Chequer Plate Points Inserts

The yard of the engineering works will be covered in stone setts made from DAS modelling clay. However, I don’t want to put clay around the moving parts of the points. Instead I decided to use chequer plate plasticard to create ‘metal’ inserts for the points.

A drawing of each point was made by rubbing a pencil over the rails.

The paper was cut to make a template of the space between the switch blades.

A piece of chequer plate plasticard was cut using the template.

When the points switch the blades flex slightly when they make contact with the rails at the extremes of the switching movement. The insert needed to be slightly smaller than my template. A little filing solved this.

To see if the plate affected the operation of the stock I ran a locomotive over the point. It stalled.

The wheel flanges were running over the top of the plastic raising the wheels and reducing the electrical contact with the rails. I filed the back of the chequer plate piece to reduce the thickness of the plastic.

After a little trial and error the the plate was thin enough for the loco to run over the point without stalling.

It was a fiddly job to reduce the thickness of the plastic. As it gets thinner it becomes more fragile and it is important to hold the piece firmly and file in one direction. File in both directions and there’s a risk the thin plastic will crease or fold. Here’s one that went wrong. Ooops!

To cover up the moving parts around the tie bar I cut two small rectangular pieces of chequer plate for each point. The side closest to the rail rests on the sleepers, the other end is supported by a small piece of plasticard.

All three points have been fitted with chequer plate. I haven’t painted them or fixed them in place yet. This can wait until the stone setts are completed. Perhaps some more filing and fiddling will be needed….

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