Manual Point Control


G`day Folks

          I have been working on a mechanical point system to go with my railway. The layout is still a plan but, hopefully it will rise from the garage floor like a phoenix out of the ashes in the very near future.

          Anyhow, I have used all the tried and true methods and bits and pieces from many systems I have studied over the years. ....But one thing that made all the difference was a tip from a Victorian ( Australia ) modeller.........and that one thing was a modified brass hinge fitted below the baseboard with a sliding rod and a pin thru the rod up to the tie bar of the point.        

           Some months of modification and testing followed on from that and the focus shifted to getting the lever to function in a way that was reliable, adaptable and easy to access and maintain. The main criteria was that all parts should be available from your local hardware store and that the overall cost should be significantly less than the electrical alternative. This topic has generated a significant amount of interest amongst my railway friends and I thought i would put it up on this forum and see how it goes.

         The whole system can be built at home ........but because of the interest I have had......I am intending to have some levers made and whatever is surplus to my requirements I will sell on to interested parties.

         Essentially........the lever frame consists of 3mm thick x 10mm wide ( at the widest point ) aluminium flat bar levers mounted on 3/16" threaded rod. The levers are separated and held by Nyloc Nuts and Flat Washers and Spring Washers. The rod and levers are then mounted on board using 22mm right angled brackets.

       I have some pics that will give an idea of where I am going with this.......the pics below are of a single lever frame.

     I have not posted on this forum before so I`ll keep it short.......don`t know if what I`ve done will work????

                                         Cheers Gormo (

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Looks really neat

Looks really cool! Will it work with all scales or just the larger scales?




Have you checked out the PRoto:87 Stores offerings?

Not in your local hardware store of course, but I do ship a lot to Australia already. Using the more modern plastic tube makes it very inexpensive. And the tube route can zig-zag all over the place to fit in, as well as pass through the gaps in the ties and under the rails.


Bernd's picture

Being thrifity

I think bvgorman is saving money so he can spend it on something else, plus the pleasure of saying he made it himself.


The New York, Vermont & Northern Railway   --  Route of the Black Diamonds

Just making sure it was known of

Being thrifty with parts from a hardware store is one thing. Spending on tooling up to make equivalent parts that are already available can be very costly.

I once bought some quite expensive rolling road parts from an OZ manufacturer that were advertised as unique, only to find that Bachmann had just made the same items for half the price, and theirs were far closer to the correct dimensions. crying


manual point control

Hi Cliff

          Thanks for your comment......I think it`s neat ......but I am biased ???? answer your should work with all scales........I have only focused on " OO " because I like British Steam........however....I have put this thing together so that it can be mounted to a baseboard quite simply and also it can be connected to cable, rod or nylon ( as per model aircraft control lines ). 

         On my test bench at home......I use a wire in cable method with bell cranks .......and it will throw a Peco point (oo/ho scale) with the point`s own latching springs still in place.......with out effort.

         Cheers Gormo


manual point control

Hi Bernd

             You got it in one............I derive great pleasure from DIY in model railways...........and I have always admired those great guys of yesteryear, who could not just go out to the store and buy everything ready to they built what they in turn inspired the next generation of railway modellers

             Cheers Gormo

manual point control

Hi Andy

           Thanks for showing me the point lever system above.........I am sure it must be very good.........but as I have explained above.......I like the DIY road and I am now committed to that.

           I don`t have any tooling up issues........I have sourced a local industry to take care of that at reasonable price we`ll throw the line in the water and see what happens. 

          Cheers Gormo


Just to keep the record straight. The Stores is a paid up MRH advertiser on a full yearly basis.

I can't speak for any other links mentioned.


Manual Levers

The BQR uses manual levers to operate turnouts in the Deseronto Yard. The issue that I have encountered is that there needs to be an adjustment point at one end or the other. Problem with the original implementation was that both ends are fixed -- so it is either of correct length and travel or not. Comparing this mechanism with the linkage in a Tortoise remote is instructive. The Remote mount frame uses a sliding clamp to pull/push the wire and a fixed clamp to secure the tube. There is also an adjustable pivot point so the length of travel can be changed. Different turnouts in my layout need differing actuator travels to operate -- so proper adjustment of the lever is trickier than I expected. Adjustment by bending a wire loop in and out may work for some but as a matter of personal preference there is much to be said for a screw...

These issues may not be relevant for the way you plan on deploying the manual levers. But they are issues that I have encountered that you might want to be aware of.

Manual Point Control

       Gentlemen............This is my refuge sanity........I have shared a wealth of info with my British pals on a British Model rail forum and they have contributed to the topic as well with some great ideas.

       I thought I would do the same here......but  this first topic on this forum is leaving a bad taste in my mouth......I don`t wish to upset any I suggest we finish it right here and now...........Cheers Gormo

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