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Length of an Atlas Code 83 #8 Customline turnout? Edit - second question

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Length of an Atlas Code 83 #8 Customline turnout? Edit - second question
Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, September 03, 2017 10:44 PM

Can somebody do me a favour and measure the actual length of an Atlas Customline Code 83 #8 switch?

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by maxman on Sunday, September 03, 2017 11:03 PM

Atlas claims it is 13-1/2 inches long.  See page 62 of following link:

http://download.atlasrr.com/2015TrackCatalog/48-87%20HO.pdf

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Sunday, September 03, 2017 11:15 PM

That was quick!

Thanks maxman.

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, September 04, 2017 1:37 PM

Next questions - how much can an Atlas Code 83 Customline turnout be shortened, and what problems may shortening the turnout cause?

Thanks

Dave

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Monday, September 04, 2017 6:11 PM

hon30critter

Next questions - how much can an Atlas Code 83 Customline turnout be shortened, and what problems may shortening the turnout cause?

Thanks

Dave

 

It doesnt look very shortenable.  Have you considered Peco code 83 #8s?

http://www.peco-uk.com/imageselector/Files/Track-templates/c83/SL-8381%20&%20SL-8382.pdf

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, September 04, 2017 6:26 PM

hon30critter

Next questions - how much can an Atlas Code 83 Customline turnout be shortened, and what problems may shortening the turnout cause?

Thanks

Dave

 

Why do you need to shorten it? The diverging route ends very shortly after the frog. Like ALL Atlas Custom Line turnouts, the straight route is the perfect length to build a yard ladder with 2" track centers without any cutting or filling.

Trying to start a curve or another turnout closer to the frog is likely a bad idea.

It is likely to cause derailments.

BUT, Custom Line turnouts can be curved slightly. By carefully removing the tie web in the area of the closure rails, the turnout can be made into a very gradual curved turnout.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, September 04, 2017 6:28 PM

BMMECNYC

 

 
hon30critter

Next questions - how much can an Atlas Code 83 Customline turnout be shortened, and what problems may shortening the turnout cause?

Thanks

Dave

 

 

 

It doesnt look very shortenable.  Have you considered Peco code 83 #8s?

http://www.peco-uk.com/imageselector/Files/Track-templates/c83/SL-8381%20&%20SL-8382.pdf

 

 

The PECO is likely worse because the diverging route extends just as far as the straight route.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by selector on Monday, September 04, 2017 6:40 PM

Dave, it might help if we know what you be thinkin'.  What do you have in mind?

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Posted by BMMECNYC on Monday, September 04, 2017 6:41 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
BMMECNYC

 

 
hon30critter

Next questions - how much can an Atlas Code 83 Customline turnout be shortened, and what problems may shortening the turnout cause?

Thanks

Dave

 

 

 

It doesnt look very shortenable.  Have you considered Peco code 83 #8s?

http://www.peco-uk.com/imageselector/Files/Track-templates/c83/SL-8381%20&%20SL-8382.pdf

 

 

 

 

The PECO is likely worse because the diverging route extends just as far as the straight route.

Sheldon

 

It is almost a full inch shorter to start off (.85" shorter to be exact). 

The one or two ties on the points end can likely be removed (along with the rail), along with the 1st tie on the frog end on each route.  

How much do you need to shorten the turnout.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, September 04, 2017 7:12 PM

BMMECNYC

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL

 

 
BMMECNYC

 

 
hon30critter

Next questions - how much can an Atlas Code 83 Customline turnout be shortened, and what problems may shortening the turnout cause?

Thanks

Dave

 

 

 

It doesnt look very shortenable.  Have you considered Peco code 83 #8s?

http://www.peco-uk.com/imageselector/Files/Track-templates/c83/SL-8381%20&%20SL-8382.pdf

 

 

 

 

The PECO is likely worse because the diverging route extends just as far as the straight route.

Sheldon

 

 

 

It is almost a full inch shorter to start off (.85" shorter to be exact). 

The one or two ties on the points end can likely be removed (along with the rail), along with the 1st tie on the frog end on each route.  

How much do you need to shorten the turnout.

 

Exactly, that's why I asked why he wants to shorten it?

In fact, the PECO and the ATLAS are within 1/8" when measured from the frog point to the end of the diverging route, with the ATLAS actually being shorter in that dimension by 1/8".

I have removed that much of the straight route from an ATLAS number eight, making it effectively the same size as the PECO, but NOT to start a curve that close to the frog.

And again, the reason and advantage to the longer straight route on the ATLAS is to build 2" track center yard ladders with no little filler pieces.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, September 04, 2017 10:44 PM

Sorry, I should have given a more detailed explanation.

