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I'm building a new layout and have moved from Super-O to Atlas.  I recently installed 14 new Atlas O72 Switches on the layout... all good, so far.   I do not like the Atlas switch controls and I am getting ready to build a control panel (my first) and those controllers have to go... but, before I get to the control panel...

I need an overall best practices (or, what works for you) on the Atlas switch (not Ross, not Fastrack etc.).   For instance, do you put a power feed on both ends of the switch and a power feed to the turnout?   Do you use a Capacitor Discharge Unit to throw the switches?  What else have you done to improve the Atlas switch experience?

Any and all opinions, tips, tricks and photos are greatly appreciated!!!

Thank you,


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@Dennis-LaRock - My experience with the Atlas Switch controllers is to rip them off and replace them with a non coil based switch controller.  They inevitably trip the power surge on my power supplies and I hate wiring them to AC...even when that AC is an AIU.  I know that Z-Stuff has switch machines that a lot of modelers use.  The other options, which I don't recommend, is to rip the workings out of Lionel Remote Command Switches or make your own (DC based) (I have done both of these btw.)


Last edited by A. Wells

I put power feeders on all three rail at each entrance to the turnout. This eliminates any worry about the minuscule power wires/straps that are molded into the turnout base at the factory. Most of my turnouts are the 7.5 degree variety and I've had minimal problems through ensuing years of operation.

You will likely find that some Lionel cars will spark traversing some turnouts and this is usually because Lionel cannot seem to get all the factories to gauge their wheel-sets correctly.

I don't have a controller recommendation as I hand throw all my turnouts on my around-the-room layout.

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