I’ve not seen one in ages, but model railroad magazines used to publish switching puzzles. They would present a situation where a train arrived on a scene and had to deliver some cars and pick up others. The game was to complete the job in as few moves as possible.
Over the years, these switching puzzles taught me to complete a runaround by dropping the car in the siding, reversing past it, and then pushing it through the siding. It takes five moves.
With such a small layout, the locomotive is forever running around the combine. But despite years of training, the more realistic turnout controls have taught me a more realistic way to make the move. Even without locks to fiddle with, the action of lifting the lever and rotating the quadrant, demands that I get close to the control. I can’t just reach over and push a button to change tracks. Although the two switches on Pembroke’s short runaround are less than a metre apart, that seems to be far enough that, like a real brakeman, I want to stay close to the last turnout thrown.
I can’t reach the far turnout to throw it without moving, so I tend to pull the combine back. This takes an extra “move,” but I’m convinced it is the more natural way to run around a real car.