Here's the reason for the question:

As some of you are aware, my plan has been chosen as the design that will be used for the new club layout. The problem is that I used Peco Code 100 turnouts to build the plan (in 3rd PlanIt). I managed to make everything fit nicely in our available space using the Code 100 turnouts.

Then I learned that the Peco Code 100 turnouts may not be the best choice because of the rather sharp frog angle (12 degrees regardless of turnout size). In particular, Byron (cuyama) warned me that there may be problems with longer equipment in crossovers because of the sharp angle. I choose to respect his advice.

By comparison, both the Peco Code 83 #8s and the Atlas Customline #8s have a frog angle of approx. 7.15 degrees and are therefore a much better choice for crossovers, and main line turnouts in general. The problem is that both the Peco and Atlas Code 83 #8 turnouts are considerably longer than than the Peco Code 100 Large turnout that I used in the original plan. The Peco Code 83 is 12 21/32" long and the Atlas is 13 1/2" long. The Peco Code 100 Large turnout is only 10 7/32". Given that things were a tight fit to begin with, trying to fit the longer turnouts into the original plan while maintaining a minimum 32" radius (with easements) has proven to be a challenge. I have been able to make the Peco Code 83 #8s work, but the longer Atlas #8s are not working. Hence the question - "can I shorten an Atlas Code 83 #8 turnout?" (to make it fit into the same space as a Peco Code83 #8). Sounds like that's not likely possible.

The motive would be to try and save some money. I feel I have an obligation to the club to explore all possible options. We are looking at a total of 75 - 80 turnouts.

I would appreciate any suggestions regarding this issue.

Thanks,

Dave

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Posted by maxman on Monday, September 04, 2017 10:52 PM

What equipment are you planning to run that requires #8?  Yes, things may look better with an 8, but sometimes you gotta compromise.

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Posted by hon30critter on Monday, September 04, 2017 11:07 PM

maxman
What equipment are you planning to run that requires #8? 

Hi maxman:

We made the commitment that any locomotive or rolling stock should be able to run without problems. We haven't a clue if a member will show up with a 4-8-8-4 or the longest 6 axle diesel with a string of 89' container cars. May never happen, but if someone wants to run that stuff we would hope that they have a good experience.

As I said I have been able to make the Peco Code 83s #8s work, and I have used #6s for sidings. I plan on using #5s for the yard ladders and #4s for the service facility.

To be honest, we might be beating a dead horse here. If the Peco Code 83 #8s will work and the Atlas #8s won't, end of discussion (not trying to shut you down - just stating what appears to be a simple fact). The cost difference is not a deal breaker. I think we are looking at somewhere around $400 Cdn.

Dave

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 5:36 AM

hon30critter

Sorry, I should have given a more detailed explanation.

Here's the reason for the question:

As some of you are aware, my plan has been chosen as the design that will be used for the new club layout. The problem is that I used Peco Code 100 turnouts to build the plan (in 3rd PlanIt). I managed to make everything fit nicely in our available space using the Code 100 turnouts.

Then I learned that the Peco Code 100 turnouts may not be the best choice because of the rather sharp frog angle (12 degrees regardless of turnout size). In particular, Byron (cuyama) warned me that there may be problems with longer equipment in crossovers because of the sharp angle. I choose to respect his advice.

By comparison, both the Peco Code 83 #8s and the Atlas Customline #8s have a frog angle of approx. 7.15 degrees and are therefore a much better choice for crossovers, and main line turnouts in general. The problem is that both the Peco and Atlas Code 83 #8 turnouts are considerably longer than than the Peco Code 100 Large turnout that I used in the original plan. The Peco Code 83 is 12 21/32" long and the Atlas is 13 1/2" long. The Peco Code 100 Large turnout is only 10 7/32". Given that things were a tight fit to begin with, trying to fit the longer turnouts into the original plan while maintaining a minimum 32" radius (with easements) has proven to be a challenge. I have been able to make the Peco Code 83 #8s work, but the longer Atlas #8s are not working. Hence the question - "can I shorten an Atlas Code 83 #8 turnout?" (to make it fit into the same space as a Peco Code83 #8). Sounds like that's not likely possible.

The motive would be to try and save some money. I feel I have an obligation to the club to explore all possible options. We are looking at a total of 75 - 80 turnouts.

I would appreciate any suggestions regarding this issue.

Thanks,

Dave

 

Dave, the geometry of the PECO #8 and the ATLAS #8 are basically identical, so the "length" of the actual turnout, from the points to the frog is effectively the same.

The length of the piece of track they are built into has no effect of their geometry, one is not magicly going to "fit" and the other not. 

As I pointed out above, on the divirging route in particular they are the same length.

