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does anyone have a problem with bachmann turnouts? i saw a thread about them being of poor quality. what is wrong with them? and the wire to the frog, i`m starting out with DC until i get more locos, what should i do with it? don`t want to tear up track to change it.
 

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The Bachman N scale EZ Track is, in my opinion, junk. It’s expensive and poorly wade with warped roadbed a regular occurrence. It’s actually more money than Kato Unitrak, which I think is the best track system ever made. Kato invented the integrated track system and they got it right. If you have Bachman track, throw it it away and invest in Kato unitrak. You won’t be sorry, however you could be pretty sorry if you went down the Bachmann rabbit hole
 

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The Bachman N scale EZ Track is, in my opinion, junk. It’s expensive and poorly wade with warped roadbed a regular occurrence. It’s actually more money than Kato Unitrak, which I think is the best track system ever made. Kato invented the integrated track system and they got it right. If you have Bachman track, throw it it away and invest in Kato unitrak. You won’t be sorry, however you could be pretty sorry if you went down the Bachmann rabbit hole
brutal way of putting it. i didn`t research enough. already invested . being retired can`t just throw away stuff although i have just 4 turnouts now. I`ve seen videos of layouts where guys have thousands into their layouts, depressing.
 

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does anyone have a problem with bachmann turnouts? i saw a thread about them being of poor quality. what is wrong with them? and the wire to the frog, i`m starting out with DC until i get more locos, what should i do with it? don`t want to tear up track to change it.
and Kato turnouts don`t come with controlers, they ain`t cheap
 

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brutal way of putting it. i didn`t research enough. already invested . being retired can`t just throw away stuff although i have just 4 turnouts now. I`ve seen videos of layouts where guys have thousands into their layouts, depressing.
tntwolf;

I'm retired too on a fixed income, so I understand your reluctance to throw away functional track. I use flex track without the plastic roadbed piece under it like Kato Unitrack, or Bachmann EZ-Track, so I can't speak from personal experience with either Kato, or Bachmann, roadbed track. However, I have been on this forum for years, and model railroading for multi-decades. I also build my own turnouts from scratch, so I think I know my way around a turnout pretty well. Everything I have ever read here about Bachmann EZ-Track turnouts has been very bad. However, I have not seen any real complaints about Bachmann's actual track. You might keep your Bachmann track, and replace your four Bachmann turnouts, one at a time, if they fail to work properly (points throw all the way and no derailments) As long as the four you have do work, I would keep them. If one fails, then replace it.

The wire to the frog is intended to power the frog, at least that's the function it serves on other turnouts. The frog on your Bachmann turnouts may be electrically "isolated" , meaning that there may be insulating gaps in the four rails that lead into the frog. Having a powered frog is not necessary if your locomotives have all-wheel electrical pickup. If they do, they should pass right through the turnout without stalling. Some locomotives don't have many wheels that actually pickup power from the rails. These may stall on the frog. That's one function of that wire to the frog. You can connect it through an electrical micro-switch, or to a special little circuit board called a "frog juicer". The micro switch, or frog juicer, will change the electrical polarity of the powered frog to match the route that the turnout is set for. Having an isolated, and powered, frog is a good thing for DCC. It's a big part of the "DCC friendly/compatible" configuration you may have seen in advertising for turnouts. For now, as long as your locos roll right through the turnouts, you can leave the wire as is, but I would keep it for possible future use with DCC.

The Kato Unitrack turnouts have just the opposite reputation. Every forum member who uses them seems to like them a lot, and there haven't been any complaints.
The plastic hooks attached to the Bachmann, and Kato, track & turnouts, don't directly connect to each other, but if you cut hooks away as necessary, and do a little adapting, you should be able to replace a Bachmann turnout with a Kato one, if you need to. I also responded to your question on another thread, and sent some files with more information on the problems with the Bachmann EZ-Track turnout's innards, and some complaints from people who have used them, along with lots of info on turnouts in general.

Good Luck;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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OK, so at Nicholas Smith Trains the price breakdown is as follows

Kato Bachmann
#4 $29.99 $34.99
#6 $21.99 $37.99
Control $6.90 Included with both

Cost difference on the #4 is negligible, the #6 for Kato after buying the controller is still $8 cheaper.

You say harsh, I disagree. Bachmann N scale EZ Track is crap. That's my objective opinion. I've built a layout or 2 and used a fair number of track systems and brands. It shoudl also be noted that on that site, Kato has 8 pages of track products and Bachmann has 3 pages. I could never understand how the really nice stuff made is Japan is better and much less expensive that the Chinese stuff
 

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Oh and if I may throw this in as well, from my research the #4 turnouts should be used from the shorter locos and cars, the longer ones tend to derail on them. The #6 turnouts will handle pretty much everything you can roll at them. And yes I have nothing but Kato and all rolling stock has had trucks / couplers changed to MicroTrain trucks
 

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and Kato turnouts don`t come with controlers, they ain`t cheap
tntwolf;

By "controllers" I'm assuming you mean the electric control switches that you set to operate the turnout. It surprises me that they are not included. Are you looking at Kato remote control turnouts, which have a built in coil to move the points, or possibly at a manual version of the turnout. I know Atlas and Bachmann both make manual and electric turnouts. I'm not sure if Kato makes manual controlled ones or not. Kato's turnout controls are pretty bulky. Some folks have used DPDT (Double Pole Double Throw) momentary toggle switches with a spring-loaded center off position to control Kato turnouts. Forum member Wooky_Choo_Baca has done this and posted a photo of the toggle switches he uses. In the thread "Kato vs. Bachmann again" here on this N-scale forum. In that post, he also included a link to an article by Mike Fifer on how to wire such a toggle switch. Check it out if you like.

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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No, sadly and surprisingly enough Kato doesn't include the operating switches with the #6 turnouts, don't hold me at this but I think #4s come with them or at least the siding set does (I don't have the page with the various sets in front of me). I still won't hold the "no switches" against Kato as IMHO they seem to be a bit flimsy and I wired toggles to mine and they work just fine. IIRC both styles have a manual function as well as the 12VDC operating function for remote
 

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OH, and what I mean by Kato turnout switches being flimsy, they use connectors similar to what 9 volt batteries have, snap in type and they attach to the side of the DC train controller and if you have several snapped together it's easy for them to come unhooked from the side of the controller, Mr Kato's design team dropped the ball on this one I think
 
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