Pointwork Progress

Yes that’s right, a post on a Wednesday involving words!

It’s been a fair bit of time since we last made a proper post on here, please rest assured we have both been turning out various bits and pieces, Oly working on a number of different wagon projects ahead of Six Quarters next Exhibition outing at the Great Central Railway Model Event on 15-17 June, while I have been cracking on with trackwork and basic scenery for Bottom Works Sidings.

It’s been a while since I last built any pointwork for myself, I served my apprenticeship in trackbuilding putting together the points that appeared on Stoating Bank many years ago (which never actually got used in anger) and then followed this up building some for a failed club layout, which were far from perfect. Therefore I put off starting the track needed on BWS for a bit of time and tried to find other things to distract me until the issue became pressing.

Starting with a couple of straightforward points, I built 2, then redid the first as I wasn’t happy with it, but am now in a rhythm and enjoying building them, particularly the more challenging examples. All are simply copperclad construction, I made a firm decision to walk before I could run and therefore avoided any cosmetic chairs or more realistic sleepers.

BWS has a requirement for 4 regular and 1 interlaced (often described as 3 way) points. At the moment these all still need tie bars, the copperclad filing back to insulate the rails and sleepers trimming to length, but I am pretty happy with what has been achieved so far – the aim is that the pointwork will all be irregular and help give the impression the yard is somewhat rundown, various aspects having been built up locally on site leading to a slightly haphazard appearance.

These two Y’s were the first to be built, one of which is impressively compact! Ignore the interlaced point, more on that later…

Sleepers being laid on a temporary foam board sub base for the crossing leading to the sidings at the front of the layout.

Crossover for the front of the layout in place… the kickback siding is meant to represent the old line into the Bottom Works’ which has been lifted and is now just a short siding used for storing cripples and other wagons that need placing somewhere out of the way.

Now back to that 3 way… I started building this, very much making things up as I went along, and at the last modelling day we held was busy working away, having received plenty of pointers from Mark Tatlow… anyway to cut a long story short, he got fed up weathering his own stock and took over building my point, while I ended up weathering for him… cue a beautiful piece of point construction with just one issue, it didn’t really fit the space allocated to it! No matter what I tried I was unable to get the curve to the track plan I was after with it in place.

I therefore took the brave decision to save Mark’s point for the next layout and build my own, which I’m not about 3/4 of the way through, this one fits the alignment of the layout much better and helps the rearmost lines sweep through the centre of the layout.

As you can probably see, there’s some basic landforms also going in, and everything is starting to come together as I envisaged it.

I’m pretty sure my trackbuilding wouldn’t conform to P4 standards but testing with OO stock seems to prove it works so that’s good for me, and it’s certainly given me the confidence to take on more complex formations in the future. I haven’t even suffered from too many burnt fingers so things can’t be bad!




3 thoughts on “Pointwork Progress

  1. Chris, well done for taking the plunge and building your own turnouts. There is nothing wrong with using copperclad & solder construction and it is an ideal medium for learning the craft. I imagine that you will burying the track so the lack of chairs will hardly be noticed.

    For a first foray into using plastic chairs may I suggest using this technique on a section of plain track. Use ply sleepers sleepers and glue the chairs down with solvent. At rail joints use ply and rivet + dummy chairs. If you have any doubts about the strength of solvent joints use a ply and rivet sleeper every 5th one.

    Last but not least perhaps for the next layout you might like dip your toes into an EM gauge project. The standards are quite forgiving and for the most part rolling stock only needs re-wheeling and a few tweaks around the brake blocks. http://www.emgs.org/

    1. Thanks Geoff, and sorry for the delay in replying to you – I just remembered I got distracted when I went to do it previously!

      I’ve played around with EM previously, and converted some stock. However with the amount of stock I have I found the thought of doing the whole lot sapped my enthusiasm so decided to stick with OO for principle modelling interests….

      We do, however, have an OTCM joint layout planned for which the boards are built (it has been put to one side due to the Cameo competition) which, only requiring a small amount of stock and being set in a different period, will be EM. This will be built using the C&L plastic components, which are all sat in my track box waiting to go! Watch this space in a year or so and hopefully something might start happening.

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