There is no magic bullet here - #8 turnouts take more space than #6 turnouts, brand will not fix that.

Here is the real problem, the PECO code 100 turnout is not really a #6 by any stretch, its 12 degree angle makes it approximately a #5.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 5:51 AM

If it were me, I would not cut down the turnouts. I did that once with a pair of Atlas Mark IV turnouts to shorten the length of a crossover and it worked...but a risky move in terms of potential damage to expensive pieces of track work.

A better option is to select the Peco #8 over the Atlas #8 since the Peco is shorter. 

Or, just install #6 turnouts which are shorter for either brand and handle most equipment quite readily.

Rich

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 7:24 AM

 The difference is, as Sheldon notes, pretty much insignificnt. The Peco is 12 21/32" long along the straight route and the Atlas is 13 1/2". Per #rd PlanIt which usually has the geometry correct. The diverging side of the Atlas is significantly shorter though - on the Peco the diverging side extends to the straight side, the Atlas stops short.

 The closure and substitute radius for a #6 is probably beyond what you are using for curves - the closure radius is the tightest part of the turnout, and on a #6 that's 43". #6 are fine for most any model, #8's are probbaly best reserved for cosmetic locations, since they will indeed look good but they take up a lot of real estate. #8 closure radius is 67"!

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 7:42 AM

rrinker

 The difference is, as Sheldon notes, pretty much insignificnt. The Peco is 12 21/32" long along the straight route and the Atlas is 13 1/2". 

Maybe for one turnout, 27/32'', or about 7/8", difference. But that adds up once you start stringing a bunch of turnouts along the layout.

Rich

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 8:04 AM

hon30critter

Then I learned that the Peco Code 100 turnouts may not be the best choice because of the rather sharp frog angle (12 degrees regardless of turnout size). In particular, Byron (cuyama) warned me that there may be problems with longer equipment in crossovers because of the sharp angle. I choose to respect his advice.

Which Peco code 100 turnout?  I have a couple of the "large" radius turnouts and they appear to be fairly close to #6 turnouts I have.  Perhaps Cuyuma can comment on the actual geometry.  I like to stick with a #6 minimum and the large peco seem pretty close.

The motive would be to try and save some money. I feel I have an obligation to the club to explore all possible options. We are looking at a total of 75 - 80 turnouts.

The Peco code 83 turnouts are quite pricey, so as nice as they are, that will add up a good deal over a large number.  I've compared MBK's price for Peco code 83 #6 at $26 and the Atlas code 83 at $14, so that is an extra $12 each.  Thats $960 extra to go with Peco code 83 over the Atlas if you bought 80 turnouts ($12 each x 80 turnouts). 

There is a middle ground with MicroEngineering #6 - MBK price is $19 IIRC - that is an option i am considering on with my next layout.

Edit: fixed price difference - dang calculator in Windows

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Posted by Water Level Route on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 8:13 AM

riogrande5761

  I've compared MBK's price for Peco code 83 #6 at $26 and the Atlas code 83 at $14, so that is an extra $12 each.  Thats $160 extra to go with Peco code 83 over the Atlas if you bought 80 turnouts.  

I think you mean $960

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 8:37 AM

riogrande5761

 

 
hon30critter

Then I learned that the Peco Code 100 turnouts may not be the best choice because of the rather sharp frog angle (12 degrees regardless of turnout size). In particular, Byron (cuyama) warned me that there may be problems with longer equipment in crossovers because of the sharp angle. I choose to respect his advice.

 

Which Peco code 100 turnout?  I have a couple of the "large" radius turnouts and they appear to be fairly close to #6 turnouts I have.  Perhaps Cuyuma can comment on the actual geometry.  I like to stick with a #6 minimum and the large peco seem pretty close.

 

 
The motive would be to try and save some money. I feel I have an obligation to the club to explore all possible options. We are looking at a total of 75 - 80 turnouts.

 

The Peco code 83 turnouts are quite pricey, so as nice as they are, that will add up a good deal over a large number.  I've compared MBK's price for Peco code 83 #6 at $26 and the Atlas code 83 at $14, so that is an extra $12 each.  Thats $960 extra to go with Peco code 83 over the Atlas if you bought 80 turnouts ($12 each x 80 turnouts). 

There is a middle ground with MicroEngineering #6 - MBK price is $19 IIRC - that is an option i am considering on with my next layout.

Edit: fixed price difference - dang calculator in Windows

 

The PECO code 100 still has a 12 degree frog, no mater its other geometry, that makes it a #5.

A #6 is 9.5 degrees.........

    

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 8:50 AM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
The PECO code 100 still has a 12 degree frog, no mater its other geometry, that makes it a #5. 

