Selecting and Installing Ground Throws
By Nick Kalis
The fifth in an occasional series of articles providing obscure yet vital resources for modelers in the Potomac Division. Previous articles detailed sources for styrene, ballast, lumber, and finding an architect.
start, I will confess that Micro Engineering turnouts and Caboose ground throws
are not that obscure, but read on anyway. I recently started installing
turnouts for my layout. I am using number HO scale Code 83 turnouts by Micro
Engineering Company of Fenton
I installed the ground throws thus: first, I set the switch handle vertical as the directions suggest. Next, I centered the switch points, also according to directions. To hold the switch points centered can be a bit trying until I discovered that fat toothpicks laid on their sides would do the trick. Then I drilled starting holes – this was necessary as my road bed was resistant to just pushing in a nail. To do this I used a fine drill mounted in a one of those drills you use with one hand to do fine work. Next, I used a small pair of pliers to push each of the two pins to secure the ground throw. I used some track nails made by Atlas that I had left over from my less particular days.
My final step was to paint the tip of the ground throw hand green on one side and orange on the other (orange was what I had handy, but red would do). This is so that one can readily recognize whether the turnout is set for straight or for a diverging route. I hope these notes will help you with your layout. Look forward to seeing your layout on tour in 2002.
Spicer can be contacted at Mailbag Hobbies of Monkton,