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Walthers new code 83 track and Turnouts

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Walthers new code 83 track and Turnouts
Posted by MikeN8FWD on Monday, July 12, 2021 12:01 PM

Hello,

has anyone ever used the new Walthers code 83 track and turnouts?

what are your thoughts?

thanks Big Mike 

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Monday, July 12, 2021 6:41 PM

I like the Walthers stuff. The tie depth is shallow which will reduce ballast material required but makes mixing track brands trickier. The power feed joiners and regular metal and insulating joiners are a cut above anyone else's for tight fit and ease of use. Walthers also makes and sells extra ties to fit under the spaces you create by trimming flex track ends, which is handy.

The #6 turnouts that are available are built for 2.75" track centres unless you trim the diverging routes. The geometry seems between the Atlas Customline or Super Switch on the one hand and ME slightly shorter product on the other.  

They also have spring loaded points like Peco or ME which is handy but requires modification for most point motors including Walthers new layoit control system which seems a bit of an own goal there. I intend to try the Walthers point motors without first removing the springs and see if they work. Walthers originally claimed their motors could overcome Peco point springs which are noticeably stronger than the Walthers springs.

Nice looking product and well made. Better than ME or Atlas. Not quite as nice as Peco. But priced better than Peco.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Monday, July 12, 2021 7:51 PM

MikeN8FWD
has anyone ever used the new Walthers code 83 track and turnouts?

They are like unicorns, I have not seen them yet.

Lastspikemike
I like the Walthers stuff. The tie depth is shallow which will reduce ballast material required but makes mixing track brands trickier. The power feed joiners and regular metal and insulating joiners are a cut above anyone else's for tight fit and ease of use. Walthers also makes and sells extra ties to fit under the spaces you create by trimming flex track ends, which is handy.

Could you post pictures of your new Walthers turnouts? As I said, I have not seen the features yet.

Thanks. 

Lastspikemike
The tie depth is shallow

Shallow "protoype profile" ties are a stupid feature.

I would prefer ties to be twice the scale thickness.

1) More depth for excess glue not to flow into the tie gaps. (for you caulkers)

2) More strength and rigidity in general.

3) Once it is ballasted, the tie depth disappears anyway, so why not malke a more versatile and rugged product.

SoapBox Rant Over.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 7:26 AM

I saw the turnouts at a hobby shop in Riverdale Ga.  IMO, the geometry of the Walthers compares most directly to the PECO 83.  Short distance from points to frog.  But the Walthers has a lot more track beyond the frog making it an overall longer piece of track if you use them untrimmed.

I like the lack of a hinge for the points.  To me, it really stands out as looking more realistic than all other brands.

- Douglas

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 7:55 AM

Doughless
I saw the turnouts at a hobby shop in Riverdale Ga.

I need to get back to Riverdale Station. That is a great hobby shop to visit.

I hope the owner is doing OK. The last time I talked to him he was buying a retirement property in Florida and planning to move in a couple of years.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 10:24 AM

Doughless

I saw the turnouts at a hobby shop in Riverdale Ga.  IMO, the geometry of the Walthers compares most directly to the PECO 83.  Short distance from points to frog.  But the Walthers has a lot more track beyond the frog making it an overall longer piece of track if you use them untrimmed.

I like the lack of a hinge for the points.  To me, it really stands out as looking more realistic than all other brands.

 

The Walthers product competes directly with Peco Unifrog. Same continuous points/closure rails. Points spring in the throw bar. All live rails with no power routing (dead frog) but you can clip jumpers to restore power routing. Walthers makes their turnouts big is the main difference.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 10:31 AM

Lastspikemike

 

 
Doughless

I saw the turnouts at a hobby shop in Riverdale Ga.  IMO, the geometry of the Walthers compares most directly to the PECO 83.  Short distance from points to frog.  But the Walthers has a lot more track beyond the frog making it an overall longer piece of track if you use them untrimmed.

I like the lack of a hinge for the points.  To me, it really stands out as looking more realistic than all other brands.

 

 

 

The Walthers product competes directly with Peco Unifrog. Same continuous points/closure rails. Points spring in the throw bar. All live rails with no power routing (dead frog) but you can clip jumpers to restore power routing. Walthers makes their turnouts big is the main difference.

 

Well, the way the world works, the most recently designed stuff should always be the best on the market relative to anything designed years ago.  Doesn't always work that way though. 

