A train wheels are guided along the tracks by coning of the wheels. Only in extreme cases does it rely on the flanges located on the insides of the wheels. When the wheels reach the switch, the wheels are guided along the route determined by which of the two points is connected to the track facing the switch. In the illustration, if the left point is connected, the left wheel will be guided along the rail of that point, and the train will diverge to the right. If the right point is connected, the right wheel’s flange will be guided along the rail of that point, and the train will continue along the straight track. Only one of the points may be connected to the facing track at any time; the two points are mechanically locked together to ensure that this is always the case. A mechanism is provided to move the points from one position to the other. Historically, this would require a lever to be moved by a human operator, and some switches are still controlled this way. However, most are now operated by a remotely controlled electric motor or by pneumatic or hydraulicactuation.
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- Mouse scroll wheel – zoom
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