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Thread: Atlas C55 vs FastTracks turnouts

  1. #21
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    You sound like you have experience building turnouts. If you can build them yourself and don't have to buy the jigs you might save some money. My problem is always the price of the tools to get started.
    I would say the handlaid turnouts would be more reliable especially since you have experience making them. It also depends on how the layout is operated.
    I used c55 Atlas turnouts and had few problems. I was mostly the only operator and the layout wasn't heavily used. A friend of mine has people over at least once a month for op sessions. He has many issues. Mostly with broken hinge points. A lot of that tends to be in my opinion his home maid ground throws. They tend to put a lot of tension on the turnouts. Some don't but some do.
    I just moved to Southern California for a short stint and have seen some layouts with hand laid turnouts. One is at the MRR museum at Balboa Park. Fantastic layout using C40 hand laid track. Runs for the public daily. The other is the Short Tracks MRR club in Vista. Hand laid turnouts and they run reliably. They actually run switching operations other than just running trains. I have been to both layouts a few times. I don't know if you could get the reliability to run for the public everyday or at least every weekend with the c55 Atlas. Then again I might be wrong.
    If it is only you and your Dad running mostly then the prefab will be fine but from my experience bringing in 6 to 10 people at a time for ops sessions will cause much repair work. Of course the ground throws may have a lot to do with it.
    There is a small amount of pride in saying "I made those myself".
    I haven't mad my own turnouts because I am not that confident in my skills. I also don't want to spend money on the jigs. Sounds like you don't need to spend that money. Maybe I should try with the paper templates. What do you think??
    Sexiest fat man alive.

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    I find the discussion involving the costs to be interesting - try adding the shipping costs to Oz! That said, I new to this hobby and was hooked on hand laid point work the moment I first saw it. I looked on this as another skill to learn, and like most things I know it takes practise before you can make reliable turnouts. A few have suggested 'starting' using the paper templates - I'm not sure that is a good idea. I did try that before spending the cash on my first Fast Tracks jig. Having a jig and the filing tools made a HUGE difference for me. At this scale, precision is critical, relying on track gauges to do that can be a big challenge.

    Even if you only intend to build a few turnouts, don't forget that you can always sell your tools when your done. They hold there value, especially the jigs - there are no moving parts and a good picture will demonstrate that it is still in perfect working order. I'm always on the lookout for them (hint hint).

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  4. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heiko View Post
    I'll be looking for someone to build me a #8 30"/20" and a #10 40"/30" curved turnout, once I get to the modules that need them - or maybe I'll have the self confidence to try that myself, then. Nothing available from Atlas that'll fit the track plan I have on my mind...
    I had a little play with my CAD program drawing up a diagram of your curved turnouts, with those radii the angles will be closer to a #10 for the 30"/20" and #13 for the 40"/30" (#10.3 and #12.7 for those requiring further precision). You'll need also some space as they'll be about 225mm and 300mm long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MDB View Post
    I had a little play with my CAD program drawing up a diagram of your curved turnouts, with those radii the angles will be closer to a #10 for the 30"/20" and #13 for the 40"/30" (#10.3 and #12.7 for those requiring further precision). You'll need also some space as they'll be about 225mm and 300mm long.
    Thanks for checking I just quoted the Fast Tracks website: http://handlaidtrack.com/assets/down...-r-8-30-20.pdf and http://handlaidtrack.com/assets/down...r-10-40-30.pdf - don't know where they differ from your CAD drawing, maybe there are some straight sections around the frog in the templates? Hard to tell at those radii...

    And yes, basically those two turnouts will form one module - a 30 deg 1m radius curve (about 525mm long) with a branch to the inside.

    Heiko

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