I like the concept of the not-too-strong sprung points and the lack of a hinge.  I prefer the longer geometry of the Atlas #6, so the new Walthers is not turnout perfection for me but its really nice.

- Douglas

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 10:35 AM

SeeYou190

 

 
MikeN8FWD
has anyone ever used the new Walthers code 83 track and turnouts?

 

They are like unicorns, I have not seen them yet.

 

 
Lastspikemike
I like the Walthers stuff. The tie depth is shallow which will reduce ballast material required but makes mixing track brands trickier. The power feed joiners and regular metal and insulating joiners are a cut above anyone else's for tight fit and ease of use. Walthers also makes and sells extra ties to fit under the spaces you create by trimming flex track ends, which is handy.

 

Could you post pictures of your new Walthers turnouts? As I said, I have not seen the features yet.

Thanks. 

 

 
Lastspikemike
The tie depth is shallow

 

Shallow "protoype profile" ties are a stupid feature.

I would prefer ties to be twice the scale thickness.

1) More depth for excess glue not to flow into the tie gaps. (for you caulkers)

2) More strength and rigidity in general.

3) Once it is ballasted, the tie depth disappears anyway, so why not malke a more versatile and rugged product.

SoapBox Rant Over.

-Kevin

 

 

Here you go:

https://www.walthers.com/code-83-nickel-silver-dcc-friendly-number-6-turnout-left-hand

 

I have the right hand version at the moment, looks quite similar.

Could you post your fkex track rigidity test results please? I'm curious how thicker ties make flex track more rigid. Is that advantageous? Stiffer flex track I mean.

Also, I had read elsewhere on this board that roadbed support is important so maybe explain again how thinner ties are affected by say plywood or homasote roadbed.

Finally, I recommend using latex caulk to fix flex track down. If you use a standard caulking gun and a 2" putty knife you can easily lay down a very thin layer of flexible adhesive that mimics real ballasting quite nicely at scale levels. 

I can explain how you avoid creating big gloops of gluey stuff that you seem troubled by but as you are aware I refuse to go through the rigamarole of posting photos or diagrams so here goes with the wordy stuff again: 

You see, you start with a tube of latex caulk, fit it into the caulking gun, cut the tip at the desired angle and opening size, pierce the seal, apply the caulk bead down the center of the roadbed, then spread the bead out thinly with the putty knife (a modicum of practice makes this step as easy as spreading butter on your morning toast) and then place your track. Very little caulk is plenty strong enough to hold the track in place. You don't need to spread a full width film of caulk. About 50% of the tie width is plenty. Simples.

Turnouts need even less caulk to hold them in place.

Bonus, lifting track is easy with the same putty knife.

Be a bit careful with the new Walthers track as the shallow ties should only be used by expert track layers. Like me.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by Water Level Route on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 11:22 AM

Some people's children. Confused

Mike

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Posted by maxman on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 11:55 AM

SeeYou190
More strength and rigidity in general.

If I feel that the track work requires more strength and rigidity, I add a little tadalafill to the glue/water mixture.

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Posted by crossthedog on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 1:02 PM

I bought an Atlas #6 righty and a trio of Walthers #6 lefties, all of them new Code 83. Not sure why, but on one of the Walthers turnouts some of my older DC engines hiccup just a bit. They go through, but they just get a quick hitch in their git-along. No troubles with the Atlas or the other two Walthers so far. Kind of annoying. I expected my little booster 0-4-0 to have trouble reaching over the frog, but I was surprised that some of my F-7s balked there. They sure look good, though, with the no hinges.

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 1:19 PM

maxman
I add a little tadalafill to the glue/water mixture.

I Googled that while my wife was talking to me.

Thanks.

Pirate

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by crossthedog on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 1:26 PM

Here are photos of two of my new Walthers code 83 #6 lefties -- the ones that are behaving well. I put a short piece between them because the direct handshake would have been too close in this case. I need to get the track away from the main to be able to get some wide curves into my yard lead.

Lastspikemike
The tie depth is shallow which will reduce ballast material required but makes mixing track brands trickier.

@Lastspikemike, that explains why the joint seemed "off" between the rails of the Walthers turnout and the Atlas curved turnouts just beyond them in the pic below. Thanks for pointing that out. I just looked, and sure enough, the Atlas ties are taller, which makes just a bit of a stumble there.

