Reply to "Building New Standard Gauge/O Gauge Layout - Track Choices etc."

Yes, MTH switches work with most modern tinplate but not all.  Even the tinplate that works routinely has a rough ride going through an MTH switch.  In fact, I am so tired of the derailments caused by MTH switches on my passenger station modules that I am currently in the process of replacing all the MTH switches on those modules with Ross.  Fortunately, the footprint of Ross switches is the same as the footprint for MTH switches so they can almost drop right in.  However, unlike MTH switches, which can operate on track power, Ross switches can't and require a different power source.  Fortunately, there is a solution, i.e., the PIKO switch control box, which converts either an AC or DC power input into the exact electrical power output needed to operate the LGB switch motors that are standard on Ross Standard Gauge switches.   

Piko Switch Control Box

Ross Standard Gauge switches are expensive but in SGMA's experience their trouble-free operation is worth the extra cost.  Furthermore, Ross switches have several design features which MTH switches don't.  For example, the switch motor can be mounted on either side of the switch and they have a low profile, which virtually eliminates the train/switch contact problem inherent in the high profile design of MTH switches.  Also, if you install your mainlines with 7.5" spacing, the small footprint of Ross switches permits their use to move trains between mainlines.  The large footprint of MTH switches prevents their use in similar situations.    

I currently have MTH switches on my modules but am in the process of removing them and replacing them with Ross switches.  I recommend you use Ross switches on your layout particularly in locations where access to the switch is difficult, i.e., a location where derailments are more likely to occur.

 Bob Nelson

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OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020
www.ogaugerr.com
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