Modifying Switch Stands and Cars with Roger Russell

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Duration: 4:17

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In this video, Roger Russell demonstrates his technique for modifying caboose switch stands. One of the problems with a ground throw is you have to be accurate and dead on with the hole to throw the switch. Roger has a method to help eliminate that. He takes a PC board cut to the desired length with some soldered for points on the switch and a couple holes drilled for the ground throw. To elongate the hole, he drilled two holes close to each other and filed it out to make one large hole for the ground throw. Next he simply set it in the hole and places the spikes in. This gives much more leeway for the mechanism. Now the ground throw is able to move with plenty of pressure.

Most of the cars on the layout are kits – triangle scale and PGL kits. Roger uses different kits from different manufactures. Some of these are brass, but he isn’t happy with them because they don’t track well and are heavy. Scratch building one car in particular was a huge chore because it required many nuts and bolts. Building the RGS Refer car drove him crazy.

Roger used three different materials to build the car and only built one because it was all he could stand. A normal box or stock car would take him 6 or 8 hours. Roger made 10 boxcars at one time over a period of a month and a half. This was way too much for him. He learned over the years to do a lot of tweaking to make his cars run smoothly, moving this and that to make them operate better.