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Model Railway Electrics - Point Motors

Point Motor Placement - Where and how to place your point motors. Point Motor Fitting - How to fit a point motor under your layout


Point motors are used to remotely control model railway points. They are ideally used for points which are difficult to reach and thus control manually. Many modellers only motorise the points which they cannot reach in an effort to save money.

There are at least three makes of point motors, Hornby, SEEP, and Peco. As far as I know all of the motors are simple linear motors (meaning they have a side to side motion instead of rotational motion). Hornby and Peco Point motors are very similar but do require modification to allow them to be used on each others points. Click here to read more. SEEP point motor were recommended to me as apparently they are more reliable on large display layouts.

Hornby standard point motors (R8014) do not have the option of a built in switch, but they do come with fitted coloured wires and they can be mounted in three different ways. They are above the board in a point motor housing (R8015) (Illustrated below),

Hornby Point Motor Housing (R8015) Hornby Point Motor Housing R8015

fixed directly to the bottom of the points (recommended) by means of fixing holes on the bottom of modern Hornby points (you do need to cut a hole in the base board 40mm X 25mm to accommodate the motor), or fixed underneath the base board by screws (by bending the mounting prongs over, (screws are not supplied). You can also glue the point motor to the bottom of the board and use the extension arm that comes with every Hornby point (not recommended).

Hornby Point Motor (R8014) Hornby Point Motor R8014

Peco Standard Point motors (pictured below) are very similar in look and performance to Hornby point motors. The only big difference is that Peco point motors come in either long pin (PL-10E) or standard pin (PL-10) length, so you have to decide at the store, were as all Hornby point motors come with an extension arm. You can also buy a switch (PL-13) which mounts on to the bottom of Peco Points which can be used to automatically change a signal or change electro frog polarity. Remember you cant use Peco point motors on Hornby Points without some minor adjustments. Click here to find out more.

Peco Point Motors - PL-10

Fixing point motors to your points is a bit hit and miss. It often takes many small minor adjustments to the point motor before it will work consistently, and with speed. If you rush it, you may find that they don't work first time every time resulting in derailments, often in the most inaccessible area of your layout. Remember it's important to test your layout before you ballast, as adjustments afterwards are very difficult.

SEEP point motors come with or without a built in switch which allows you for example to operate a signal from the point motor (It does not control the points), and can only be placed below the base board either by screws (not supplied) or by glue (see picture). It also does not come with fitted wires, so will require soldering.

SEEP Point Motor SEEP Point Motor

Powering Point Motors (DC)

Point motors can not be powered from the track. They need an external power source. Hornby controllers (HM2000 and R965) come with an accessory outlet 16V AC. This is the correct voltage for Hornby, Peco, and SEEP point motors, as well as other accessories eg signals. In my experience the amp output of older versions of the R965 controller is insufficient to power the SEEP point motors and is only just powerful enough to power the Hornby point motors (even when fitted perfectly). The newer version is better but I would recommend that you use a Gaugemaster or HM2000 controller which not only gives you more amps to the point motors (allowing them to work all the time every time), but it also puts more amps into the track resulting in less stalling and more pulling power. If you buy a Gaugemaster controller you will need to buy a set of leads (1) which will link it to the Hornby style power clips. Gaugemaster Controllers come with a lifetime guarantee and are only a little bit more in price.

If you decide to use point motors please click on the related links below which will advise you further on the options you have for positioning and different methods of switching.


Point motor Positioning / mounting

Point motor switching

Fitting Point Motors directly beneath you points.


Model Railway Electrics - Power Clip - This page includes how to fit a hornby power clip, and where to put your power clip or power track. Model Railway Electronics - Train Controllers (AC,DC,DCC,PWD) What's the difference Model Railway Electrics - DC Controller - This page describes what dc control is. Its advantages and dis-advantages. R965 and C990 Model Railway Electrics - DCC Control - Digital Command Control (DCC) Model Railway Electrics - Infra-Red Control - (IRC) Infrared Model Railway Electrics - Point Motors Model Railway Electrics - Switches -  switches include  SPDT, DPDT, on-on, on-off, on-off-on, (on)off(on), Toggle switches, slide switches, and push to make switche. Switches can be used to operate model railway signals, model railway point motors, model railway turntable, Model railway Lights, isolating sections, etc Model Railway Electronics - Lights - This page include LED's L.E.D.'s,  filiment lamps and Bi pin lamp. This page discusses their power consumption heat and suitability for common uses. Model Railway Electrics - Arm Signal - How to Automate an Arm Signal R171 & R172 Model Railway Electris - Light Signals - Signal wire diagrams, How do real light signals work? Hornby, Gaugemaster, Build your own Signal - R406 Model Railway Electrics - Build Your Own Railway Signal, This page discusses how you can build your own cheap model railway signal Model Railway Electrics - How to build a working railway crossing Model Railway Electrics - How to build your own street lights Model Railway Electrics - Hornby turntable - Circuit diagram, Wiring diagram, video Model Railway Electrics - Isolating Circuit - What are isolating sections for, Circuit diagram, Build your own isolating section, How to wire isolating sections. Model Railway Electrics - Control Box - How to build a model railway control box to control your signals, points and other model railway electronics.


New Modellers Shop - A Model Railway Shop - Stocking model railway wagons, coaches, carriages, electric diesel and steam locomotives, power and control equiptment, point motors, train packs, scenery, signals switches, and much much more. Supplying model products along with reviews and advice. Railway Pictures - Railway photograph gallery covering all areas of railway traction, buildings, and trackwork. Extensive photo library, which is being added to weekly. Upload and share your own images to the site using its inbuilt upload features.

Hornby Model Shop

R8312 - E-Link Computer Controlled Model Railway

Hornby E-Link
Computer Control


Hornby Model Railway Train Sets - Hornby Mixed Freight Train Set - R1126

Hornby DCC Mixed Freight Train Set


Hornby Trakmat

Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack A - R8221

Hornby Extension Track Pack A


Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack B - R8222

Hornby Extension Track Pack B


Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack C - R8223

Hornby Extension Track Pack C


Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack D - R8224

Hornby Extension Track Pack D


Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack E - R8225

Hornby Extension Track Pack E


Hornby Model Railway Extension Track Pack F - R8226

Hornby Extension Track Pack F


Hornby Trakmat

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