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I'm getting confused over the issue of turnouts. When I was a kid, a turnout was a turnout. Now a days there's a new wrinkle, "DCC friendly" - and a big price tag to go with it. I've been looking over some track plans with rail yards lately and thinking to myself: how can the average Joe, without deep pockets or a really wealthy wife, afford to build a complex layout anymore? At $40 - $50 a pop even a modest track plan can drain your wallet. What's the best way to deal with this? What brand of turnout will give the best bang for the buck? Should different brands and or types of turnouts be use for different locations? For example, should a DCC friendly turnout be reserved for mainline to mainline use only and plain old turnouts for sidings and rail yards?
 

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Railroad Tycoon
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I'm getting confused over the issue of turnouts. When I was a kid, a turnout was a turnout. Now a days there's a new wrinkle, "DCC friendly" - and a big price tag to go with it. I've been looking over some track plans with rail yards lately and thinking to myself: how can the average Joe, without deep pockets or a really wealthy wife, afford to build a complex layout anymore? At $40 - $50 a pop even a modest track plan can drain your wallet. What's the best way to deal with this? What brand of turnout will give the best bang for the buck? Should different brands and or types of turnouts be use for different locations? For example, should a DCC friendly turnout be reserved for mainline to mainline use only and plain old turnouts for sidings and rail yards?
I hear you.

I'm not into DCC so I am not going to try to explain it the way I know it.

But I am sure there is someone here that will give some thought to the matter and advise you.

In the meantime there's plenty of links you can view here's one for you.

http://www.wiringfordcc.com/switches.htm
 

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Most modern turnouts are DCC friendly so I wouldn't worry about it too much. You can get a decent Atlas turnout for about 15 bucks. There are more expensive alternitives but the Atlas ones are more than enough for the average modeler, especially if on a budget.
 

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I understand PICO turnouts are the most trouble free. I have atlas turnouts on my layout and am not satisified.

Too flimsey in my humble opinion but they make a number of other quality products.



...and the sons of pullman porters and the sons of engineers ride their fathers magic carpet made of steel...
 

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I also use Atlas turnouts, and I agree...they are somewhat flimsy. They are the most affordable though. Turnouts do seem to be the one thing that can make it expensive to build a big layout, that's for sure. Some of the more recent Atlas turnouts seem to be made a little better than some made about five years ago or so. I run DCC, and have not had any problems with the Atlas turnouts with respect to DCC. I will probably stay with Atlas turnouts only because I am a cheap guy!
 

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I use Walthers turnouts and switches, made by Shinohara. IMO, the best quality for the $$$.

At one time I used Atlas and had nothing but problems. I went to the Walthers/Shinohara switches and problems were solved.

Peco switches are nice but rather salty. And Shinohara's are saltier yet. And I understand that Atlas has solved many of their quality control problems.

Bob
 
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