question about older HO turnouts

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by CAS, Jul 5, 2006.

  1. CAS

    CAS Member

    I have several older switches, or turnouts.

    They are made by Atlas, HO scale snap switch Right remote #51, and i also have left remote #50"s. I am just curius if they are equivalent to #4's or #6's. They still work, next thing im debating if i shoud just purchase new ones, or just use these. But i don't know which ones to use when im making my plans on the atlas track planner.

    Thanks for all the help.
  2. CAS

    CAS Member

    Sorry, i have found the track in the right track by atlas.

    early in the morning, should have looked harder.
  3. CAS

    CAS Member

    Sorry, i have found the track in the right track by atlas.

    early in the morning, should have looked harder.wall1 hamr
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    There are two issues here:

    1) The "snap" switches do not have the same geometry as the #4 or #6 turnouts. The are therefore not interchangable. The snap switch is designed to replace a 9" straight (the straight part) and/or a 18"radius section with a 1 1/2" straight attached (through the cruved part). A numbered turnout does not lead to a curve (although confusingly enough there are "equivalent" radii available).

    2) Should you use them? I have used snap switches with little or no problem with a variety of different engines and rolling stock, although none of them were really large. 4-6-2 steam, and 4 axel diesels were the biggest engines, and the heavyweight passenger cars and 52' mill gondolas the biggest rolling stock. The long passenger cars hang over quite a bit and do not look great, but they go through at reasonably controlled speeds.

    The other part of this question is whether they are in decent shape or not and perform reliably.

  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I have problems with some of my snap switches, because whenever a locomotive is leaving the switch from the straight leg, (or traveling through the straight leg moving past the point) it seems that the wheels get stuck. I suspect the points ar bent out of guage, but it only seems to happen some of the time with some of my locomotives, but its definitely not a size issue, as it does this to even my SW1500.

    the other ptoblems i have is that some of my cars ( mainly an Athearn RTR boxcar) seem to climb over the points when they are set to move through the diverging track, and continue to move straight. Nothing i do solves this.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Have you checked with a NMRA gauge? I had some problems with my heavyweights, and was convinced it was the turnouts. When I finally got out the gauge to check - all 6 wheelsets on the passenger car were messed up...!

    If you do not have a spring or other way of holding the point rails tight, often the points will be "picked" and result in a derailment, especially if the wheels are not to gauge either. I would check that boxcar for starters.

    Other possible fixes include taking the file to the point rails to round over/thin the end, and/or putting a small groove in the stock rail so the point rail actually goes "into" the side of the stock rail.

    But first - get that gauge out and check everything. If you are not sure how to use the gauge, check for the "user manual".

  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I don't have one, and i always forget to order one when i'm orderign something. LHS doesnt seem to have any either...
  8. wickman

    wickman Member

    On my previous layout I used all atlas switches and they worked great once I fine tuned the points with a file. I even had to file down the frogs a bit ( sometimes with the trusty dremel) . I too had some cars that would climb and found that abit of added weight did the job.
    I would still be using the same turnouts but changing over to dcc felt that pecos and tortoises along with stationary decoders would better suit my imagination.Otherwise I'll be selling the atlas turnouts and motors on ebay in the fall.
    Sounds like Andres pretty well hit it on the nail though.:wave:
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I added weights to that thing a while ago ( taped some quarters in there) and it only helped so much.

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