Atlas turnout jumping problem

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by boarderdf, Jan 22, 2008.

  1. boarderdf

    boarderdf New Member

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    Just getting into Ho scale after being in G scale as a child. Bought atlas code 83 track and turnouts and have been running my train on in for the past month. I just finally hooked up the no 6 turnouts to other track, and when I run my Big Boy through it, it appears that the guardrail causes the loco to jump a little, but it stays on the track. I have another no 6 after this one and it does the same thing. Is there anything that I can do, or should I forget Atlas track with what I have been reading and go with Peco?
  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    It depends. If your Big Boy is one of the AHM/Rivarrossi ones, it's got huge flanges on the wheels that won't go through code 83 flangeways. You'd need code 100 for those beasties.

    If you've got one of the newer ones, it's possible you've got a gauge problem on one or more of the driver sets.
  3. boarderdf

    boarderdf New Member

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    Its the second release of the Athearn big boy. Its not just the locomotive, I can see a 40' reefer doing it also.
  4. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    Have you got an NMRA gauge? If so, use it to check the gauge on the wheelsets, as well as the gauge and flangeways of the turnouts.

    The new Atlas code 83 turnouts are pretty decent, and I haven't seen any major problems with them yet. Run your fingers over the turnouts - any rough spots? Take a single truck that you know is in gauge, and with your finger resting lightly on the bolster, run it through the turnouts. Feel any bumps? If you do, take a close look and make sure there's nothing sticking up in the flangeways.
  5. boarderdf

    boarderdf New Member

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    I dont have a guage yet, need to get one. Sometimes I miss my LGB, never had problems like this. But then of course, there wasnt anywhere near the selection as HO. Thanks
  6. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

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    As I recall (haven't used A's turnouts for some time...) the #6's have quite a separation between the frog point and the closing tracks. Could be your wheels are falling into the gap and then climbing up the frog point. See if your BB can slow down to a crawl and watch it as it crosses from the rails to the frog.
  7. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

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    Gus, that was a problem with the old Atlas code 100 Super Track turnouts, but the code 83's have a much tighter frog.
  8. boarderdf

    boarderdf New Member

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    I cant get my Big boy that slow across it, and unfortunately my controller isnt right there either so I have to kinda set it and run over to watch. It doesnt appear to do that, I just ran through the reefer again in slow motion and it looks like right when it hits the beginning of the outside guardrail, the wheel almost climbs up it for a moment.
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

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    I would definitely get a gauge and check everything.

    Loren
  10. boarderdf

    boarderdf New Member

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    I will get a gauge when I get a chance. Unfortunately I am gone from home a lot of the time, so I cant always get to the train shop. Ill report what I find.
  11. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    That's typically people whom have tried Atlas's SNAP switch line. I have used their custom line #4s and #6s and have never had a problem with them...I also run steam almost exclusively.

    It it is a snap switch, the trash is the only place for them. If it is custom line, check the turnouts & the engine with your NMRA gauge.
  12. boarderdf

    boarderdf New Member

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    They are the custom line ones. I have only run it through a number 6, and the diesel engine I have isnt DCC capable right now, so I cant test it yet. I have a number 4, but only ran it through a little bit.
  13. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

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    Then is either a problem with the turnout, the installation, or the engine. Check to see if there is a vertical curve...they can cause any turnout to be a problem.
  14. boarderdf

    boarderdf New Member

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    Just to give an update, still havent gone to the train shop to get a gauge, but it appears almost like the flange on my athearn big boy is too large for the code 83 track. Anyone heard of this before?
  15. Spawn of Chaos

    Spawn of Chaos Member

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    Doesn't seem possible as I think Athearn used RP25 flanges. Maybe on code 70, but not on 83.

    I just use code 100 anyways because I do have one of those ancient Rivarossi Big Boys lol...
  16. boarderdf

    boarderdf New Member

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    Here is an update to my problem.

    I have finally got a gauge and to the best of my knowledge, checked the turnouts. The rail spacing seems fine, and the flange way check also passed, however it was a little tight, as in I could almost leave the gauge in the flange way standing itself up. I also now have a peco no 6 in 83, and the Big Boy goes over it perfectly. Just yesterday I picked up a MP15ac from Athearn, and its wheels slightly moves when going over the atlas turnouts, but not as bad as the big boy. What should I do with the turnouts?
  17. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I would not buy Atlas turnouts, but that is strictly a personal preference. In the modular club we have a number of modules that have Atlas Custom Line turnouts installed on them that operate without any problems. The purpose of the flangeway is to keep the train from derailing as it goes through the turnout. Being a little tight is not as big a problem as being too loose, which would allow the wheels to drop off the track onto the ties. Have you used the gauge to check the wheel spacing on your Big Boy, reefer, and MP15ac? Also how much side to side "slop" is there when one of you problem pieces of rolling stock is parked on the turnout? We have had a few problems with Atlas Custom Line code 100 turnouts at the modular club with flangeways being too wide to work properly, even when the NMRA gauge fit. What members have done is glued a thin strip of .015 styrene to the inside of the flangeway to tighten them up slightly. Essentially, rolling stock tends to drop into the ties toward the moveable points in the turnouts, so the flangeways are designed to hold the wheels close to the solid rail. You might push the reefer that has a problem through the turnout with another car as a handle so that your hand doesn't change the cars behavior on the turnout. As you push the reefer that has a problem through the turnout, what does the car do? I think it will do one of three things. If everything is ok, it will go through smoothly. If the flangeway is too loose, it my try to drop off the rails. If the flangeway is too tight, or too shallow, it may ride up above the rails either riding on the flange in the bottom of the flangeway, or because the tapered flange is squeezed by the flangeway causing it to ride up. If you can see exactly what is happening, then you have a better chance to fix the problem. Also while you push the car through, check it's behavior as it goes through the frog as well.