Code 55 points, ME or Atlas?

JASON May 14, 2022

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  1. JASON

    JASON TrainBoard Supporter

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    Searched & couldnt really find anything relating.
    Wanting peoples opinions on code 55 points made by Atlas or Micro Engineering, pros & cons for quality, DCC or DC, will be using ME c55 flex track & more than likely going dcc.
    TIA
     
  2. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

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    In terms of quality, the ME is better...BUT, they only made ONE, I repeat ONE type of Code 55 Turnout: a #6.

    Atlas' advantage is that they have a #5, a #7, a #10 and a curved turnout. I have Atlas Code 55 #5/#7/#10 turnouts on my layout.
     
  3. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Or start making your own. Very rewarding.

    Have you found the ME track? Has been out of stock most places. I personally really like it.

    Sumner
     
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  4. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    I agree with Metro......for variety Atlas gets the nod. In the last year, I've purchased about 50 Atlas turnouts, mostly #7s, but also a couple of 5s, quite a few 10s, 4 curved, and 5 wyes. Out of those I had 2 "bad" ones.......on one the throwbar/point connection was loose (fixed with a dab of glue) and on one wye the retainer that holds the point onto the turnout was missing so the point wants to pop out when cars/locos run thru it. Guess that's a 4% "bad" ratio. I'm not sure how that compares to ME......I didn't want #6s so never bought any.
     
  5. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Then there is Peco C55 which gives you the variety of Atlas (minus the #10) and better durability than either Atlas or ME.
     
  6. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Except Peco isn't really code 55 and won't mix with any other code 55.
     
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  7. Hoghead2

    Hoghead2 TrainBoard Member

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    My beef is that Peco's appearance doesn't suit American prototypes, but I use it as it's the standard for our clubs modules. Peco put so much effort into their HO American offerings, it's a pity they don't make the effort for the n scale track.
     
  8. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, it is C55 and yes, it will mix with other C55 but then why would you want to use other C55 track when you have "bullet proof" track and the best turnouts in N scale?
     
  9. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    No, it is not code 55.
    It's code 80 with a second set of flanges that is set deeper into the ties that makes it take on the appearance of code 55's shorter rail.
    Nor does it resemble USA style ties and tie spacing.
     
  10. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    There's nothing wrong with Peco code 55 track (except it isn't code 55 rail) as long as that's all you use. But at that point you might as well do Peco code 80 which is much easier to come by, at least around here. Not sure why Peco chose this route.....the double flanged rail can't be any cheaper to manufacture than true code 55 rail, unless they just wanted something propriatory so people couldn't use other brands with Peco.
     
  11. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I'm sure they made it to be more robust than "real" code 55 track, which is more delicate to lay/manipulate/work with. Maybe code 55 for the beginner or more ham-handed.

    However, like I said before, the problem is it doesn't look all that much different from their regular code 80 because of the tie spacing and cruder dimensions, otherwise.

    Doug
     
  12. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    Peco definitely will mix with other code 55. It's a bit of a pain because you have to grind off the bottom flange or use a different method to join them other than the regular rail joiner method, but definitely doable.

    It depends on what you consider "best," because Peco turnouts definitely are not the best looking. I don't need "bullet proof" track, it just needs to be robust enough, which for me Atlas code 55 is. I'm willing to trade a little bit of robustness for the far superior look.

    Even though the rail is physically code 80, what you see is code 55, so Peco code 55 looks a lot better than regular code 80.

    In most model track, the tie plate detail is what holds the rail in place. By embedding the rail in the ties, the tie plate detail no longer has to do that job and can have a lower profile. Because of this you can have the look of code 55 but still be able to run a deeper wheel flange. You can actually run Micro-Trains pizza cutter flanges on Peco code 55 without the flanges hitting.
     
  13. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Not a big deal. What you get is consistency. You get consistency of appearance. The appearance of C55 with a built in robustness that neither ME or Atlas C55 can come close to, let alone match. The difference in tie spacing is minimal and I have yet to hear anyone criticize a Peco track layout for the tie spacing. You don't have to use Atlas switches with ME track because ME only makes a #6 switch. There is a difference in appearance between the two that is readily apparent and sticks out like a sore thumb. You get consistency of operation. Peco track has a higher nickel content than Atlas or ME. That results in track that has better conductivity so you spend your time running trains and not cleaning track. Peco C55 track comes with a whole assortment of switches, crossovers and other accessories unmatched by Atlas or ME. Does Atlas or ME make either a single as well as a double slip switch? Peco does. All of this is a big deal. As for tie spacing, not so much.​
     
  14. Boilerman

    Boilerman TrainBoard Supporter

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    The tie spacing and verity of items is why back in 2005 that I chose Atlas code 55 and have not had any issues with any of it!
     
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  15. CSX Robert

    CSX Robert TrainBoard Member

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    My track plan doesn't call for any slip switches or double crossovers, it does call for several #10 single crossovers, however.

    I have a mix of Kato, Tomix, Bachmann, Atlas and Peco, and have not seen any difference in how quickly any of them get dirty.

    Not for you, but for some of us the tie spacing is a big deal.

    Like many other options in model railroading, there simply isn't a "best," it's what's best for you.
     
  16. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    The higher nickel content of Peco, or Kato, for that matter, rail is a myth. We have yet to see a qualified metallurgical analysis.

    Doug
     
  17. Allen H

    Allen H TrainBoard Supporter

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    Well said!!!
    This should be the new Rule #1
     
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  18. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    And we lost the original post, which was "Atlas or Microengineering". It was never "what brand". Never hurts to mention other options, but the thread turned into a Peco vs the world discussion. I probably churned the whole thing up by pointing out that Peco isn't true code 55.....and it's not. The code of the track should be dictated by the code of the rail. So if you call your track code XXX it should match up with all other code XXX track and if it doesn't, then don't call it that and come up with a new name to avoid confusion. Again, there's nothing wrong with the Peco track and everything said about it is likely true, BUT IT ISN'T CODE 55.......it just looks like code 55.
     
  19. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    I think, If I were to choose Atlas or ME code 55 track, I would use it.

    :D

    Doug
     
  20. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Moreover, the double flange allows Peco C55 to mate with either C55 or C 80. Peco came out with this before there was ME or Atlas C55 track. But the main point of my post was the consistency, in both appearance as well as operation, of using track and switches of the same manufacturer. While all C55 track is .055 inches high the ties of one manufacturer may not be the same height as another manufacturer. While there may be areas where one line has an advantage over the others but with all things considered Peco comes out ahead.
     
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