- Main article: Turnout
Summary: Shinohara was a Japanese manufacturer of track components, including switches. The company wound down operations in 2018 when the owners retired. Walthers distributed Shinohara track under the name Walthers/Shinohara for years.
Walthers and Shinohara Track
Walthers has taken over the Shinohara tooling, unfortunately much of the tooling is worn out. Walthers is promising a new line of track, including turnouts. With new tooling, they should be compatible wth Digital Command Control and the NMRA Standards.
Prior to Digital Command Control, Shinohara made a power routing non-isolated type of switch.
Non-Isolated Turnout schematic
They can be identified easily: Metal bars connect the switch rails, no gap before the frog, and the point rails have no gaps at the frog either. On the underside, it will have the Shinohara name cast into the tie, code, and size of switch. There will be no wires bonding the closure and point rails to the stock rails.
For DCC operation, the rails will need insulated joiners to prevent a short beyond the frog of the turnout. Check wheel gauge too, as out of gauge wheel sets may cause a short between the stock and switch rails.
Later DCC Compatible Shinohara Turnouts
As shown in the picture above, the early turnouts have no gaps at the frog. Later production turnouts have gaps separating the closure rails from the frog and the point rails at the heel of the frog. Also of note is how the switch rails are fastened to the throwbar. Early designs often had both rails connected electrically and mechanically by a metal strip between them, with a rivet fastening the strip to the throwbar beneath.
The DCC Compatible ones will say that on the box. If you are not sure, look for the bonding wires under the turnout, the switch rails are not electrically connected, and gaps at the frog.