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Is Atlas Snap-Track worth anything? I see their Atlas N 2788 Code 80 Snap-Track Starter Set is available at what appears to be a decent price. I'm just looking to build a small layout to fiddle with in my small winter home. I've seen lots of negative comments on Atlas turnouts...how about this set?
 

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All I can say is I've used Atlas HO CustomLine switches for decades..with little to no problem. The trick is to install them with having no horizontal bends in them. And personally I think they look more US than Peco UK does..
An important aspect (not sure about N) is most think the frogs are plastic because they have an erasable layer of black on them (which I believe keeps the pot metal from pitting, sitting on a dealer's shelf a long time)...These frogs are thus able to be powered, turning them into power-routing switches..There are how-tos on doing this..
If you find out the N version also has metal frogs I'd say go on and use them...I think they look great...M
 

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I'm risking a beating from TractionFan and his broken drain pipes here but.....
I say go for it! At that price you're basically paying for the turnouts and getting the rest free!

Code 80 snap track is what came with my little layout-in-a-box, so that's what I used and it works just fine, although the turnouts did require some fiddling to make them reliable. In my case the trouble was more an issue of placement in the layout (one at the end of a curve (dumb!) and another at the start of an incline (dumber!)) rather than any real fault of the turnouts but yeah, they're not a very highly regarded piece of equipment. Makes that horrific I mean great clackety clack sound too!
 

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Is Atlas Snap-Track worth anything? I see their Atlas N 2788 Code 80 Snap-Track Starter Set is available at what appears to be a decent price. I'm just looking to build a small layout to fiddle with in my small winter home. I've seen lots of negative comments on Atlas turnouts...how about this set?
Fire21;

For what you have in mind, the Atlas sectional track should be fine.
As sectional, non roadbed, track goes, Atlas is actually quite good.
Their turnouts come in two distinct flavors. "Custom Line" (better quality) and "Snap Switches" (low quality, but fixable) That is, Atlas turnouts come in two flavors IN HO-scale. However, in N-scale, only the lower quality, "Snap Switches" are available. There can be some confusion about that last fact because of some labeling on the package, but we N-scalers only have the Snap Switches, and they can cause derailments.
Gimme30 found that out when his GG1, and Aerotrain, and 4-4-0, all derailed every time they entered either of his two Atlas Snap Switches. He used info from my file "Improving Atlas turnouts" to fix the problem, and now all his trains can run through those same Atlas Snap Switches without derailing.
If the "Atlas Snap Track Starter Set" includes turnouts, and you have problems with them, then the files below may help.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan;
 

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All I can say is I've used Atlas HO CustomLine switches for decades..with little to no problem. The trick is to install them with having no horizontal bends in them. And personally I think they look more US than Peco UK does..
An important aspect (no sure about N) is most think the frogs are plastic because they have a erasable layer of black on them (which I believe keeps the pot metal from pitting, sitting on a dealer's shelf a long time)...These frogs are thus able to be powered, turning them into power-routing switches..There are how-tos on doing this..
If you find out the N version also has metal frogs I'd say go on and use them...I think they look great...M
telltale;

Unfortunately for N-scalers, Atlas does not offer their "Custom Line" turnouts in N-scale. The only Atlas turnouts available in N-scale code 80 are the inferior Snap Switch type. These have plastic frogs, not metal, so obviously they can't be powered. They are not power routing either.
Atlas also sells a code 55 line of turnouts in N-scale.with metal, isolated frogs. These look good, but are quite flimsy.
Micro Engineering code 55 turnouts look very realistic, and American, and work great, but need gentle handling during installation.
 

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I'm risking a beating from TractionFan and his broken drain pipes here but.....
I say go for it! At that price you're basically paying for the turnouts and getting the rest free!

Code 80 snap track is what came with my little layout-in-a-box, so that's what I used and it works just fine, although the turnouts did require some fiddling to make them reliable. In my case the trouble was more an issue of placement in the layout (one at the end of a curve (dumb!) and another at the start of an incline (dumber!)) rather than any real fault of the turnouts but yeah, they're not a very highly regarded piece of equipment. Makes that horrific I mean great clackety clack sound too!
gimme30;

"Some fiddling?" Some fiddling?" :LOL: Aren't you the same guy who started a multi-page thread on all the derailments you were getting on those Atlas turnouts? Am I not the guy who gave you the info in my "Improving Atlas Turnouts" file that let you finally "fiddle" them into actually letting your locomotives make it through those turnouts with all their wheels still on the track?" BTW While not necessarily recommended for a newbie's first layout, it is quite possible to install a turnout in a curve, (Atlas Snap Switches are actually designed to replace a 19" radius curved section of track.) or on an incline and have them work successfully. When you had "fiddled" your turnouts into working (with a little help) did they change their locations? Or were they now working while still in the same places?

Fiddle dee dee!

