Bulding your own turntable?

Re: Bulding your own turntable?

Postby ConducTTor » Tue Sep 22, 2009 10:57 pm

How do US and EU roundhouses differ? I guess I never paid attention / noticed.
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Re: Bulding your own turntable?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Tue Sep 22, 2009 11:04 pm

Mostly it is in the details of the buildings, the windows, vents, and such.
American roundhouses are usually more utilitarian in design, while some European ones are quite decorative with elaborate metalwork. There are cases where it is vice versa though.
Another difference is that American roundhouses tend to be bigger, due to larger locos to be serviced and stored.
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Re: Bulding your own turntable?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Mon Oct 05, 2009 9:11 pm

Well, my old Compaq crapped itself, so I pulled the hard drives out, followed by a smash and burn of the rest of the computer. When I get the old hard drives installed into my new $700 HP desktop, I will have 660GB of hard drive space (only six GB shy of the perfect computer!), and will be able to get the various turntable photos that I have taken to show the details that I am working on for the TT scale model.

I will get those on here once the parts arrive to modify my new computer.

Sorry about the delays on this post.

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Re: Bulding your own turntable?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:17 pm

Well, the new computer is up, and due to the difficulty in fitting both of my old hard drives in the new computer, I have opted to install only my 120 GB hard drive into the new computer, for a grand total of 620 GB in this machine. It is a nice computer, but it is $800 I could have spent on my tractors and trains.

Here are some photos of real turntables:

Here is the turntable in Altoona, PA at the Railroader's Memorial Museum. (If you love trains and are traveling ANYWHERE near PA, you MUST make at least one pilgrimage to Altoona!)
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The turntable at the NC Transportation Museum, in Spencer, NC
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Here is Zeke riding said turntable.
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Re: Bulding your own turntable?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sat Oct 17, 2009 10:38 pm

Here are some more photos of real turntables:

Here is an Armstrong Turntable at the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum, in Williamantic, ct.
The yellow handles are the method of turning the table: either using pure manpower, or a tractor to turn the locomotive.
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Here is a small turntable at the Strasburg Railroad in Strasburg, PA, used to turn a small live steam locomotive.
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Here is the turntable at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, in Strasburg, PA (actually right across the street from the Strasburg RR.)
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Here is the turntable at Steamtown, in Scranton, PA.
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Re: Bulding your own turntable?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sat May 05, 2012 6:26 am

Well, I guess I should have posted this a year and a half ago when it happened, but my turntable project is no more.

My brother in law used the turntable base as a Frisbee for his retarded dog. The worst part is that the 3 photos I had were with that old fuzzy camera that I had, and does not look right at all.

Regardless, it would have to be scrapped and redone to accommodate my HP Challenger. I originally built the deck to be 10" wide to fit a model of a Southern 2-8-8-2 (with tender they were 98' long). With the Challenger itself being 7" long, and the tender bringing it to 11" overall, some modding would have been needed anyways.
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Re: Bulding your own turntable?

Postby railtwister » Sat May 05, 2012 10:24 am

The prototype generally needed a longer turntable than the the length of the longest locomotive, so that they had enough room to move the loco enough to balance it on the turntable. Rarely, if ever, could a steam locomotive be balanced on the turntable and at the same time be centered on it as well. Having it balanced significantly reduced the effort needed to move the turntable.

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Re: Bulding your own turntable?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sat May 05, 2012 3:18 pm

railtwister wrote:The prototype generally needed a longer turntable than the the length of the longest locomotive, so that they had enough room to move the loco enough to balance it on the turntable. Rarely, if ever, could a steam locomotive be balanced on the turntable and at the same time be centered on it as well. Having it balanced significantly reduced the effort needed to move the turntable.

Bill in FL


There was a few examples of turntables that the the loco was actually the same length as the table, and worked just fine. I remember a video where a 4-8-8-4 rode a turn table where the front and rear wheels where literally about 6 inches from the edge.

Making that Atlas HO turntable with an overhang was a bit of a balancing act itself, hence why the deck was a little over 10".

I have seen enough locomotives put onto turntables to appreciate having to balance it, in fact the tour guide made a very large point about balancing a GP7 on the turntable at the Tennessee Valley Railroad, at Chattanooga, TN.
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Re: Bulding your own turntable?

Postby AstroGoat760 » Sat May 05, 2012 5:18 pm

Here is one possibility of a 4'x8' layout that I am contemplating that could accommodate a turntable:
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