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Author Topic: Turnouts?  (Read 3031 times)
rains train

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« on: December 29, 2007, 04:37:00 PM »

What is the best brand for manual turnouts?
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2007, 05:00:01 PM »

Best in terms of what?

Best price?
Best looking?
Works the best?
Easiest to install?

Generally, if you want the best price, the best looking and the best working turnouts, then you will have to learn to hand lay your own.  But hand laid turnouts are certainly not the easiest to install.

If you want easy to install turnouts, then you will be looking at factory made ones.  With factory made turnouts, you will have to compromise on one or two of the other requirements. 
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Mark Damien
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2007, 06:40:30 PM »


Generally, if you want the best price, the best looking and the best working turnouts, then you will have to learn to hand lay your own.  But hand laid turnouts are certainly not the easiest to install.


G'Day,

Jim's absolutely right, Hand Laid is the best by far.

I use Fast Tracks fixtures, but they are a little pricey up front, unless you intend to make a lot or are in a club. Results are accurate every time.

You can also get Twist Ties, which are a set of wooden sleepers, pre drilled for spikes, space to NMRA standards & are FLEXIBLE, so you can make curved turnouts as well. These are a lot cheaper up front. If you can wield a set of Spike Pliers, & a soldering iron[frog] you're there!

I got a set of Twist Ties for my father in law, & he can knock one out in less than an hour.

http://www.handlaidtrack.com/index.php
« Last Edit: December 29, 2007, 06:43:14 PM by Mark Damien » Logged

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rains train

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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2007, 12:08:36 AM »

I don't really know how to do that. I just want easiest to install and best working.

Alex
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Jim Banner

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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2007, 02:34:08 AM »

For ease of installation and excellent operation, I like Atlas Custom Line turnouts.  The up-top switch machine is easy to wire.  The turnout itself does not require any special wiring or gapping for DCC.

Better looking but a little harder to install are Peco Insulfrog turnouts.  The under-the-table switch motor can be installed on the turnout and wired before the turnout is installed, but it will require a hole in the cork and table top to accommodate the motor.  If you install some thin cardboard or styrene between the switch motor and the turnout, you can cover the hole, ready for ballasting, when you install the turnout.  Just remember to cut a slot for the actuating pin as well as the mounting tabs.  Like the Atlas turnout, the Peco Insulfrog does not require special track wiring or gapping.

Both of the above turnouts can give decades of trouble free service if you take a little time to install them carefully.  They like to be mounted on a flat (not necessarily level) surface.  They do not like kinks where they join to other tracks.  And they certainly do not like pressure from other tracks.  Mostly that means they do not like the stress of holding flex track in place.  In many cases, using a piece of sectional track between a turnout and a length of curved flex track will make a world of difference in reliability.

Lastly, perfect operation of your turnouts may require adjustments.  If one of your cars derails on several different turnouts, look for problems with the car.  If many of your cars derail at one of your turnouts, look for problems with the turnout.  If many cars derail on many turnouts, look for problems in your quality control program.  You may need to up grade your couplers or weight your cars to NMRA specs or maybe just regauge the wheels.  An NMRA track and wheel gauge is a must when it comes to sorting out derailing problems and should be one of the first tools a model railroader buys.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2007, 12:10:52 PM by Jim Banner » Logged

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rains train

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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2008, 10:48:52 PM »

I just want some good manual turnouts.. Grin
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SteamGene

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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2008, 10:48:22 AM »

Are you using regular HO track or track and roadbed (EZ-Track)?  If regular, go with Atlas Customline.
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Gene
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rains train

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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2008, 11:51:24 PM »

Atlas code 100 I believe. Ok, I'll give the customs a try!  Smiley
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r.cprmier

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« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2008, 11:35:14 AM »

You can get Atlas turnouts in either black, brown; code 100 or 83.
I had been using code 83 and will now move to a longer turnout in 83, no matter who is making them, for my mainline work.  I know they work on #8s, but those articulated and five-coupled drivered engines look and act much better on a longer turnout, as well as do passenger cars.  The yard and industrial trackage will still use the smaller turnouts, as lo0ng-base engines aren't usually on them.

Rich   
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Rich

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