Technique 1: Building a nine road traverser in O-gauge

Alan Gifford

Alan Gifford built a nine road traverser for the club’s O-gauge layout Tafsil last year (2002). It made its first appearance with Tafsil at the Heronstone School fete in Bridgend during the Summer.

The concept of the traverser is to allow the trains to be reversed without manually handling the locos.

In practice the centre road (coloured yellow) is left clear.

To dispatch a train, the loco is selected and run onto the centre road. This is then aligned to the exit road and the loco run off the traverser. The traverser is moved to line up the selected train with the exit road and the loco coupled up. The train is then ready to run out.

The empty road is now available to receive the next train from the layout. The loco is run through to the turntable and uncoupled. The traverser is moved to the centre road and the loco (after turning if appropriate) is run through to the empty loco storage road.

Some modifications followed, and the traverser was a great success during the Stuttgart show in November. One or two modifications to the electrics were made during the show itself, in particular to prevent accidental movement of the locos.

Of course, a major consideration in the design of the traverser is portablility. The whole thing needs to be rapidly broken down and packed together in the minimum space for safe transport.

The club is now making a second traverser for the other end of Tafsil.

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