Rookie Turnout Query

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by rockislandmike, Mar 9, 2002.

  1. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    Won't call myself a newbie anymore, but still a rookie. To date I've only used Atlas snap-switches on my shelf layout et al. I'm working on a budget for my 7' x 10' garage layout, and these turnouts have me pondering.

    If I buy Atlas Mark 3 turnouts, for example (HO scale, #4 or #6), do I also have to buy either a ground throw or switch machine to go along with it??? In other words, just buying the actual turnout is useless without one of those devices???
  2. Basically correct. You can make a spring loaded device to hold the points against either rail and change the turnout with your finger, but I found that to not work well if you throw the turnout very often. I have replaced a number of my Atlas switch machines with either tortoise under the table machine or ground throws. For a manual operation, I prefer ground throws.

    You can see an article on ground throw installation on the NMRA Beginner Pages at Just go to the consist page and look for the ground throw link.

    Roger Hensley

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