Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!

Elevated Switches A Problem?

Daniel models O scale and asks readers:

“Have installed an elevated line using 111 Trestles. I want to add an additional loop using a pair of 022 switches. Has anyone done this? I expect supporting the switch motor would be tough. Any suggestions would be welcomed.”

Share on FacebookEmail this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on StumbleUponShare on Google+Share This Post

7 Responses to Elevated Switches A Problem?

  • Matt Jackson says:

    The O22 turnout’s motor is pretty heavy. Best approach would be to support the whole switch on a wooden support disguised as either a berm or concrete structure. The motor itself could be covered with a small building of some kind.

    Hope this helps.

  • Newman Atkinson says:

    Daniel, If you are running that much upper level on the trestle pieces then you probably need a wood base under the track anyway. I would use the trestle stands to support it them mount your track to that and enough plywood and supports under your switch. Most real trains do not hang on poorly supported track. and Neither should you do it in model railroading. So get you some support for your trains from Newman Atkinson

  • Dan Potgieter says:

    If you use “push-pull” switch motors make use of a series of cranks, rods and links (what RC aircraft modelers use) and place your switch motor where it suits you best.

  • Daniel says:

    To Newman,
    My elevated line is on trestles in plywood. They are well supported and secure. My question was more about supporting and hiding the motor piece. Matt’s suggestions are along the lines that I was considering. I can figure out the support, but needed ideas on the camouflage.
    Thanks for everyone’s responses. If there are others , I will appreciate it.


  • Erik says:

    Trees, billboards, store fronts, trucks, business signs, bulidings and how you paint the switch motors will all hide these motors. Make sure you can remove these hiding devices in case you need to do repairs or replacement.

  • Tim Morlok says:

    I model in HO scale so I am not familiar with O scale turnouts and motors. If you can reach the locations of your turnouts, could you use manual ground throw type switch stands? You did not state the height of the elevated track. On a previous layout I placed a portion of my elevated track on a berm modeled after the the Union Pacific’s Dodge Street cutoff west of Omaha. You could hide your under track motor inside this type of berm or under the table with a long control rod through the berm.

  • Wayne says:

    The plywood under the track and switch is the best idea.
    However, if you just use the 111 Trestles, support the switch motor with a column, or pillar of some kind. Then disguise the pillar with a large tree, or the front of a building.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Add a photo or image related to your comment (JPEG only)

Free Catalog

Clever Tips & Techniques

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

A micro controller is basically a small programmable computer device to help hobbyists “make things operate.” It is clever way to realistically replicate the movements, actions and functions you are likely to see on a full size railroad.

Micro control technology can be used for:

Rolling stock and scenic lighting effects, street lamp lighting, lighting up of structures, emergency vehicle flashing lights, replicating a campfire or arc welding, tall structure tower lighting, block occupancy detection, turnout operation, motors/servos, solenoid, infrared, right-of-way signal lighting, current sense, crossing gate & signal operation, semaphores, flashers, turntable control, gate arms, draw/lift bridge control, fast time clock, DCC testing, scenery sound control, wireless controls, and lighting fixture day to night control. Read more...

The good thing is; a micro controller can be programmed to perform one, or just a few, simple tasks over and over again.

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video


Submit Your Model Railroading Questions!

Before you submit your model railroading question please add some feedback, answers or comments to other postings on this model train blog. What goes around comes around... so if you can help others in the hobby, someone else may help you.

Important - Please add plenty of supporting details to any question you submit (eg. scale, solutions you have already tried etc.) , as the clearest and best questions usually get the best answers. Also, please check your spelling and punctuation as all questions need to be approved by the blog moderator prior to publication. Approved questions are normally published within a week (if not sooner).

Submit your model train questions here.

Scenery Techniques

Watch the video now.

Why DCC is so popular

A simple DC (Direct Current) transformer will give you a nice chugging locomotive going one way on your model train track, however, with a DCC unit you can have the flexibility of having an entire train-switching yard happening right in front of your eyes! That is the adaptability that is available with this coming-of-age technology in the hobby!

By using the Digital Command Control, you are opening up a whole new range of possibilities. A continuous electrical current is sent to all of the many things you have installed on your train layout, however, now you have a digital receiver installed in each various items. You can therefore control each and every one of them with the selectable controller and enhance the operation and, more importantly, the look and feel of your system.

The technical side of the DCC is, actually, not as complicated as you might think. In reality, a DCC system is usually easier to wire than a straight DC system.

More dcc ideas...

Deciding the Era and Location

The choice of scenery you decide on all depends on what era and location you are depicting with your layout. You will need to do some good research on the railroad and its surroundings to make sure you get the scenery perfect (if that’s what you want).

If you are depicting a historical train setting or a certain era, you will want to use old photographs to determine how the scenery should be built and laid out. Remember to think through all aspects of the scenery. This is one of the best areas to really showcase your talents, so take your time.

More scenery ideas...

It’s YOUR Railroad!

Your rolling stock and locomotives might actually be the center of attention on your layout, but the scenic features that surround and envelop your layout is what's likely to make your train setup stand proud of the rest. Your selection of scenery and structures will add an element of customization that will make your railroad truly unique.

Scenery, structures, and fine detailing is a fundamental aspect of any good model railroad, particularly if it is intended to replicate a true-to-life railroading scene. How realistic or authentic you make your railroad is entirely up to you... and you alone.

Some enthusiasts like to replicate every tiny detail so as to accurately depict, in every aspect, a miniaturized version of a real life scene.

Others in this hobby adopt a more "free-style" approach and choose to mix and match accessories and features they personally prefer. Even though the purist will possibly be unimpressed with unrealistic or out of context elements, it is YOUR railroad layout so you can make it anything you personally want!

Watch These Club Videos

Club members access helpful new resources each month: diagrams, video tutorials, articles, track plans and more. Watch the tour videos here.

Model Train Help Ebook

Submit Your Article

Would you like to write an article and have it published?

Preference will be given to articles that help others progress in the hobby, maybe suggesting an idea for their layout, a quick tip or two... or perhaps a little bit of good advice based on your model railroading experiences.

We are all in this hobby together, so the more we can do to share ideas and help each other, the better.

Submit Your Article Here

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Share With Friends


Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.