Lionel O-72 turnouts vs. Ross Custom Switches

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Lionel O-72 turnouts vs. Ross Custom Switches
Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 24, 2004 5:05 PM
I am building my first layout, and using the entire dining room for the layout. I bought 10 Lionel O-72 turnouts to use as cross-overs and to allow access to sidings and spurs. My trains "jump" or bounce as they go over the switches. I have had one engine turn over and break a plastic detail part, and many, many cars are so wobbly after going through, that they derail around the next curves. I am really annoyed that Lionel would sell this stuff because it seems like this "is just the best that these switches can be expected to do".

So, before I start building scenery, I am
thinking of buying Ross Custom Switches as replacements for these Lionel switches. Any advice? Do trains bounce through the Ross Switches also? Their web page says that their switches are smooth and easy on the trains, etc. Is it just advertising hype?

Has anyone conquered this sort of bounce problem on the Lionel switches?

I'm really hoping (and counting on) getting some good advice from you guys. Thanks!! and, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good ride...through your turnouts...

Dan R.
Lancaster, PA

"Train wheels roll through the back of my memory..."

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 24, 2004 5:11 PM
Your locomotives will glide silently and smoothly through the RCS turnouts. You can also set up the non-derailing feature for worry free operation. They also look alot better. You won't go wrong with Ross.

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 24, 2004 7:54 PM
I recently returned to O gauge and one of the first decisions I made was to change from Lionel tubular track and switches. I have gone 100% Ross Custom Switches and track. The difference is remarkable. The only question left is how will the engines and rolling stock handle the transition pieces going to and from the Lionel to the Ross. Perhaps someone out there has had experience with that. FYI amhobbies in Mullica Hill (?), New Jersey has been a great source of product and a good guy to deal with.
Merry Christmas and good luck.
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Posted by Frank in Steam on Saturday, December 25, 2004 7:10 AM
Try one Ross switch and you will be replacing all. A good comparison was the Flower City Tinplate Trackers modular set up at the Syracuse train show. One side had our new Ross switches including their new double slip switch and everything (even big 3rd Rail steam) glided through them. The other side with the Lionel switches (even traditional sized Lionel steam) was its usual crash/bounce/crash hope it lands back on its drivers crap shoot. If you have to have Lionel find and resurrect some old T Rail or Super O. I don't have any experience with either, but they have to be better than the 022 and 072 tubular switches(all vintages IMHO).
Frank Dz, if its worth doing, its worth doing to wretched excess.
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Posted by Pittsburgh Joe on Monday, November 18, 2013 1:21 PM

Your trains "bounce" as they pass through turnouts becaues those turnouts have flange-bearing frogs which serve to guide the wheels through the throat of the frog by their flanges.  As the wheel flanges pass through the throat of the frog they are ramped up as they pass the point of the frog and are ramped back down again.

Prototypically, flange bearing frogs are used on street railways where wheel treads might otherwise be able to fall into the throat of the frog thus causing a derailment.

On my trolley layout, my LGB streetcar has 3mm deep flanges.  The "bounce" was so distracting that I filed my AristoCraft frogs down to a depth of 3mm whic allowed smooth operation through the frogs; no bounce; no wheel drop either.

Hope that helps.

Joe Brandtner

Pittsburgh, PA

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Posted by servoguy on Monday, November 18, 2013 3:06 PM

I have 100+ 022 switches and a lot of Lionel post war rolling stock, and I never had any problem with derailments or bouncing going through these switches.  I have run some newer stuff like a MTH 2-8-8-2 Rail King through the 022 switches without a problem.  Can't imagine what is going on with your stuff.  The 022 switches are well designed and extremely reliable.

If your wheels have flanges differing in size from the Lionel post war stuff, then I imagine you will have trouble.  You didn't specify what you are running.

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 12:00 PM

Lionel O72 switches should work fine with Lionel or similar Postwar equipment. The problems you are describing indicate there is another issue in play here. What type of locomotive are you running through these switches? Some Marx and Prewar Lionel have gears on the wheels that interfere with the frogs on the switches.

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