-Matt

Edit: For some reason, photos I'm hosting on my old blog are behaving in such a way that the first time you click on them here, they open in a small frame, not full size. If you close that and click the image again, it opens full resolution. Don't know why. Wordpress voodoo.

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 1:29 PM

crossthedog
Here are photos of two of my new Walthers code 83 #6 lefties

Thank you.

I do like the "no hinge" look, and the throwbar looks pretty good too. They certainly do look better than my older Walthers/Shinohara code 83s.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by crossthedog on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 1:36 PM

SeeYou190
They certainly do look better than my older Walthers/Shinohara code 83s

I was looking for Shinoharas on ebay for those curves, but I could'nae find them. I think Shinohara was the only curved turnout that actually stated the outside radius as 24", which is what I wanted. The alternative was a sharper curve, which wouldn't work when I want to bring passenger trains into a station at the yard.

I eventually had to go with Atlas turnouts that are 30" radius on the outside, which meant a longer curve into the yard (and alas, shorter yard tracks) and as I mentioned, it forced me to realign the yard lead curve so that I had to break off from parallel with the main. 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 2:29 PM

Walthers new curved turnouts are due August this year, 24" inside and 28" outside radius which will be tighter than Peco or Atlas.

Those are judiciously chosen radii and should prove very useful in layout design. 

Atlas is 22/30 which is both too tight and too broad. 

Peco #7 are broader yet. Outside radius is just over 1 meter which is about 40". They don't publish the tighter radius.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by crossthedog on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 2:45 PM

Lastspikemike
Walthers new curved turnouts are due August this year, 24" inside and 28" outside radius

Wish I'd known that before I spent 60 clams on those big 30-inchers. The Atlas 24/30s are taking up quite a bit of space. I haven't soldered any part of the yard yet, so if they really do show up soon I could redo my cork and have a shorter lead and still have my outside track be at least 24" for the passenger trains.

 

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 5:44 PM

Atlas inside curve is 22" which is noticeable when trying to run some six axle stuff. Walthers heavyweights spring to mind.

Alyth Yard

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 7:03 PM

crossthedog
Wish I'd known that before I spent 60 clams on those big 30-inchers. The Atlas 24/30s are taking up quite a bit of space.

The new Walthers curved turnouts sound similar to the Walthers/Shinohara #7 curved turnouts, and they are even larger than the Atlas curved turnouts. 

When the two "effective radius" of the curved turnout become closer to one another, the entire turnout becomes longer because of how much more rail is required between the point tips and the frog.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 8:40 PM

SeeYou190

 

 
crossthedog
Wish I'd known that before I spent 60 clams on those big 30-inchers. The Atlas 24/30s are taking up quite a bit of space.

 

The new Walthers curved turnouts sound similar to the Walthers/Shinohara #7 curved turnouts, and they are even larger than the Atlas curved turnouts. 

When the two "effective radius" of the curved turnout become closer to one another, the entire turnout becomes longer because of how much more rail is required between the point tips and the frog.

-Kevin

 

I've owned every Walthers Shinohara curved turnout from the 6.5, 7, 7.5, and 8.  Once the turnout gets really long, its use becomes limited. The tracks are so narrow that it takes many inches to separate them to where the siding becomes useful.  Its almost just as handy to put in a #6 straight turnout.

I think the places that a long curved turnout can be used are really not that frequent.

The sharper curved turnouts are more useful because space is already at a premium on layouts with 22 and 24 inch radius curves.

IIRC, despite their advertisment, the radii of the 6.5 thru 8 are...24/20, 28/24, 32/28 and 36/32.  That 8 is really long that a person can find alternatives within that same amount of real estate.

- Douglas

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Posted by crossthedog on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 9:01 PM

SeeYou190
When the two "effective radius" of the curved turnout become closer to one another, the entire turnout becomes longer

That makes intuitive sense to me, and it rhymes with what Doughless posted just after you, about how much more track it takes after the divergence to make the siding useful. I'm bummin' here a little bit. I actually did consider straight turnouts in my yard corner.

But this string isn't about me or my curve problems, and anyway my motto is, hey, just get something down and run some trains. Yes, there is much to be said for proper planning, but when you're a newbie you don't know enough to plan well anyway. I can fix stuff later.

Returning to model railroading after 40 years and taking unconscionable liberties with the SP&S, Northern Pacific and Great Northern roads in the '40s and '50s.