Traction Fan :cautious:
 

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TRACTION FAN, I most certainly am not the guy who wrote any multi-page dissing of Atlas anything !! Read post #2 and any other post of mine sighting Atlas switches.. I've used mostly Atlas HO CustomLines my whole 60+ years in the hobby along with a few Walthers/Shinohara and exactly 1 Peco...
Also note above, my mention of HO C-Line frogs being metal. I believe last time I looked at Atlas N (was it code 55 ?) in a store the frogs looked metal and the whole item even looked a tad better than the HOs..
No, I'm a supporter of Atlas ... In fact, one aspect of Peco I find curious is that because their points being spring action, unless left to remain finger activated, the spring action may cause mating problems with certain ground throws, such as Caboose, et al..IE. Atlas points being non-sprung, certainly won't.......M
 

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TRACTION FAN, I most certainly am not the guy who wrote any multi-page dissing of Atlas anything !! Read post #2 and any other post of mine sighting Atlas switches.. I've used mostly Atlas HO CustomLines my whole 60+ years in the hobby along with a few Walthers/Shinohara and exactly 1 Peco...
Also note above, my mention of HO C-Line frogs being metal. I believe last time I looked at Atlas N (was it code 55 ?) in a store the frogs looked metal and the whole item even looked a tad better than the HOs..
No, I'm a supporter of Atlas ... In fact, one aspect of Peco I find curious is that because their points being spring action, unless left to remain finger activated, the spring action may cause mating problems with certain ground throws, such as Caboose, et al..IE. Atlas points being non-sprung, certainly won't.......M
He doesn't need to read. You do. His post not only quoted Gimme30's post, but addressed him BY NAME in the text of the post. A little attention to detail goes a long way.
 
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No, I'm a supporter of Atlas ... In fact, one aspect of Peco I find curious is that because their points being spring action, unless left to remain finger activated, the spring action may cause mating problems with certain ground throws, such as Caboose, et al..IE. Atlas points being non-sprung, certainly won't.......M
That spring is easily removed, and in fact it is recommended if you are using any kind of powered point machine.
 

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TRACTION FAN, I most certainly am not the guy who wrote any multi-page dissing of Atlas anything !! Read post #2 and any other post of mine sighting Atlas switches.. I've used mostly Atlas HO CustomLines my whole 60+ years in the hobby along with a few Walthers/Shinohara and exactly 1 Peco...
Also note above, my mention of HO C-Line frogs being metal. I believe last time I looked at Atlas N (was it code 55 ?) in a store the frogs looked metal and the whole item even looked a tad better than the HOs..
No, I'm a supporter of Atlas ... In fact, one aspect of Peco I find curious is that because their points being spring action, unless left to remain finger activated, the spring action may cause mating problems with certain ground throws, such as Caboose, et al..IE. Atlas points being non-sprung, certainly won't.......M
telltale;

My response was to gimme30, not you. Sorry if there was any unintended friction between us. He is the guy who had derailment problems on his Atlas N-scale code 80 Snap Switches, and started the multi- page thread. He knows that, and he knows I'm kidding him.

I did also send a separate response to you regarding those Atlas custom line turnouts that you like. Unfortunately they are not available in N-scale.
If the Atlas N-scale turnout you saw in the store was code 55, then you're right, they do look good, and do have isolated metal frogs that can be powered. Actually they come with the whole "DCC friendly" configuration factory installed.

On your curiosity regarding Peco's spring, while I have not done it myself, I've read several posts here that recommend removing that spring when using a Tortoise switch machine to move the points. Perhaps the same idea would apply when using a Caboose Industries ground throw, I don't know. From what I've read, it's pretty easy to remove the spring if you want to.

Traction Fan
 

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I'm risking a beating from TractionFan and his broken drain pipes here but.....
I say go for it! At that price you're basically paying for the turnouts and getting the rest free!

Code 80 snap track is what came with my little layout-in-a-box, so that's what I used and it works just fine, although the turnouts did require some fiddling to make them reliable. In my case the trouble was more an issue of placement in the layout (one at the end of a curve (dumb!) and another at the start of an incline (dumber!)) rather than any real fault of the turnouts but yeah, they're not a very highly regarded piece of equipment. Makes that horrific I mean great clackety clack sound too!
gimme30;

A beating? Really? and what's this about broken drain pipes? Oh duh! I get it. You're referring to my "waterfall incident." Actually that was a clogged downspout, but it's still a good dig. :D Well played sir.
I've actually mellowed a bit on Atlas Snap Switches. Your success, and that of others, in modifying them to work reliably by using the info from my file, has tamed my opinion about them a little. So has the Bachmann EZ Track abortion/"turnout" which is reportedly much worse.

regards;

Traction Fan 😊
 

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CTVALLEY: Well excussssse me !! I didn't need your negative sounding advice..
TRACTION FAN: Sorry. I didn't notice to whom you were referring to (gimme30). In any event it was not a rant..And I did not take anything as being negative from you..I was only saying why I support Atlas..
Also, nice to know I was correct about the spring-action concern, as I never did put a ground throw on my single Peco to find out; only envisioned it...
Finally: To those reading this, please know I think Peco track is well made and respect that it's your choice of track..It's only that, to me, it looks a bit more British proto than US proto..But I too realise there may be no difference that way whatsoever.....M
 

