Reaching over trains or delicate details, or trying to bend your arm around that building in the foreground to throw a switch is bound to cause problems. If you like operating your switches by hand but you have some switches that are out of reach, don't change your trackplan. Change your ground throw.
By adding an underground throw rod, the switch at upper left can be controlled from a stand five tracks away.
©2012 Ryan C Kunkle, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Just like the unconventional methods of mounting powered switch machines shown last month, with a little creativity and a few basic materials, you can move your manual switch controls to a convenient location along the front of your platform. I had to tackle a problem like this in one of my small yards where a switch had to be located behind five other tracks. Rather than have operators reaching over the cars, a new throw bar runs underneath the yard to a convenient ground throw near the fascia.
Learn how you can move your switch stands to make the most of your trackplan and your scenery - and make life a little easier for your brakeman!