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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings!


I looked at a USA #6 turnout (some call them turnouts, others call them switches).   The  turnout is  very large but impressive  with its metal frog.   Can some of you post your experiences with these turnouts?  Number of derailments? Problems?


Thank you very much for your time....


UncleHans
 
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I LOVE THEM!  I have 8 on my layout now, and plan to add 6 more next spring.  I've never had a derailment, nor a problem of any kind with them.  I would say take the time to tighten all the little screws underneath before you put them down on the layout.   They are sometimes lose when I open the box after it's shipped. My bigger engines love them and the cars roll through flawlessly.  My opinion - the best prefab switch on the market.


Ed
 

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Except for the tie spacing....are the USA #6s the same switch as the Aristo #6s? I understand that the USA switch is mainline tie spacing....and the Aristo is narrow gauge. Is that true?
 

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Other way around.

USA and Aristo claim there is nothing in common, but they look an awful lot alike. I've never had one of each to compare side by side.
 

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they are not alike. There are not interchangeable on the layout. I had to cut the tracks and add a few inch long piece when I replaced the Aristo switches with USA trains. I should have done it long ago. In my experience, the Aristo switches work ok. But only ok. You do get an occasional car to pick the switch and derail. (and no, its not the cars, its the switch - I have checked it many times)

That has never, ever happend with USA trains switches. I think they are better. When I bought them they were about 90 bucks each, a bit more than Aristo's (I think I got them for 55 or so)

they are worth more, and I am glad I have them.
 

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Nice to see a report from somebody who has used both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone for your replys.   Mr. Harvey I'll take your word on it and stick with the USA switches.  Never a derailment is quite a testimony - that is worth the price and more!  So far I've use Aristocraft switches (none #6's) and they are not bad but not great either.  One has to file here and there to get things working smooth and even then the pull bar that throws the switch often comes undone.  I'm not impressed.  Thanks again.

UncleHans 
 

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I just received three of the USA # 6 switches. I only ran on them in the basement on a layout on the floor. I don't think you wll go wrong buy buying them. Like Ed said make sure you turn it over tighten the screws.
 

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I have 9 USA #6 turnout on my layout as well. I have removed the switch machines from them but other than that they are stock. I have had no problems with them at all. I don't thinkn you can go wrong with buying them.
Terry
 

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Ed, John and Terry: I'm interested in the microswitches and electrics provided with these switches, as I understand it, there are 2 switches that will sense a train coming and can be used to throw the turnout so no derailments occur. If this is right, have you used this feature and can comment on it?

Tom: Aristo and USAT gave up pretending they make their own track. Sanda Kan makes it for them. You will see that the formulations for the ties and the rail material is different. They really have nothing in common any more other than the rail joiners and screws, and that Sanda Kan is the manufacturer.

Regards, Greg
 

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Greg - the switches have a separate unit to energize and move the points. It has two momentary contact buttons. So I suppose you could wire each to one side of the switch (one divergent one on the straight) and as the locomotive came over the contact, it would move (if necessary) the switch.
So it would not be hard to do. You would still have the issue that if the switch didn't move enough, (of example because it was dirty) you could still have a derailment.
 

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The first thing i do is remove the switch machine, so I really can't comment on how those work. Sorry.
Terry
 

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So Terry, you do not use the switch motor at all, not to mention the 2 switches for anti-derailment.

John, it sounds like you do not wire these up either.

Ed?

Where I was going with this is those little "switches" looked pretty goofy to me, and seemed they could be a potential problem spot.

Also, I believe they are live frogs and wanted to get some feedback on the power routing hardware's reliability.

Regards, Greg
 
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I do not wire the switch motors either, so I can't respond to your electrical question about them.  Up until now, I have just flipped the switch manually using the little button on the motor box.  As long as their's no ballast, or sticks, or something in the way of the rail, the track snaps into place perfectly.  I can also advise you to protect the motor boxes over winter, or if you have dogs running all over your layout, or if you get snow and ice covering the track alot as we do here in Nebraska.  My hounds have knocked the little green/red lights off of nearly all of them and the snow/ice gets into the space around the button and can jam it if they get covered (the pups have also knocked all the litle protector caps off as well). 

This spring, I plan to remove all the motor boxes from all of my switches and replace them with a new manual throw manufactured by California and Oregon Coast Railway.  Their website is . 

TGT Conversion Kit for USA Trains #6 Turnout         Code: CO9000111



They are specifically made for USA Trains #6 switches and cost $15.75 each (+shipping and handling). They are made to order so they don't always ship overnight and you can download installation instructions from their website.  I haven't tried them yet on my switches, but several of my friends have the same style of product on their Aristocraft and/or LGB switches and they love them.  I'll report back on their performance later this year when I get them installed and tested for a few weeks.

Ed
 

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Actually, I use all air operated turnouts, controlled remotely by 24v solenoids. Those in turn are controlled by DCC.



I was just more curious about the mechanics of the #6 from USAT. It's sort of a moot point for me, because I use stainless steel, and USAT only produces their #6 in brass. I think the USAT frog is much superior to the Aristo one.

Regards, Greg
 

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Ed,

 I did mine and it's not hard. You just have to take your time. I screwed the first one up, order new parts   and I got it fixed. I was going to wait till spring to do he others, but that didn't happen. 
 
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Don,

Perhaps we can convert a few of mine at the March  RCRR meeting at our house so I can learn from your experience. 

Ed
 

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I do have them wired to the track. I just push the red or green button to move the points. Like I said, you can add automation by just adding wiring to the remote switch buttons, which you then connect to each side of the track.

It could not be difficult, but I have not bothered.
 

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so can i get a quick recomendation? i think everyone here is talking electric switches...USa vs. Aristo. i dont think USA makes manual 4"swirches so does anyone not like the manual 4' aristo switches? thinkin of using a few @ 26.00, not bad, but maybe not worth it when USA electric switch is 39.00.
 
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