Code 55 Poll

ajb May 12, 2002


How do you see Atlas code 55 in two years?

  1. In its present form Code 55 was a true advancement of the hobby - most modellers are now using it

  2. Atlas corrected the flange/spike head interference issue and it is on its way to advancing the hobby

  3. code 55 track is a Niche product that only finescale modellers are using

  4. code 55 is OK, but most people are still using code 80 or other brands like Peco

  5. Atlas code 55 goes down as one of the biggest belly flops in N scale history

  1. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

    When this thread started, I don't think there was a fast tracks out there. With them, there is no turnout that isn't available, as long as you are willing to lay your own track.
  2. dexterdog62

    dexterdog62 TrainBoard Member

    When this thread started, I was ten years younger.
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    Don't remind me... :(
  4. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

    I just went back and looked, I was a junior in high school and just starting out in N. So for me, my plan was to use Atlas code 55, so from the beginning I knew I'd need lo pro wheels. So for someone, who at the time was new to N, it was an easy choice to convert all my equipment. However if I had what I currently have, just a few more locos and cars ;) I'd probably second guess doing Atlas code 55...and either choose ME, or go with code 80.

    So in my opinion, code 55 vs 80, as it seems to come up so often, is a personal choice.
  5. Metro Red Line

    Metro Red Line TrainBoard Member

    In 2002, I was busy with a girlfriend at the time so I didn't do any model railroading :) I was technically still an HO scaler back then though the layout was gathering dust.

    I didn't get into N scale until 2006 after dismantling the old HO layout and taking a second look at N (I had contemplated converting in the past, but never took the plunge). The availability of Code 55 track was one of the key factors that made me switch, along with the availability of most of the types of trains I was into (modern era). N scale was finally ready for prime time as far as I was concerned.
  6. LOU D

    LOU D TrainBoard Member

    Even then,I had WAAAAAAAYYYYY too much stuff to start converting to Lo pro's,LOL!!! I was just starting to plan my new RR after moving into a new house,ME 55 turnouts were impossible to find,went with ME C70...
  7. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

    Back when this thread started, I was firmly entrenched in code 80. Now that I built a c55 layout, I love it! It is so much more realistic. Laying Atlas c55 is much more picky than c80, but the realism tradeoff offsets any hassle to lay it down carefully. Ballasting takes less material, too.


  8. Eagle2

    Eagle2 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter


    If you look at the recent posts, this thread has morphed a bit into more of a discussion of then v now. And as far as any of the topics you mention go, we have many modelers just entering or re-entering the hobby who are interested in, and can gain from, discussion of those, among other areas. And since we have folks here doing everything from mid-19th century to today's railroads, I'd say there is no such thing as a dead (iron) horse on TrainBoard. Finally, I'd respectfully submit that there is no coercion to view threads a user feels have run past their course. So please, just relax, have fun, and allow others to do so in their own ways.
  9. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    I been thinking how that is possible. Then it dawned on me...for one...more ties closer together would equal less ballast. Not sure if the ties are thinner but that would contribute to less ballast too !! ;-) ^5
  10. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

    Atlas code 55 ties are about half as tall as an Atlas code 80. This being an eyeball measurement of course
  11. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member

    George, Ike got it before I did. :) They are close to half the height, and closer together.
  12. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I found it interesting to view a ten year old poll ten years later. Valid topic and discussion.
  13. Flash Blackman

    Flash Blackman Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I can't believe my layout is 10 years old. I will have to think about that.

    I liked the code 55 look, but at the time, Atlas was not always available. I was laying track and really going after it, so I went with the Peco code 55. In either case, I really like the code 55 better than the code 80.
  14. Virginian Railway

    Virginian Railway TrainBoard Member

    Hahaha I was 6 when this thread got started! But I think I'll add my 2 cents about Code 55- how about we all use Unitrack!:cool:
  15. JoeTodd

    JoeTodd TrainBoard Member

    Wish atlas would make bigger switches in code 80 like #8, #10
  16. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

    OR...just make 'em without expensive Fast Tracks jigs and fixtures. A helluva lot cheaper, and an excellent skill to free yourself from dependency on the political and economic climate worldwide...AND, you can make whatever turnout/diamond you want, which frees up your layout design exponentially.

    Here's the west end of Echo...all hand-laid turnouts (no jigs or fixtures used) and ME flex in code 55.

    Bob Gilmore

    Bob Gilmore
  17. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

    If we look at the poll choices, the one that intrigues me is #2 - Atlas corrected the flange/spike head interference issue and it is on its way to advancing the hobby

    To my knowledge, this has not occurred has it? I was on the fence about Atlas code 55 because of this issue. I did opt for ME code 55 and ME code 40 rail (hand laid) because of this issue. I also started the hand laid turnouts because I needed more than what was available from Atlas or Peco. I am not taking any shot at Atlas or Peco, both products are pretty good. It's just sometimes you need a #10 wye or a #12 double crossover and there is only one way to get either.

    Atlas or Peco or anyone else could really advance the hobby by an expanded turnout and specialty track (crossings etc) catalog that is similar in scope to the offerings of Fast Tracks. While the first 100 or so turnouts I built were and adventure, I am only halfway done and I am getting tired of building turnouts. It would be nice to get some of these off the shelf.

    The best enhancement that Atlas and everyone else could do is a little better metallurgy to produce a rail that does not oxidize so quickly. Kato is close, but no cigar.
  18. Ike the BN Freak

    Ike the BN Freak TrainBoard Member

    While being able to do them without the jigs and fixtures is nice, having them helps alot of us who don't have the skills to do them otherwise.
  19. TrainboySD40

    TrainboySD40 TrainBoard Member

    I wasn't in this scale until years after the poll was made. If they retooled, it wasn't enough - Micro Engineering is still superior! I can run my C-liners on ME C55 flex without them bumping, but atlas? Forget it.
  20. robert3985

    robert3985 TrainBoard Member

    You're not born with the skills. You learn them. If you can make turnouts using Fast Tracks fixtures (which also involves a learning curve), you can make them without the fixtures, since I don't see any skills that are different making the turnouts on top of printed templates.

    Not a bad idea to have a Fast Tracks fixture for a number of turnout that you'd be building bunches of, but...for the occasional #12 or curved #6.5, or that single #9 three-way, it's great to be able to construct them just using a printed template taped to your workbench.

    Bob Gilmore

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