Friday 8 December 2023

Slate Quarry Point

A slate quarry point at Nystrup Gravel? Isn't that a bit far fetched? Perhaps, but calling the point something a bit more technical like a 'point for double flanged rolling stock' makes it more in keeping with the Nystrup Gravel theme. Double flanged rolling stock wasn't widespread on Danish industrial narrow gauge railways, but was used on one large first generation sugar beet network with 700 mm gauge as well as on several smaller operations. And a turnout for double flanged wheels will also accomodate the more usual one flanged wheels.

The Atropos kit's box is white and flat. What is unusual is that the point can be assembled as a left or right hand point and even a Y-point. That leaves a lot of decision making to the modeller! Image: Ebay seller's photo.

The point is a kit labelled 'Slate quarry cast component point' from now gone Atropos Garden Railway Equipment. I only learned about the manufacturer 3 weeks ago from the useful 16 mm Narrow Gauge Association Facebook group. A quick search on eBay showed a single kit for sale for a most reasonable price of 20 £. My quick reaction and good service from the seller saw the kit arrive in Denmark just a little over a week later.

So what's in the box? 6 wooden sleepers, rail spikes and bolts, 4 short lengths of Peco code 143 rail and three metal castings (two switch plates and one crossing) and assembly instruction including drawings. The rail size is an exact match to my own hand built track which is very nice. The sleepers appear a bit wide, but will be easy to adjust or replace. The three castings puzzled me at first: I couldn´t get the bars to move and for a moment I thought the point was a static item, not intended for operation. Closer inspection found the bars only slightly stuck, perhaps from having not been moved for a long time.

Inside the box, wrapped in paper was the kit's parts in small zip lock bags. The cast metal crossing and switch plates have been removed from the bags for clarity.

Close up of crossing and switch plates. The metal bars in each component that changes running direction in the turnout are movable. With a little care it should be possible to create a working point for double flanged rolling stock.

The templates for sleeper placing and assembly shows the turnout to end up being 19 cm long which is considerably shorter than my Peco points that measure out at around 30 cm in length. Even if the turnout is short I have nowhere to install it. My current layout takes up all the available room. Consequently the kit's parts go back into bags and box and storage until I have thought out a way to expand the layout to include a little more of the Nystrup Gravel's main line and some of the many funny track arrangements found around the gravel treatment area and the drying facility for Nystrup Gravel's specialised foundry sand 'Multisand'. The 'Multisand' product featured on my 1/35 scale version of Nystrup Gravel, and may make a comeback in 1/19 scale before long?

The kit comes with several drawings and templates for building the turnout. Here the drawing in A3 format.

I have played with different track constructions in 1/19 before and hope to include some of the different types of track that Nystrup Gravel employed on their sidings in the future. I have previously made a short test track with all-wooden track.

Now I'm going back fixing sisal grass and ground cover to the layout - dreaming of an even larger layout in the future!

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