|What are they?|
Acts as both a maintenance and safety accessory. On the maintenance side they can increase the service life of switch points. They perform this service by deflecting the train wheels away from the switch point tip. The safety aspect is that the same action that prevents a worn wheel flange from picking the switch point or climb and causing a derailment.
Patrick Welch models in P48. He created Point Guards and sent me the mesh so we could work on it together and get it printed.
|Patrick Welch’s Point Guards|
|This is a rendering of the file he sent me. It was pretty much complete but needed work to make it printable. He decided not to print the guard rail itself which ended up negating the clamps/bolts also.|
|There could have been a work-around with the clamps/nuts if I had known the base size of the exact rail he was going to modify for his guard rail but in the end it was simpler for him to just add the NBW detail. This is what we ended up with (I arrayed 12 ea for printing)|
|Finally .. Patrick posted up a photo of his point guards installed on his P48 switch. They look .. nice. So very nice that I was prompted to do a version for my Peco On30 switches.|
|The Welch-Wise Point Guards|
I was talking to my friend Gary Wise about this. Gary worked as a Track Inspector for the G&O RR years ago so I go to him for such advice. Between the design that Patrick came up with and my discussion with Gary I came up with the Welch-Wise Point Guard for the Peco On30 switch. Since the ties can be measured, separation of the ties, height of rail and so on I was able to come up with something that would work.
Safe Harbor Statement: Yeah .. I know someone will point out that such things probably would not have been used on a narrow gauge. My response is that in “my universe” the Deep River Railroad is a 30″ gauge line that is viable as it hauls high density ore and aggregates through the mountains. Such rare and valubable ores such as Ithimar, Timorum and Xithricite. Unobtanium has become scare in the past years but it is still mined in small amounts.
|The test prints as they came from Shapeways. I am calling this Version 1 as I can see that I need to make a slight change in the next print. I put the sprue attachment on the underside of the ‘foot’. This worked but detaching the sprue is not easy .. the part being so delicate. I have changed this in Version 2 so the sprue attaches to the end of the guard rail. That can be cut much easier and cleaned up with a swipe of an emery board. I am also going to make aversion with spike heads.|
|A test fitting. Worked. This is where I realized that printing the heads of spikes would be a good idea. To use spikes with Version 1 requires drilling into the plastic ties. I also noticed the square holes in the ends of the Peco On30 switches that needs to be filled.|
|A quick test with a Bachmann On30 Gondola to ensure that the wheels would clear the Point Guards. With that test successful the next step was to add some color.|
|Finally, colored and glued to the ties with a thick body super glue. I still need to come back with a little ‘rust’ and spike the Point Guards down. Other than that .. I count this a success.|