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5 way switch just for the fun

Sometimes you need to escape a busy life.
So i run into this interesting topic about a switch on the old forum:


See the box file.

Starting was a 1:15 switch that was made into a single sided 3 way.
I did this two times, a left and a right hand.
I let them overlap.
I deleted all the timbering to get a better overall view to create a png file in detail mode.
And one with some timbering for a overlapping png file.
I will turn both into a stl file and post that one as well, it will take some adjustments to get it in a good working order.
but if i am going to make one?
Probably yes, just for the fun.
And if i make one it will be somewhere "semi functional" on a fiddle yard.

With best regards Igor


  • 5way.box
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message ref: 1311
Hi Tony,
The most of the time/work for me will be the making of the stl file.
You did a good job, thanks.
Do you have more of those odd idea's?

Changes are 90% sure i am going to build it functional two times.
For in the garden as a parking lot.

I have a feeling some of those are also your idea:
#6 Double Slipover.jpg
s-l1600 (1).jpg


The next one i found on a youtube channel, with a fun fact:
I was looking for turnout sets used in Dutch stations.
This set is used widly on the most great stations of the Netherlands.
The person who made this one was replicating Utrecht central station 1930-1940.
I must make this one 6 times for my Amsterdam central station.

maxresdefault (1).jpg

So a lot of practising needed, i dont think i am doing it wrong :cool: so far for now.

If you would like to share a close up of the toes/point in the beginning of the switch i would appreciated that very much.
I am in doubt to make it from aluminium or 3d print the points.
Both have equal great advantages and great disadvantages.

Thanks for putting it out, with best regards Igor

Ps the one i am making is going to be around 1 meter 90.
I dont think it is possible to create a 7 way switch due to lack of space.
If needed it can be done by placing the points after the last frog and start a new one sided 3 way not a 5 way?
message ref: 1313

Tony W

North Notts
Hi Igor.
Some interesting formations there, I admire your ambition.
I have been asked before if I thought it possible to have more than 5 exit roads from a single turnout, but came to the conclusion it was unlikely for several reasons. The main one being insufficient space for extra switches between crossings. Also for every additional road the number of crossings increases rapidly. 1 for two roads, 3 for three roads, 6 for four roads, 10 for 5 roads, 15 for six roads and 21 for 7 roads. Making 10 crossings with all the differing angles was bad enough. Finally the decrease in radius of the outer roads may also be impractical. It seems to me that with mans ingenuity, if it were possible, someone, somewhere would have done it.
At present, the layout is in storage, so I can't take any new pictures, I'm afraid.

One formation I once considered but gave up on as impractical was in effect a scissors arrangement with 2 roads at one end and 3 roads at the other with access from either of the 2 to any of the 3, so what you have in effect is two scissors crossovers superimposed on each other. It got very messy very quickly.
message ref: 1314
Hmm 6 hours, yes i call this one difficult...(time consuming)
Next Sunday the safety rails and the frogs.(educated guess 6 hours)
I need a other hour to shift the timbering in there correct places, due to the frogs.
Check clearance for the back of the flange and flange drive way, if neccecery i must adjust, to MY standards so prototypical and not mra1 or something...
Cut out the rails, group frogs, convert into stl file (educated guess 4 hours)
Print piece by piece
Than a good Sunday to make the tracks incl grinding point work...(educated guess 8 hours)
Still must make a decision according to do what with the frogs, let the alu strip run thru or some will be in abs.
According to the length of the frogs i think i will make it alu strip.

Schermafbeelding 2021-05-02 184104.png

One formation I once considered but gave up on as impractical was in effect a scissors arrangement with 2 roads at one end and 3 roads at the other with access from either of the 2 to any of the 3, so what you have in effect is two scissors crossovers superimposed on each other. It got very messy very quickly.
My technical English is not so good on this subject.
I made and completed a scissors crossover couple of weeks/months ago that was a bit to small for me to use on my main line.
Center to center was 125 mm and i need 150mm plus it was 4.60 radii and i would like to have them at minimum 8 meter radii.
1:7.5 is to short...the more i learn....sigh :(

Can you please make a drawing of what you mean?
Cous i dont have any idea/clue of what you are referring to, sorry.
Wild geuss: instead of a ordinarily diamond a double slip?
A quick set of lines on paper or what ever, i am very curios.
Could mean a other relaxing project for me.
In the mean time i am 3 days behind my study....

The main one being insufficient space for extra switches between crossings.
Thats why i stated after the last frog, even if yoy would make them 1:60 you would not have the room for other toes/points.
Finally the decrease in radius of the outer roads may also be impractical. It seems to me that with mans ingenuity, if it were possible, someone, somewhere would have done it.
Yes the decrease will go up exponentially...can be fixed with longer turnouts---->room, better is to connect several normal turnouts and a double slip.
But it can be done with some trouble and not a smooth ride! and the wheels would need bigger wheel bearing surface.

With best regards Igor
message ref: 1315
Something like this?
I think it is possible but indeed really messy and not practical.
And i dont think there will be a good operation on it.
Or would you ever find this in the prototypical world
A better solution would be a 3way with the points to the points of a half dubble slip?

That 5 way there must be one in use somewhere in Germany, you have any idea where or pictures?
Thanks for your thoughts
message ref: 1331

Tony W

North Notts
Hi Igor.
This is the picture I found on the internet of what I believe is the German 5 way turnout in a museum somewhere.
I will do a drawing of what I was meaning for the other design.


