Hiding Atlas Switch Machines

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Ginns, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Ginns

    Ginns New Member


    I was curious if anybody had come up with a clever solution to hiding the atlas remote switch machines? In some spots I have buildings that can cover some of the switch boxes, but other than that im stuck with the machines out in the open. Could I possibly cover them with some sort of awkward rock formation or useless building :confused: Any tips would be great :mrgreen:

    I've heard some people mention turning the switches upside-down or something like that? Does this make them easier to hide? If somebody could ellaborate on that or say if its practical or not I would appreciate it :)

  2. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    I don't think there is any way to hide them effectively. There are under-table replacements, but those would require a little bit of work to install. Personally, I found that I operated most of my switches manually, so on the next layout I built, I went with caboose industries manual ground throws. Still not realistic, but much smaller and less conspicuous.

  3. Tommybza

    Tommybza Member

    hello there ,I am going to try some of these
    I orderder 4 my check goes out on monday
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Ginns, there is a web article somewhere but I couldn't find it, so here goes. Oh, and I have not done this myself. I use these instead.


    Here is what you do to hide the switch machine. First, glue a piece of thin styrene or such on the bottom of the turnout ( for ballasting later ). Then glue the switch machine upside down to the styrene. Drill a small hole through the throw bar on each side of the rod on the switch machine. Ca straight pins in the holes and cut off. There you have it. Of course, this means you have to dig holes for the switch machine in your roadbed or tabletop, and if the machine burns out, you buy a whole new turnout.
    Good luck on your layout.

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    You can do what Loren suggests, or you can surface mount them remotely.

    I believe the traction in action group did the latter. Try a search for their stuff. In any case, they extended the throw rod with brass tubing witha wire running through it. That way, the switch machine can still be hidden by a building or landform, but it doesn't always have to be right beside the track.

  6. COX 47

    COX 47 Member

    I have VERY VERY carefully painted the machine with the earth colored paint I am using for scenery base then while still wet put some ground foam"bushes and grass" on....You have to be carefull not to get any paint inside..It doesn't make it invisable but sure a lot less noticeable...Cox 47
  7. wickman

    wickman Member

    How bout painting them with ground cover color then cover with loose bushes , get adventurous :wave:
  8. mcbane666

    mcbane666 Member

    depending on how you built your layout, you could remove them and bring them up from the bottom vertically.

    But you could ballast them like piles of rock or coal, which you can see next to the rails all the time in yards, or make a pile of old rail ties.
  9. Ginns

    Ginns New Member

    Hey guys thanks for the useful tips. Definately enough to get those creative juices flowing :mrgreen:

    I decided that for most of the switches I will probably just attempt a cosmetic fix and not try to mechanically alter them. However, if a couple of them really start to bother me or become impossible to adequetely hide, I could try mounting them under the table?

    Please point out any flaws in this idea, but I think I could mount the actual switch underneath the table, upside down. Then by drilling a hole down -- as Loren had suggested, or at least showed in his thread -- and connecting a vertical shaft from the track to the switch I could turn the switches. With a little tinkering I think this could work. In any case, it would allow me to replace the switches more easily than burying them in the foam. Unfortunately, I have placed 2 inch thick foam on top of my layout table already, and the extra distance may cause a few problems.

    Either way, once I finish all the wiring and make sure the track is all set I'll try to post some pictures of what I came up with if anybody is interested :thumb:

  10. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Ginns, I have modified three of the Atlas machines and mounted them under the table where there was not enough room for the manual controllers I use. My table is 1/2" plywood and roadbed, no foam. That is all the machines would handle. Any further that that and they just will not work. Even then I had to fiddle with them to get the throw far enough to contact the stock rails. The problem is, at any distance the side to side motion of the rod on the machine now twist side to side instead of moving. I hope I explained that right.

  11. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

Share This Page