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CTVALLEY: Well excussssse me !! I didn't need your negative sounding advice..
TRACTION FAN: Sorry. I didn't notice to whom you were referring to (gimme30). In any event it was not a rant..And I did not take anything as being negative from you..I was only saying why I support Atlas..
Also, nice to know I was correct about the spring-action concern, as I never did put a ground throw on my single Peco to find out; only envisioned it...
Finally: To those reading this, please know I think Peco track is well made and respect that it's your choice of track..It's only that, to me, it looks a bit more British proto than US proto..But I too realise there may be no difference that way whatsoever.....M
telltale;

You're correct about Peco's prototypes. Being a British firm, and selling a lot of "points" ( British term for track switches aka turnouts) in the UK and the rest of Europe, their model turnouts are based on British ones. They do make a "North American" line of track too, I hear, though I've not seen it personally. As a long time N-scaler, I have a sneaking suspicion that Peco North American prototype track & turnouts may be another of those products not made in N-scale.
The weirdest Peco product I've run across so far is their bizarre "code 55" N-scale track & turnouts. These have two rail bases on the same rail. The rail isn't code 55 at all, but code 78 by measurement. Part of the rail is buried in the thick tie strip. The two bases are located one in the normal, bottom position, and the other approx. 57/1000ths below the rail top. This looks like it was intended to let a modeler connect another brand of actual code 55 track there, but the fine folks over there in Pecoland didn't provide a slot for a rail joiner under their top base!. The only way I could connect these Peco "code 55" turnouts to my real code 55 Micro Engineering, track was to cut away a good portion of Peco's strange rail, and then solder the remaining mess together. That worked, but for a premium brand, with their excellent reputation, I found this very disappointing.

Traction Fan
 

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"Some fiddling?" Some fiddling?" :LOL: Aren't you the same guy who started a multi-page thread on all the derailments you were getting on those Atlas turnouts? Am I not the guy who gave you the info in my "Improving Atlas Turnouts" file that let you finally "fiddle" them into actually letting your locomotives make it through those turnouts with all their wheels still on the track?" BTW While not necessarily recommended for a newbie's first layout, it is quite possible to install a turnout in a curve, (Atlas Snap Switches are actually designed to replace a 19" radius curved section of track.) or on an incline and have them work successfully. When you had "fiddled" your turnouts into working (with a little help) did they change their locations? Or were they now working while still in the same places?

Fiddle dee dee!
ROFL!!! Thanks TF I needed a good laugh!:ROFLMAO:
Of course you understand, I only said "fiddling" because your PDF turned what I thought might be a nasty job into child's play...IE, it wasn't a Monumental Hurdle to Overcome, just had to "fiddle" around a little bit.
And Fire21, should you have trouble, TF's instructions really are easy to understand, and implement, and best of all they work!

Speaking of the OP, I'll bet he's scratching his head right now wondering what the *** just happened. Such drama!
Lol! If only I'd learned to play the violin!
 

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ROFL!!! Thanks TF I needed a good laugh!:ROFLMAO:
Of course you understand, I only said "fiddling" because your PDF turned what I thought might be a nasty job into child's play...IE, it wasn't a Monumental Hurdle to Overcome, just had to "fiddle" around a little bit.
And Fire21, should you have trouble, TF's instructions really are easy to understand, and implement, and best of all they work!

Speaking of the OP, I'll bet he's scratching his head right now wondering what the *** just happened. Such drama!
Lol! If only I'd learned to play the violin!
gimme30;
I just reread Fire21's "discussion starter"( OP) and he said he just wants a little layout to FIDDLE around with! Sounds like it's right up your street! Better start those violin/fiddle lessons right away! With your intellect, I'm sure you will be a quick study and be putting Itzhak Perlman to shame quite soon. o_O BTW did you read my response to your other post about your new steam loco?

Traction Fan :)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well gee whiz, thanks for the discussion! I had no idea such a simple question could enlist so many replies. I really do appreciate everyone's input. I just might jump on this deal and see what happens. Thank you to all for the info and advice. :)
 

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Well gee whiz, thanks for the discussion! I had no idea such a simple question could enlist so many replies. I really do appreciate everyone's input. I just might jump on this deal and see what happens. Thank you to all for the info and advice. :)
Fire21;

Yeah it turned into a sort of combination soap opera and sitcom! but yes, buy the track, it will work fine.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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Boy the way Glenn Miller played
Songs that made the Hit Parade
Guys like us we had it made
Those Were the Days !
teltale;

"All in the Family" great show back in the day. I don't know if it would fare well in today's "politically correct" nonsense.

Traction Fan 😕
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I got tired of "comedy" shows where all they did was yell at each other. I preferred funny shows like Barney Miller, Mary Tyler Moore, WKRP and Darhma & Greg. Funny situations, not constant bickering. JHMO.
 
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