Powered switch machines and motors can certainly add a lot to a model railroad, but they certainly come with a cost in time, labor and money. And there is something to be said for having to stop your train while you manually throw the switches to line your route. This slower pace of operation is much more like the prototype when you're switching in a yard or working the local freight.
Ground throws are an affordable way to add reliable operation to your turnouts.
©2012 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.
If you're using manual switches for some or all of your layout, you'll still want to make sure that the switches don't throw accidentally - especially as the train is rolling over top of them.
Ground throws are an easy and affordable way to equip any switch. There are several options available in most scales, including some with electrical contacts that can be used to power switch frogs or other uses. Others are designed to look more like different styles of prototype switch stands. This new article covers the basics of installing these useful tools.
And if you like the function and cost of a ground throw, but your switches are out of reach, stay tuned for tomorrow's bl0g!