A couple of weeks ago I installed my first Bullfrog Switch machine. I learned a lot, and so last weekend, I decided I would install three more in the areas where scenery has reached a level that I was comfortable that I wouldn’t likely glue the track together in the future.
My second Bullfrog Install. Not unsurprisingly, it went a bit smoother than the first.
There are a total of 13 turnouts on my layout, one of which, I am still debating if I am going to put in service or not (it is basically a switch that leads to a spur that would launch cars off the side of the layout to the floor, modelling what was there, but probably not going to be a “used” bit of trackage). We shall see on that, but after the first switch installation worked after some adjusting and experimentation, I felt capable of moving on to the other three switches that were ready to be installed. The first was equally straightforward, in an easily accessible area beneath the benchwork, and with a straight line to the fascia. The next two are probably the tightest installations because of their location in the corner of the closet at the narrowest part of the layout.
Installing two Bullfrogs at the pinch point in the closet as the layout curves from the main room into the closet staging.
The third and fourth are about the most complex installs on the layout, as they have very short throws and are in a tight corner where the layout wraps around a bulkhead in the closet. Nothing that can’t be done, but as can be seen in the photos above, one of them exits the fascia at a jaunty angle! Both of these are in a fairly tight and exposed area, so I am likely going to look to add some kind of a shelf beneath them to try and protect them from me smashing into them and damaging them. As well, the wooden disk handles from Fast Tracks are most definitely temporary, long term I will be finding something a bit nicer looking and easier to grab, but for now they work just fine. Sadly, one of my long term thoughts of doing working brass switch stands like my friend Trevor has is likely a no-go, as the company which made the working G-Scale brass stands he used has stopped making them. Oh well, they were an expensive “want” rather than need for the layout, and who knows what will be out there in a few years when I’ve got a more complete layout and am looking to make upgrades.
Videos of the third of four bullfrogs from above and below showing the rails moving, and how the mechanism itself works.
With these four done, now I need to do some more basic scenery (mostly ballasting/rough ground cover) to be in a position to install some more of the bullfrogs. It is nice to actually use the controls to change switches when running trains, rather than reaching in and moving them by hand.