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Posted by Lastspikemike on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 2:26 PM

Peco #7 curved turnouts are 40" outside radius, only 11" long and create a crossover with 2" track centre spacing. 

Alyth Yard

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 2:56 PM

crossthedog
I'm bummin' here a little bit. I actually did consider straight turnouts in my yard corner.

Curved turnouts are highly useful in certain situations, so consider the situation you're using them in before you get too bummed out. 

I build switching layouts, out and back type of ops.  Turnouts are used for either spurs or runarounds.  Another aspect of the long curved turnouts, which need to be placed in the middle of the curve usually, is that it takes a long time for the loco to runaround and clear the points, almost heading up the other straight track.

For a mainline passing siding situation, or a yard lead arrival departure track, this may not be an issue.  So before you get too bummed out, always look at your situation to see the options.  My comments were made in a general way off of my specific experience.  

The long turnouts placed in the middle of the curve usually gave me about 12 inches of extra siding/spur length.  Not bad, but not leaps and bounds more than a straight turnout placed at the end of the curve and about the same than one placed at the beginning, IMO.

- Douglas

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 6:04 PM

SeeYou190
Shallow "prototype profile" ties are a stupid feature. I would prefer ties to be twice the scale thickness.

While you're at it, (4) they would look better on bridges, and in fact offer (at least in theory) a way to make actual accurate bridge track out of 'stock' comparatively easily...

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, July 14, 2021 10:58 PM

crossthedog
I'm bummin' here a little bit. I actually did consider straight turnouts in my yard corner.

I do not know how many curved turnouts were ever used by prototype railroads. I have only seen pictures of a few.

I love the way curved turnouts look. I have a few Walthers/Shinohara curved turnouts on hand. I have #7 Left and #7 Right, and a #7.5 Right to use on the new layout. They will be right up front and used just for visual appeal.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Doughless on Thursday, July 15, 2021 11:25 AM

SeeYou190
I love the way curved turnouts look.

My current in-progress switching layout uses a curved turnout for the main switchback.  A PECO, so its short enough to fit in a switching district.

Its installed backwards where the "tangent" outer curve track handshakes the diverging track of the mainline switch (the runaround siding actually).

This creates a U shape to the area that helps the spur and the tail track angle towards the backdrop sharply, requiring another swooping curve to get each back parallel to the back drop to continue towards the industries.

Its a series of dreaded S curves that look great naked, or when the string of cement hoppers snakes through it.  Corn syrup tanks, aggregate hoppers, 53' boxcars.

 

- Douglas

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, July 16, 2021 6:19 AM

I've read a number of folks who had the Walthers double cross-overs report they had issues with them, even the DCC friendly versions.  I always thought they looked cool but after reading the various comments, I decided to avoid them.  Complex commercial turnouts seem to increase likelihood of running or electrical issues.  Rob Spangler has commented that the curved turnouts have gauge issues and required some modifications.  

Rio Grande.  The Action Road  - Focus 1977-1983

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Friday, July 16, 2021 8:19 AM

riogrande5761
I've read a number of folks who had the Walthers double cross-overs report they had issues with them, even the DCC friendly versions.

Before I decided to spend the money for two Walthers/Shinohara code 83 #6 double crossovers, I asked the folks on this forum. No one that used them on their layouts said I would expect to have problems from them.

-Kevin

Wink Happily modeling my STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, July 16, 2021 8:33 AM

riogrande5761
I've read a number of folks who had the Walthers double cross-overs report they had issues with them...

This is one of those little things that gall me, like using the phrase "Studies have shown..."

If you can't (or Kalmbach won't let you) provide the original source references, you owe it to us to recap what the 'issues with them' were reported to be.

(This is not a personal 'dig' -- just a plea that if you report there are problems, go ahead and report what the problems are actually said to be.)

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Posted by gmpullman on Friday, July 16, 2021 9:22 AM

My experience has shown that after 26 years I have had little trouble with any of my Walthers/Shinohara code 83 including double crossovers, four double slip switches and maybe two dozen curved turnouts of varying degrees. Plus some seventy five or so conventional  5, 6, 8 and 10s.

I have a few set aside for spares if needed and I'm glad Walthers is trying to continue a line of similar trackage in the event I would ever need to expand or replace any.

Thank you, Ed

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