What should I do now???

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by twilight, Feb 2, 2004.

  1. twilight

    twilight Member

    Last week, I posted my disenchantment with Atlas code 83 turnouts.:curse: So, I was able to get the turnout that was causing me the grief to work and only hours later another one failed!:curse: :curse: :curse: Over the course of two layouts, I must have had at least 10 to 12 of these things fail. I've returned some, directly back to Atlas, but it became easier just to replace them with new ones from the hobby store. Out of pocket!!!:eek:

    So, now being thoroughly disgusted with Atlas, I think I'm leaning toward ripping everything up and starting, new!!!:cry: ( I'm only talking about a small bookshelf layout I have in my apartment.) I've wanted to try my hand at hand laying track, anyway, but, I got talked out of it when I began work on this layout, plus I wanted to get a layout up so I could start scratch-building some buildings and do some scenary:) But, I guess I'm heading back to the drawing board!:(

    Any words of encouragement?
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Who talked you out of handlaying?
    A failed Atlas turnout might be just what you need to start. You have a kit with some parts that work (OK, maybe just the stock rails?) You could try building the parts that failed -- what went wrong with them?
    I built my own turnouts until I got a job and could afford commercial ones.
    You need rail nippers and/or razor saw, files, pliers (long nose and other), soldering iron. When I did my first ones, all I had was a nailfile and time.
  3. twilight

    twilight Member

    60103 David,
    Who talked me out hand laying my own track, you asked?
    Of course, it was the guy at the hobby store!:p Saying, " Aw, nobody hand lays track anymore!" And me, being filled with excitement about getting trains running, wanted to by past, what I've heard is a time consuming process! I regret I didn't pay attention to my gut and do what I wanted to begin with! :(

    What, went wrong with the Atlas turnouts? As the loco pulls into the switch, either from the toe or the head, and once the engine hits the points I get no power!:curse: If I slide the loco through the problem area, and press on the points(usually the point side nearest the curves stock rail) power returns. I've even done this with a multi-meter and followed along to see exactly where I lose power at, and it's right where the points connect to whole turnout.:confused: :confused: :confused: So, I think it's time to move on, cut my losses and start anew!:thumb:

  4. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Twilight, there is an alternative to handlaying thats been avaialble for a year or so, which is the turnout kits by Central Valley. I've handlaid for years and if you are interested in it I recommend Tony Koesters article on handlaying turnouts, it was in a Model Railroader many years ago (check index at Trains website) also I was told it was released in abook of articles. The Central Valley kit consists of a tie strip which you glue down to the roadbed, a molded frog (which I understand someone, perhaps Details West, is producing a mangenese frog for) and a sprue of detail parts. You provide the rail. The only filing and fitting is filing the rails which diverge from the frog to a point. The kit includes white brass castings for the points themselves. They look great. Then you cut the closure rails to proper length and install. You can glue or spike the rails down. The major shortcoming of this kit is the desihn for electrical flow. They give you some self adhesive backed foil to get power from the stock rails to the closure rails, and depend on the contact of the point to the stock rail to power the points. This is totally unacceptable. (The Atlas turnout points also depend on contact with the stock rails, would you want to copy that?) So, I solder feed to: both points, both closure rails and the frog (thru a microswitch) in addition to the stock rails, of course. The big plus of these kits is that they look great, and everyting is gauged right. You just lay the rails down on the tieplates cast on the ties and you're good to go. Cleaning the flash off the points in order to get them to fit on the throwbar is tedious.

    If you are willing to handlay, then I would recommend trying these kits. It's still more work than plopping down a commercial turnout, but easier and better looking than handlaid.
  5. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Twilight, If you are thinking about changing your track & Turnouts, may I suggest using Peco. I have used their products for more years than I care to count.

  6. twilight

    twilight Member

    Peco turnouts

    Shamus, I was checking out the Peco turnouts at the hobby store on Sat. I liked the way the points sort of lock up against the stock rails!!!:cool: Do they come in other rail sizes, besides 100? Just wondering?

    And Gary, I think I saw an add for the Central Valley turnouts in a recent MR, I'll have to check! And I think I might already be looking at Tony's article. I'll have to check when I go home today.
    I was given a how-to book for Christmas on track work and lineside details and it might be his article!:)

    Thanks guys
  7. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Yes code 100 and 75 finescale.

  8. papasmurf37

    papasmurf37 Member

    If you have a good hobby dealer nearby who sells Peco, they should be able to obtain a Peco catalog for you in your scale and it lists all the stuff available for whatever you need regarding track and turnouts. They even offer curved turnouts, which are a bit rare in assembled form.
    We use Peco HO track/turnouts exclusively on our layout and recommend them to anyone! Tom in NH

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