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Shims for Atlas turnouts

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Shims for Atlas turnouts
Posted by iowahawkeye on Friday, September 28, 2018 12:09 PM

can anyone tell me how to shim my turnouts so they don’t slide and cause a derailment?  My space is too tight to use HO ground throws and don’t want powered ones in my industrial area.

 

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Posted by RR_Mel on Friday, September 28, 2018 12:44 PM

I have a spare code 83 & 100 Atlas turnouts so I gave it a try.  If you shim the bottom it messes with the height of the moving rails.  When I tried shimming from the top it messed with the rails at the connection on the throw bar making it easier for them to pop out. You might try some linkage from the bottom as a manual throw.  I learned many years ago not to mess around with the moving rails of a turnout, sure disaster.
 
You could swap them out to Pico turnouts.
 
The best offer I could make for Atlas turnouts would be to convert the them to the Peco style spring operation.
 
 
I have modified six Atlas Custom Line turnouts using that method without any problems
 
 
Mel
 
 
My Model Railroad   
 
Bakersfield, California
 
I'm beginning to realize that aging is not for wimps.
 
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Posted by MisterBeasley on Friday, September 28, 2018 2:38 PM

Which turouts?  Atlas manual boxes would work for most with some modifications, but they're going to be bigger than Caboose throws.

How about Humpyard levers?

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

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, October 07, 2018 5:12 PM

iowahawkeye
can anyone tell me how to shim my turnouts so they don’t slide and cause a derailment? My space is too tight to use HO ground throws and don’t want powered ones in my industrial area.

.

It sounds like just using Peco turnouts would be the best solution.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, October 07, 2018 11:31 PM

I have a lot of Atlas turnouts on my layout, most controlled by Caboose Industries ground throws.  However, I've slowly been replacing them with this simple homemade solution...

It was bent from .030" piano wire, although you could probably use lighter wire of the same type.
There's already a hole in the Atlas throwbar, so all you need to do is drill a similar, but deeper, hole two ties away from the throwbar.
As you can see, it doesn't matter if the hole is two ties into the turnout or two ties beyond it...

The short leg of the spring should be no longer than the depth of the ties, while the long leg can extend into the subroadbed.
When you bend the offset (visible in the overhead view) into the spring, it should place the legs very slightly further apart than the two holes into which they'll be inserted.  That way, when you have to compress the legs slightly in order to get them into the holes, it will impart the spring-like motion which keeps the points parked where you place them. 
The longer leg which goes into the plain tie, plus the imparted spring tension, help to hold the spring in place.

You didn't post any photos showing the lack of room for Caboose Industries ground throws, but if you have room away from the turnout, it's possible to place the ground throw a track (or perhaps several tracks) away from the turnout which it controls.....

...the real railroads use this method, too.  The throwbar extension is simply a piece of piano wire, with a short bend, facing-up, on both ends - this keeps it in place.

Wayne

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, October 08, 2018 4:30 AM

doctorwayne

I have a lot of Atlas turnouts on my layout, most controlled by Caboose Industries ground throws.  However, I've slowly been replacing them with this simple homemade solution...

It was bent from .030" piano wire, although you could probably use lighter wire of the same type.
There's already a hole in the Atlas throwbar, so all you need to do is drill a similar, but deeper, hole two ties away from the throwbar.
As you can see, it doesn't matter if the hole is two ties into the turnout or two ties beyond it...

The short leg of the spring should be no longer than the depth of the ties, while the long leg can extend into the subroadbed.
When you bend the offset (visible in the overhead view) into the spring, it should place the legs very slightly further apart than the two holes into which they'll be inserted.  That way, when you have to compress the legs slightly in order to get them into the holes, it will impart the spring-like motion which keeps the points parked where you place them. 
The longer leg which goes into the plain tie, plus the imparted spring tension, help to hold the spring in place.

Well, I'll be darned. I gotta try that, Wayne. Thanks for posting.

On my new layout, I plan to operate my downtown train station turnouts (Atlas) with Tortoises. But, until I get the time to install the Tortoises, I have devised a temporary method by drilling two small holes in the plywood and manually moving the throwbar with a track nail into one hole or the other to control the point rails. That method works like a charm.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by gregc on Monday, October 08, 2018 7:52 AM

the following approach (with some mods) avoids the precision in locating a switch machine.

A single hole for a brass tube can be drilled from the top of the layout, either next to or between the rails.   A bent wire drops through the tube, bent on top to fit into the switch point tie (2nd image).   The wire can be bent again under the the layout and connected with another wire to a Tortoise switch machine located near by (no need to a push rod with clevises).

greg - Philadelphia & Reading / Reading

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Posted by Redvdub1 on Tuesday, October 09, 2018 8:48 PM

We have used something similar to Mr. Perry's retention spring but we have done it "topside".  They worked fine for over 30 years at our club. 

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Posted by kasskaboose on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 11:31 AM

Are the turnouts on foam or cork roadbed?  Mine don't slide around; three of them don't work.  That's another story.

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