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Switches /Turnouts ???

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Switches /Turnouts ???
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, September 14, 2001 10:44 AM
Whats the difference?? Are they the same? What is an undertable switch? Bieng new to the game, I need some help... Thanks guys.
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, September 14, 2001 12:30 PM
Let's see if I can help. In the real world, railroads only refer to the diverging point of two tracks as a "switch". In model railroading, we created another term "turnout". A turnout is a "switch" that is manually thrown (does not have a remote-controled motor to throw the switch). Therefore a switch does have the electric motor. The Atlas website refers to both. Their switch has a mechanism attached to the side of the turnout that will throw it by remot control. Other companies make under-table machines to throw turnouts by remote control so the layout does not look so toy like. Others yet make devices to manually throw the turnouts, like Caboose industries. These are mounted next to the turnout, and somewhat look like real switch stands. If you have any other questions, just aks. Robert
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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, September 14, 2001 5:30 PM
The most basic explanation is that model railroaders use the term "turnout" for a track "switch". This is to avoid confusion with the electrical toggle and rotary "switches" used on control panels. Prototype railroaders normally use the term "switch".
An "underground" turnout motor is mounted under the roadbed and operated by a throw rod usually through a hole beneath the points. Some brands have the motor mounted on the side of the "turnout". This works quite well, but does not look prototypical. Ron H.
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Posted by thirdrail1 on Saturday, September 15, 2001 8:40 AM
On the prototype, the moveable point rails themselves are referred to as a "switch", while the entire assembly including stock rails, guard rails, and frog, are referred to as a "turnout". For years, many model railroaders have mistakely believed that the prototype did not call turnouts "turnouts", but I can assure you that, in 38 years of railroading, I have never seen an engineering drawing for a Number 10 "switch", but have seen many for a Number 10 Turnout.
"The public be ***ed, it's the Pennsylvania Railroad I'm competing with." - W.K.Vanderbilt
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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, September 17, 2001 7:14 PM
>

Is there a product that looks like a Caboose switch stand but is just a dummy to give a somewhat better look to undertable throws?
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Posted by snowey on Saturday, October 13, 2001 3:40 AM
I think Caboose Industries also makes dummy switch controllers.
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Posted by BRAKIE on Wednesday, October 24, 2001 11:51 PM
When I worked on the PRR as a brakeman,I never threw a turn out.How ever I did throw lots of switches.There was also a job known as a switch tender,whose job was to line switches for trains
arriving/departing the yard.I am sure that the engineering dept called switches turnouts.How ever I never recall a train crew calling a switch a turnout.

Larry

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, October 25, 2001 11:13 PM
We might be getting into a case of local terminology here. On the local BNSF line they are refered to as a "Switch". Other roads may prefer "Turnout", and the Engineering Dept., depending on the company may use either. I'm beginning to think that this is similar to most roads calling the little car that used to be on the end of a freight train a "Caboose" and others calling them "Cabins" or "Vans" or "Waycars". We may all be right depending on where we live. Ron H.
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Posted by thirdrail1 on Friday, October 26, 2001 12:04 PM
Larry and Ron did not read my remarks carefully. Of course no one ever referred to "throwing a turnout"! You'd have a helluva time "throwing" the frog, guard rails, stock rails, etc.! You always threw the "switch", which is the moveable part. Since this is the part that does the work, a crew naturally "switches" cars, it does not "turnout" cars.
"The public be ***ed, it's the Pennsylvania Railroad I'm competing with." - W.K.Vanderbilt
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Posted by BRAKIE on Friday, October 26, 2001 12:58 PM
Gregg,Let's not open this can of worms.As you
are aware this debate over the term switch/turnout has been going on for years.
I only stated "I never threw a turnout"to bring
out a point,as I did the job of a switchtender,
The point is that in real railroading it is called a switch by train crews,dispatchers,and
probably track maintenace.I also stated that the engineering dept called them turnouts,as far as I know this is true on the PRR.
I am not slighting your 39 years of service,I do respect that.
Ron made a excellant point,names do vary from road to road.I think in modeling it shouldn't matter what it is called at lease to me.

Larry

SSRy

Conductor

“Shut one’s eyes tight or open one’s arms wide, either way, one’s a fool.” Flemeth-the witch of the Wilds.

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