Atlas Turnouts Yes or No???

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by larrwill, Jun 11, 2002.

  1. larrwill

    larrwill New Member

    Hi All,
    I have recently returned to HO and have been trying to decide on which turnouts to purchase. I have read many threads at the Atlas forum on the problems with Atlas turnouts and claims that the problems have been addressed. I also posted this message on the Atlas forum.

    My questions are:

    What is the bottom line, have all the problems been corrected in current production?

    Is it safe to buy Atlas turnouts or should I not even consider it?

    How do I know I'm buying one of a corrected vintage? Can I tell without opening the package?

    Does the continuity problem only effect code 83 or both 100 and 83?

    What exactly is the jumper fix I have read about, but never seen explained?
  2. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    My brother swears by 'em - even used 'em in his DCC layout without a problem. Me, I'm a usin' PECO Insulfrogs. But that's just me.
  3. alkcnw

    alkcnw Member

    I have 13 code 100 , and plan to buy 15 code 83 turnouts and wye's. The 13 I do have never gave me one bit of a problem!! Peco's are very nice, and so are Walters (Shinora) but for the price I'll stay with Atlas.:eek:
  4. kettlestack

    kettlestack Member

    I had 8 Peco turnouts which are very good in their operation, electrical qualites and appearance. Fitting motors was something I did not want to tackle on my new layout because of additional cost and fiddlyness (is that a word?:) ).

    For my current layout I chose Atlas #4 code 80 remotely operated turnouts because of their low cost, good appearance and overall quality. I bought 16 of them and only one had an electrical continuity problem which was corrected in about 5 minutes.
    The last time I purchased some of them was October last year and there was no distinguishing marks or text on their packaging to indicate if the were of "updated" design.

    The jumper fix is more than likely a 16 or 18 SWG wire soldered to the "non wheelflange" side of the closure rail to the fixed stock rail leading to the frog.

    I have no hesitation in recommending the Atlas turnouts.
    Installation of Atlas turnouts is painless and require no wiring.
    If you want realism (ie, you don't like the operating solenoid enclosure) simply unclip the enclosure and fit your own preferred method of operating the blades.

    I hope this is sufficient info for you. At the end of the day the choice is yours governed by cost, aesthetics and your dexterity.

    Have fun!
  5. fvracer85

    fvracer85 Member

    Ceheck the posts on Atlas's message board about the conducting issues with Atlas code 83s.....I have 2 "dead" ones.... oithers are having lots of issues with them too....
  6. larrwill

    larrwill New Member

    Thanks for the replies! Keep them comming.

    I have searched the Atlas forum and found many complaints about continuity and the frog height. Then there are claims that the the problems have been corrected.
    Honestly, I just can't tell if it's safe to buy Atlas turnouts from what I have read on the Atlas forum...

    I also posted this question on the Atlas forum and the thread has gotten zero replies.:confused:
  7. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Thought Du Jour

    Sounds to me like you'd be taking your chances with 'em at this point. While they're certainly less expensive than most others, the question is - how many can be dead b4 it pays to buy the higher quality / better looking puppies????
  8. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    On Monday I purchased 8ea Atlas Code 83 #6 turnouts from my LHS.
    All are fine. He received his shippment of turnouts in April.

    Atlas will replace raised frog and electrically dead turnouts.

  9. fvracer85

    fvracer85 Member

    Marty, 13 of mine were fine for 3 months, now I have 4 failures in continuity. The failures show up with use.....:mad: They wait to you have them installed and balasted, etc. before they fail.....
  10. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    When a turnout is installed, ballasted, and been operating for a while, I doubt that the manufacturer will replace it. That leaves us with the options of trying to fix it, or replace it.
    Replace it: We have the expense of a new turnout; we have to remove the old turnout (downing that part of the layout); install the new turnout; test operate, and then reballast.

    Repair it: We have to figure out what is wrong, and how to effect the repair; If that fails, replace it. BUT If we can figure out what is wrong, we've learned something. If we CAN repair it, we've learned something else,and we don't have to "destroy" the scenery,or suffer extended down time. AND we're a step closer to being able to take care of that type of problem in the future.
    If, in the end, we have to replace? Don't just throw the old one away, carefully disassemble it and try to figure out how it worked, and what went wrong. Any time something breaks, I'll mutter a little*$)@@%&*(), and after the bitterness passes, start the troubleshooting process. This isn't a disaster, it's a learning experience. "If it's broken, I can't make it any worse", so I'm not afraid of tearing into it, if I botch it up? Well, it was broken anyway, so now I'll have to replace it. Yes! I've been building models for about 50 years; Yes!, I made my living repairing things. Those of you who saw my post on the three cabooses know that I didn't start at the level I'm at now, I've learned over the years, by figuring out what I did wrong, and how to do it better.
    In the event that I've fallen victim to "common knowledge syndrom"( I know it , so everyone must know it), my apologies in advance. If for any reason we are unable to repair, there is absolutely no shame in replacing. The only shame would be in letting a chance to learn, go by the board.
    Puttin' the soapbox away,
  11. Jim de Bree

    Jim de Bree Member

    I have used Atlas turnouts on all of my previous HO layouts. I found that over time they failed--what seems to contribute to their failure is the use of the Atlas switch machines that are very hard on the turnout mechanism. A friend of mine has used Peco turnouts for years and in a layout having ~35 turnouts had one failure after ten years. Also, if you are going to use DCC either now or in the furture, I strongly recommend the PECO insulfrogs. I am currently constructing a new layout and I am using PECO insulfrogs exclusively.

Share This Page