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Switch vs. Turnout

Minnesota Heartland Railroad

FAQ's - Switch vs Turnout

Lake Wobegone Scale Gauge vs Scale Switch vs Turnout Vehicle Size

Question:    Is there any difference between Switch and Turnout?

Answer:    Per the December 1978 RMC, in railroad engineering, the switch is the moving portion of a turnout.  The track crew installs a turnout.  The operating crew throws the switch to change the train's route.  You don't "throw the turnout" because the whole turnout does not move, only the switch portion of the turnout moves.  Some modelers like to use the term "turnout" in place of "switch", and use "switch" to refer to electrical switches in their layouts.