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Thread: N Code 40 Rail

  1. #1
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    Question N Code 40 Rail

    Will there ever be a day when N scale Code 40 Flextrack and Premade Turnouts will be widely avaliable AND ACTUALLY WORK? I know that Micro Engineering's Code 40 flextrack spike heads cause trouble with most equipment (especially steamers) and that some modelers solder code 40 to PC ties. Not wanting to deal with either case, should I just stick with what I've been using for the last 2 years, which is Atlas Code 55?
    --Tom

  2. #2
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    I use low-profile wheels on my rolling stock, and those cars as well as my locomotives operate just fine on my ME code 40 track. I also use code 40 only in spurs and one passing siding, and have no issues. All of the so-called "pizza cutter" wheelsets have been removed.

    At this point, however, you may be better off using the Atlas code 55 track & turnouts. You could mix in the ME code 55 here & there, but IMO you should be satisfied.

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by a proud SD&AE modeler View Post
    Will there ever be a day when N scale Code 40 Flextrack and Premade Turnouts will be widely available AND ACTUALLY WORK?
    Ummm, probably not. Unfortunately, the SD&A was laid with really tiny rail, some with the year 18-something stamped on the side of the rail (still in use!).

    That said, a good weathering job (and we know you can do it) will make the Code 55 rail almost disappear. Try a diorama and see what you think.

    Tony Burzio
    San Diego, CA

  4. #4
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    I laid a couple of sidings on an Ntrak module a few years ago with ME C40 flex track, it looks great but the lack of turnouts meant I never went further with it. Maybe something along the lines of Peco's C55 could be done to accommodate deeper flanges but the fine detail of C40 rail seems pointless if you are going to keep deep flanges.

  5. #5
    I thought that Code 55 was about as far away from Code 80 as anyone would want to go, I guess I was mistaken. Lordy, Code 40, that's some small trackage there boy !

    fatalxsunrider43

  6. #6
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    Being a purist, I would lay code 40 rail everywhere. However, flanges are still an issue. I can replace freight and passenger wheels, but the small branch-line locomotives and switchers my wife and I want to run are not "there" yet.

    Having said all that, big flanges and code 80 rail are going to be with us for a while. That's what is easiest to set up and run.

  7. #7
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    To my eyes (and goes without saying my opinion...) the only benefit of code 40 is when you also have code 55, i.e. a mainline and siding side by side. If the only track on the layout is 40 then, to me, the effect is lost.

  8. #8
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    I love code 40, but I still use code 55. Perhaps when I expand I'll try some, probably with c55 switches.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatalxsunrider43 View Post
    I thought that Code 55 was about as far away from Code 80 as anyone would want to go, I guess I was mistaken. Lordy, Code 40, that's some small trackage there boy !

    fatalxsunrider43
    Code 40 rail scales out to 110lb/yd in N scale, light if you're modeling a modern day heavy mainline but heavy stuff otherwise, code 55 is larger than the heaviest rail ever used on the prototype, Pennsy's 155lb/yd rail.

  10. #10
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    Rail sizes

    It would sure seem to me that, given the small size of "N" scale, smooth operation would be worth way more than trying to get the rail size prototypically correct. I, for one, am quite content to use code 80 rail because that's what I have a lot of, given to me by someone getting out of model railroading altogether. If the scenery and structures are done well, nobody's going to notice the size of the rail. Needing to file down wheel flanges to keep the cars or locomotive from derailing seems like way too much work for what's supposed to be an enjoyable hobby. I'm sure not all share my perspective, and that's fine. I'd rather build a layout and run trains!

    :tb-biggrin:

    Best regards,
    Don

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