This page covers switches (turnouts), and the mechanisms used to operate them, whether power or manual.

GRS 5H Electric Switch Machine

A GRS switch machine located in Clifton VA on the Norfolk Southern (ex-Southern Rwy)

Remote Double-Slip's

Back in 2001, I was in Toronto for a couple of day's, went up in the CN Tower and took these pix. 
There are 12 double slip switches in the first picture.  Didn't really have any other place to stick em.


Hiawatha Light Rail Yard Switch Machines

I guess I'm, lucky to have a few friends in the right places.  My buddy in St. Paul MN, Mike Miller, used to work for Medtronics and now works for the light rail system in systems maintenance.  The last time I was there in 2006, he gave me a bang-up tour of the entire system from one end to the other.  The machine is made by GRS/Alstom.  The last photo shows a yard machine and a mainline machine in the background.  Thanks Mike!






I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  I do these pages because I love spending my time doing them - although I do a reasonable amount of research to make sure the information presented is accurate! :-)  :-)

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, oooooooops, oh well! :-)  

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

BTW, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


New: 6OCT2006
Mod: 16-Feb-2017