Turnout problems

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About 30-50% of my new Atlas turnouts have failed to maintain good connections. This turnouts or switches are NOT power routing types. I believe the problem is inside the turnout, where the manufacturer depended on pressure connections between metal pieces. This is because tapping on the turnout or flexing it will make the connections come and go.


This initially started to show as some locomotives hesitating as they crossed the turnout, especially DCC locomotives or shorter "electrical power wheel" spacing locomotives of all types. It took a little time to find, since it was an intermittent high resistance connection.

turnout loses power locomotive hesitates



The connections are not always open. Sometimes rail to rail resistance measured less than 1 ohm, other times as high as 20-30 ohms.

As the turnouts aged and had traffic, they eventually became fully open circuits. They could be restored by flexing them or striking them with the handle of a screwdriver.




Turnout no power through switchI corrected these problems by carefully  tack-soldering small jumper wires between the points shown.

Even good turnouts went bad after a period of time and traffic. I now make it a practice of bridging all turnouts before installation.