>>>I already know what brand of rail I'm going to use: RailCraft flex
>>>in tunnels and storage) and Shinohara (or Walthers) turnouts. What I
>>>haven't decided is what size of rail to use.
>>>Any good or bad experiences with the different rail sizes?
> Another memory - jogged by other posts. I have had some trouble
>with the shinohara/walthers turnouts. Resoldering point rails,
>replacing pivot rivet, and basic fine tuning come to mind. Offhand
>about 10-15% required more than basic tune-up I do with any turnout
>before installation. Once "fixed" I have not had problems with the
>turnouts, but I am not exercising them at the rate a club would. I used
>#6 switches for my yards, and cut them back to shorten the length of
>ladders. I have not had any problems with these modified switches.
Before I built my layout I was told by all I asked that without a doubt
Shinohara turnouts were the best.They looked good and so I bought a swag of
them. I also picked up a number of second hand Peco. Due to the cost of the
turnouts I also handbuilt a number of turnouts, also handbuilt a number of
unusual turnouts that there were no proprietary turnouts available for. I also
ended up with a couple of atlas turnouts.
Now 13 years further down the track and from my experience I would not
recommend the Shinohara turnouts if operation and durability are requirements.
They appear to be too delicate in the interests of obtaining the fine scale
appearance. In other words they do not stand up to the continous use expected
of them from an operating layout. The blades come loose and they disintergrate
at the soldered joints. More so with soleniod switch machines. I have had more
reliability with them from***drive switch machines, this type of machine
does not have the thump associated with the soleniod type and therefore is more
gentle on the turnout.
Of all the turnouts I have I would rate the Shinohara at the top for looks but
at the bottom for durability, Peco the other way around, tops for durability
and near the bottom for looks. You take your pick and you have your options.
The odd Atlas turnout I have, have never given me any trouble in the 13 or so
years they have been in use. My handbuilt turnouts have had the odd soldered
joint come unstuck, but not as numerous as the Shinohara, and the Peco ones
have been virtually trouble free, just the odd one with a problem with the
plastic disintegrating, don't forget they were second hand and they could have
been exposed to our harsh UV which breaks down plastic with time. To date Peco
that I bought new are still holding up but there were only a couple of them. If
I was to start over again I would go with Peco and then consider also the Atlas
turnouts for areas out of sight.