Bertram Heyn R2 point kit review

idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,013
239
Ascot
This is a review of the Bertram Heyn R2 point kit. This makes an LGB R2 standard (780mm radius) 22.5 degree point, in this case a right hand point. The straight portion of the point in 330mm long. Note this point has a "live frog" so you need a switch to provide the correct polarity power to the frog, unless you only use battery powered locos.

Here's what you get:
IMG_20200315_151230.jpg

Some of the pieces in the kit are very small (M2 nuts) so be careful when assembling, you don't get any spares!

I also bought 7.5 degree R2 track piece to make the point up to 30 degree to match an R2 curve piece. This is ready assembled.
IMG_20200315_150854.jpg


To return to the kit, stick the pads into the recesses in the sleepers. These are to give support to the "tongue" (moving) rails. Plug the rail chairs into the holes in the sleepers. Note that a number of the chairs have to be trimmed to make room for the moving rails and the check rails, read the instructions carefully. You do get a spare chair, or at least I had one left over!
IMG_20200315_163446.jpg


Now you can slide the non-moving rails into place.
IMG_20200315_164306.jpg


Now fit the frog. This is quite tricky to slide into place with all the rail chairs.
IMG_20200315_172937.jpg


Now you definitely need one of these tools. Not sure what they are called, external nut driver? This is for M2 nuts and bolts. You can buy one (not the one shown below) from the Bertram Heyn site, they're €10 I think?
IMG_20200318_192544.jpg


You need to drive a bolt with washer into the bottom of the moving rails. Note that there are 3 different lengths of bolts so make sure you use the correct ones. Before you do this make sure the tops of the moving rails are level with the frog rails. In my case I had to file the best part of 1mm off the moving rails to make them level. Note that the large screw holding the frog in place has a tag for you to solder a wire to power the frog.
IMG_20200321_170400.jpg


You also need bolts, washers and nuts to attach the moving rails to the tie-bar. I managed to shear one of the bolts as the nut is being tightened against a piece of rail at an angle. Fortunately the bolt is holding firm without the nut. Other bolts are used to fit the guard rails into place.
IMG_20200318_192030.jpg


To attach another piece of track to the straight part of the point needs a bit of adjustment to the sleepers. I found I had to use the rail connectors provided, as there is not enough room for screw clamps on the end of the straight section.
IMG_20200318_194515.jpg


Note that normally you would need to have rail isolators on both the inside rails by the live frog, but in my case the point will lead off to a siding which will not have its own power source.

You can use standard LGB point motors (and I assume PIKO point motors) for this point but you have to file about 2mm off the top of the "legs" of the point motor so they will fit under the sleepers.
IMG_20200321_164152.jpg


Now to wire it up. I used an LGB 12070 supplementary switch to switch the power to the frog. As I use DCC I also fitted an LGB point decoder 55024.
IMG_20200321_170816.jpg


The point works well and being "live frog" there are no power problems at any speed. The moving rails move freely and fit nicely against the fixed rails. The guard rails hold the wheels in place on the turn without pinching or lifting the wheels.
The sleepers are much lower than LGB or PIKO track equivalents. I guess this is because the rail chairs are individually moulded items and not part of the track moulding. Actually I think they look better but this is subjective of course.

I suppose it took me about 4-5 hours all it all to assemble the point and wire it up for running.

My criticisms would be:
- because the sleepers are lower you have to modify your point motor to fit
- the moving rails needed a substantial amount of filing to fit level with the frog
- no spare nuts and bolts - bit cheapskate when you are paying €85 for the kit, it would cost a few cents at most to include an extra bolt of each size and a few spare nuts
- instructions only in German - you can extract the text from a PDF and google translate it but that leaves a lot of room for interpretation - "wheel handlebars" anybody?
- not able to use rail clamps at the frog end of the point

That being said, these are all relatively minor issues. The key thing is the end result is a very solid and so far reliable point. You only need average modelling skills and tools to build the kit. Being live frog makes for more effort when installing the point but it's worth it for smooth running. If you need an LGB R2 geometry point I can certainly recommend these. You can buy them assembled but they're twice the price (€170) which makes you gulp a bit, but time is money.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stockers
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
16,387
1,133
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Interesting review Dave. Noting the shortened Rail that will not take a Clamp. I thing I would have been tempted to Silver Solder a short length of rail to lengthen that part of the Frog. Though with great care and possibly using the lowest melt point S/S available, not sure about the melting point of the frog as a disaster could ensue? Soft Solder would probably not cut it unless you had some strengthening shims perhaps underneath. Pity about the sheared off screw on the Tiebar, think I would be tempted to take the old one out and replace with an appropriate new one. Would a Ba work? As these would need to swivel too tight may not have been good, a small dab of locktight on the nut and just enough so that movement is not impared. But perhaps that is the way it is and the nut just locks it in place?
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,013
239
Ascot
Thanks dunnyrail dunnyrail . Ref lengthening the frog rail that's probably beyond my skill set, and the compromise works fine. I'm not sure why Bertram chose 330mm for the length, it doesn't seem to match any other LGB track geometry. Just 5-10mm longer would have been enough. I will get a replacement nut and bolt at some point. I will feed these comments back to Bertram, he's a good chap and fine engineer, and I have been pleased with all the items I have bought from him over the years.
 
