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Atlas and Peco Turnout Differences?

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  • Member since
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  • From: Milton WV
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Atlas and Peco Turnout Differences?
Posted by Trainzman2435 on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 12:42 PM

Hello everyone, i have a question. On my layout i have planned all Atlas #6 Custom turnouts. I have alredy installed around a dozen or so and my plan was to install under the table switch machines to control these. Since then i have purchased several Peco curved turnouts to use in a couple of curves i have. My questions is this: I am considering replacing all of my #6 Atlas Custom turnouts with Peco turnouts but i need to know what the difference in length is from Atlas to Peco? I like the Peco due to them locking into position without a switch machine. Can anyone who has used both or knows tell me the difference in length between the 2 brands please? Does Peco even make a #6 turnout? Thanks!

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 12:51 PM

I didn't see you mention which code of track you are talking about and yes, it makes a difference.


The Peco code 100 are British style HO/OO track and does not match north American style HO turnouts in design or geometry.

Here is a photo I took showing Peco code 83 #6 (red package), Atlas code 83 #6, Walthers/Shinohara #8 code 83 (middle), Peco code 100 "large" and Walthers/Shinohara code 83 #6.

You can see the Peco code 100 large has a geometry that puts it roughly at a #7.

Add to that you can see both Peco code 100 and  83 turnouts are much shorter than the Atlas #6, which actually comes in handy if you need to fit turnouts in a yard.  I've had to trim Atlas turnouts to get them to fit, but Peco, being much shorter, that might be avoided.

Here I have trimmed some Atlas code 100 #6 to fit - note the longer end to the right are all cut shorter.  (I've sold all my Atlas code 100 turnouts and am going with Peco in staging)

If you are using code 83 track, you can buy #6 Peco.  But if you are in code 100, the Peco are different.  The Large, as I mentioned earlier, are roughly a #7.  The medium, I would guess, are a bit less than a #6. 

I have stockpiled some Peco code 100 large for my staging tracks, but not any medium.  I prefer the large to hopefully ensure long rolling stock will operate best through them.

I don't have the turnouts here with me to measure but the photo should give you some visual idea.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by BATMAN on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 1:07 PM

That's a good reference photo Jim, I wish there was a photo like that online comparing every brand and size. Also, a pic with all the flex track lined up would be great.

There used to be a train store in Vancouver that had every brand of flex track stuck side by side to a board on the wall. It is not until you see the whole lot together that you can appreciate the differences and that makes choosing easier.

Brent

"All of the world's problems are the result of the difference between how we think and how the world works."

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Posted by Trainzman2435 on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 1:22 PM

Jim, i apologize sir.....I am using code 80 in N scale. Your reference picture is great, thanks! From what i measured with my #6 Atlas code 80 turnouts, the Large Radius Peco #8 turnouts are about the same length wise unless i measured wrong??? Peco is showing that the large radius (#8) turnouts measure 6 5/16" where as the Atlas measure 6 1/4. I just like the design and over all look of the Peco turnouts and wish i had originally went with them instead lol.....

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 1:42 PM

BATMAN
That's a good reference photo Jim, I wish there was a photo like that online comparing every brand and size. Also, a pic with all the flex track lined up would be great.

I happened to have Atlas, Peco and Walthers and Shinohara track and was trying to figure out how the Peco code 100 large compared to standard #5, #6, #8 etc. turnouts so lined them up for the photo.  It would be handy to have more like that.

As for flex, someone has posed and end view of around 5 or 6 brands of flex track so you could see the rail profile, and wow, does it vary.  IIRC, the Peco and Micro Engineering code 83 looked much more like real rail than some others.  Atlas looked the worst.

Trainzman2435

Jim, i apologize sir.....I am using code 80 in N scale. Your reference picture is great, thanks! From what i measured with my #6 Atlas code 80 turnouts, the Large Radius Peco #8 turnouts are about the same length wise unless i measured wrong??? Peco is showing that the large radius (#8) turnouts measure 6 5/16" where as the Atlas measure 6 1/4. I just like the design and over all look of the Peco turnouts and wish i had originally went with them instead lol..... 

Doh!  Since more are into HO than N, I assumed HO.  I am getting into N past year but haven't bought any track yet although I still have some old Atlas code 80 I've stored for years on hand.

But I would guess the Peco code 80 are British style vs. North American, so those differences may exist. 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by joe323 on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 2:34 PM

I would think that since Atlas makes code 100 to 83 rail joiners that one could use Peco 83 tunouts on a code 100 layout.

I asked a similar question about 2 weeks ago and received a suggestion of using plastic shims under the Atlas throwbar.  I installed the shims but really haven't had a chance to field test it yet.

Joe Staten Island West 

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 2:36 PM

Trainzman2435
I am considering replacing all of my #6 Atlas Custom turnouts with Peco turnouts but i need to know what the difference in length is from Atlas to Peco? I like the Peco due to them locking into position without a switch machine.

I'm not sure if it will work for N scale, but a simple spring like this...

...bent from piano wire, will allow you to manually flip the points to the required position, and keep them there until you change the position. 

The examples shown are Atlas HO CustomLine turnouts.  The long end of the wire goes into the roadbed, while the short end fits into the hole in the throwbar.

I use .032" wire, but you may be able to use a smaller size.  A lot cheaper than Peco turnouts.

Wayne

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Posted by Trainzman2435 on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 8:26 PM

doctorwayne

 

 
Trainzman2435
I am considering replacing all of my #6 Atlas Custom turnouts with Peco turnouts but i need to know what the difference in length is from Atlas to Peco? I like the Peco due to them locking into position without a switch machine.

 

I'm not sure if it will work for N scale, but a simple spring like this...

...bent from piano wire, will allow you to manually flip the points to the required position, and keep them there until you change the position. 

The examples shown are Atlas HO CustomLine turnouts.  The long end of the wire goes into the roadbed, while the short end fits into the hole in the throwbar.

I use .032" wire, but you may be able to use a smaller size.  A lot cheaper than Peco turnouts.

Wayne

 

Wayne, that sounds interesting but i cant view the images for some reason sir!

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Posted by doctorwayne on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 9:49 PM

Trainzman2435
...i cant view the images for some reason....

It's possible that this site is acting-up again, but the photos showed when I posted them, and show now, both in my post and in your quote of that post.

Wayne

 

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Posted by Bonedale Railroad on Saturday, September 16, 2023 8:36 PM

Doctorwayne, any chance you have a video on a "how to" for the piano wire switch fix?

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