Railroad switch
This article primarily uses North American terminology. British and Commonwealth terms are given in parentheses.

A railroad switch, turnout or [set of] points is a mechanical installation enabling railway trains to be guided from one track
Rail tracks
The track on a railway or railroad, also known as the permanent way, is the structure consisting of the rails, fasteners, sleepers and ballast , plus the underlying subgrade...

 to another at a railway junction
Junction (rail)
A junction, in the context of rail transport, is a place at which two or more rail routes converge or diverge.This implies a physical connection between the tracks of the two routes , 'points' and signalling.one or two tracks each meet at a junction, a fairly simple layout of tracks suffices to...


The switch consists of the pair of linked tapering rails, known as points (switch rails or point blades), lying between the diverging outer rails (the stock rails).