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Tony W

North Notts
Here is a quick Templot sketch of the plan. The idea was for an island platform terminus with a storage siding between the running lines using third rail electric trains. It doesn't actually look so impossible in Templot as when I tried to draw it out with pen and paper all those years ago.
2 into 3.JPG
message ref: 1348
This is a very nice one.
I am struggling atm with making a y switch.
And connecting two opposite pieces together.
Schermafbeelding 2021-05-07 175631.png

It is going to massive, it is going to reach a 4 meter in length and 45 ish cm wide. my printer can not handle this(max 35cm).
Perfect excuse to modify my printer or buy a cr10 (50x50)and modify that one....to 100x50cm

The 5 way switch is sliced and ready for printing btw :cool:
Thanks in advance, best
message ref: 1349

Tony W

North Notts
Hi Igor.
The way I did it was to set the track spacing for the two outer tracks and create crossovers and then set the track spacing for half that and create the crossovers for the middle track after putting the point blades where I wanted them.
message ref: 1367
Ah yes...
I toke the difficult route, never the less, i succeed.

If i am going to make this one, it will be ~100 cm longer
With p-32(1:32 scale) a meter is nothing.


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The printing is done.
The 5way needed to be a bit longer total length 2 meter 45.
I also mis counted with slicing, that piece still need to be printed.
For the show i put in some scrap aluminium strips.
Where there is a piece laying flat on the sleepers there the first points will start.





Thanks Tony W for this great idea.
I hope it will do after i am finessed what i expect it to do---->trouble free.

With best regards Igor
message ref: 1589
I started building, but i must admit due to his length it is a different cookie to eat...(2 meter 45)
Indeed my "gut feeling": lets play a game....has a loaded meaning.
The main problem i run into is the unsupported length of the point, very difficult to work with or create.
"Stress test/weight bearing" (standing strait up)i am not so afraid for, but it can tilt/flip if you know what i mean.
Probably i will make two connections/bars( i lost the name for this piece) that hold the points in position.
For the next one with a similar length i will keep the points shorter.
Meaning that i must redesign a piece of the 5way switch.
Now this one has a real nice learning curve, almost perfect.
I am also considering to create a connection/bar "stand alone" on a sliding plate, to give it more rigidness.

I hope my story makes any sense, and you understand the problems i encounter at the moment....
But for every solution we have a problem :ROFLMAO:

Also this 5way switch is a non practical eye catcher, more practical would be 3 3way switches built in together.
It will be shorter and in the same amount of space with the same radii (9 meters)you will gain 2 extra "parking lanes".
Never the less, this is a real fun project with a fun learning exercise to do, thank you again Tony W

With best regards Igor.

Sorry for the goof up of determine the right names for certain parts, had a very busy and stressful 2 weeks..
message ref: 1663

Phil O

Hi Igor

I think that I can understand where you're coming from in a turnout that is around 8 feet long in old English money. What is the width over the outer most rails at the heel end of the turnout?.

message ref: 1664
Some progress on the 5way.
I toke my arbore press into the shed to make it myself easy:
Thanks to the person that pointed me into this direction to use/make a jig like this, i dont remember who it was, sorry.

I also changed my jig saw setup:

Cous the switch blades are just to long.




The boogie you see is my testing boogie, it is exact 44mm (all my boogies are 44mm btw) from flange to flange and the gauge is 45mm,.
So i have 0.5mm clearance between each flange and rail times 32 = to big to get it prototypical correct = 1.6 cm = 0.6 cm in proto to big :cool:

Smooth running so far.
So i changed the frogs again for better looking/appearance better running better building and more firm
Next week i hope i have the time to create the points/switch blades.
Yes this is one sweet but tough cookie with a bonus on learning experience.
Practice makes better.

Some stats:
1.5 kilo abs.
~70 hours printing
And so far 17.50 meters of aluminium strip is in it.

Thanks for reading, with best regards Igor


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Tony W

North Notts
Hi Igor.
That is looking seriously impressive. I must say I never expected to see another 5 way especially at such a large scale.
Nice to know I'm not the only one barmy enough to attempt such things. Love your wing rail bending setup.
Best wishes
message ref: 1696

Matt M.

HI Igor,

I did answer your post from last Sunday but in doing attachments I seem to have failed
to get it to register properly on the forum. It did appear for a while without the pictures but
then disappeared.

Anyway I assumed you were talking about the moving rails of the turnout/points/lead/ being the
switch rails. The joining bars between them are referred to as stretcher bars in English.
You can have more than two stretcher bars on long switch rails.

The machining of the switch rail is designed to give support along the length of the contact area
with the stock rail. The lack of a foot with the metal strip you are using will make that harder
to replicate.

The other thing used in real life to hold the switch rails to gauge are 'switch stops' and
'gauge pins/stud bolts' or 'gauge/distance blocks'.

Switch stops are mounted on the switch rails and project out so that when the blade is up against
the stock rail and carrying the load of the passing train they bear against the stock rail web thus
resisting the outward movement of the switch rails and therefore changing the gauge.

Gauge pins work the same way but are mounted on the stock rail instead. The NSWGR used a cotter
bolt to hold the stock rail to the slide chair and the gauge stop was just an extended version of that.
The same for the English stud bolt except they seemed to prefer a threaded bolt.
The English used the gauge/distance block on bull head rail to maintain the lateral resistance till they
had clearance to fully chair the switch rail. The blocks were cast iron and held in place by an extended
stock rail bolt which was recessed into the bearing face of the block.

Hope this is useful information to help you overcome your lateral and twist movement issues.

Regards, Matt M.
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