Alternative to Kato Unitrack that is still good for beginners?

drabina Sep 14, 2017

  1. drabina

    drabina TrainBoard Member

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    I would like to build simple inglenook shelf layout. I have used Kato Unitrack in the past for my first layout. While I like the plug and play aspect, I am not too crazy about the track's look (especially the roadbed). Is there another beginner friendly track that I could use instead of Kato Unitrack. Something that would not have the built in roadbed? What I am most interested in is built-in power routing in the turnouts for simpler wiring.
     
  2. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    If you'd like a scale sized rail, you could use Atlas Code 55 track. For a more bullet proof track system, there is Atlas code 80 track.
    I've used both, my current layout uses Atlas code 80 as Atlas code 55 was out of stock for awhile.
    http://www.fiferhobby.com/atlas-n-scale-code-80-track-and-accessories/
    http://www.fiferhobby.com/atlas-n-scale-code-55-track-and-accessories/

    Another popular track system is Peco code 55. I've not used Peco track products, but I've seen a number of layouts built using Peco code 55 track products.
    http://www.fiferhobby.com/n-scale-peco-code-80-track-and-accessories/
    http://www.fiferhobby.com/n-scale-peco-code-55-track-and-accessories/

    Another brand is Micro-Engineering. I do not have any experience with Micro-Engineering, but I've read their flex track is a little hard to shape compared to Atlas code 55 flex track.
    http://www.fiferhobby.com/micro-engineering-n-scale-code-55-and-code-40-track-and-accessories/

    Hopefully the above information will help in your final decision on what track system to use for your inglenook project.
     
    Hardcoaler likes this.
  3. rrrover

    rrrover TrainBoard Member

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    Peco Code 55 is actually code 80 rail with an extra base to keep it compatible with their Code 80 line while retaining a scale appearance. Their Code 80 is is also a good system. All their turnouts are power routing. Their trackwork is quite durable and I've used it on several layouts and modules. The drawback is their Setrack sectional track only comes in code 80. If you don't mind track cutting, their flex track is durable.
     
  4. drabina

    drabina TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the replies. I have browsed the links provided by Rich and it looks like Atlas Code 80 has the most selection of turnouts, straight and curve sections. This is pretty much all I need.

    Do you guys know if Atlas Code 80 has power routing turnouts? I have checked their website but couldn't find any info.

    Also, are there any magnetic uncouplers that are easily incorporated into Atlas Code 80 track?
     
  5. rrrover

    rrrover TrainBoard Member

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    No power-routing Atlas turnouts. You can use Peco Code 80 turnouts and Atlas track though.
     
  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Their "Electrofrog" design. I have used it for many long years and am quite happy.
     
  7. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    I use the Micro-Trains magnetic uncoupler designed for Atlas track
    https://www.micro-trains.com/index....magnet-uncoupler-w-o-track-1310-2-ea-98800172

    Of course I also use the Micro-Trains Coupler Height Gauge to insure the magnet is glued into the correct position on the track.
    https://www.micro-trains.com/coupler-height-gauge-1055-98800031?search=coupler height gau

    I believe this magnet already comes attached to a piece of Atlas code 80 track.
    https://www.micro-trains.com/index....-uncoupler-for-atlas-track-1311-1-ea-98800173

    Micro-Trains also offers magnets that can be glued under the track.
    https://www.micro-trains.com/index....ermanent-magnet-under-track-308-1-ea-98800171
     

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