Atlas code 55 turnouts

Colon Jan 12, 2021

  1. Colon

    Colon New Member


    I am in the early stages of building a layout and am using Atlas track (which may have been a mistake). As my rolling stock runs over a turnout every axle does a little jump. After much trying to see what is going on I have come to the conclusion that the frog isn't deep enough for the wheel flanges, so they ride up. My rolling stock is new, so not pizza cutters. One wagon, in particular, is derailing as it does the little jump, which is very frustrating.

    Has anyone else had this issue?
    Is this an Atlas problem or do other brands have the same issue?
    Does anyone have any suggestions to fix this?


  2. NDave

    NDave TrainBoard Member

    I would suggest using an NMRA gauge to check the gauge of the turnouts, including the depth of the flangeways and the spacing/gauge of the check rails. Also check the wheel gauges on the affected rolling stock.

    Many of the check rails of the Atlas C55 turnouts on my layout (there are more than 20 turnouts, #5s, #7s, and Ys) were out of gauge, and as narrow wheel sets rolled thru, they would "hop" and often derail.

    The check rails are castings held to the ties by a couple of pegs on their underside that fit into holes in the ties. They can be carefully heated with a soldering iron, and moved a little laterally to bring them into gauge. If they get too loose, or "popped out" by accident, a little superglue will bond them back in position.

    While you are at it, check the gauge of the points... on many of my turnouts, the point rail of the diverging route was too straight, and thus the gauge of the diverging route ended up too narrow. The point rails needed to be gently bent to correct the gauge.

    Altho' many of my Atlas turnouts required some work... it was worth it, and they all have functioned perfectly for several years now.
  3. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

    My cars wiggle crossing on my Peco turnouts too, but its where the wheels fall into the divot at the frog and then bounce back up again.
  4. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

    I doubt there is any such thing as a commercial switch which can be removed from the package, plopped onto the layout, and work perfectly. They all need to be tweeked.


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