Loco Turntables

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centenary
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Loco Turntables

Postby centenary » Wed Jan 12, 2022 7:51 pm

SWMBO wants a turntable on the layout because she doesnt want her kettles running a*se end first. Neither does she want to do the hand of god thing either. Typical.

The Hornby turntable looks very 'toy trainset' ish so in OO scale, does that only leave the Peco and Heljan turntables?

The Heljan version is as expensive as a DCC loco at over 200 quid. On DCC, does anyone know how you select the roads? Can it only be controlled by a DCC cab such as the Gaugemasters Prodigy Advance etc? I have the Prodigy Express which doesnt do accessories and Im fine with that and would need other means to control the turntable.

What about the Peco version? Is it still available?

Bigmet
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby Bigmet » Wed Jan 12, 2022 8:26 pm

You have run into one of the significant missing items in RTR OO. There simply isn't a 'Plant and Play' scale model of a UK turntable available.

The Hornby is a very dated design train set standard item, too large to be a scale model even if it looked right for a UK prototype, which it doesn't.
The Heljan is an HO product, and even in OO too large to be a scale model even if it looked right for a UK prototype, which it doesn't.

The Peco isn't RTR and as a plastic kit needs careful construction to work reliably, needs some skill to motorise, but can be 'pushed around' or hand wound with a pulley arrangement. It has some features drawn from a UK turntable design, but is well overscale in bridge length. (In reality the largest UK steam tender locos were a very tight fit, wheelbase would fit on a 70' bridge which was the largest used on the UK railway network, but the end features - bufferbeams and fittings - overhung the ends of the bridge.)

I have used the Peco turntable so that I can turn locos without handling them, as it is handling that damages detail. (It's off scene because of its off scale dimensions.) I had to obtain a replacement segment of the turntable well as one of the three was deformed, and there was no way of making up the well as a 'right cylinder' that is essential for the bridge to turn without fouling on the well wall. The bridge though is a good piece, makes a strong construction that has now put in near 20 years use with locos weighing up to 800g. I had to independently support the bearing set into the well on which the bridge rotates, as otherwise the base of the well flexes unacceptably, and I expect would have been fatigued cracked by now had I not put in a subframe to support it, which is attached to the layout frame. The subframe also supports the motor and gearbox that drives the bridge shaft: this kit drive came from Radio Shack, but I believe Peco now offer their own drive.

There are good brass kits to build scale turntable models, from Blacksmith Models. Rather expensive, but by reputation you get what you pay for.

Ex-Pat
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby Ex-Pat » Wed Jan 12, 2022 9:57 pm

You could always try this one:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=50348

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Bufferstop
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby Bufferstop » Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:35 pm

There's a half finished TT in the corner of my layout which has been a work in progress for nearly a year, the old excuse, life got in the way. As soon as I can get the post Christmas pile of boxes and junk back in their non Christmas hidey hole I'll try to get it finished.
A few years back I answered a call for help from a chap about three miles away, who wanted to sell his late father in law's layout, but couldn't figure out the controls. I tried a few things that didn't work, but then I realised the turntable deck (Peco) was turning. There was a full 60s style two controller set up with section switches, the end one of which transferred either controller to drive the turntable, that's when I realised it was turning in the turn slow turn slow pattern of the old Triang Hornby one. A peep under the baseboard revealed a suspended platform with the Triang monster mounted on it. A block of wood was fastened across its bridge with a vertical rod at its centre, the top of the rod had a sort of universal joint which connected it to a spindle below the Peco one up top!
When I showed him what was there he said "not a bad job from a master bricklayer!"
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
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Bigmet
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby Bigmet » Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:05 am

Bufferstop wrote:... I realised the turntable deck (Peco) was turning. ... it was turning in the turn slow turn slow pattern of the old Triang Hornby one. A peep under the baseboard revealed a suspended platform with the Triang monster mounted on it...


Ex-Pat wrote:You could always try this one:
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=50348


One novel solution to motorisation. And a product I was totally unaware of. It's always interesting to learn how others have gone about skinning a problematic cat.

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pete12345
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby pete12345 » Fri Jan 14, 2022 8:53 pm

With some turntables simply being pushed round by the loco crew, deploying a finger to rotate the turntable is arguably prototypical! I have a Peco one, which eventually I hope to mechanise with some Meccano parts- leading to a hand crank at the edge of the board. It gives simple and precise control, and I can say the turntable is windlass-powered.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

ChrisGreaves
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby ChrisGreaves » Sat Jan 15, 2022 6:20 am

centenary wrote:The Heljan version is as expensive as a DCC loco ...
Turntables and locomotives. Don't they go together nicely!

If looks are important, why not lay out money for the nicest-looking turntable that the budget allows, and then rig up a really cheap old loco, using only the motor part, as a drive mechanism.

