Originally Posted by paulrail
HI, guys. I have a question for all of you who suggested Peco over Atlas. While I'm sure you're right about the overall quality, can anyone explain why locos run over these turnouts better than Atlas?
I am asking because my Atlas turnout has inexplicably worked so much better today but still having more stuttering and stalling than I want (I don't want any). I only have one set of feeders. It's a very small layout at present but would another set of feeders help... or do I just need a different turnout, and if so, why?
The Peco turnouts have several advantages.
1) A spring that holds the points against the stock rail.
2) A notch in each stock rail that allows the point rail to fit into the stock rail. The combination of items #1 & 2 practically
eliminates "picking the points", a common derailment issue where some wheels take the straight route and other wheels try to take the diverging route.
3) Fairly forgiving dimensions for the guard rails. A strictly accurate turnout works well with accurately gauged wheels, ONLY! Any wheel set that is out of gauge will likely derail.
Peco's system includes some slack. They will accept slightly out of gauge wheels and not derail them.
4) Rail joiners instead of rivets as point hinges. The rail joiners help keep the point rails lined up, unlike the open air gap between Atlas's moving points and their adjacent rails.
5) unlike the Atlas "Snap Track", turnout; Pecos don't attempt to include the geometry of a tight 18" radius curve in their design. Pecos are laid out closer to full size turnouts. They have, essentially, Two straight routes set at an angle. They don't substitute directly for a "Snap Track" turnout because they don' have a curved route. This means Peco is not trying to force wheels into an un-eased, tight curve, across an angled, open, gap in the rails.
6) Everything is built strong in a Peco turnout. Good materials assembled properly.
This may sound like I'm condemning Atlas and exalting Peco. Well, I started with Atlas, brass rail, "Snap Track", just like nearly every model railroader. Then I switched to N scale, and tried Peco. They worked better; and I liked them. Later, I switched to code 55 rail. Back then, there were no code 55,
N scale turnouts available commercially. I started scratch building my own turnouts; and have been ever since. For this reason, I have no axe to grind with Atlas, and I don't get any kickback from Peco. I haven't used either brand for years.
Most of the problems with Atlas can be remedied, and many folks use, and like them. In my opinion, and that of many others; Peco is just more reliable. Trains seldom derail on Peco turnouts.