Doepke Railroad Toys
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Yardbird - Version 1
Track - Page 5
Yarbird - Version 2
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Super Yardbird
What's a train without a track? Doepke had
a huge variety of track pieces available for
anyone who wanted to expand from the
simple 13' diameter circle that came with
the first Yardbird.

Shown here is Doepke's deluxe set-up
featuring a figure-eight design with a
90-degree crossing. I restored the crossing
and the four turnouts, but had to make all
the track sections by hand.

All track came knocked down and had to be
assembled by the purchaser - a tedious job
that was well beyond a child's ability. But,
as each piece goes together, the
excitement and anticipation mount. When
finished, you had a real railroad - right in
your own backyard!
James had to be reminded that
this is not the proper way to
operate the hand-car. The driver
is to sit on the end with the large
wheels, legs extending on both
sides of the tower, and crank like
mad. James preferred the diesel.

The small wheels on the front of
the hand-car and on the flatcar
use lower axle holes drilled in the
side of the trucks. The large
wheels have higher axle holes.
There are four different lengths of standard track
needed to make the figure-eight.
You'll need eight sections of curved track and
several lengths of each of the straight sections.
In addition to the basic curved and straight track
sections, you'll also need four of the special off-set
sections shown above. These connect the turn-outs
with the rest of the track sections.

An un-restored turn-out is shown at right and
below. The basic construction includes a small
movable pan inside the larger base pan
.

You'll notice the simple spring loaded flip lever that
controls the direction of the track. It is designed so
that even if someone forgets to flip the switch the
engines can still force their way through the
turn-out without any harm being done.
Note the spring on each side of the
lever shaft. This allows for
switching errors.
At right is the 90-degree crossing necessary
for creating the figure-eight lay-out. It is a
simple pan with four welded flanges and
turned up corners for bolting on the
right-angle lengths of track. The legs of the
crossing are not symmetrical - due to the odd
lengths of straight track that intersect with it.

This is the only original crossing I've ever
seen. It was used as a pattern for the
manufacturing of a few reproduction
crossings.


Track