Peco vs. atlas switches

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by rogerw, Dec 3, 2007.

  1. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Does anyone now how a med, small, large radius peco switch corresponds to a #4, #6 atlas switch as far as the turn out radius? I thought a large radius peco was the same as a #8 atlas. But holding a large radius peco up to a #6 atlas they appear the same. Are my eyes getting that bad.:eek:
  2. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Here's the deal...(I think...). Peco's standard line has the Small, Medium, and Large radius turnouts. These have the diverging route in an actual radius (curved), unlike the Atlas turnouts which have a straight diverging route (unless you're talking about their "Snap" line...which isn't really up to layout standards..). So it's hard to talk about radius in an Atlas turnout. Comparatively speaking, a #4 would be a Small, a #6 the medium, and a Large to a #8. I use only Pecos #6 & #8's. Far and away better turnouts than Atlas'.

    I understand Peco has an "American" line in Code 83.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Roger: I'm not sure about the Atlas switches, but I'll post details of the peco ones. You didn't say which scale, so I'll do both HO and N.

    HO: (code 100 and 75)
    frog angle 12 degrees on all 3.
    Nominal radius: 24", 36", 60".
    The frog angles are all the same except for the double curved switches which are 30"/60" radius, and the short crossing and short Y which are 24 degrees.
    The code 83 track should match NMRA specs, but my old catalog doesn't give details.

    N: (code 80)
    frog angle M:14 degrees, L: 8 small.
    Nominal radius: 18", 36".

    N: (code 55)
    frog angle 10 degrees on all 3.
    Nominal radius: 12",18", 36".

    Don't know why the geometry is different for the 2 N sizes.
  4. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Thanks guys . First I am doing HO and i am going to use all pecos on my main line switches.I would go all peco for the whole layout but I have 10 or 15 atlas already. The price difference between the large and medium pecos is only 2.50. Do I get much more for the 2.50 if I go with the large? I will be running large modern locos and cars. Thanks in advance
  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Use the largest turnout you can fit into your trackplan. Longer turnouts are generally more forgiving of higher speeds, and/or longer cars.

    I have a CN maintenance of way book that shows you how to build up to a #20 turnout... We'd never fit one of those on our layouts...!

  6. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi...I use the Pecos large only on the mainline where the speed is higher than in the yards, and have tried to make the main follow the straight route. So far I've succeeded everywhere except at one turnout. The yards all have mediums, with the rare large thrown in for good measure....
  7. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Thanks all. I will only use the peco large radius on the mains. Sounds like the price difference (2.50) from the mediums is worth it. Again thanks all

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