Building Points

The club uses a mixture of Peco, Marcway and handbuilt points. This page gives some background on how handbuilt points are constructed.

Point Sleepers

The drawings for the points are created using a cheap CAD software package. The plans are then printed out on a couple of sheets of A4.

The lengths of the sleepers are then measured off the plans. Most of the sleepers are cut from lengths of copper-clad fibre-glass sheet; the same sort of stuff that is used to make electronic printed circuit boards. The sleepers at each end of the point are made from brass strip for added strength.

Unlike most indoor model railways, the O gauge locomotives at Brambleton run off batteries rather than picking up current from the rails. This means that the fact that the running rails are electrically shorted is not a problem.

The picture to the left shows the sleepers and plans for a three way point.

The picture below shows the point after most of the fixed rails have been soldered in position.

This point is constructed so that as the switch rails move, the wing rails move in the opposite direction. This is done to allow the point to accommodate both fine and coarse scale wheels. This is not really possible if the wing rails are fixed.

The switch/wing rail assembly pivots on a spigot located approximately two thirds down the length of the point. These can be seen in the photo below.

For three way points, there is an additional set of wing rails in the middle of the point.

O Gauge Point

The photo below shows the point after the other two switch rails have been added. These switch rails move with the straight switch rails on the opposite side.

O Gauge Point

This photo shows the completed point. Brass safety pins have been used to provide the over-centre springs that provide the locking mechanism.

Final Point