Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

track switch controlsThe awesome power in these little wooden knobs is hard to overstate. Honestly. I wouldn’t bullshit you about something as serious as that. Or about the fact that I wouldn’t bullshit you. Which is bullshit, and I’m sure you know it.

Hmmm. Kind of wandered just a little bit. Didn’t take long, either, did it?

Back to the photo and the little wooden knobs. Each knob is connected to a track switch on the train tracks of the Lost Continent Railway. Until I installed these babies, I had to run from the throttle to the farthest corners of the layout, throwing those switches by hand, which is a huge pain in the ass on a layout that’s twelve feet long and six feet wide.

I have to bend and duck under a lot of the tracks, too, because the layout is butted up against the walls in a cramped corner of the basement. When I started to build the Lost Continent, I didn’t think duck-unders were going to be a problem, but after my fiftieth birthday came and went, I changed my tune real quick. I really should have paid attention to all those geezers whose very first rule of model railroad building is: “1. No Duckunders!

So if I can stand at the throttle and control everything on the layout, that’s a big plus. I always intended to install track switch controls but never made a firm decision on the kind I would eventually use, even though I have used Blue Point switch machines from the very start. The first one I bought as a test worked so well that I immediately bought five more and installed them at the most-used track switches where they very satisfyingly click-clacked left and right, holding the points of the track switches solidly open or closed.

Then about two weeks ago, after I finally figured out how to wire the crossover and could move trains freely around the layout without having to work out a detour around the gaping hole that the crossover filled, I broke down and bought a five-pack of the knobs and red tubes and connectors so I wouldn’t have to do all that running around and ducking and banging my head on the underside of the thick, unmoving wooden crossbeams of the track bench. I spent the last week or so installing them, and I’m happy to report that they work so well I’m giddily writing 500 words of drivel about them. Doesn’t take much to make me giddy, does it?

knobs | 9:19 pm CST
Category: hobby, LoCo Rwy, play
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