Adding point motors to already laid track

fitting point motors without removing the pointsNow filed in a draw marked ‘why on earth didn’t I think of this’ is this marvellous tip from MRE community member Lee Maylon for installing point motors on already laid track.

If you’ve ever laid your track, got it all working and then decided to add point motors this is for you.

Over to Lee.

“I have been toying with the idea of fitting point motors but as I has already layed the track down I didn’t want to lift it all again but I also wanted to avoid surface mounted ones as I hate the look of them.

Any way I decided to drill a locator hole for every point then cut a access hole for the motor from underneath.

To avoid damaging the point I slid a thin piece of alloy plate under the point so the cutting blade would only hit that.

Once that was done I could get on with wiring. So happy with them wish I had fitted them sooner, makes running locos a lot more enjoyable.”

The Gem

The gem of a tip here is Lee’s idea of sliding a metal sheet under the points.

To fit motors, the usual approach is to position the point, mark its location on the baseboard, remove it and then drill a hole through baseboard at the point marked so that the wire from the motor underneath can pass through into the tie bar.

Obviously, if you’ve laid the track, you don’t want to pull it up but drilling holes through it will destroy the delicate point rails and mechanism of the point.

The metal slip Lee suggests placing under the point solves the problem by allowing you to drill through from the underside without damaging the point. The metal protecting the point.

It’s a great bit of thinking and one which, as I’ve said, I’ll be filing away for the next time I fit track and then later decide I want to add motors or change them around.

The companion community to this website, Model Railway Builders, is free to join and provides a safe, inclusive, home for model railway enthusiasts to share their layouts, tips and ideas. Join Model Railway Builders here.

>A final, personal, note: I spend a huge amount of time testing, photographing, writing and researching techniques for these articles and pay for all the running costs of MRE out of my own pocket. If you found this article useful you can support me by making a donation on my fund-raising page. Thanks and happy modelling, Andy.

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