Atlas, ME, Shino or Peco code 83 turnouts?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by mhdishere, May 12, 2005.

  1. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    Those are the only manufacturers I could find for code 83 turnouts, if there are others please enlighten me.

    I've pretty much decided against hand-laying my track due to time constraints, and since I have a supply of Atlas code 83 flex track I thought I'd look for turnouts to go with it.

    I like the idea of the spring-thing in Peco to hold the points against the rails since I like manual turnout control, but don't like the price. Does anyone else have this feature?

    Some people swear by Atlas, some swear at it. Also, since I'll be running some small switch engines I think a live frog is a good idea.

    Micro Engineering and Walthers/Shinohara seem to be comparable in price, are there major differences between them?

    I'll probably only have ten or twelve turnouts, so price per isn't a HUGE deal. I do want something that is bulletproof, I don't want track problems down the road. I don't mind a little tweaking beforehand like soldering jumpers and stuff, I don't think electricity should ever have to pass thru a purely mechanical connection because that's the one place you'll get crud/glue/mouse droppings. Once it's in place I want it to outlast me, and any problems with the track must be my fault not the fault of the track.

    So given my givens and druthers, what brand would you recommend?
  2. billwv

    billwv Member


    I suggest you read the write-up on PECO turnouts at He expresses some general points to consider when evaluating a turnout. I found it very useful.

  3. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Some of the guys in the modular club I belong to have made Peco like springs for Atlas out of piano wire. The problem with Atlas turnouts is the stamped sheet metal points. They are so thin that after a while the points will kind of lay over and the gauge widens. I fixed some by filing and shaping a reinforcement from pieces of rail and gluing it together with epoxy. It was so tedious that I decided it wasn't worth the bother. I personally like the Micro Engineering turnouts best of the ready to run variety. I think the best turnouts I've seen are the B K Engineering kits, but they are scarce for ho scale because most of his production is for the o scale market.
  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I recently bought some of the Micro Engineering turnouts, they are awesome looking but I found the guard rails out of gauge, not enought to derail anything but cars bump thru them. I removed the guardrail and will glue down my own, no biggie. I also have some CV curvable turnout kits, I like them too. I use Atlas in hidden staging, they work fine but I have had to add feeders in some locations. I'd be glad to show you the pros and cons in more detail if you'd like to drop by, you're not far away. PM me if you are interested.

  5. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    I've heard that before about the Atlas turnouts, which is why I have misgivings about them.

    Thanks for the offer, the next few weeks are going to be busy for me though.

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