Turnout Const. – Pt VI

Stock rails

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The next step is to fabricate the stock rails. I like to cut these plenty long, too. It is very frustrating, when laying the turnout, trying to get everything in gauge if you only have a small stretch of rail with which to work.

Above are the stock rails cut to length. This is actually the finished photo, including the guard rails (later), but I wanted to show the length I like to use. Lots.

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You will need to grind (file) the rail webs so that the points can fit snugly against the stock rails. Like so:

Be sure and remove enough length of web to ensure the stock rail web does not interfere with the points contacting the stock rail.


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With the stock rails fabricated, it is time to fabricate and attach the guard rails. The guard rails are an important part of smooth operation. They ensure that the wheel flanges follow the correct path.

Start by cutting the guard rails to length, using the template as a guide. Bend the ends at a slight angle using the pliers. See photo left.

Next, make sure the stock rails are aligned with the points. You want to make sure to attach the guard rails in the correct relationship to the frog. I tack the stock rails to the template in approximate gauge.

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Using the same method as setting up the frog, cut some solder and put it between the guard rails (one at a time) and the stock rail making sure the guard rail flangeway is the right width according to the NMRA gauge. “Glue” everything together with flux. Holding the alignment with the strip wood, solder each guard rail into place.

Using the hack saw blade, cut the flangeways to proper width and depth.

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Note that I have tacked the stock rails in place to ensure proper fore-and-aft alignment of the guard rails. Gauge is not critical at this point.

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