Re: Stub turnouts


I have 11 Sn3 code 55 stub prefab turnouts, originally developed by Tomalco and still marketed by PBL.  Installation is slightly more difficult than point turnouts because the (partially self aligning) feature of the point design isn’t present.  The stub rails are continuous with the adjoining track section and the injection molded bridles are made of Celcon, an Acetyl engineering plastic akin to Delrin.  Even though they appear very delicate, so far they have performed fine.  The turnouts are actually manufactured by Micro Engineering and Celcon is also used for the ties of the turnouts and the PBL/Tomalco code 55 flex track.  My stubs are driven by Bullfrog manual switch machines with built in micro switches to change frog polarity—the movement is transferred from underneath to the center of the bridle.  Switch stands will be linked to the outside ends of the bridle and will be working but cosmetic.  Although the prefab turnouts aren’t available in HOn3, there’s lots to learn from how they are constructed and how they install. 


That experience helped with the 3 way I have,  built by Steve Hatch.  It also works fine.  He puts a more robust throw bar on these, made from PC board tie material and the various multiple rails and guardrails are soldered at intervals to PC ties as well—Wood ties fill in between.  It also works just fine although it was a bit harder to lay and get operating.  Steve has a nifty control design using a Tam Valley semaphore circuit board, a servo motor and a 4 pole, 4 throw slide switch that both selects the route through the circuit board and controls polarity to the multiple frogs and routes.  It works great and in my case runs off a DC accessory bus powered by a 12v wall wart that is separate from the DCC bus.  There’s even another separate circuit on the Tam Valley board that I think I can use for the reversing portion of the wye I’m planning—I have to study the instructions again to be sure.  That DC  bus will later be used for effects and lighting in buildings and other features that will be part of my Dolores, CO. model.  My layout is currently 100% stub turnouts.



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