Back in February I posted about my experiences so far with the Fast Tracks turnout system. Where I left off was that I had built a few turnouts, both code 55 and code 80 and was looking at ways I could test them before actually installing them on the layout.
As the first part of the layout that is going to get any track is going to be the main staging yard, I have been spending some time building more code 80 turnouts and trying to fine tune my technique. I recently added the Stock Aid Tool and Rail Bending tool to my Fast Track arsenal and have seen some improvement in my results with each tool added.
I did build a testing setup on a strip of plywood that is shown in the two photos below. Just a un-powered Tortise motor to hold the points in place and a fixture made of styrene to hold the turnout. The flex track is connected to the turnout with rail joiners.
This turnout building is more fun than I thought it would be. The first couple were done while repeatedly watching the Fast Tracks videos on Youtube but now I can do them on my own and much more quickly. The few turnouts I tested this way seem to work just fine rolling various freight cars through them. I realize that in the staging yard I will need to raise the turnout up to .060 to match the thickness of the Atlas track. I working on some ideas of how to do that and when that's figured out, I'll be actually installing some of these in the staging yard.