Best Ho Turnout

Maria Garcia
• Friday, 27 November, 2020
• 8 min read

Rio Grande Zephyr 5771 from Denver, Colorado to Salt Lake City, Utah “Through the Rockies” As far I am concerned, the ready to run turnouts in the following brands are in general good ones, they need very little adjustments.

wiring diagram atlas lamp signals snap relay wire led train using scale railroad turnout trains trackside antique ho dcc lamps
(Source: www.pinterest.com)


I think that the famous FSM of Mister Selling run on the same track. Peso new line of code 83 is a good opportunity to new coming layout as far as I know.

Tilling offer very good turnouts, it's a European manufacturer, but their line is close to the scale. There is a lot of kit build turnouts like Central Valley or Fastback www.handlaidtrack.com, and they are all DCC ready.

The very best ones are going to be the ones you make yourself, especially given the skills you have displayed in the photos of your layout construction. Personally, my best turnouts are the ones I have laid in place on wood ties.

In my model universe, derailment avoidance is first, no stalls or short circuits is second, suitable geometry is next (due to my small space), and realistic appearance is fourth. All that said, I did purchase 4 Atlas code 83 turnouts (1 Snap Switch, 3 Custom Line #4s), and 1 Shinguard code 70 HOn3 #4 turnout to speed arrival at limited operations on my test layout.

I already had an HO code 70 Shinguard 3 way on hand. The purchase was based primarily on availability and price at the local LHS.

turnout apps description
(Source: www.thegreatapps.com)

My recommendation to suit my priorities after my hand laid (and in front of Fast Tracks) would be custom turnouts by Railway Engineering. Stephen Hatch will adjust gauge and flange way to your specification.

Fast Tracks makes into a very consistent turnout well suited for code 110 wheels. There is no tie plate or frog detail with Fast Tracks.

The jigs provide consistency and somewhat faster assembly for what amounts to a simple turnout fabricated at your bench instead of at a factory. Proto87 Stores sells complete kits for P87 and NMRA spec turnouts that are probably the most realistic available, assuming post-1920s era track.

Of course, you can probably duplicate most of the Proto87 Stores turnouts with individual parts from various sources. Others can provide better reports of experiences with the more common commercial turnouts.

And, turnouts have so many attributes, and if you are looking for a Consumer Reports (American product comparison mag) evaluation, you probably will not get it here. I can tell you what I prefer......, that being Atlas code 100 HO Custom Line turnouts.

tortoise wiring motor switch machine dcc frog machines turnout point train circuit electrical scalefour resources way operation trains attached thumbnails
(Source: www.scalefour.org)

I like Peso insulting for their power routing abilities, nice for engine or yard tracks in a straight DC layout, saves for building a panel with block switches to isolate tracks. For the beginner, Atlas's “snap” track turnouts are good, as are the custom line other than the metal isolated frogs, although those are nice if you have a switch machine like a Tortoise that can switch the polarity, so the frog is powered.

After testing them I tossed them and fell back on my track laying skills. All the turnouts on the still under construction layout are hand laid on wood ties with spikes, soldered where necessary with a 325-watt Weller gun.

Aside from the soldering gun, my, turnout toolbox' consists of rail cutters, spiking pliers and a big (30×250mm) flat fine-tooth file. Say you need a curved turnout that is not commercially available then making your own is the only solution.

I also agree with the poster who said he likes Atlas custom line turnouts. Depending on how much of a rivet counter or purist you are after you weather them and detail them up if that's your thing and bury them in ballast they look just fine and the price is right.

The majority of what's now on the layout are Atlas custom line code 83 but in the highly visible area’s I have Walthers and several Micro Engineering turnout. I do plan on using the Fast Tracks turnouts exclusively on the next section of layout once we brake through the wall.

turnout track procedural limits
(Source: forums.auran.com)

By then I figure I will have my techniques will be down pat and will have the need for some not off the shelf turnouts. The Atlas #4 code 100 Remote Snap Switch Part #'s 850 and 851.

If they don't have a remote, then at least have a standard #4 you can swap over your parts to in order to get up and running again. That means more yard, more mainline, more staging, more switching, more sidings, IN LESS LINEAR FEET.

The #8's are great for high speed transitions, but I can put a double crossover in the space of a single #8 if I'm using #4's. The Atlas #4 code 100 Remote Snap Switch Part #'s 850 and 851.

If they don't have a remote, then at least have a standard #4 you can swap over your parts to in order to get up and running again. And yes, I use my Rivalrous Big Boy (which is designed to be hyper-flexible) as a yard switcher quite often.

That means more yard, more mainline, more staging, more switching, more sidings, IN LESS LINEAR FEET. The #8's are great for high speed transitions, but I can put a double crossover in the space of a single #8 if I'm using #4's.

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Also, some of us who are into complex track work use three ways, slip switches, curved turnouts and such. For your money spent on an Atlas snap-switch, you get a turnout of questionable geometry, a motor without auxiliary contacts, a hunk of cable that's almost certain to be, “Too,” (long or short) and an ugly little control pad with a long record of failures.

For the same, or less, I get a turnout with geometry that matches MY design, not some commercial producers, a point motor with DDT contacts (for signals and power routing) and panel controls (and wire connections) that provide me cabling of the proper length and absolutely bulletproof control. If I use a twin coil, the motor is more than half the total price.

If I use a toggle switch for manual control, cut $7 or $8 off the total. The Atlas #4 code 100 Remote Snap Switch Part #'s 850 and 851.

The snap switch was designed to replicate an 18" radius curve on the diverging route, to the best of my limited knowledge. Actually Jean, you are in face “correct”, but technical they are interchangeable.

A standard #4 turnout is almost identical in all dimensions to a “snap switch”. I historical have run my snappers hard and put them away wet.

turnout procedural track limits trainz largest
(Source: forums.auran.com)

Having a roommate with a 10-year-old means 329 times a weekend a switch gets run throughout of position, or leaned on, or a coffee cup set on, or... you choose the abuse. Since the local store was out of snappers, I just used a standard #4 minus machine.

I soldered the rail joiners, pushed them back, pulled the nails, set the #4 right in the snappers place, slid and resoldered the joiners back into position, and snapped on the remote machine. Chuck:As for having issues with big brass articulated and 86 foot high cubes...

I can't remember the last time I had a derailment with my Big Boy pulling a string of 10 OLD Other blue box 86 ft high cubes. Bearing in mind I model DTI circa 1975, the 2nd most common car on the layout is an Other blue box 86 ft. high cube.

Opinions range all over the board on switches, and not just size, even manufacturer too. If you put 100 model railroaders in a room, I guarantee you'd never get the same answer to this question out of two of them.

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