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LED Turnout Indicators | Model Railway Hints, Tips, How To Articles and Reviews at Model Trains Online

Bi-colored light indicators in the track can be a handy way of knowing which way a turnout gets thrown.

You can buy tiny LEDs that are small enough to be unobtrusive, but can still be easily seen. If you think having LEDs in the track looks unprototypical you could install them on your bench work fascia, next to the turnout, or perhaps in a building, or even have them as lights on a pole that respond when the turnout gets thrown.

LEDs

The LEDs can be positioned between the track rails after both rails and the frog are gapped beyond that point. Small tubes can be used to carry the wiring from the LED up through the foam sub-roadbed. A small blob of Walthers Goo will keep them in position to avoid interference with couplers or other parts on the trains passing above them.

You could use this with electrically powered turnouts, which would save installing relays, or needing a second set of contacts. Some operators find manually controlled double slip switches confusing, so this could be helpful with that too.

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