May be sufficient for the OP.  ME has a ladder system now using #5 turnout geometry.  I prefer #6 myself and have used Atlas #6 after filing the points for more reliablity (per an old MR magazine article on tuning turnouts.

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Posted by rrinker on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 9:19 AM

 Even #5's have a closure radius of 26" - so I guess it depends on what you are sending through the yard, but 26" radius can easily handle what is typically used for a switcher. 

 

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Posted by hon30critter on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 2:58 PM

richhotrain
rrinker  The difference is, as Sheldon notes, pretty much insignificnt. The Peco is 12 21/32" long along the straight route and the Atlas is 13 1/2". 

richhotrain
Maybe for one turnout, 27/32'', or about 7/8", difference. But that adds up once you start stringing a bunch of turnouts along the layout. Rich

Rich has the problem exactly right. Even just two Atlas #8s in a "string" adds enough length to totally mess with the 32" minimum radius we want to maintain. We could make the benchwork wider but we would be sacrificing aisle space and we don't want to go there. Our old fixed layout had about 30" between it and the portable layout. When two people wanted to go past one another they had to be on really intimate terms!

I will go back and have a look at using Atlas #6s. The only place that I think I really need #8s is at a double crossover.

Thanks again,

Dave

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 3:27 PM

hon30critter

 

 
richhotrain
rrinker  The difference is, as Sheldon notes, pretty much insignificnt. The Peco is 12 21/32" long along the straight route and the Atlas is 13 1/2". 

 

 

 
richhotrain
Maybe for one turnout, 27/32'', or about 7/8", difference. But that adds up once you start stringing a bunch of turnouts along the layout. Rich

 

Rich has the problem exactly right. Even just two Atlas #8s in a "string" adds enough length to totally mess with the 32" minimum radius we want to maintain. We could make the benchwork wider but we would be sacrificing aisle space and we don't want to go there. Our old fixed layout had about 30" between it and the portable layout. When two people wanted to go past one another they had to be on really intimate terms!

I will go back and have a look at using Atlas #6s. The only place that I think I really need #8s is at a double crossover.

Thanks again,

Dave

 

Dave, sounds like you don't need #8's at all. Anything that will run on 32" radius, it will go through a properly set up #6, even a crossover.

AND, the big advantage in my view of any North American style trackage compared to PECO code 100 is the true straight frogs, especially when pairing them into crossovers.

And again, #6, #4 or #8, the Atlas products build yard ladders and crossovers with no cutting and no spacers........

Sheldon

    

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 3:29 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL
compared to PECO code 100

I believe that the comparisons the OP was making were to PECO HO Code 83, which has straight frogs and straight diverging legs, just like Atlas*.

*Except for the handy #7 curved turnout, for which Atlas does not offer an equivalent.

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Posted by cuyama on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 3:32 PM

hon30critter
I will go back and have a look at using Atlas #6s. The only place that I think I really need #8s is at a double crossover.

And perhaps not even there, at least for performance. Frog #s are tools, not status symbols.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 3:54 PM

cuyama

 

 
ATLANTIC CENTRAL
compared to PECO code 100

 

I believe that the comparisons the OP was making were to PECO HO Code 83, which has straight frogs and straight diverging legs, just like Atlas*.

*Except for the handy #7 curved turnout, for which Atlas does not offer an equivalent.

 

I understand, I was refering to his original design which he explained was based on PECO code 100, mentioned both in this thread and his previous thread about turnouts.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Old Fat Robert on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 5:07 PM

Sheldon & Dave: I am in total agreement with Sheldon's statement on a properly set up #6 turnout being more than adequate for your needs. That being said, however,  the difference in physical and operational appearance between a 6 and an 8 is substantial. I am not trying to change any minds here, I am just thinking this is a club layout after all. Just my thoughts.

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 5:20 PM

hon30critter

I will go back and have a look at using Atlas #6s. The only place that I think I really need #8s is at a double crossover.

Don't overlook the fact that the Peco Code 83 #6 is only 9 inches long.

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, September 05, 2017 5:47 PM

Old Fat Robert

Sheldon & Dave: I am in total agreement with Sheldon's statement on a properly set up #6 turnout being more than adequate for your needs. That being said, however,  the difference in physical and operational appearance between a 6 and an 8 is substantial. I am not trying to change any minds here, I am just thinking this is a club layout after all. Just my thoughts.

Old Fat Robert

 

No offense to Dave and his group, but why worry about turnout appearance with curves as sharp as 32"? Number 6 turnouts are well enough proportioned for curves that size. 

For modeling any kind of Class I railroad, I have long considered 36" radius the bare minimum, with 48" being the desired goal. 

Sheldon

    

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