Templates Have Instructions Too


I’ve been wanting to try making a turnout without using the Proto:87 Stores Switch-Works Ultimate Turnout jigs. I’ve seen many people print templates off of the Fast Tracks website and use that as a basis for laying ties and siting rail. There are also templates available on the Proto:87 Stores website.

I prefer the look of the Proto:87 Stores template because the ties are not uniformly placed, instead they are placed closer at critical areas to carry the increased stresses in those areas. In short, the Proto:87 Stores templates more closely represent a modern prototype turnout.

On the other hand, the Fast Tracks turnout building method where track is soldered to key PCB ties lends itself more easily to using a template. It allows one to easily remove the paper template after the key PCB ties are soldered to the track.

I tried my hand at laying a string of ties for a #10 turnout using the Proto:87 Stores Templates. I printed the template on #65 lb. card stock and sprayed it with dull-coat. I carefully cut and taped the template halves using a thin strip of masking tape. I glued a straight piece of card stock to the bottom edge to act as a straight edge for laying the ties. I glued the ties to the template using Elmer’s wood glue. Then I stained the ties using a shoe dye and alcohol mix. It all stood up nicely. Everything worked great except it looked too small to be a #10 turnout. I compared it to my other #10 turnouts and it was definitely undersized.

It took a while to figure out what was wrong, but printed across the top of the Proto:87 Stores template is a large black bar and a note that says:


I never read instructions until after something goes wrong. I measured the bar and it was less than 6 inches. I did some calculations and reprinted the diagrams at 106% scale. Now I need to try this again.




Author: Greg Amer

2 thoughts on “Templates Have Instructions Too

  1. Hello,

    Have you tried this again?. I´ll build my turnouts using PCB ties and H0 Proto87 stores points and frogs.

    Manolo M.

    1. Hi Manolo,

      I’m currently building a #9 turnout using a template from ProtoTrains(http://prototrains.com/turnout/turnout.html) & a Details West frog. It’s going pretty good, but stalled because I’m waiting for tie plates from Proto:87 Stores.

      I’ve found a couple of other sites for templates including:

      BNSF Templates in the document http://www.bnsf.com/customers/pdf/indytrkstds.pdf

      Union Pacific Templates in the document http://www.uprr.com/aboutup/operations/specs/attachments/amended/turnouts_opt.pdf

      Norfolk Southern Templates in the document: http://www.nscorp.com/content/dam/nscorp/industrial-development/track-design-information/Plan_2-7_No10_Turnout_RBM_Frog.pdf

      I just don’t know how to scale the real life diagrams into HO scale templates I’m close with one of them, but it’s still off somewhat.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 − = five

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.