Hand laid double slip switch


to rectify a design fault i needed to allow the mainline to access the arrival/departure track in my small yard.  Using conventional turnouts was not an option as space is tight here. The solution was a double slip switch...not prototypical of an appalachian railroad but it was the best solution for the space i had. As i would only ever build one I used a template from Fast tracks for the rail placement and pasted it to a piece of heavy card. The slots for the pcb ties was cut out so the template would hold them in position. Doing this allowed me to lay the rails directly on the template for correct placement. For such a complicated piece of track it operates flawlessly. Big credit to Tim and the guys from fastracks for great products, documentation and templates. Without that it would have been so much harder. Here are some pics





tetters's picture

Looks Good!

They are pretty easy to wire too.  You just have to make sure you route power to the correct frog depending on which set of points is thrown.  When I first did it I wired the frog to the points closest to it... wrong!  A moot point if you are using a Frog Juicer to control the polarity at the frog though.  laugh

 Shane T.



Very nice!

How thick was the card stock?

Greg Wolfe



"SO it's My Railroad..."

arthurhouston's picture

Hinged Points

Cannot see in pictures you posted how the point are connected. Did you hing them using rail joiners?

Due to the points being so

Due to the points being so short i hinged them with half rail joiners.. The card i used was about 40thou or 1mm.



Artarms's picture


Very nice work and an end result you can display, use, and  be proud of for many years.


IAISfan's picture

Very nice

Really great work Dan.  Did you hand-lay the rest of your layout?  I chose to hand-lay mine in order to make the prototype's track schematic fit my space, and also out of simple economics, and I found it really enjoyable...even relaxing.

I'd be interested in seeing a layout plan sometime, if you have one you can share.

John Winter's picture


I admire you and your work. Great job.

Alternative approach

I've built a few of these. There appears to be one big error here...soldering the points to the throw rod. This will make for stiff operation and eventually pull the plating off the throw. Also makes it hard to assure both points are solid against the stock rail. I suggest two throw bars one each end of the DSS, one for the inside points and the other for the outside ones. Also, hinged points; I drill a #76 hole down through the base of the rail and solder a bit of wire to the rail so it goes down into the throw bar tie.
I also hinge the points at their heel by drilling a hole through the Baseboard, insert brass tube and solder the point to a rod inserted into tube. You can power the point by soldering a wire onto the tube under the layout. You can even solder an actuating wire to the rod for a completely invisible connection to switch machine.
Of course this means building the switch in place on the layout. But all this makes for a very free moving switch.

tetters's picture

Hinged points.

The rail joiner hinges will work just fine.  Soldering the points to the throw bar will work just as well too. 

However there is something to be said for making hinged pivots at the point end.  I used a variation of the method that Tim Warris demonstrated on the Fast Tracks website.  I just used some brass wire instead of a track spike.  Once installed it makes for a good reliable mechanism for the throw bar and the throw bar moves in a straight line. 

 Shane T.


Sweet piece of work

I am assuming that is HO scale.

I build my own in N but am not brave enough to attempt something that complex yet.



N scale, DCC-NCE, Switching, Operations

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