I've been intrigued with fake turnouts for nearly 70 years!!....ever since my first visit to Roadside America in Pennsylvania! It was a layout concept epiphany for me.
I was admiring the scenery, the immensity, the animation, the trains, the details, the...! And THEN I SAW IT!.......the switchless switch!! And another!! And another!!! Railroad cars parked on sidings at their worthy destinations, but no way to have gotten in, or way to get out. The siding rails simply bent to the mainline but without frogs or points to make the transition!! Whoaaaa!!!!
Many, many years later I saw the same ruse on the attic layout of The Train Barn near Kalamazoo, MI. And the interesting thing about it was that it was so cleverly done that I had spent nearly 20 minutes wandering about viewing the layout, watching the trains, before I noticed the first switchless switch!
So here I am, well into the septuagenarian years, several layouts later, recalling switchless switches of yore.....and not remembering the names of some of my co-workers of 33 years as they cross my path!!!!!....and I've never applied the same admirable rail ruse myself. Go figure?
For both the Roadside America and Train Barn layouts it made a LOT of sense to use the deception, not the least of which was eliminating potential operating issues of track or train. Layouts of their sort are typically meant to highlight and delight with mainline operations, not swtiching maneuvers, which can become more tedious than exciting......unless there's the ubiquitous massive derailment therefrom.
Then there's the money saved.....which can be considerable, no doubt. On my latest O3R layout I have no powered remotely controlled switches for sidings....all with manual throws. But they're within easy reach of the table's edge, so it works well. Still, I could've saved more money by employing the ruse......since there are some places I have yet to throw the switch and exchange/park the first car!!! (The served industry isn't viable....yet!!)
Good thread! Hope to see more applications from readers.