Atlas Switches

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by TruckLover, Jul 2, 2006.

  1. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    :wave: Hi everybody,

    I have a question, as some of you might have read in the "layout progress & engine pics" (by UP SD40-2) and my "current layout" threads, I am going to make 1 or 2 modules (both 6' x 2'). Now I no that I am going to have to have at least #6 swiches branching off the mainlines, but can I go with #4's in the sidings?

    I want to run big engines like Dash 8-40CW, SD70, SD90 and so on. I figured out the track plan for the module, it is going to be kinda like doctorwaynes GERN Industries complex. Mine will have a mainline on the edge.

    Here's a picture from photoshop I just drew up of what im talking about:

    Attached Files:

  2. wickman

    wickman Member

    I'm not sure what the requirements are for those locos but either way the sidings are going to be apart of the layout you'll be traveling thru very very slow anyway. I hope that helps.:wave:
  3. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    My experience suggests you'll be happier with 6's if you're switching with larger locos. The radius of the curves of the 4's might be tight enough to cause some derailments of cars, especially on that ladder of two 4's coming off the 6.
  4. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Shoot, I was hoping that the #4's would work cause don't they take up less space?
  5. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    They would use less space, Josh, and they may work, but not look very realistic,
    especially with your larger modern locos. I think it wouldn't be long before you
    were dissatisfied with them. (IMO)
  6. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks guys for the help.:)

    I guess im going with #6 all round, cause I don't want to lay em down and then not have them work or not look good.
  7. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    #4's would be good if you were modeling a late 19th century(Civil War) early 20th century layout or a logging layout. The equipment was shorter(30 to 40 feet long).With todays modern longer locos and rolling stock, I think #6 turnout is the standard.
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    alrge locomotives rarely do that kind of switching. you'll usually have a GP40 or something along those lines doing the dirty work. Large locomotives such as the ones you mention usually bring trains into a yard, where they are sorted and picked up by smaller locals, which would be the GPs and the U-Bs.

    if you ever get enough space, you could have a small yard ( the latest Model Railroader has an article on yards) where your havey 6 axle road switchers can drop off and pick up complete trains ( bringing them to staging) and then you can have smaller locos arrange the cars and drop them off at their destinations.
  9. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    A Word From the Wise, or, Think Before You DO...

    Josh, the only reasons i run such big engines on my switching layout are because: 1- i have been collecting engines for YEARS. 2- i HAVE HAD larger layouts they used to run on. 3- ALL my engines are equipped with sound decoders. yes I DO KNOW using engines like an SD90/43Mac for switching IS NOT prototypical, HOWEVER just because i am currently living in a small apartment DOES NOT mean i am going to let ALL THAT MONEY i put in those engines go to waist sitting on a shelf!;) that is why i designed my current switching layout to run ANYTHING from an SD90/43Mac to a RS27(thats smaller then any GP). as far as my steamers, DD's and E's, they are not waisting away on a shelf, on Saturdays, i run them on my Dads layout:thumb:. I DO NOT recommend using large engines for a switching layout! #4's WILL NOT work with them, and #6's eat up 1' each. one thing i have found that works GREAT, if you insist on running big engines are "Y" switches. i next to NEVER have problems running my big engines on them;). the problem with ''Y's" are though they are shorter switches, they too eat up space, not long, but wide:(. **THINK ABOUT THIS, to operate a modern switching layout, you would have to make sure EVERY section of track could clear your largest engine, AND at least ONE of your largest cars! I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR POSTS, and to do/put on ALL the stuff you want to do, THERE IS NO WAY you could do this with the space you have and still run big engines. DON'T get me wrong, if you cut out ALOT of stuff, it could be done with the space you have, but would you be happy?:confused: check out the last pic on page 13 in my thread, you will see just how much track space you would need, and how little space you have for buildings and such, when using large engines.**MY ADVICE, and this IS, just my advice, if you haven't already bought a bunch of big engines, DON'T! stick with the GP's and such. by doing this it would give you more space for the scenery you want to put on instead of putting on massive amounts of track and cutting back on the scenery;). you will have other layouts in the future:thumb:, save the big stuff for them:thumb:. JUST MY THOUGHTS;). in any case, I TRULY wish you the best of luck on this however you chose to do it!:thumb::D GOOD LUCK Josh!...OH, and stay on track man.:D -Deano (UP-SD40-2)
  10. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Josh,I will admit I have seen SD70s in local service on the NS as well as C39-8s.
    However,if you must use long wheel base engines I HIGHLY SUGGEST #6 or larger switches.

    Here look at a number #4. These are Code 83s.

    Now,My Genesis SD70s will go through these switches at SLOW speeds BUT UNDERSTAND I took time to to insure a smooth even flow to the diverging route from all switches.

    Attached Files:

  11. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    yeah, Deano and larry are right. While it is techically possible for me to gun my 6 wheeled locomotives through snap switch crossovers and then directly into 18" curves,(i've done it before) i usually find that the cars behind it derail anyway.

    In most cases for me squeazing big locomotives in causes it to yank cars off the rails, even though the locomotive can fit, so keep that in mind. I had that problem with my E33 and AC4400CWs. they ran fine through the tight curves on my layout, but the cars behind them often got yanked off. Thats why the only 6 axles i run much now is my U34CH, and my SD45.
  12. wickman

    wickman Member

    I agree haveing one siding maybe 2 off the main line for the big engines to drop off the cars then smaller engines can break them up and build for the next destination.
    I went thru this same scenario myself and actually decided on rather than have a stub end yard to incorporate a double ended siding for cars to be dropped off.
    One other thought would be if and only if you would like to run your layout like a real RR and have operations sessions and all the fun stuff that goes with running like a real RR you would actually stop at the turnout then open\close the turnout and then proceed at a safe speed especially #4 turnouts they don't handle the speed like the #6 's.
  13. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Is there a way you can site the turnouts at such an angle that they consume less real estate, but allow the longer engines to operate?

    I ask because I had seen something in MR some time (great memory, eh? ;)) that siad "use #6s at a #4 angle" or something like that.

  14. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Thanks guys for all the advise.

    Ok how about this.

    I was thinking about what Dean said and now I am sure am i going to run smaller engines. But I am still going to have locos big on the mainline in my new layout (see "Curent Layout Thread", New track Plan) This way I can have #4 switches and the smaller engines will do the switching. I still won't have any running trains but the big locos wont be going into the switches so there for, as many of you said, I will be able to fit more on this track plan and module above.

    What do you guys think?
  15. wickman

    wickman Member

    I think thats a great idea :wave:

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