P

Paul M

Registered
25 Oct 2016
4,174
562
56
Royston
Now you definitely need one of these tools. Not sure what they are called, external nut driver? This is for M2 nuts and bolts. You can buy one (not the one shown below) from the Bertram Heyn site, they're €10 I think?
Ive always called them nut runners. Mind you the ones I have don't look that smart.
Nice looking point, even if they are a bit fiddly, and you're right, a few spare bits wouldn't go amiss
 
Henri

Henri

refuses to grow up
6 May 2016
1,456
288
52
Hoeksche Waard - Netherlands
Thanks for the review. I had no idea kits like this existed!
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,013
239
Ascot
Thanks for the review. I had no idea kits like this existed!
Yes, he makes a range of points including "R0", R1/R2 curved point, R1 Y point, etc. I guess there are other suppliers of point kits but Bertram Heyn is the only one I know.
 
Gizzy

Gizzy

A gentleman, a scholar, and a railway modeller....
26 Oct 2009
32,874
549
Cambridgeshire
www.gscalecentral.net
I have used one of Bertram's 30 deg diamond crossings in my scissors junction....

2017-08-13 17.51.15.jpg
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
408
106
USA
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
408
106
USA
I'm surprised the stock rails are not notched to receive the blades.
It isn't necessary if the point blades are profiled correctly. Have you ever seen a prototype switch/point with notches?
 
idlemarvel

idlemarvel

Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
2,013
239
Ascot
I have a complete set from Wiha in Germany. Much less expansive than buying individual tools, and it has everything you could possibly need.
...
I agree Fred, I got a similar set from Amazon in the UK for about £9. The hardest bit about finding them on Amazon is I still haven't found a proper name for these "external nut drivers", there must be one. I had to search through pictures of these sets to find what I wanted.
 
JimmyB

JimmyB

Semi-Retired; more time for trains.
23 Feb 2018
2,543
497
Weston-super-Mare
It isn't necessary if the point blades are profiled correctly. Have you ever seen a prototype switch/point with notches?
Yes, in fact there was a photo on the forum last week.
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
408
106
USA
haven't found a proper name for these "external nut drivers"
Well, they are actually sockets, just like the big ones you use on a car or trucks. Wiha calls them "nut setters". I just call them "bits" as the set has screwdrivers, nut drivers, etc.
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
408
106
USA
Yes, in fact there was a photo on the forum last week.
Oh yes? Do tell. Which forum, where?

The Standard of the World (Pennsylvania RR) didn't use notches. Their drawings are online. Here's an extract, with the point rail cut away to fit over the foot of the adjacent rail.

Untitled-3.jpg
 
Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
3,508
390
San Diego
www.elmassian.com


All kinds of designs abound. In prototypes, it appears that leaving the foot on the stock rail is important. In model railroads, all kinds of things have been tried. Personally I like milling the stock rail foot down and then making the moving point flat.

In our models undercutting the moving rail makes it very thin and they often twist and do not align well.

Greg
 
Last edited:
trammayo

trammayo

Interested in vintage commercial vehicle, trams, t
24 Oct 2009
20,794
806
71
Co. Mayo
Nut Spinners
 
dunnyrail

dunnyrail

DOGS, Garden Railways, Steam Trains, Jive Dancing,
25 Oct 2009
16,387
1,133
71
St.Neots Cambridgeshire UK
Yes, in fact there was a photo on the forum last week.
Yup I posted it from my visit to the Worth Valley in this very Forum. See post #7 Sunday 8 March this year.
 
Fred2179G

Fred2179G

Registered
20 Apr 2017
408
106
USA
Yup I posted it from my visit to the Worth Valley in this very Forum. See post #7 Sunday 8 March this year.
If you are referring to the photo of the 3-way, which (probably due to the long lens) looks to have very short point rail tapers, I still don't see any cut-out in the stock rail. But let's just agree to differ. >:)
 
Chris Vernell

Chris Vernell

... can Spring be far behind?
24 Oct 2009
4,914
480
73
Nepean, ON
If you are referring to the photo of the 3-way, which (probably due to the long lens) looks to have very short point rail tapers, I still don't see any cut-out in the stock rail. But let's just agree to differ. >:)
It does look as through the stock rails are cranked rather than cut out, although the crank may be a function of the long lens as well.