme nts were common a t me dium spee ds (over 2 S mph). Stub turnouts became exti nct early i n the 1 900s, except on many nar row gauge l i nes. None have bee n foun d o n mai n l i ne U.S. railroa ds si nce 1 920. The other type of turnout is the si ngle-poi nt or tongue switch. These were most commo n i n trolley or street-car railroa ds. There i s only o ne movable poi nt in a tongue switch. The poi nt along s i de the straight stock rail is not present. It is replace d with a flange way gui d o n ly. These turnouts usually have very sharp curvatures. e Agai n, slow-spee d operatio n is necessary through a tongue switch. Constructing either of these two types of turnouts are not covere d i n this article. Further turnout discussions w i l l always refer t o the com mo n split switch. The two primary comp o ne nts of a turnout are the points a n dfrog. The frog was name d very early si nce it is in this area of a turnout that the wheels can "jump" or "hop" over the i ntersecti ng rail. The points s how the way for the trai n to take either the normal route or the diverging route. The fu n dame ntal measure of a turnout is the frog

T U R N OUT VOCA B U LA RY

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# 1 0 R I G HT-HAN D T U R NOUT
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F i g u re 1

MAY 1996

M ODEL RAILROADING .. 1 3

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