Monday, 29 February 2016

NSWGR Catch Point and Derail Instructions


17 March 2016

  • Cleaning instructions added.

Use on the Prototype

Catch points and derails are to be found where a siding connects to the main line. Specific station layout locations can be found on Track and Signal Diagrams of the NSWGR such as those available from the Australian Railway Historical Society (ARHS). The catch point or derail is located just short of the connection to the main line and is connected to the point such that when the point is to the main line the catch point or derail will put a runaway wagon into the dirt, hopefully not then fouling the main line.

The catch point has an indicator which is a small ground signal with a square rotating section at the top. This section rotates through 90 degrees to show an arrow for clear to proceed out of the siding onto the main or a red light. The indicator is available on my Signals Branch Shapeways Shop.

The derail has no blade like the catch point but has a steel casting that can be flipped over onto the left running rail (facing the main line) which will cause the wheel of a wagon to ride up and over the rail.

Other Required Items

Peco Code 75 rail or Micro Engineering Code 70 rail - (Do not use Micro Engineering weathered rail as it has a rough surface which will not slid through the dog spikes but will damage them).

HO -  0.015” Tichy Train Group Phosphor Bronze wire (Part No. #1102 - 12 x 200mm lengths in a pack).

7mm Scale - 0.032” Tichy Train Group Phosphor Bronze wire (Part No. #1105 - 12 x 200mm lengths in a pack).

I sourced the Tichy Train Group products from Model Railroad Craftsman at Blacktown, NSW but I am sure there are other sources in Australia.


The White Strong and Flexible material just needs a light brushing to remove any powder caught in corners, holes, etc.


It is best to try to paint the spray paint the assembly after the rails have been slid into the dog spikes as paint will make it very difficult to do so if painted first..

The catch point and the derail are designed to accommodate Code 70 and Code 75 rail. The sleeper width is 9 inches to match the prototype but the height of the sleepers has been optimise to Peco Code 75 track and Micro Engineering Code 70 track.

Cut the various pieces of rail required to the lengths on the plans or as required for your particular installation (this is related to the extension of the rails out each end of the catch point or derail).

File a taper on the single catch point blade as well as a cut out in the rail where they meet (as per a pair of points).

Carefully file smooth chamfers onto each face of the flat base and web at the ends of the rails in preparation to sliding them into place under the dog spikes. Be aware that the printed dog spikes are as small as can be made to clear the flanges of wheels and as such they are as strong as they can be made with this process.

If the Catch Point Indicator is to be fitted to the catch point then the catch point indicator crank is to be connected to the working blade of the catch point by a phosphor bronze rod.

Paint the sleepers, dog spikes and rails in your preferred colours. The derail was painted white as far as I could tell.

The NSWGR plans are supplied as references.



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