S is for Switch Stand

It’s also for “Sorry; Those are no longer available”.

Of all the products no longer available in this hobby, I bet the beautiful switch stands from Alder Models are the products missed most by Canadian model railway enthusiasts. These white metal kits were offered in S, HO, O and large scales, and could be made to operate. Alder even included a mechanism that sat under the head blocks to make this happen.

Throw the switch and the handle and target would rotate through 90 degrees. It was fiddly to get them working right – but when they did? Wow!

I know many Canadian model railway enthusiasts who are furious – and, at the same time, sad – that the company that purchased Alder failed to continue the line. I understand that several people have attempted to buy the moulds, but without success. (Alder also did some really nice resin structures in HO, including this lovely barn, shown on the layout of my friend Bill Meek.)

Fortunately, I have eight of the S scale Alder switch stands in my collection – one for each switch on the layout. This week, I installed them. Here’s an Alder switch stand near the apple orchard in Port Rowan:
Switch stand and orchard photo PtR-Orchard-01.jpg

The photo can’t show it working, of course – but it does.

Now that I have the stands installed and working, I can finish installing terrain and mount the fascia.

It’s really neat to throw a switch using the garden railway stands I’m using, and have the action mirrored, in miniature, on the layout.
Switch stands for turnout control photo SwitchStand-Installed-01.jpg

5 thoughts on “S is for Switch Stand

  1. Hi Trevor

    I agree with about the alder switch stands, I had them in O and they were nice products, pity they are no longer available.


  2. Hi Trevor;

    Were all switch targets on the branch painted yellow (secondary line switch) rather than red (main line switch)? Was the entire branch considered to be within Yard Limits (not main line track)?

    • Hi Scott:
      Good questions.
      To the best of my knowledge, all targets were yellow.
      And yes – as I’ve mentioned previously on this blog, the entire branch from the first switch in Simcoe ON was under Yard Limits rules.

    • Hi Mark:
      Thank you!
      The stands are fantastic. Very reliable – no issues – and you get direct feedback from the turnout: move the stands halfway and that’s what the points do, too. I couldn’t be happier.

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