About 30-50% of my new Atlas turnouts have failed to maintain good
connections. This turnouts or switches are NOT power routing types. I believe
the problem is inside the turnout, where the manufacturer depended on pressure
connections between metal pieces. This is because tapping on the turnout or
flexing it will make the connections come and go.
This initially started to show as some locomotives hesitating as they crossed
the turnout, especially DCC locomotives or shorter “electrical power wheel”
spacing locomotives of all types. It took a little time to find, since it was an
intermittent high resistance connection.
The connections are not always open. Sometimes rail to rail resistance
measured less than 1 ohm, other times as high as 20-30 ohms.
As the turnouts aged and had traffic, they eventually became fully open
circuits. They could be restored by flexing them or striking them with the
handle of a screwdriver.
corrected these problems by carefully
tack-soldering small jumper
wires between the points shown.
Even good turnouts went bad after a period of time and traffic. I now make it
a practice of bridging all turnouts before installation.