Atlas Switch problems

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by nolink5750, Nov 27, 2007.

  1. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    I know I have seen a thread or 2 about these but I got to ask now.
    I put my track down and it is glued in place. This switch works fine when the train is going forward. But as soon as I try to reverse, derailment after derailment. Whats going on??? Do I need to file something? Any suggestions please................Thanks
  2. iis612

    iis612 Member

    Back your train slowly through the turnout and watch the wheels. I am willing to bet they are picking the points. There may be something blocking the points from closing all the way.
  3. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    Code 80 Track

    I wanted to specify this is code 80 track.
    I back the train very slow and it does not derail. In watching closely as it is backing up, It seems I see 2 problems. I do not see any obstructions from keeping the points closed. But something seems to be happining that I see the car "pop" a little,were the points close. Then at the frog, I guess thats what they call it. Were there is like plastic rails not metal? The wheels are actualy lifting off the track. But, not all the cars are doing this. In doing some research I see atlas makes 2 different size wheels. A 33 and a 36 I beleave it was. Could that be a problem? Is there certain size wheels to run on code 80 track? Also, I have not checked out "all of the cars" for proper wheel alignment so that may have some affect also I guess with the "popping" I see at the points?
  4. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    All wheels should work on Code 80 track.

    My guess is that there is some sort of obstruction on the frog (the black plastic part where the rails would cross in the center of the turnout). I've had this issue with older Atlas turnouts in the past but not recently.

    Try cleaning it out with a small implement (flat head screwdriver, knife, toothpick) and see if that works first.

    If it's still not working, you might need to file the frog down a bit, my guess is either in the channel where the flanges of the wheels travel, or perhaps where the frog joins the metal rails. Just a little bit of filing would be enough, and be sure to clean up the residue before running a loco over it!

    Now for the points: I have filed them down at an angle to help keep car wheels from "picking the points". I just removed a small amount of metal to make the top of the points come to more of a sharp angle (I don't think "file the points to a point" is a very useful description). This definitely helped me.
  5. Denyons

    Denyons Member

    Before doing any filing check out the locos wheels with a wheel gauge.
    When you say that the engine derails and not the cars I would guess that your engine wheels are out of gauge.
  6. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Do they derail on both routes (straight & diverging)..?? Or just one. What kind of couplers do you use..?? Truck mounted couplers are not good for backing up....
  7. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    steamhead, I thought all couples were truck mounted, even katee and micro trains? Derailments happen mainly on the deverging rail. Couplers are just standard rapula couples. Thes are probably just beginner cars.

    Denyons, no I said the cars derail but not all of them. But the loco does also derail but not all the time maybe 30% of the time.

    umtrr-author, I'll look into that. And thanks for the info.

    I have found that some of my wheels were not right also.
  8. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    Just an update....... I tried the loco by its self and it don't even attempt to make the turn. So I tried an old loco I have laying around and it works fine. So I checked the wheels on the brand new loco and sure enough the back to back is to narrow. Maybe thats why they were on sale. Do I have to take the whole thing apart to adjust the wheels? I'm starting to check all the cars now. I suspect the problem is in the wheels and not in the turnout.
    Anybody who has adjusted wheels on a loco can jump in here please. Do I have to take the whole thing apart?
  9. Denyons

    Denyons Member

    You can spead the wheels of a loco but be very careful.
    Slip a thin blade knife between a wheel and the loco frame and gently try to prise it. Keep checking the guage as you are doing it, because you don't want to over gauge the wheels.
  10. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    Yep, it worked...... Cool, I was afraid I might break something. The loco is working great now. Also I have set the wheels on 5 cars. 60 mph backing up and no problems. Cool.............................:thumb:
  11. Denyons

    Denyons Member

    Glad it worked out for you,
  12. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Good to hear you got that problem well in hand....:mrgreen:

    You have to be careful when prying wheels apart. You have to be sure that the wheels stay perpendicular to the axes at ALL points on the wheels' circumference, otherwise your loco will wobble....:eek:

    Don't ask me how I know....:curse:
  13. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    Steamhead, I was wondering if that could happen. Thank for the info. If I see it wobbling I'll know what the problem is now. Thanks...............Dennis:thumb:
  14. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Truck-mount or body-mount isn't a characteristic of the couplers, but the cars. It's possible to convert cars from truck-mount to body-mount (or vice versa).
  15. Chartiers

    Chartiers Still plays with trains

    Think I can fix this Atlas turnout that I removed from the layout cause the movable point rails lost their electrical way and I really broke it trying to fix it?
  16. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    I think its fixable:mrgreen::mrgreen:
  17. Chartiers

    Chartiers Still plays with trains

    That's I thought also - a little super glue can work magic...
  18. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    I was thinking duck tape but super glue would work.:mrgreen::mrgreen:

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