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 Tomix Turntables


Tomix Model Railway Turntables

by R. D. Kerr

This page illustrates and describes the various Tomix model railway turntables produced over the years. There have been at least seven versions produced as the designs have evolved. It is important to pay attention to all of the details in their names and designation codes to understand the differences between them. I mention the differences between versions below, when I know them. The items are listed below in product number order, which is generally oldest to newest. The years of production are listed to the best of my abilities and information sources. All of these turntables have an outer diameter of 212 mm, an inner diameter of 163 mm, and are made to be used with the three-bay Tomix 4014 Roundhouse (one or multiples) and the rectangular Tomix 4012 Engine House.

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1601 Electric Turntable AT212-15 (by 1980-1988) - This is the first Tomix turntable. The designation in the name stands for Automatic Turntable with a 212 mm overall diameter and radial lead tracks at 15 degree intervals. It features a green control box with sloping black top panel, and a control dial having Left (counter-clockwise), Stop, and Right (clockwise) positions. The control box has pairs of green and brown push-release terminals on the back to receive AC power for rotation and DC track power from a power unit. A four-wire cable runs between the control box and the turntable. The turntable comes with two 45-degree outer pieces with three lead tracks each, and two similar pieces with end tracks with wheel stops. The set includes a black plastic clip to hold the control box next to a power unit or turnout control box, a center arch for the turntable, and a sticker sheet.
image 1602 Rail Block Set for AT212-15 (1981-1988) - This add-on kit includes two 45-degree pieces ("blocks") with lead tracks and two with end tracks with wheel stops.
image 1603 Hand Turntable T212-15 (1997-1998) - In 1997, during the transition to the Neo connector-based wiring system, the 1611 Electric Turntable disappeared and there was no electric turntable for a few years. Instead, Tomix offered two manual turntables, with their designations not having the "A." These simply have a two-wire brown lead from the turntable for track power. The 1603 version has the old-style tinned bare wire ends on this cable to make connections. The package also includes the center arch, a brown 1651 G70-W (gapped) straight approach track, and a sticker sheet.
image 1604 Manual Turntable N-T212-15 (1997-2001) - This is the second of the two concurrent manual turntables. The difference between this version and the 1603 is that the brown track power cable has a white Neo connector on the end, which shows in this photo. Therefore the designation lacks the "A" but includes an "N" (Neo) prefix. This Neo turntable outlasted the similar 1603, which was phased out.
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1611 Electric Turntable AT212-15 (1989-1997) - This is the second-generation electric turntable, replacing the original 1601. It was produced before the manual turntables described above. The green control box differs from the 1601 control box, with a round dial and different markings. The four-wire turntable cable that connects to the control box can be clearly seen at the lower edge of the turntable. The package includes the center arch, the brown 1651 G70-W gapped straight track, and a sticker sheet. It is interesting to note that Tomix placed this track piece in the product number series for turntables and not in the regular track number series, as if its only envisioned use was with a turntable. (There is evidence that there was an earlier 1605 version of this gapped track piece during the "early 1601 era" circa 1981.) The 1611 and prior 1601 turntables can be used with the optional four-wire 5807 Extension Cable (1.5 m long) between the control box and the turntable.
image 1612 Lead Rail Block (1989-1997) - When the 1611 turntable was offered, the lead track piece and the end track piece with wheel stops were offered individually.
image 1613 End Rail Block (1989-1997) - When the 1611 turntable was offered, the lead track piece and the end track piece with wheel stops were offered individually.
image 1615 Rail Block Set (1997-2001) - In 1997 the lead track and the end track pieces were again sold together in a package containing one of each.
image 1621 TCS Electric Turntable N-AT212-15 (2001-2004) - An electrically operated turntable returned to the Tomix product line with this unit. It conforms to the Neo control cabling scheme, so its name includes the "N" prefix as well as the reinstated "A." It has a new, more sophisticated control box in the light blue, rounded-edge Neo style. Since the control power now cames from a TCS cable, its name also includes this. It has a black connector TCS cable and a white connector DC feeder cable that go to a Neo power unit train controller. The control box features a locomotive on-off-reverse slide switch, two position buttons to rotate the turntable, and a circle of indicator lights to illustrate the turntable operation. The package includes an eight-wire flat cable for the turntable, as well as the usual center arch piece, brown G70-W (gapped) straight track, sticker sheet and instructions.
image 1622 Turntable Extension Set (2001-2004) - These optional add-on pieces for the 1622 can add three additional lead tracks and three additional end tracks with wheel stops (total two pieces). Also in 2001, Tomix introduced the 1681 G70-W(G), the grey track variation of the gapped straight.
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1631 TCS Electric Turntable N-AT212-15(F) (2003-2009) - This turntable is similar to the earlier 1621, but updates it to be fully compatible with the newer Tomix Fine Track design. Therefore its name includes the "(F)" suffix. Package includes the center arch piece, a G70-W(F) (gapped) straight track, and a sticker sheet. Note that, like the 1621 version, this Neo design has grown to an 8-wire ribbon cable from the turntable to the control box. To complete the update to Fine Track, Tomix also introduced a new gapped track, the 1671 G70-W(F).
image 1632 Turntable Extension Set (F) (2003-Present) - These optional add-on pieces have the Tomix Fine Track roadbed connecting prong design. Each of the two pieces adds three additional radial lead tracks or end tracks with wheel stops. Each track can be adapted to be a lead or a stop, offering greater design flexibility. This is apparently the first end track "block" design that actually has metal rails; the earlier ones were cast all in plastic.
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1633 TCS Electric Turntable II N-AT212-15(F) (2009-Present) An update to the 1631 design, this version has the Roman numeral "II" in its title. I have no information on what the difference is. The control box is marked with the "II" designation, and features a micro-controller inside, a reset button, locomotive on-off-reverse slide switch, two turntable position operating buttons, and the light (LED) indicator ring. This version continues the use of the 1632 extension set to add more radial tracks. The use of the optional 5816 eight-wire ribbon cable extension cable (1.5 m long) is also carried over from the 1631, to extend the possible distance between the control box and the turntable.

Images are used here for non-commercial illustrative purposes only.
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