Turnout Const. – Pt VIII


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Just like fabrication, there are some tools we need to get this turnout installed on the layout. There is nothing very fancy, but you need to have the right tools, and of good quality.

The most important tools are track gauges. Nothing is more critical than getting everything in proper gauge. I have a small variety. The heavy brass gauge is the remains of what someone thought was a good idea. It was part of a tracklaying tool that looked good on paper but didn’t work very well. The heavy track gauge is quite useful.

The Kadee coupler height gauges actually make pretty decent track gauges. They are inexpensive, too. But the big brass gauge and the Kadee gauges are used to help keep things lined up, they are not the final word in gauge. Every single spike point is checked with the NMRA gauge, picture here again. You cannot lay track without this gauge.

The other tool in this photo is one of my Bright Boys. I have a small collection, with the newest one many years old. I think you can still get them. There is no better way to clean track than the Bright Boy.


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The other essential tool is the dikes, mentioned before. After many years of laying track with needle nose pliers, and some specialized tools, I have found the dikes to be the best tool for driving spikes, bar none. If yours are cheap, get good ones.

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