Converting Atlas Surface Turnouts to hidden?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Will_annand, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Currently on my layout I have several Atlas Remote Turnouts, you know the ones with those big ugly black boxes on the side. :eek: :( I have 8 LH Remote Turnouts, but only 3 locations where I can mount them and (in my mind) hide the black box convincingly.

    This leaves 5 LH remotes unused. Coincidently, in my yard area I have a run of 5 RH turnouts all in a row. I was wondering if the black boxes could be removed from the LH Turnouts and mounted inversely on the RH Turnouts?

    Scenically this would be easy to do because of two factors:
    1. a dirt road runs parallel to the track in the yard at this point.
    2. the whole layout is made on a 2" foam base.

    However, I was wondering if Technically it would work. :confused:
    Has anyone done this sucessfully?

    A second question also occurred, for my manual turnouts, again Atlas with big ugly black boxes, are there realistic ground throws that would work with these turnouts.

    Side Note: Last year I recieved a box of used turnouts from a friend in return for maintaining his computer. Right now I cannot afford to replace the turnouts with the Peco/Tortoise combination I would like. :D
  2. eightyeightfan1

    eightyeightfan1 Now I'm AMP'd

    Caboose Hobbies makes manual ground throws with kits that can be adapted for any manufactuer. Unnfortunatly, they are a little oversize but work pretty decent.
    As far as the first question...I have switched the control rod(bar?) around when two turnouts interfered, but as far as the mechinism, sorry to say, All my throws are manual (and HO). Never tried it when I was in N.
    But..If you can flip the "ugly big black boxes" around, and wire it the way Atlas wants it....don't see why it wouldn't work.
  3. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    I did a quick check at, there were 3 articles about hiding Atlas Switch Machines...

    July 1986 MR
    Apr 1988 RMC
    Oct 1997 RMC

    I checked a pile of magazines I was given recently (but had not got to yet :D ). The April 1988 article was about hiding the actual Switch (the small unit you throw) behind your fascia. Not about the track mounted switch box. I am not sure what the other two are about...

    If I can find time tomorrow, I will have a look at taking off the boxes and mounting the LH controls on RH turnouts.... I will let you know what happens.
  4. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Well it seems that the Atlas Manual Turnouts and the Atlas Automatic Turnouts I have each have different mechanisms, the holes won't line up.


    I decided on a Christmas gift for myself. I called "Canadian Express Lines" and ordered 14 Tortoise Switches and 14 Caboose Ground Throws. Thus solves my problem of ugly black boxes. :D

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