Atlas Custom Line Turnout Tips

ModelRailroadForums.com is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Hi all. We had many "problem" turnouts on our RR and, since we use the common Atlas turnouts, I thought I'd pass along the "fix" we found. I've been an Atlas turnout user for many years (used them as a kid) and am not knocking their product. They are a good product at a good price. Plus, I love that "S" turn logo I remember as a kid...;)

We had derailment problems with several of our Code 83 and 100 turnouts. The problem seemed to be more persistant with the Code 83 turnouts and their related twin coil switch machines. Derailments in hidden staging are a real pain! After investigating the cause, here's the simple fix I found for them.

In this "before" pic, you can see that the points have moved together in the switch rod. This causes the points to fail to make proper contact with the stock rails. No contact = drailments... :(
123240309.jpg


Here's a before shot with the NMRA guage to further illustrate the problem. It's obvious how much the points have closed together in the switch rod.
123240303.jpg


Our fix, as stated above, is very simple. Using .012" sheet styrene (brass shim stock works too, but is harder to work with), cut appropriately sized shims to correct the point spacing. I don't bond ours in place because they slip under the switch rod's mount and stay securely put. Since the turnout pictured is in staging, I didn't bother to paint the shims. On scene shims can be easily hidden with a little paint.
123240307.jpg


The after pic...
123240302.jpg


The NMRA guage makes the improvement apparent.
123240301.jpg


Happy railroading! :)
 

lginc

That FM guy
grande man, we use Atlas code 100 track and turnouts. when using #6 turnouts, we have seldom had derailments on them, however, on some of the #4 turnouts, this happens more then i like. perhaps you have come up with the solution. thanks for the info!:D with your pics and descriptions, looks like it could be an easy fix.;) thanks, -Dean
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
lginc said:
grande man, we use Atlas code 100 track and turnouts. when using #6 turnouts, we have seldom had derailments on them, however, on some of the #4 turnouts, this happens more then i like. perhaps you have come up with the solution. thanks for the info!:D with your pics and descriptions, looks like it could be an easy fix.;) thanks, -Dean

Hi Dean. We had a couple of Code 100 #4's giving us problems. These turnouts are on Caboose Industries ground throws. The "tune up" made a big difference with them. I can run our SD7 or old Atlas GP40 (the acid test, this baby likes ground running :D ) at speed in excess of what's reasonable with no problems. Give the fix a try on one of your problem turnouts. Maybe it'll help.
 

CBCNSfan

Registered Member
Staff member
Like Dean's mine are code 100, quite stout and trouble free, but I do have one #6, that was brand new and was a constant PINTA with derails. I replaced it, and now thanks to you, maybe I have an answer to the problem as there wasn't anything overly wrong about it's looks.
Cheers
Willis
 

RexHea

RAIL BENDER
Eric, I had a few #6's that broke loose the same way and I just CA'd them and had to be real careful of not locking it up. I like your idea much better and it will probably last longer. Thanks for the tip.
 

grande man

Bonafied Grande Nut
Willis/Rex, I'm glad ya'll find the info of some use. I posted it because there's so many Atlas users out there. Maybe some of them can use it too. It's such a simple fix, but the problem mimics a switch machine issue when using the twin coil machines. It appears, at first, that the switch machine lacks throw to properly bring the point into contact with the stock rail. It's one of those "head scratchin" problems that took a little investigation to determine the cause.

Anyway, hopefully someone starting out will experience a little less frustration and a little more fun railroading with their Atlas turnouts. :)
 
D

dthurman

Guest
Eric

The Atlas Code55 turnouts for N scale also suffer the same problem, while I opted for CA glue and a prayer, your method may come in handy in the future.
 




Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)


ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com

RailroadBookstore.com - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section.

ModelRailroadBookstore.com - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.

Top