Layout O Gauge - Two loops with all Atlas track & switches powered by MTH Z4000, TIU, etc.
Currently working a corner of the layout and have encountered a problem with the subject switch located on the outer loop. Situation has become critical as recent surgery will not allow me to climb up on the board to do the simple repair on the switch itself. My knowledge of the various track manufacturers is very limited and factors such as track compatibility, connectors for different track types, and overall running ability in mixed track layouts has prompted me to seek OGR member help.
Problem - a few months ago the right-hand switch rail broke and Atlas was kind enough to send a new part. I installed it and switch worked fine until three days ago when my Premier MTH Santa Fe 4-8-4 Mountain popped (did not break) the rail loose from the switch body.
The first time the problem (broken switch rail) occurred I tore up the nearby track and ballast, removed the switch, installed the replacement rail from Atlas, placed the switch back on the layout, and recreated the scenery/ballast. A lot of work, but with physical mobility was able to do it by myself. This time I plan to have someone help in removing the switch, and prior to placing it or a substitute back on the layout I need to make a decision:
1. Re-insert the right-hand switch rail again and sparingly use a strong glue at the appropriate spots. However, I would still like to run the heavy steamers such as the Premier Santa Fe, Premier Berkshire, and the Premier C&O Greenbrier, and am worried that they will loosen the rail again after a matter of time.
2. Replace the Atlas with:
A. an Lionel tubular track switch (have an old O-72 (?) in my track box)
B. a used MTH RealTrax switch. My son has stored his MTH track at my place and there may be a similar (in size) in his track box
C. purchase a Ross Switch and install it in place of the Atlas
D. purchase a new Lionel Fast Track switch of similar size
I would appreciate member comments suggestions, particularly in the compatibility of different track company products, conceivability, and problems that may arise with using a shtik other than Atlas.