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Welcome to My HO Model Railroad Blog

March 15 Yard

I always wanted an operating turntable on my layout. Because of the high cost of a kit and because I love scratch building I scratch built my first turntable in the early 1990s. I used the plans from the October 1989 Model Railroader Magazine to build my model. The prototype was the Bakersfield Santa Fe 120' through truss turntable near the intersection of Oak and California. There is a modern overpass over the Santa Fe yard on Oak where the view of the turntable was outstanding. Unfortunately the Santa Fe Railroad removed it in the early 1990s, there is a small strip mall there now.


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My scratch built turntable looked good but I never could make it operate successfully. I tried several drive systems over the years before giving up. In 2000 I broke down and purchased a 135' CMR Turntable kit. The kit came with a very good gear-motor that works magnificently. I assembled the pit and bridge as soon as it arrived from CMR. The bridge was a plane girder type and I wanted the through truss type of bridge. My work load had been very heavy for several years so I had to put my layout on hold and my turntable on the shelf unfinished.

I retired at the end of 2007 and after catching up on badly needed home maintenance I started back working on my layout. My CMR Turntable was a high priority project. I started building the through truss superstructure in December of 2009 and installed it on the turntable bridge in January. The bridge is now weathered and operational with lights on the walkway and under the center power tower assembly. There are also lights on and in the control shack with the turntable operator standing in the doorway.

The pictures and captions show the progress of the construction of my turntable and remodel of my roundhouse. The final project is turning out exceptionally nice and it works flawlessly.

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