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Thread: Atlas turnouts

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    Lightbulb Atlas turnouts

    I'm new here and to Railroading, so be patient with me. I have been working on a small layout and I am using Schedule 80 turnouts. I have been making sure they all work before installing them. Some of them will only throw completely in one direction. I have shimmed and leveled, taken them apart, loosened the screws. I can't be the only one that has had this problem and I need some help.

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    First of all norfolk2, welcome to nScale.net!

    Now, it would help if you would let us know what kind of Atlas turnouts you are speaking of! Code 80, code 55, custom-line, etc.! Thanks!

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    I'm guessing that "schedule 80" is pipefitter-speak for "code 80".

    You may need to bend the points rail gently so that it fully closes.

    Can you post a picture of one of the offending turnouts? Might help with diagnosis...
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    Welcome to the site Norfolk2! I assure you, the people on this site are nothing BUT patient! They've been putting up with me for almost a year now so they must be! I agree with TD in that I assume you mean code 80. It would also be good to know if you are throwing them manually or electrically. If electrically, you may not have enough power supplying the turnout in which case a Capacitor Discharge Unit (CDU) would probably help. If you are throwing them manually and they are not going both directions I am sure these guys can help you with fine tuning.
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    I've been using Atlas Code 80 for my modern layout but have 2 or 3 remote operated #4 turnouts that give me fits for derailing freight cars and some locos. I've worked and worked on them but continue to have problems. I generally like Atlas products but am very disapointed in their Code 80 turnouts. Quality control of the plastic frogs seems poor. Tried my Bachmann 2-8-0 and it consistantly derailed on two of the bad turnouts.

    Just starting my steam era layout and am seriously thinking of going with Kato Unitrack. Their quality and very precise construction looks very good. I'm going to try a couple of their #4 turnouts and see how the work. If I like them, I may even try to splice in a couple of them to replace the two troublesome Code 80's.

    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwils1 View Post
    I've been using Atlas Code 80 for my modern layout but have 2 or 3 remote operated #4 turnouts that give me fits for derailing freight cars and some locos. I've worked and worked on them but continue to have problems. I generally like Atlas products but am very disapointed in their Code 80 turnouts. Quality control of the plastic frogs seems poor. Tried my Bachmann 2-8-0 and it consistantly derailed on two of the bad turnouts.

    Just starting my steam era layout and am seriously thinking of going with Kato Unitrack. Their quality and very precise construction looks very good. I'm going to try a couple of their #4 turnouts and see how the work. If I like them, I may even try to splice in a couple of them to replace the two troublesome Code 80's.

    Jerry
    Well, I just spliced in two Kato #4's to replace the troublesome Atlas Code 80's. Wow, what a difference. Everything runs very nicely through them. I sure like the powered frogs over the Atlas plastic. These are in a slightly remote locaion so I'm operating them from my throttle using a Digitrax DS64 stationary decoder running on track power. This works just fine too. Kato is expensive but it may be well worth it as the quality is so much better. I will probably convert a few more and use the Kato gray ballast to tie everything together.

    Jerry

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    If the part of the tracks where the switch points end are not perfectly straight the points will never line up properly. If you look down the straight rail from the frog end to the points end you can tell if it is bent some. The end is not rigid and can be laid off center. After I realized that this was a problem and corrected some already laid and kept the new ones laid straight most switch problems ended. I did have to replace a few that I screwed up trying to find the derailing cause.
    Also on the C80 the points are not rigid to the frog and the top of the rail can angle left and right a little that will cause a gap to open between the point rail and switch rail. I had to add a little solder to the hinge part to keep the points from doing this movement.

    I hope this makes some sense as learning these helped a lot with train running reliability.
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