Turnout Control Inside a Scale Switch Stand

Push-button turnout control hiding in plain sight.

Hidden inside this HO scale model of a Bethlehem Steel Co. Model 51 low-profile switch stand is a tactile push-button for local turnout control. Simply press down on the target to throw your turnout. A great solution to local control of a turnout without a control panel.

Because the target will dislodge if accidentally bumped during operation you don’t have to worry about operators breaking the switch stand or target. The target can be rotated by hand to indicate the turnout position if desired.

Extra targets will be included with the kits in case one gets damaged or lost.

Switch Stand Turnout Control
Switch Stand Turnout Control Unpainted 03
Switch Stand Turnout Control Unpainted 02

What Inspired This Product

While searching for a solution to local turnout control on my personal layout I considered many options including manual ground throws. For various reasons that I won’t go into here, I settled on Cobalt IP Digital turnout motors.

The next decision I had to make was how to control them. For my yard area that was a no-brainer, local control panels. However much of my layout is a branch line, with the track located close to the edge of the layout and easily accessible. For those areas, I did not want to make local panels and clutter up the facia of the layout.

Not wanting to revert back to manual turnout control in those areas I was in search of some type of hidden switch. In my case, I needed a simple momentary, normally open, push-button switch to trigger the Cobalt turnout motors. One afternoon while installing some Micro Engineering turnout details I noticed that the cast metal switch stand was about the size of a micro push button switch. I decided to try and hide a switch behind one of the switch stand castings. A small hole was drilled into the push button to mount the metal cast target. As you can see below, once painted, the beta version of my switch stand turnout control didn’t look half bad so I fired up the CAD programs and started drawing!

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