I have not done this, but I recall Triang (circa 1959) locos that had a protruding gear wheel, so once you had a strip of teeth glued under the table you would mount the loco chassis upside-down under the table and use a controller for a 1959 Triang 0-6-0.
I seem to recall a worm gear on the motor shaft, so a worm-driven mechanism would work.

Just a thought.
Cheers
Chris

Bigmet
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby Bigmet » Sat Jan 15, 2022 10:10 am

ChrisGreaves wrote:Turntables and locomotives. Don't they go together nicely!...

From among the present crowd of competitors in RTR OO, quite likely that one of them will produce a scale model of a UK 70 foot Turntable. (If they are clever, they will offer a second based on the same mechanism of around 55 feet, long enough for the 4-6-0 and 2-8-0 types that were typical maximum power on secondary routes; and a useful space saving of 60mm on overall diameter, which given the restricted space many have for their layouts might win useful sales.)

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centenary
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby centenary » Sat Jan 15, 2022 12:43 pm

Thanks all for the suggestions. Yes, there's a budget and I can stretch to the cost of the Heljan version but am not looking to pay way over that for some bespoke option. Something has to look better than the Hornby offering but Im not discounting either of the Peco or Heljan versions just because they arent totally accurate for OO.

Unless I find something else, I guess the (future) choice will come down to the Heljan or Peco though.

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Peterm
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby Peterm » Sun Jan 16, 2022 12:45 am

I've been using a Peco TT for a few years now. It's driven by a proper geared motor, not one of the cheap plastic one's which tend to be really noisy. I power it with about three volts for the slow turn via a sprung to centre off toggle switch. Lining up by eye is pretty easy and if I do miss a track, it's easy to just flick the switch to set it back or forwards..
Pete.

b308
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby b308 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 9:36 am

If you're willing to build one then this may be an alternative:

https://greenwoodmodelrailwayproducts.c ... able-kits/

RMWeb discussed it (and others):

https://www.rmweb.co.uk/community/index ... questions/

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Bufferstop
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Jan 16, 2022 2:54 pm

One of the reasons for my slow progress was the need to build a deck which could fit the space I could clear, at the cost of one carriage siding being diverted to be the approach track, cutting back an embankment and repositioning the water tower I now can fit a deck that will accommodate a Hall, just. Fortunately it's not far below eye level so I can watch the leasing wheel as it runs on. Like some prototype tables, I believe one was at Bletchley, movement on the adjacent track has to be halted whilst the table is in use. The Home signal has had to be moved forward a few inches to protect the space required by any overhang. The bridge is purely functional and devoid of detail, it is key'd to the shaft and can be lifted off easily, so taking it off and returning it to use whilst developing a detailed version won't be a problem.
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pete12345
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby pete12345 » Sun Jan 16, 2022 6:37 pm

Bigmet wrote:
ChrisGreaves wrote:Turntables and locomotives. Don't they go together nicely!...

From among the present crowd of competitors in RTR OO, quite likely that one of them will produce a scale model of a UK 70 foot Turntable. (If they are clever, they will offer a second based on the same mechanism of around 55 feet, long enough for the 4-6-0 and 2-8-0 types that were typical maximum power on secondary routes; and a useful space saving of 60mm on overall diameter, which given the restricted space many have for their layouts might win useful sales.)


Fleischman used to make two types of turntable in HO- one enormous model and one much shorter version which would be ideal. Of course, both were done properly and came with an indexed drive mechanism. As far as I know it's long discontinued.
Once an engine attached to a train, was afraid of a few drops of rain...

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Bufferstop
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby Bufferstop » Sun Jan 16, 2022 8:33 pm

I was just looking for examples of turntables on YouTube and I spotted a solution to aligning the track by eye. The turn table was being turned by hand with a long bar sticking out over the concrete surround. If I add a bar like it on two diagonally opposite corners and a post for it to line up with I should have no problem bring it to a stand with the rails lined up. It has what I thought would be a totally pointless speed control, I can slow it down to "super creep" should get the alignment easily.
Growing old, can't avoid it. Growing up, forget it!
My Layout, My Workbench Blog and My Opinions

Bigmet
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Re: Loco Turntables

Postby Bigmet » Sun Jan 16, 2022 10:35 pm

Bufferstop wrote:I was just looking for examples of turntables on YouTube and I spotted a solution to aligning the track by eye. The turn table was being turned by hand with a long bar sticking out over the concrete surround. If I add a bar like it on two diagonally opposite corners and a post for it to line up with I should have no problem bring it to a stand with the rails lined up. It has what I thought would be a totally pointless speed control, I can slow it down to "super creep" should get the alignment easily.

I find that visual alignment of the rail ends is very easy. And alignment doesn't have to be 'perfect', there's enough backlash in the multi gear drive, that the loco wheels will improve the alignment provided the rails are over 50% overlapping, if the loco is moved at dead slow.


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