The continuing saga of my learning curve building Central Valley Model Works turnout kits. In part one I did the basic assembly.

Now that I’ve added some track around my turnout I can actually run trains over it. The turnout works very well but I did not do a perfect job assembling it. I’m trying to be a very harsh critic of myself because several turnouts on the layout are in tough to reach places and I need to be very clear on proper technique before I build them.

Few things will ruin the enjoyment of your layout more than a turnout in the back corner that keeps derailing everything.

The main things I did wrong are not get the rails tightly enough around the frog and I did not snug the guard rails close enough to the stock rails.

Using an NMRA standards gauge you can see that the track gauge is correct but the width of the flangeway is not correct. For those not familiar with this tool the tabs highlighted in red show how wide the flangeway should be.

Given the way the frog casting works, snugging up the guard rail (the black plastic rail on the left) will be the easy fix.

One thing to watch is to make sure that the frog rails (the rails that are attached in a “V”) are pushed as far forward into the frog casting as possible. However, this can be taken too far since the geometry is such that if pushed too far forward the track gauge will become too narrow.

An easy fix: make sure the closure rails (by the arrow on the right)

are really tight to the frog casting. Note that the closure rail on the left of the frog (to the left of the RIGHT arrow) is loose. The closure rail on the right of the frog is pretty good.

Despite these obvious flaws the turnout works flawlessly (if a bit bumpy for some pieces of rolling stock) so I have to admit that the Central Valley design seems to be quite forgiving.

One Response to “Building my first Central Valley Model Works Turnout – Part 2”

  1. Wolfgang Dudler Says:

    I’ve made the same experience, the guard rails are not in gauge. I reworked them, too.
    My work with CV turnout.