Author Topic: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout  (Read 1212 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

sd75i

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 169
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +6
Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« on: March 05, 2017, 09:35:57 PM »
0
  Has anyone used Atlas code 55 curved turnouts and had problems with cars derailing?  Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

railnerd

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 452
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +27
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2017, 10:47:25 PM »
0
Check the points with an NMRA gaugeā€¦  the points are sometimes warped and can lead to the gauge being wrong.

-Dave

mmagliaro

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3350
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +364
    • Maxcow Online
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2017, 11:47:29 PM »
0
Yes, beware the gauge.  I have one curve turnout and it required extensive filing of the insides of rails to open up the gauge to get rid of such problems.  Here's my oft-posted shot of a #7 turnout with the problem, but the issue is the same on the curved ones.  Make sure you check ALL the way along the path with the gauge for narrow spots.


robert3985

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 1721
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +227
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2017, 08:50:53 PM »
0
The very first thing I do when having trouble with cars derailing is check to see if it's always the same car/cars.

If it is, then I check the wheels to make sure everything is AOK with how the wheelsets are inserted, gauged, or maybe missing.

When I was running full-sized MTL couplers, I would also check the Magnematic Dongle hanging down to make sure it wasn't too low and hanging up on frogs, guard rails, grade crossings, etc.

On engines, I always make sure the wheelsets are as perfectly properly gauged as possible before running them, since 95+% of the time, at least one wheelset on engines is either too narrow or too wide, which gives problems at turnouts' frog/guard rail position.

If almost every car and engine is derailing on one turnout, but running fine through the rest, the problem probably IS that particular turnout.

When that occurs, I watch were the cars are jumping the track.  If it's when they enter the frog, it is usually one of two potential problems.  The first check I do with the NMRA "gage" is check flange clearances, which are sometimes too tight...usually between a guardrail and the adjacent rail.  I then check the gauge between the rails at the frog position, then the clearance gauge between guardrail and frog flangeway.

The problem with the clearance gauge between frog flangeways and guardrails is almost always that this clearance measurement is too wide...which lifts properly gauged wheelset up and sometimes off the rails too.

The problem with gauge between railheads is usually that it's too narrow, and usually results in "point picking" at the point of the frog...which means the wheelset will travel into the diverging route.

If I had purchased a turnout that was too narrowly gauged along most, or all of it's length, I wouldn't fix it, I'd return it and get a replacement.

If cars are picking the points at the throwbar, it's usually because the point toes are either bent or improperly shaped.  However, sometimes a bit of ballast or detritus will lodge between the point toes and the adjacent rails so the points won't properly butt up against the adjacent track when thrown, so you'll get a switch that's not completely thrown, and cars will derail there.

Hope this helps!

Cheerio!
Bob Gilmore
Cheers!!
Bob Gilmore

mmagliaro

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 3350
  • Gender: Male
  • Respect: +364
    • Maxcow Online
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2017, 11:26:18 PM »
0
The problem with returning Atlas turnouts for these gauge problems is that very nearly every one I have ever seen has the problem.  Granted,   I don't have a huge layout;  there are perhaps 30-odd turnouts on it.  But I don't think even 3 of those were in gauge when I got them out of the package, from multiple sources over multiple years. 

Maybe the curved ones are different.  After all, I only have one of those.  But I don't have a lot of confidence.

Mark W

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 673
  • Respect: +120
    • Free-moNebraska
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2017, 11:42:51 PM »
+2
Bob's troubleshooting workflow is perfect, but instead of returning them just do this simple upgrade to your turnouts and you'll never have issues again. 

Stock on the left, upgrade on the right (before the PBC ties were properly gaped).

« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 11:45:35 PM by Mark W »

narrowminded

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 426
  • Respect: +73
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 12:30:05 AM »
0
Bob's troubleshooting workflow is perfect, but instead of returning them just do this simple upgrade to your turnouts and you'll never have issues again. 

Stock on the left, upgrade on the right (before the PBC ties were properly gaped).



Hey now! 8)  That's entirely too easy and obvious. ;)  I actually like that.

strummer

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 590
  • Respect: +15
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 12:55:41 AM »
0
Bob's troubleshooting workflow is perfect, but instead of returning them just do this simple upgrade to your turnouts and you'll never have issues again. 

Stock on the left, upgrade on the right (before the PBC ties were properly gaped).

Explain, please...

Not doubting you, just needing more information.

Mark in Oregon

SandyEggoJake

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 285
  • Respect: +19
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 04:53:32 AM »
0
"gaped" meaning cut.  His uncut PCB ties would short.

Rossford Yard

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 649
  • Respect: +9
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 08:26:07 AM »
0
I had a few curved C55 turnouts on the last layout that gave me trouble.  Seemed to be where the point rails and solid rails near frog connected.  They didn't stay aligned over that little brass table both were secured to.  Honestly, my fix was to solder the two rails together.  Did that on my old pecos, too. With gapped frog, no problems.

Funniest part of all of this is that 40 years ago, my HO Atlas curved turnouts on my 5 x 9 were the only ones that gave me trouble, too.

SP-Wolf

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 350
  • Respect: +129
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 10:48:21 AM »
0
I recently went through everyone one of my yard turnouts (All Atlas C55 #5' and 1 curved) -- every one of the point rails were out of gauge. And, were too narrow. After careful gauging - my yard ladders work much much better. And, like Mark W. has done - I too have made that modification (Whenever a turnout is too problematic). Had I known that trick from the onset - I would have modified every turnout form the start. Solves a multitude of issues. If I ever rebuild this layout (Which I doubt I will do) - I will make my own turnouts. I do have a few hand laids on my layout -- no issues at all with those. LOL - another should have -- should have hand laid them all. OH- well.

Thanks,
Wolf

 

strummer

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 590
  • Respect: +15
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2017, 11:03:57 AM »
0
"gaped" meaning cut.  His uncut PCB ties would short.

Thank you; I got that part. I'm just not clear as to how replacing those few ties would help with the initial problem of this thread, which is (are?  :)) derailments...

Again, only looking for clarification...

Mark in Oregon

nickelplate759

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 588
  • Respect: +15
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2017, 11:16:11 AM »
0
If you look closely you well see that he also replaced the rail from the frog through the points
George

NKPH&TS #3628

strummer

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 590
  • Respect: +15
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2017, 11:39:32 AM »
0
If you look closely you well see that he also replaced the rail from the frog through the points
OK, I see that now. I wonder what parts were used as replacements?

Is replacing that frog difficult?

Mark in Oregon

Mark W

  • Crew
  • *
  • Posts: 673
  • Respect: +120
    • Free-moNebraska
Re: Troubleshooting Atlas code 55 curved turnout
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2017, 12:04:00 PM »
0
PBC board ties and new rails are from Fast Tracks.  If you already have pbc ties, you can just steal the rail from some flex if you're willing to sacrifice (not much of an issue now that flex is back in stock). 

All I replace is the point rails and closure rails.  The PBC ties are necessary to hold the new rail in place.  For shorter turnouts, you can notch the rail foot where the point and closure rails were originally separated to reduce stress when thrown one way or the other.  Filing the new points is the tricky part, especially if you don't have a jig.  But after you do a couple, it's no trouble at all. 

The Atlas frog does not need to be replaced, unless you're purely unsatisfied with the worn plating look as it ages from track cleaning (apparent above on left turnout a little).  In fact, if you're replacing the frog, you might as well build the whole thing from scratch. 
If you are having issues at the frog, it's likely an issue with the guard rail gauge, in which case I'd replace/adjust the guard rail in the same manor with spare rail and PBC ties, leaving the original frog in place.