Saturday, November 21, 2009

Turntable plans

From: "Sierk Oudemans"

I am planning on scratch building a working scale (N scale) model of a wooden RR Turntable and I am looking for a plan or set of plans to help me design the model. I take it that [someone] has such a plan since [they] just finished rebuilding exactly what I am looking for. It is a beautiful piece of work indeed. Is there any way I might be able to obtain a copy of the ... plans? ...

—Sierk Oudemans


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


Doing a search for "turntable plans" on Kalmbach Publishing's Index of Model Railroad Magazines comes up with two pages of such listings, including articles in the Jan. 1978 and Dec. 1981 NMRA Bulletin, several articles in the Narrow Gauge and Shortline Gazette, a couple of references to an "SP gallows turntable" (don't know if it's narrow or broad gauge), etc.

Photocopies of articles can be obtained from Kalmbach's readers' services department if it's one of their magazines (such as Model Railroader), from the California State Railroad Museum Library or from NMRA's Kalmbach Memorial Library. To obtain an actual older magazine, check with

—John Sweetser

11/22/2009 12:26 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


I note the following turntable articles of interest referenced in my files.

American Bridge Company 100 foot standard turntables of 1916 – deck girder and through girder – Robert Hundman, Mainline Modeler Feb 1993.
Note Southern Pacific used the deck girder version – Santa Fe used both deck and through girder versions.

Harriman Lines 80 foot steel deck girder turntable – specifically an SPLA&SL drawing, UP Historical Society The Streamliner, Vol 3, no.1, Jan 1987.

Southern Pacific 105 foot pony truss standard turntable – Ed Workman, Mailnline Modeler March 1993.

Southern Pacific 100 foot pony truss standard turntable, SP CS 285 drawing, 1912, revised 1921 – NMRA Bulletin Aug 1970.

Southern Pacific wood "A" Frame (gallows) turntable – Al Armitage, Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette Nov-Dec 1989 (pt 1) and Jan-Feb 1990 (pt 2).
Note the drawings are for the standard gauge SP Standard No. 3 turntable (as shown in original drawings at the California State Railroad Museum). Al drew the rails at 3 foot gauge, not standard gauge, and included photos of the turntable at Laws (which in fact is mostly built to the standard gauge plans, but has some added intermediate tie rods. The article also discusses how the Laws table has the outer ring rail with wheels, but that the original drawings do not have this feature - and Al's drawings show it both ways. Also note I have seen several photos of southern Pacific smaller 4-8-0 locos on these turntables, built as per the original plans without the added intermediate tie rods.
An abbreviated version of the article and drawings - Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette Jan 2002.

Southern Pacific wood "A" Frame (gallows) turntable – specifically the Laws and Owenyo narrow gauge tables - Model Railroader Sept 1965.

South Pacific Coast narrow gauge wood "A" Frame (gallows) turntable at Boulder Creek, Calif. – Gary Caviglia Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette Nov-Dec 2003.


11/24/2009 9:10 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


... If you want plans for the turntable the city of Folsom has built, it might be a good idea to write to the Folsom city engineer's office.

—John Sweetser

11/24/2009 12:06 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


The Folsom turntable is pretty much built to the Southern Pacific Standard No. 3 drawings, as modified to conform with the Laws turntable (except the Folsom turntable has the rails gauged for standard gauge). For model building, I'd recommend the 2-part article in the Narrow Gauge & Short Line Gazette (referenced earlier) by Al Armitage as the best and most detailed drawings for building a model replica.

—Kyle Wyatt

11/24/2009 4:52 PM  

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