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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Staten Island NYC
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    175

    N Scale Kato Unitrack vs Atlas True-Track

    Hi Folks,


    I don't know if anyone has done the comparison but here is my take on the Kato Unitrack and Atlas True-Track.
    • Both are molded track and are of high quality with realistic ballasted track including integrated nickel silver rail. The Kato is a dark gray while the Atlas is a light tan.
    • Both go together and come apart easily with out breaking allowing temporary layouts to be built and designed.
    • The Kato track uses code 80 weight rail that is compatible with standard code 80 snap track through the use of a Kato converter track.
    • The Atlas true-track uses lighter code 65 weight rail and transition to cod 55 or code 80 requires a bit of work but is able to be done.
    • Both Kato and Atlas will accept low profile wheels and also the older standard flange wheels such as the Micro-Trains Pizza cutters. This is important if your loco roster contains many older locos.
    • The Kato and Atlas track pieces are not interchangeable (easily)
    • Track joiners on the Kato track are removable and replaceable. The track joiners on the Atlas True-track are part of the roadbed and not removable.
    • The rail joiners on the Kato track are part of the track joiner, the rail joiner on the True-Track is a separate piece just as on the atlas standard track.
    I have included several pictures to show the two side by side.
    TrainBoard Attached Thumbnails TrainBoard Attached Thumbnails KatoATLTrack4.JPG   KatoATLTrack3.JPG   KatoATLTrack2.JPG   KatoATLTrack1.JPG  
    Last edited by TrainGuy; November 24th, 2008 at 03:07 PM.

    Vince at TopHobbyTrains.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    Alexander, Maine, United States
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    Excellent post Vince. Thank you!

    I have decided (unless conviced otherwise) to go with the Atlas True-Track on my proposed N Scale layout.

    Charlie

    Frisco N Scale - Frisco Archive - Small signatures are good signatures - Support TrainBoard - Instagram: FriscoCharlie

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    St. Johns, Oregon
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    Thanks for giving us a side-by-side. It's nice to see what the products look like next to each other.
    Secret Compliance Ninja *** Visit Portland Area N-Trak. *** Visit Logging and Mining Fans and Modelers.
    (GIFs courtesy of David Epling)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Sarasota, FL
    Age
    55
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    1,728
    Hi, all,

    The one thing that I have not seen anyone do, but I think needs to be done in a comparison:

    - What is the longer-term electrical reliabiity of the Atlas Tru-Track railjoiner?
    - Compared with what I believe is very proven long-term reliability of the Kato Unitrack Unijoiner?

    From every picture I've seen, the Atlas Tru-Track rail joiner seems to be a standard rail joiner. We've all known for years that when using these these types of railjoiners with conventional flextrack, that these kinds of railjoiners need to be soldered, in order to retain their electrical conductivity over time.

    The Kato Unitrack Unijoiner has a very specific design that squeezes the electrical railjoiner parts together, in order to make positive contact. As many have noted on this forum and others, this design has proven to work well and hold their electrical conductivity over time, even on large Kato Unitrack layouts, without soldering.

    I'd simply like to suggest that longevity electrical conductivity tests on Atlas Tru-Track railjoiners ought to be done (or publicized, if Atlas has done such tests internally already).

    Just trying to help out here. :-)
    John Sing
    Sarasota, Florida

    Modeling the Santa Fe's 'Peavine Line' from Ash Fork AZ to Phoenix AZ in the 50's/60's
    http://home.comcast.net/~j.sing

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    Alexander, Maine, United States
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    Is there anyone with us that has used the True-Track yet?

    Charlie

    Frisco N Scale - Frisco Archive - Small signatures are good signatures - Support TrainBoard - Instagram: FriscoCharlie

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    North of Lake Ontario
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    No, but I will stay with Kato
    Cheers Owen - "Sometimes The Simplest Idea Can Make The Biggest Difference"

  7. #7

    Cool

    Kato Unitrack has a long term proven record. The Unitrack rail joiner is far superior to the Atlas Tru Track rail joiner. I've seen the Tru Track and unimpressed with the rail joiner they use.

    However opinions concerning the Tru Track may vary.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Western Nebraska
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    I think the C65 looks good. I am going to be going C40, handlaid #4 turnouts.
    I like the Kato because of the impecable record, then Atlas's rail profile looks better......:tb-confused:
    I See Nothing, I Hear Nothing, I know NOTHING-Schultz, Hogans Heroes

    NEBKOTA RAILWAY THE COWBOY LINE

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Muskogee, Oklahoma USA
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    Actually, when one refers to "pizza-cutter" wheelsets, he or she should mean the MicroTrains wheels, which still come out with deep flanges.Atlas' code 55 flex has molded-on spike heads that the deep flanges hit- I'm not aware how MT wheels run on code 65. Also, the code number actually refers to rail height in thousandths of an inch- for example, code 80 rail is .080" tall, code 55 is .055" tall, and so on. In N scale, code 55 and code 40 rail is closer to prototype size than, say, code 65 and code 80. However, some folks stay with code 80 because of its price, ease in work, adaptability for different flange depth, etc.

    However, since I'm using code 40 and 55 track & turnouts on foam roadbed, and have never used either Kato or Atlas modular track components, I cannot judge.

    I can say that by looking at the products, Kato's track doesn't look quite right, due to more space between ties. Atlas looks a little closer to real, space-wise.

    This is the first review I've seen comparing the two products, and it looks fairly informative. Were I to go the modular track route, I'd look at such reviews as this one, plus (always good to get other opinions, and or course ask the man who owns one, so to speak) ask users of the two product lines.

    Not nitpicking, just pointing out a couple of things.

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  10. #10
    First impressions...

    True-track's tie spacing and color are amazing...
    Those little plastic things sticking out at the ends will be broken off in a matter of minutes!

    I myself could care less about the rail height.. never paid attention to the differences (of course I've only ever used unitrak), but from what I observe on the boards here.. I think Kato better skip the proposal stages and start pumping out unitrak with American tie spacing. (I've been led to believe the reason unitrak has such far spaced ties is because they match Japan's prototype?)
    Either way, it seems like the majority of people here would prefer to take a less proven product that has a far better look, than something that looks just ok but is bulletproof.

    I'll stick with unitrack, mainly because I have several hundreds already invested and I'm not so picky about being prototypical, I'm more freelanced. But I'll tell you the day unitrack has prettier tie spacing and or concrete ties on their single track pieces.. I'll be jumping for joy.

    Also, what's the price and selection compairson like?

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