Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!

Turnout Quality

632 views
8 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    April, 2010
  • 171 posts
Turnout Quality
Posted by fender777 on Saturday, May 13, 2017 7:15 AM

I have only used Atlas switches or turnouts. I have like 30 of them. They have always work well for me' I mostly used 4 axle Diesel ' I used those hand throw switches you used your hand to throw. I used to use the under table Atlas switches that I could control from my panel but I really like doing it manual'  But my question is are turnouts from Shinohara' peco' ect better than Atlas. When I expand my current layout that will have a double mainline I want to use at least no6 turouts. On my current shelf layout I use no 4 turnouts since I have like 25 of them. Or are Atlas okay. I use Atlas code 100 flex track only so far. Thanks

Moderator
  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Western PA
  • 13,267 posts
Posted by tstage on Saturday, May 13, 2017 8:33 AM

fender,

Atlas makes good turnouts.  That said, I don't like the "noise" of their plastic frogs and prefer "live" frogs because it gives me smoother and more reliable operation electrically.  I use Fast Tracks (FT) turnouts for that reason and Caboose Industries 220S ground throws to switch the polarity of the track.  You can make the FT turnous yourself using their jigs and fixtures, or purchase them individually off places like eBay.  I've been very happy with them - both operationally and visually.

Tom

http://www.newyorkcentralmodeling.com

Time...It marches on...without ever turning around to see if anyone is even keeping in step.

  • Member since
    January, 2009
  • From: Maryland
  • 6,146 posts
Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Saturday, May 13, 2017 8:59 AM

tstage

fender,

Atlas makes good turnouts.  That said, I don't like the "noise" of their plastic frogs and prefer "live" frogs because it gives me smoother and more reliable operation electrically.  I use Fast Tracks (FT) turnouts for that reason and Caboose Industries 220S ground throws to switch the polarity of the track.  You can make the FT turnous yourself using their jigs and fixtures, or purchase them individually off places like eBay.  I've been very happy with them - both operationally and visually.

Tom

 

Tom,

Atlas Custom Line turnouts do not have plastic frogs. For more than 30 years Atlas Custom Line turnouts have had isolated metal frogs that can be powered. I'm looking a 1983 Walthers Catlaog specificly describing the new metal frogs and better solid rail switch points - that was even before the code 83 line. The number 4 and number 6 turnout frogs are "blackened" with a conductive metal blackener, again they are not plastic. The number 8 frogs are left silver.....

The Atlas "Snap Switch", which is a curved from train set track turnout which repalces an 18" piece of sectional track, does have an insolated plastic frog.

I have been using code 83 Atlas turnouts since their introduction, again except for the Snap Switch, they have isolated metal frogs with an electrical tab for a power feed.

Electrically Atlas turnouts are "feed through" with jumpers built in to take power past the frog. So obviously if powered frog are used the polarity must be changed by some sort of switching setup when the turnout is thrown.

I personally prefer this setup to anything that relies of the contact of the rail to conduct power.

I started out in this hobby with TruScale turnouts and hand laid turnouts, from an electrical standpoint, I would not go back.

Very happy with Atlas turnouts........

Sheldon 

    

  • Member since
    December, 2015
  • 1,417 posts
Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, May 13, 2017 11:29 AM

Peco's have a spring that allow you to finger flick the turnout.  People seem very satisifed with their quality and they are the most compact turnouts, but they are more expensive than Atlas. 

i prefer code 83 but the Atlas Custom line is also available in code 100.  Some people have had to do some file work on Atlas frogs to get adequate wheel clearance.

You don't mention DC vs DCC.  The later has the option of frog juicer to supply power to your frogs.  Walther code 80 is "DCC friendly"  Shinohara code 100 is not. 

Replacing the turnouts you now have with something else will not be a drop in fit.  I'm not sure that was you plan, but I thought it should be mentioned.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    December, 2004
  • From: Bedford, MA, USA
  • 17,122 posts
Posted by MisterBeasley on Saturday, May 13, 2017 1:38 PM

I also prefer code 83.  I built the first part of my layout with code 100, and kind of regret it now.  It works fine, though.  I used mostly snap switches and a few custom lines, mostly Atlas, on that section.  I also have a few Peco turnouts there.

I now use mostly Walthers-Shinohara turnouts driven by Tortoise machines.  I think these look the best.

Some turnouts simply are not made by Atlas, notably the curved ones.  Peco makes short curved turnouts and Walthers-Shinohara makes longer ones.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Dearborn Station
  • 15,783 posts
Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, May 13, 2017 3:56 PM

Years ago, I started my layout with Atlas Code 100 flex track and Atlas Custom Line Code 100 turnouts. I had no issues with them. But, I eventually switched to Atlas Code 83 flx track and Atlas Custom Line Code 83 turnouts. So, like Mr. Beasely, I have a mix of the two on my layout.

During the infamous Atlas track shortage a few years back, I started buying Peco Code 83 flex track and turnouts. Peco is more expensive than Atlas, but its turnouts are more compact (shorter) than Atlas and, as someone else mentioned, the spring thrown point rails eliminate the need for a manual ground throw. I really like that where the turnouts are reachable and accessible.

I have no experience with Walthers flex track or turnouts, but I have used Walthers Shinohara Code 83 wyes, 3-way turnouts, curved turnouts, and double crossovers. All are fine and dependable, if not abused.

So, I would have to say that Atlas, Peco, and Walthers Shinohara are all reliable sources of flex track and turnouts.

Rich 

Alton Junction

  • Member since
    June, 2011
  • 58 posts
Posted by Old Fat Robert on Saturday, May 13, 2017 6:56 PM

FWIW I have used the Shinohara (code70) turnouts for years on both DC and, as of about 10 years ago, on a DCC layout. They have performed well and all I do to them for DCC is put insulated joiners on the diverging rails. I have not found it necessary to add any jumpers to the rails. They are somewhat less expensive than the other main stream ones but they may be a little harder to find. Just my two cents worth.

Old Fat Robert

  • Member since
    February, 2005
  • From: Southwest US
  • 12,822 posts
Posted by tomikawaTT on Saturday, May 13, 2017 8:47 PM

Shinohara manufactures the only accurate (for my use) turnouts - they are 1:80 scale, 16.5mm gauge, aka HOj, with tie dimensions that agree with Japanese prototype.  To see what I mean, pur one side-by-side with any other brand.

That said, Atlas, Peco and Shinohara all manufacture quality products.  Peco does have the advantage of the built-in locking spring - which is a disadvantage if you are powering one with anything but fingers or a Peco point motor.

IMHO, anything that comes assembled requires inspection and 'tweaking' before installation.  The NMRA gauge is definitely your friend in these endeavors.

As for me, I'm a happy hand-layer, and won't even consider purchasing specialwork for my own layout.

Chuck (Modeling Central Japan in September, 1964)

  • Member since
    April, 2010
  • 171 posts
Posted by fender777 on Sunday, May 14, 2017 7:08 AM
Thanks guys for all the help and info.

Subscriber & Member Login

Login, or register today to interact in our online community, comment on articles, receive our newsletter, manage your account online and more!
Popular on ModelRailroader.com
Model Railroader Newsletter See all
Sign up for our FREE e-newsletter and get model railroad news in your inbox!
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Search the Community

ADVERTISEMENT
Find us on Facebook