Electrical issue with turnout

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Sir Robbins

Well-Known Member
I am having an electrical issue with a certain turnout. Before anyone says it, I have swapped out the turnout 3 times and still the issue persists so I know it's not the culprit. I have feeder wire at the base of the turnout but none on either side. I created this illustration to help give someone with better knowledge an understanding. I am shorting out when the loco comes towards the feeder area from the straight section of the turnout. When coming from the actual turnout area to the feeder, nothing happens. Going away from the feeder both directions, nothing happens. It only shorts coming down the main towards the feeder.

Any ideas? Add feeder wire to the other side of the turnout? Is the feeder too close to the turnout?

Turnout issue.jpg
 

diesel

Member
If the answer to the previous question is "no", I'll bet the flanges are hitting the points. How much clearance do you have? What kind of turnout is it? Where are the rail gaps, if any?
 

Sir Robbins

Well-Known Member
The turnout is not thrown when it crosses. I need to check if the turnout is actually making contact with the rail when in the "straight" position but there is a spark when it crosses. I would assume they are touching. It's an Atlas code 83 #6 turnout.
 

Selector

Well-Known Member
Could it be that you have feeder wires of a different orientation on the siding? Is this turnout power-routing? Only fed at the points? We need some information.
 

Sir Robbins

Well-Known Member
Could it be that you have feeder wires of a different orientation on the siding? Is this turnout power-routing? Only fed at the points? We need some information.
Non powered turnout. Manual switch. No feeder on the other side of the turnout.
 

Sir Robbins

Well-Known Member
Did you try different locos?
Yup. I tried relocating the feeder to a different section on another turnout. I have 5 to try. I went through 3. the 4th where I relocated the feeder gave me no problems which leads me to believe there is contact on those 3 turnouts on the main straight that shouldn't be there. Thankfully I'm doing this before laying the track down semi=permanently.
 

Sir Robbins

Well-Known Member
So, I took the manual switch plate that's attached to the track off (was going to do this anyways) and for whatever reason, the problem went away... o_O o_O o_O 🧐🤔
 

Sir Robbins

Well-Known Member
The turnouts are Atlas Code 83 #6 Manual turnouts. 1 set of feeder wires are powering the half of the yard that is wired so far. The only turnout giving me trouble was the one closest to the feeder and locomotives would short coming through the main straight section going towards the feeder. No issues occurred on the turnout portion going into sidings coming or going. it was very odd. I removed the switch device attached and for whatever reason, the problem no longer exists. Was very odd... I changed out 3 turnouts to the same issue. Only when I changed to a 4th from layout (without the switch device) did the problem go away...

In other words, the issue is resolved
 

PrairieKnight

Active Member
This is an interesting thread. I have posted before regarding problems with Atlas code 83 remote snap switches on my layout. I believe they are numbers 540 and 541. I think that these are #4 switches. I have always referred to the excellent advice that Traction Fan has provided in diagnosing and fixing turnout issues.

When I experienced locomotives shorting out on these turnouts like you described, I put a small piece of tape on the the curved closure rail near the frog and that stopped the problem. I have also read where cutting a small gap in this same closure rail with a Dremel will stop the shorting issue. I am glad to see that your issue is resolved.

Another issue that I encounter with the Atlas switches is a locomotive will momentarily lose power as it comes in contact with this same curved closure rail. Again, the articles by Traction Fan have helped as this curved closure rail has a rivet that will loosen over time causing the point on the closure closure rail not to maintain good contact with the stock rail. The quick and easy fix is to move this problem turnout to the yard where I can remove the remote switch machine and attach a Caboose ground throw and reach it easily. The Caboose ground throw holds much better than the remote snap switch machines

Sir, when you say that you fixed the problem by removing the "switch device" ....... what exactly do you mean? In looking at the diagrams that accompany the articles written by Traction Fan, I cannot locate the "switch plate" or "switch device".
 

Sir Robbins

Well-Known Member
This is an interesting thread. I have posted before regarding problems with Atlas code 83 remote snap switches on my layout. I believe they are numbers 540 and 541. I think that these are #4 switches. I have always referred to the excellent advice that Traction Fan has provided in diagnosing and fixing turnout issues.

When I experienced locomotives shorting out on these turnouts like you described, I put a small piece of tape on the the curved closure rail near the frog and that stopped the problem. I have also read where cutting a small gap in this same closure rail with a Dremel will stop the shorting issue. I am glad to see that your issue is resolved.

Another issue that I encounter with the Atlas switches is a locomotive will momentarily lose power as it comes in contact with this same curved closure rail. Again, the articles by Traction Fan have helped as this curved closure rail has a rivet that will loosen over time causing the point on the closure closure rail not to maintain good contact with the stock rail. The quick and easy fix is to move this problem turnout to the yard where I can remove the remote switch machine and attach a Caboose ground throw and reach it easily. The Caboose ground throw holds much better than the remote snap switch machines

Sir, when you say that you fixed the problem by removing the "switch device" ....... what exactly do you mean? In looking at the diagrams that accompany the articles written by Traction Fan, I cannot locate the "switch plate" or "switch device".
manual turnouts come with the ever so tacky rectangle where the switch to flick with your finger is. I removed that. The switch rail no longer presses hard against the main rail like it did when that tacky piece of plastic was there.... Not sure how else to describe it.
 




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