By Michael Ross
7 February 2011
Are you modeling your N scale layout using ATLAS code 55? Then the following may be of interest.
Peco manufactures an N code 55 double crossover – the pricy SL-E383F. But as far as I know (as of 7 February 2011), ATLAS N code 55 double crossovers are not available. The following information is directions for creating your own ATLAS N code 55 double crossover.
First, you will need to purchase or have on-hand the following (reference photo one):
2 x 6.4” pieces of Atlas Code 55 N Flex (#2000) – Fine Brown Ties – Nickel Silver Track (29.5″ L)*
2 x Atlas #10 Left Hand Turnout (#2054) Code 55 N – Fine Brown Ties – Nickel Silver Track
2 x Atlas #10 Right Hand Turnout (#2055) Code 55 N – Fine Brown Ties – Nickel Silver Track
1 x Atlas 11.25 Degree Crossing (#2040) Code 55 N – Fine Brown Ties – Nickel Silver Track
* The author used two leftover pieces of flex track; the cost of 12.8” of flex is added to the total cost.
Author’s Total Cost: Approximately $66.00
NOTE: Extra joiners are not necessary.
Construction of the double crossover is shown in figure one (with ATLAS part numbers identified). Cut one or two wooden ties off each end of the two pieces of 6.4” flex for rail joiner clearance (see figure two). Save the wooden ties for later.
The most critical part of this construction is to assure that all rail joiner joints are securely attached. It is far too easy to have a situation as shown in photo 2 – especially if connecting more than two rail joiners at the same time.
Photo 3 shows the ‘semi-finished’ crossover. Why ‘semi-finished’? Because filler ties should be placed under the gaps (four places circled in photo three). Use the ‘saved’ wooden ties, which were removed from the flex track earlier. Use a sharp #11 X-acto knife to carefully cut the ears off the top of the ties, which once held the rail (see photo 4 showing top and bottom view of ties). Slip these under the gaps when cementing your new double crossover.
The opposing switches must turn out for a crossover operation. Since any train crossing over negates operation of the other side, I will activate all switches in my crossover at the same time using two Atlas deluxe under table code 55 N switch machines (that is, either both sides crossover or both sides straight through). Two pieces of piano wire will tie the switch actuators on each side, which will be coupled to the switch machine.
Author’s approximate switch machine cost is $30.00.