Conquering a monster turnout

I’m hand laying my track and I have three curved turnouts to build. All three are the equivalent of #12s and needless to say that size is intimidating.

I’m pleased to report that the first one is done, and although I built it at turtle speed it works flawlessly. Building this turnout has given me the confidence to know that I can handle the others. Whew! Building the #6’s will feel like a cakewalk.

One of the benefits of hand laying is one can tweak and adjust the geometry to get everything very precise. It’s a good feeling to see a train move through silky smooth.

Second monster curved turnout completed. Whew!

Categories: Trackwork


  1. What do you use to drive those Proto87 spikes into the wooden ties?

    • Hi Ed,

      I use a small needle nose pliers from Bead Smith that I purchased from my local Hobby Lobby. I use the pliers to push the spike about halfway down into the tie, then I use a 1/16 inch pin punch made by Dasco Pro to push the spike up against the rail. The punch has a perfectly sized concave point which “cups” the head of the spike for easy control.

  2. The distressing on the ties looks great!

  3. Man, that IS a MONSTER! Looks absolutely beautiful though!

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