fouling point

How do the prototype railroads mark the physical fouling point of a switch? (American prototype)
That is, the point (not to be confused with the pointS of the switch
(aka turnout) itself) at which a train on the siding (or one branch) will "foul" (run into, or get in the way of) a train on the main line (or the other branch).
I found a site that suggests that on *some* lines in the UK, in or near Scotland, a small post painted orange is used. In other cases, the tie is painted orange (or something).
But I can't seem to find any general statement for North-American prototype, nor for any specific NA RRs.
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They usually don't. If in doubt, you personally check by straddling the rail near the fouling point and if you can touch the rolling stock on the other track then you are foul and it's a good idea to move it.
-- Happy New Year.
Roger T. See the GER at: - http://www.islandnet.com/~rogertra /
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On Sun, 11 Jan 2009 13:47:10 -0800, "Roger T."

actually you put on foot against the outside rail of one of the two tracks, then reach out with your opposite arm stretched at arms length and if you can touch the car in that track it's out of the clear.
this is how they teach us to check for fouling on real railroads
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CPR/CNR use the straddling the rail method as I described above. Same basic idea though.
-- Cheers.
Roger T. See the GER at: - http://www.islandnet.com/~rogertra /
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Thanks, Bladeslinger, Roger T., et al ... I can see I'm going to have to get some N-scale "Track Workers" from Preiser or someplace, and bend them into the appropriate contortions, and pin them to the layout in the necessary locations ... or maybe not. ;-)
I had *hoped* that the actual railroads used some sort of marker(s), so that I could then use similar markers on my N-scale layout, to avoid nasty side-swipes. So it goes.
Thanks again.
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'Sokay. Just avoid side-swipes the way the prototype roads do: calibrated eyeball.
http://www.pe.com/localnews/rialto/stories/PE_News_Local_S_metrolinkptc21.4426d4e.html
Calibrated eyeball and a good insurance policy, that is.
~Pete
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Hi,
Twibil wrote:

Well, my layout is free-lanced, but I do have the same problem. I will put up signs at the fouling point (e.g. a red-painted post in the middle between the tracks that both trains just clear ;-)
It gets more interesting in the hidden area, where I do have a siding - I want to use the length of track effectively, but I do need to prevent fouling. I'm currently installing infrared diodes and transistors connected to fake "signal boards" so that a LED will light up once a train is fouling the turnout... The electronics work well, but I don't seem to get the placement right ;-)

Quite like that... On the other hand, you could include a landmark feature (a trackside phone, a defunct-but-still-there telegraph pole, a sawed-off tree stump) at the fouling point so you know "if the train's past that thing, it's fouling the turnout"... Doesn't need to be obvious ;-)

The article seems to be "politician-profiling" to me, but nothing technically enlightening. Train safety systems exist and work well, but even in the overly regulated part of the world I live in, there's still routes with mechanical signalling or without signalling at all (using a semaphore device)... The railroads have been handling that quite well for over hundred years, why should it be necessary to install tons of equipment right now?! Wouldn't it be more sensible to develop a worldwide (or at least continent-wide) set of signs (e.g. a red pole marking the fouling point) and spend the money and effort on this?
Ciao
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Bernhard Agthe wrote:

> (. . .)
My news reader seems to have missed a post, and the hyperlink in your (Bernhard's) post doesn't display an article. Could someone post the link again? Thanks.
Meanwhile, TQ to Wolf and bladeslinger for the observations re the bad-tie spot and similar markes, and also to Bernhard for the idea of using different "landmarks" at different turnouts.
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MangroveRoot wrote:

Twibil wrote:

<http://www.pe.com/localnews/rialto/stories/PE_News_Local_S_metrolinkptc21.4426d4e.html
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MangroveRoot wrote:

Much cheaper to use a "bad tie" mark, a small orange dot at the end of the tie, as made by a Sperry Rand track inspection car. Will be a little overscale, but that's OK IMO.
HTH
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On Mon, 19 Jan 2009 11:03:15 -0500, Wolf K wrote:

But where was SR in 1890 ?
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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Larry Blanchard wrote:

http://www.trainweb.org/elso/SPERRY.HTM
"The rail flaw detector car was invented by Dr. Elmer A. Sperry. Born October 12, 1860 in Cortland, NY, Dr. Sperry passed away June 16, 1930. In his lifetime, he founded eight manufacturing companies and took out over 400 patents. Having a keen interest in machinery and electricity from an early age, Sperry developed dynamos and arc lamps. He established Sperry Electric Mining Machine Company in 1888 to manufacture electric rotary and chain undercutting machines he had invented for the mining industry."
etc.
Have fun!
Wolf K.
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On Thu, 22 Jan 2009 10:31:20 -0500, Wolf K wrote:

Who woulda' thunk it??? Thanks.
--
It's turtles, all the way down

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On Mon, 19 Jan 2009 04:04:05 GMT, MangroveRoot

Actually in some locations the real railroads will paint yellow, white or orange marks (depends on the railroad) to mark clear points.
Another thing to consider, if the track is curved in any respect, it will be harder to make a coupling in the curve. this holds true for both models and prototype situations. unless both sides of the switch are a curve, a general idea is to get the cars back on the straight part of both tracks, then you know for sure they're in the clear and you can make a good coupling.
Actually the railroads usually consider 225 feet from the frog to be "in the clear" in most situations. On a model railroad this might not be a realistic idea since space is usually a lot more limited and also our turnouts usually have a tighter radius than real switches.
In the situation of a crossover, the switch of the outside switch on the opposite track generally marks the clear point.
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The Santa Fe used Orange paint on the tie at the point where the rails diverging from the frog were 8 ft-3.5 inches apart. This info comes from Santa Fe System Standards Vol. One, published by Kachina Press. This was a Santa Fe standard, other railroads may have had different standards or none at all.
Stuart Sabatini Palm Coast, FL

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