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Fiddle Yard

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I have now arrived at a stage where I want to lay track work for a fiddle yard. Are there any rights or wrongs about yards and is there is simple set up I could use with surplus points that I have accumulated?

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There are several different options  for a fiddle/staging yard, a lot depends on the available space and how you want to operate your railway. 

The most important consideration is that storage tracks should be long enough to store your longest train. Three yard tracks are usually considered to be a minimum though four are better.

While a ladder fiddle yard is easiest to construct a traverser or a cassette fiddle yard may be a better option in your case due to the restricted space available.

Steves Page on Fiddle Yard design covers the main types https://rail.felgall.com/fyd.htm

They basically break down into:

1. Ladder with points. These are simplest to construct but consume a lot of space. When I have space I generally build this form of fiddle yard.

2. Traverser where the fiddle yard physically slides to align with the approach tracks.  I am building a 1.2m long 5 track traverser for my Irish Broad Gauge layout using an 18mm ply deck on kitchen drawer runners

3. Sector plate where the fiddle yard is pivoted at one end. The MRSI Loughrea layout had a sector plate fiddle yard with a turntable loco release. The table deck was in ply which pivoted on a turned bolt, track alignment/power was achieved with small barrel bolts. Operated reliably at exhibitions in Ireland and the UK for approx 15 years.

4. Turntable. Like the fiddle yards on David Holmans Arigna Town & Clogher Valley layouts.

5. Cassette fiddle yards: Where the yard is constructed in removable sections long enough for an individual loco or a complete train


Edited by Mayner
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thanks for taking the time to answer in such a detailed manner. I think I’ll go with the four road fiddle yard to begin with. Since it’s in the non-scenic area of the layout I can add extra pointwork if required at a later stage.

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