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Track Plans

4120 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  John Webb
In the December issue the track plans shown in the articles "modelling the Industrial Scene" and "Shaking the box Part 3" omit to imclude any catch or trap points. These are mandatory where track leads out onto a main running road and in facing point situations. I would have thought that this was an especially important matter to tell beginners.

Catch points are available in the Peco range from your usual supplier. Happy modelling, Stephen.
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I agree with you that many prototype lines use catch points at various places, but the need for catch points is dependent on the type of railway being modelled. For example in "Modelling the Industrial Scene' Plan 1, it is likely there would be a trap point on the connection between the turntable and the 'main line' unless the branch had been reduced to 'One engine in steam' status when it would not be considered necessary. Plan 2 and Plan 3, both being private works without passenger trains, are very unlikely to have catchpoints either; it would be most likely that trains are manouvered at slow speed without anything but hand signals and hand-operated points.

In 'Shaking the Box Part 3' - unless there steep gradients where it might be necessary to ensure a runaway train is stopped or the single line branch is not being operated as 'One engine in steam' then catch points could be omitted.

There is the practical consideration too that for many modellers, it adds extra cost and work which beginners in particular might not wish to get involved with.

John Webb
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the use of catch points...or even, those short and seemingly useless spurs, right by where a running line is joined, is sadly one of those details that many miss out.

they are there to prevent ANY inadvertantly loose stock gaining access to a running line.....regardless of what signalling arrangement is in place.

A simple catch point can be convincingly made with an oddment of rail or two..and does not have to function.....

or, can be as complicated as inserting a double slip turnout with one road teminating in a few inches of track.

the switching of the above might need alteration from that of the standard Peco offerings, but to me is an excuse to liven up what could be a dreary set of trackwork.
Perhaps I am being a little picky but trap and catch points are not the same thing.

Sidings have trap points, which keep or trap wagons etc in the sidings unless a route out has been set by the signalman, or from the ground frame giving access to the sidings. Often a single lead with a short length of track leading into a sand drag or buffer in the past, but now usually just a set of B switches dropping the offending stock into the four foot and cess. Alternatively a lead giving access to a neck or siding past the connection to the mainline can be worked from the box or frame, and used to trap the sidings, rather than having switches just to act as a trap.

Catch points are or rather were as they are since the end of class 9 trains a vanishing item, found on running lines with a fair to steep gradient.
Their function was to catch and derail any wagons that had broken away from a train running up the gradient, that had started to roll back down the gradient in the wrong direction to traffic.
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no suggesting they were the same thing....simply had the same 'function' in preventing unwanted stock appearing where they're not wanted?
Actually 'Shake-the-Box' is covered.

At Upton Magna the headshunt acts as the trap, at Roden ditto and at Walton local regulations dictate that the lever frame is locked set for the platform road with the point leading off the loop to the goods shed/coal siding set in reverse. Alternatively you could put a dummy catch in the end of the loop.
Trog's posting certainly reflects current terminology. However discussions on this topic elsewhere suggest that the terms "catch point" and "trap point" were more interchangeable in the past, at least in some eras and regions/companies.
I've managed to dig up my copy of Bob Essery's "Railway Signalling and Track Plans" which had got rather buried. He says that many Board of Trade reports refer to 'Safety Points' covering both types of point and then confirms 'Trap point' is used to describe the ones that stop trains that move too far forward and 'Catch Points' catch trains that move too far back - ie wagons that might break away on a train going up a hill.

His book contains a number of diagrams and photos of the different types of 'Trap Point' in particular.

John Webb
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