Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!

If You Want Truly Photo-Realistic Plans – You Won’t Find Better!

Getting Atlas Switch Tracks to Operate Properly

Paul posted this question:

“I am having trouble getting my N scale Atlas switch tracks to work. I have tried all different wiring configurations. They will throw in one direction and when I try the other direction, all I get is a hum from the switching machine mounted on the track. The hum tells me they are getting current but nothing happens. If it were only one track, I would chalk it up to a defect in that track, but it is all of them (8). Very frustrating. Hope you can help. Thanks.”

Contribute your comment, photo, diagram using the COMMENTS tag directly under Paul’s post.

3 Responses to Getting Atlas Switch Tracks to Operate Properly

  • Dale Arendssays:

    It sounds like you may have a feeder and common (return) line reversed. The switch machines take a common (-) and two power (+) feeds. If you have a feeder and the common reversed, it will often work on one side but the other side internally shorts. Since you say it’s all 8, my guess is that the problem is in the bus connections.

    • ROBERT SCHWORMsays:

      Yes, if this is a tortoise, and if you are wired to the 2 internal relays, drop off those lines and test again. If the problem clears, put one pair back on to isolate it done and then check the lines on the offender.
      bob

  • Frank Bsays:

    A standard turnout motor has two coils, one to push the operating rod in each direction.
    Most will work normally on either AC or DC.

    The turnout switch supplies only a brief pulse of current to one coil to move it, so the switch is not to be held on.

    The buzzing suggests you are using AC, and the current is not being cut off. This can burn out the coil.

    Attached is a normal circuit for a turnout motor. Is this how yours are wired up ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add a photo or image related to your comment (JPEG only)

SUBMIT YOUR QUESTION

Submit Your Model Railroading Questions!

Before you submit your model railroading question please add some feedback, answers or comments to other postings on this model train blog. What goes around comes around... so if you can help others in the hobby, someone else may help you.

Important - Please add plenty of supporting details to any question you submit (eg. scale, solutions you have already tried etc.) , as the clearest and best questions usually get the best answers. Also, please check your spelling and punctuation as all questions need to be approved by the blog moderator prior to publication. Approved questions are normally published within a week (if not sooner).

Submit your model train questions here.

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

Model Railroad Building House Plans

rail yard buildings

Download Your Free Catalog

Model Train Help Ebook

Model Train DCC HELP

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video

Watch These Club Videos

Club members access helpful new resources each month: diagrams, video tutorials, articles, track plans and more. Watch the tour videos here.

Scenery Techniques Explained

NEW TO MODEL TRAINS?

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.