HO scale turnout: Wayne hits a problem

Wayne’s run in to a problem with his HO scale turnouts – can anyone help?

“I wont say i came across my first mistake, but I think I hit the mistake week.

I came across two missed tortoise not drilled turnouts. One I chocked up as lost and forgotten forever. This turnout was to go to the coal mine.

I went a little farther down the line and put another turnout in coming from the other direction. This means I get to layout a whole new coal mine.

The old spur will be a place to put a maint. car for my two guys with their beer.

The other was under the hill that I first put in. This turnout is one that I could not bypass nor change its location.

I don’t know if what I did was the easiest or the best. This is how I am going to fix it.

Digging into the archives of the old dusty brain. I used some of my job experience from years gone by. I did some measurements from out side, from the inside. Then laid it out on top of my mountain.

I used a small x-long drill bit, and drilled down through the mountain. I ended up about 1/16 inch off.

Being that close, I went ahead and drilled through the slide bar, cork road base, and the 3/4 inch plywood. This way I would know where to drill up from underneath so I could enlarge the hole for the tortoise swing bar.

I took a small cutoff disk and separated the track back several inch’s from the turnout on all 3 legs. This way I used it as a template to make up a new replacement.

I made the track runs a little longer due to the loss from the grinding wheel.

The second photo is where I moved the turnout.

The third one is the other turnout. The locating hole is under the power pole.

Maybe some of the Royal guard can let me know what they would have done, or even the yanks across the pond in my neck of the woods.


HO scale layout with turnouts

HO scale turnout

HO scale turnout

Please leave a comment below if you can help Wayne with his HO scale turnout problem.

Wayne’s post reminded me of this one: Adding a turnout to an existing layout.

If you want to get up to speed, Wayne’s last post is here.

Now on to Martin, who has sent in few more pics of his O scale – and a vid:

Mohawk Valley Railway GP38-2

Mohawk Valley Railway GP38-2 moves some covered hoppers around at Lake Shore Harbor

Heritage ALCO C424 #452 diesel in Delaware and Hudson livery waits to pull out with a heritage passenger train.

O scale

The bit that’s not normally seen…hidden sidings at the back of the Fanny Frobisher Finest Flour plant.

O scale shelf layout

Busy day at Lake Shore

O scale engine

Ex PRR ALCO RS1 #8858 switching covered hoppers at the grain discharger.

UP locomotives at work

Two ex UP locomotives at work on the layout. SW9 # 1872 is hauling some tank cars while GP 38-2 #2289 waits patiently to do some switching once the tanker train has passed.

You can see Martin’s last post here.

A big thanks to Martin and Wayne.

That’s all for today folks.

Please do keep ’em coming.

And if today is the day you stop dreaming and start doing, the Beginner’s Guide is here.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

PPS More HO scale train layouts here if that’s your thing.

6 Responses to HO scale turnout: Wayne hits a problem

  1. Rod Mackay says:

    Well, it’s a good idea not to make tunnels fixed, but have a way to remove the ‘lid’ to deal with a problem. I hate having points in tunnels anyway, it hides a more interesting bit of the layout and puts you off doing routine maintenance. I once had to repair a broken rail joint on copper clad track in an immovable tunnel accessed from underneath, working with a mirror, crouched, with a soldering iron and an Anglepoise lamp and my head on one side, I was as stiff as Monty Python’s parrot afterwards. But if I’d had to fix that, I guess if there was room to use a minidrill in there you could have drilled a very fine hole through the baseboard either side of the centre of the tie bar, then removed the point and track sections the way you did, then drilled the much larger hole you needed for the Tortoise drive from under the baseboard using the two tiny holes as markers. If there wasn’t room to get hand and minidrill in, could you maybe have made your measurements in reverse from underneath and removed the track prior to drilling? Nice rock work by the way.

  2. Anton Bruce says:

    LOVE the turnouts running up the wall! As they say in my business, is that a “bug” or a “feature”???

  3. Terry. Fleet UK says:

    A bit late in the day but … …
    A very long time ago I had to use a surface mounted Tortoise to overcome a particularly awkward turnout location, I used I think a steel coiled piano string about 1.5mm O.D. through which I was able to thread a steel wire to create a very flexible wire in tube operation, this I glued to the board surface with a contact adhesive having threaded it under Peco tracks in an S shape to the motor or leaver. You can also use a plastic or brass tube as the outer guide.
    What you have already built is good as I am sure will be the extension.

  4. wayne watts says:

    Thanks Rod, my hand is way to big and no mini drill. There is a model railroad god. I think he took pity on me. I got everything back together today, and it looks ok. Many thanks again. Wayne

  5. wayne w watts says:

    Anton – Thanks, that’s going to be the new layout as soon as I get the “Comet Mine” to give me some upsa-daisy mm, so I can defy gravity.’
    Terry – Thank you also.

  6. Tim Smolinski says:

    Tim “the yank” here: Tortoise machines are not particularly adaptable to mountainous terrain. They are more suitable for those locations such as yards, passenger right of ways etc. where they can be viewed as part of the realism. Your terrain would have benefitted more (I believe) by utilizing an Atlas Snap Switch mechanism (or its UK equivalent). They are surface mounted and can be hidden by a bush or ground cover as needed. On the positive side, your layout is quite impressive and I wish you all success with it!

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