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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.

Regards,
John Webb
 

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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.

Regards,
John Webb
 
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