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To-Scale Switches and Slips (part.1), by Dr. Norbert Aust (Switchdoc)
 Read | Write  comments: 9 Posted Sun May 04 2003 3:09pm
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By the procedure of building switches presented here you will automatically create a straight piece of track in the branch adjacent to the circular arc. This is very similar to real railway usage. There it is necessary to include a straight piece of track between any arcs bending in opposing directions (s-shaped curve) to improve the dynamics of the rolling stock that will ride this track. In our sim, we do not have a thing called dynamics - but consists simply look better in passing if you include a straight piece of track in the center of an S-curve.

Switch is ready now, only the drive is missing.

4) Attaching the drives

No to loose orientation in more complex layouts it prooved helpful to place the drive at the splinepoint marking the beginning of the points. This can be achieved in placing the drive somewhere near this point and moving it in the direction of the desired splinepoint. You have found the splinepoint when the movement stops and you cannot make it move further. (Fig.18)


By some basic law of nature, that I do not know of but feel positively sure it does exist, you will find the drive nearly allways placed to the wrong side of the switch and the switch pointing into the wrong direction. (Those few occasions, when this does not happen are sure to be the exceptions that prove the law!) This should be adjusted with help of the menue now. By this operation I define a basic position of the switch which I select allways to be the straight direction.

With more complex layouts and slips and switches arranged quite near to each other we will have a tough time to operate the switches in the monitor view. The denominations of the switches will hardly be legible and it is near to impossible to select one switch with the cursor. If Yardmaster will not bring any feasible method to control paths through layouts as a whole, then we will have to turn the switches in the HUD menue of Driver. Therefore we should have some systematic in naming tha switches. I do it the following way...

Name of station W xxx
(W stands for the German word 'Weiche' (= switch) opposing S for 'Signale')

In this example here I use the name of my hometown (Fig.19)


Maulburg W 001

Thats it folks. Our switch is ready. With some practice building a switch in this way will not take longer than five minutes. There is no messing around with minute alignments and no high accuracy necessary. As long as we match the visual impression everything is okay and will work fine.

For some screens on how a consist looks like taking the switch built above, refer to the end of second part dealing with slips.


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