Friday, 2 January 2009

Turnout timbering

Unless you're a stickler for detail like me, it might seem pretty insignificant, but for ages I'd been unsure as to how to approach the spacing of sleepers immediately beyond the heel of a turnout where the plain track commences.

If you commence normal sleepering immediately beyond the rail joints you end up having to try and interlace the ends of the sleepers of the two diverging running lines and this was proving rather a headache, allowing enough space for the fishplates at the rail joint on one line and not too large a space between the last timber and the first sleeper on the other line.

Well, David J. Smith's "GWR Switch and Crossing Practise" (Great Western Study Group, 2000) finally came to the rescue! Apparently the GWR practise was for through timbering to continue beyond the end of the turnout (beyond the rail joints) until there was a gap of at least 3 feet between the rail faces of the closest rails of the two running lines.

This makes life a whole lot simpler in the track-laying department, because unless you're dealing with particularly long, shallow-angled turnouts, the need for interlaced sleepers is eliminated.

Unfortunately, I only discovered this after having already laid the front turnout on the layout, so I'll just have to invent some 'prototype' reason for the anomoly (or make the grass particularly long just here)! With the other two, I'd already printed out and stuck down the Templot track templates but some quick work with a pen and ruler resolved the issue and all the sleepering and timbering is now complete.