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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For my new layout I plan on using Atlas Code 100 snap track. The plan requires four #4 and two #6 Snap Switches. After reading all about the Atlas snap switch problems with longer cars and six-wheel locomotives, I want to use Peco switches. Are the Peco #4 and #6 switches a direct replacement size for the Atlas code 100 snap switches? If yes, which Peco switches should I purchase?? Is there anything else I must consider when making the change to Peco switches.Thanks.... JOHN
 

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No. The Peco turnouts are NOT DIRECT replacements
for Atlas turnouts. The measurements and geometry
are different.

However, if you are using flex track you can easily
overcome those differences, and you should. Peco
turnouts just do not cause derails. It would be
worth your trouble to go with Peco. I prefer
their Insulfrog version. While they are power
routing, they require less work. Those with
small 4 wheel locos should consider the Peco Electrofrog
models but others will find the Insulfrog totally
dependable.

Don
 

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Atlas Snap Switches really aren't #4 and #6. Snap Switches have a curved diverging leg that makes up 15 degrees of an 18" diameter turn. Perhaps you're looking at Custom Line switches, which have a straight diverging leg and therefore a frog number.

Unfortunately, no two manufacturer's turnouts are exactly the same dimensions, so yes, you will have to deal with this issue if you convert.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the quick reply! Since the layout is still in the planning stages (I'm using SCARM track planning software) I will make the adjustments to the plan when the track is being put down to accommodate the PECO switches.
 

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Peco vs Atlas turnouts, no contest! Peco wins by a mile!

Thanks for the quick reply! Since the layout is still in the planning stages (I'm using SCARM track planning software) I will make the adjustments to the plan when the track is being put down to accommodate the PECO switches.
FiremistSLK;

Your research-based decision to use Peco's excellent turnouts instead of Atlas's "considerably-less-than-excellent"(aka lousy) Snap Switches is right on the money. I have used both Atlas "Snap "Switch" turnouts and Peco turnouts at different times in my long model railroad experience. In my opinion, Peco is simply the best built, most reliable, least derailing, turnout commercially available. The Atlas "Snap Switch" is one of the very worst. You are wise to go with Peco.
Since you're in the design phase, I suggest you look through the attached files for more information on picking which type of layout you prefer, and more info on turnouts. That's your choice, of course.

Good luck & have fun;

View attachment WHERE DO I START rev 4.pdf

View attachment All AboutTurnouts rev 5.pdf

View attachment 1 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 2 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 3 & 4 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 5 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment 6 How to build a better first layout.pdf

View attachment MODEL RAILROADING ON A BUDGET.pdf

View attachment Model Railroad Terminology 3.pdf
 

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I have never had a problem with Atlas Custom Line Mark 3 or 4 turnouts or Roco curved turnouts and I do use all kinds of the longest freight and passenger car equipment requiring at least 24'' radius curves, but I would also recommend Piko A gleis wide radius ( 36 " ) turnouts and double switch crossings DKW as I use many many without any issues for years. Yet to connect to the black Atlas snap track, though it's the same code 100 rail, you need to take off the narrow Piko railjoiners and use the Atlas ones to connect easily. Piko A gleis is also a great quality kind of track, and as good as Atlas and Peco. These 3 options are the best. I learned the hard way years ago, I started with Bachmann Ez Track, hundreds of feet of track, dozens of turnouts and double crossings, all worth thousands of dollars, without counting the out-of-this world shipping to a third world country for this really heavy equipment. I sold it all with great losses, but that hitting rockbottom really hard, I cried when tearing the huge layout apart for weeks, has made me the happiest railroader ever since 5 - 6 years ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's quite a story Holava.... I am feeling some of your pain as I tried to get into slot cars last year with the intention of having some fun with my grandson. He quickly lost interest:mad: leaving me with about $900 worth of slot cars and track that I will be trying to sell for .50 cents on the dollar (if I'm lucky). That is why I am getting back into HO for a hobby that I can do by myself:). Anyway. I decided to change all of the turnouts in my design to Atlas Customline #6. Your post has made this decision easer for me. Thank you.... JOHN
 

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Atlas customline no. 6 turnouts are quite reasonable ... that pretty much all i use here on my layout, all with minor mods to power to the points, and frog depth ..
Time well spent, so far seven or so years of trouble free operation ..
 

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That's quite a story Holava.... I am feeling some of your pain as I tried to get into slot cars last year with the intention of having some fun with my grandson. He quickly lost interest:mad: leaving me with about $900 worth of slot cars and track that I will be trying to sell for .50 cents on the dollar (if I'm lucky). That is why I am getting back into HO for a hobby that I can do by myself:). Anyway. I decided to change all of the turnouts in my design to Atlas Customline #6. Your post has made this decision easer for me. Thank you.... JOHN
Good, you can't go wrong with that, guaranteed. Some $ 900 worth of slot cars and track is something, too bad, but you see it's also good for something, you start doing HO. It's like when life sometimes gives you lemons, and it always does, to anybody anywhere anyhow, make the best lemonade ever, lol. I try and my success rate is not too bad, humbly put. Like my life experience ebooks financing my hobbies all the way beyond sober belief or the wildest imagination. I also have a huge permanent slot car layout on the floor under my N (top) and HO scale, and a decent collection, worth multiplied by 10. Yeah, hobbies, they definitely take a toll on us, don't they ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi WVGCA.... Please teach me something, and please forgive me if I ask a silly question. I have been away from the hobby for 45 years or so. You mention that you had to make slight mods to the Customline #6 turnouts to power the points. The points are the movable part of the turnout that allows the train to continue on the main line or turn onto the siding, right? Aren't the points powered from the factory? I plan on running my layout with DCC.
 

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the points are powered [normally] off of physical contact with the main rails ....
all i did was add a flexible wire to the start of the point rails so they no longer had to rely on physical contacts ..
it just adds a little bit of ensured reliability , that's all ..you don't have to do it
 

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Please allow me to ask what might seem a totally impertinent question:
Why code 100?

Virtually every LHS I visit has by far, more code 83 track & turnouts in stock than code 100.
Is it because you have a majority of vintage or 'ancient' locomotives & rolling stock with large flange wheels?
Or because you have an abundance of code 100 track?
 

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Look, I have hundreds of locomotives from all around the world, many manufacturers, all eras, new, old, used, etc. and none makes any inappropriate sound on code 100 rails, but some, European wagons, too, when they hit my code 83 section they sound like they will scrape the hell out of the rail, even wobbling but without derailing, kind of ripping the nickel silver off, to exaggerate a bit. So unless you want that "industrial" sound, and I do, code 100 is no raw sound, lol !
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Hi LateStarter.... If you are posing the question to me, I have decided to go with Code 100 track because I do not need or want a scale layout. I've been away from model railroading for many years and I just want to have fun again with the hobby. I am starting over from scratch. I do not have ANY old rolling stock or locomotives or track. It was all stolen from me during a move to a new house. And I'm kinda glad it was. Because NONE of it would have worked with the newer HO equipment and accessories available in today's HO hobby. I'm thinking Code 100 will be easier for me to work with when building my layout. Thanks for your input, though.....
 

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I'm not sure if that addresses the question.
The fact remains that code 83 is more readily available and plentiful... whether or not you're looking for a 'scale' layout, and is no less "easy" to work with.
 

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I have both atlas and peco code 100 turnouts on my layout and I’m going to swap them all to peco. I really like the way that they operate and will isolate a section of rail for an engine facility or something to that effect. They’re substantially more reliable than my atlas snap switches too. I have yet to get a derailment on my peco switches
 
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