Turntable II

I chose the Peco turntable due to Peco’s promise of a compatible turntable motor, which I’d read about a couple of years ago in a bulletin. Looking into that now, though, it appears that the motor hasn’t yet been released and I’m left wondering if it will be.

Edit: on July 30 I emailed Peco:


In 2015 I was browsing a bulletin about up-and-coming products from Peco, and noted that there was a turntable motor in development. However, although the turntable motor was slated for a 2016 release, I’ve not seen nor heard of it since, save some third-party sites which claim that it is still in production. Is it? And if so, when is the anticipated release date?

I’m planning to use a stepper motor to power the turntable, for now, but I very much anticipate the day when a compact, working, fitting motor is released. Other commercial solutions are far too large and complicated.

Thank you for your time,

Aaron Mitton

Today I got this response:

Dear Mr Mitton,

Thank you for your email.

We are progressing with the turntable motor unit, and aim to have it available later this year.

Kind regards,
A. Beard, PECO Technical Advice Bureau

Howe & Davis Ltd., Underleys, Beer, Seaton, Devon EX12 3NA

Turntable I

Using the template provided in Peco’s turntable kit as a guide, I put a hole in the module surface for the turntable. Having limited space for “real” tools, I used a hole-saw attachment for my Dremel. It worked well except the lock-nut loosened up early on, which made the hole a bit too wide.

I ruminated over this problem while laying down strips of 3.25″ x 36″ Midwest brand cork. Halfway through I realized that, if I used the scraps of cork to line the hole, I could sand it to the proper diameter. It worked perfectly. I covered the entire surface of the module with cork, then sanded it down to reduce any rough edges.

Module Surface

I built a shallow frame for the terminus module using 3/4″ birch ply and 1×3 dimensional common boards. Before inserting the 1×3 ribs, I printed a 1:1 scale blueprint of the layout (a great feature of Anyrail). This enabled me to avoid placing the ribs directly beneath turnout switches and the turntable, as these will require some clearance for under-table motors. I also drilled holes in the ribs about 1/2″ from the surface side wherever tracks will pass over, for wires to pass through.

The floors are not at all level in our house and the bookcase doesn’t have levelers, so I’ve attached levelers to the ribs located 10″ in from each end.

Terminus Track Plan

I downloaded a demo version of Anyrail, a track-planning program, and after devising several dozen variations of Hemyock I’ve finally come up with a track plan that I’m happy with.

I was determined to include a turntable for operational interest and either a locomotive shed or roundhouse for storing locomotives.

So, without further adieu:


Little Snoring Smelter

All track components, including the turntable, are Peco Code 80. All turnouts are electrofrog, which should (with a few modifications) keep operations smooth when using DCC. My plan is to operate all locomotives, all turnouts, and the turntable using a single handheld controller.

Big thank you to Tony’s Train Xchange (which, incidentally, is only minutes down the road from my house) who assisted me with ordering all track. Ordering from Tony’s was more convenient than ordering piecemeal elsewhere (and it was considerably cheaper, too).