Turnout Construction

There’s an old saying, “Wondrous Night, Farmers Delight, Wondrous Morning, Farmers Warning” implying a weather chance is coming later that day….Well this morning was very wondrous and believe it or not, at the time of writing this, the rain has finally arrived.A partly laid out turnout awaited the gang this morning, however the day did not stay glorious, rather very hot, sunny and windy, so the progress today was really extremely impressive!Before long the tweaking had begun, lots of adjusting and checking and then re-checking to get the straight stock rail exactly straight and square. This saves a power of work later and gives a much better end result.Once happy, fastening down begun.Just as per our last turnout, it’s a largely screwed down job, with pandrol plates between the heel and crossing, nice to work with and very robust.But a bit more checking and tweaking never goes astray, because a turnout looking good is just as important as it being good (at least we think so).Once happy, the whole straight leg was fastened (we’ve got a couple of spikes to finish driving tomorrow, but other wise all done).Slowly more bits appeared, making it look more and more turnout like.Once everything was bolted together and the rails roughly aligned (to check the timber locations – as this isn’t a stock standard turnout, rather a 2nd hand bitsa, the standard timbering plan locations can give rise to strange spacings).A bit of pushing to ensure it would curve just as expected (and it did, thankfully).We had a great number join us today, which was a great thing given the rather horrid weather we endured.By packup time, with only the left rail really fastened down and rest sitting there, it was very obvious it’s all looking the part and more importantly, all the bits point exactly where they should.Certainly something to be proud of!We even managed to get the centreline peg in the centre!With the white blob here representing the predicted new centreline of the track towards the turntable, which does line up very nicely with the turnout (the picture gives a strange perspective, but it does line up).This is the set out plan for the very turnout we are building, it has curved blades, rather than typical straight blades, with the result being an overall smaller turnout (1.5m roughly) or about two timbers worth.If anyone happens to have a diagram for this particular turnout type, we would appreciate a copy, it’s not critical as we can calculate and determine all the relevant rail data from the above plan, more just out interested to see if one still exists (we haven’t found one in our records/archives yet).After a very big day and all very happy with their efforts (and rightly so) the gang headed for home. Leaving a nice (and hopefully very straight forward) kit for tomorrow’s crew to finish putting together. Meeting at Castlemaine from 8.30am.

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