I need stronger code 80 ties

COS-HOn30 Nov 20, 2023

  1. COS-HOn30

    COS-HOn30 New Member

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    I have a 5 foot by 4 foot “planning board” I’m using to test out various concepts and track layouts in code 80 N scale.

    Because it’s planning I change things around often.

    I’m using PECO’s SL-400 flex track which I like except the plastic ties are very soft and if the rail pops out those ties are usually ruined. If you try to snap the rail back into the ties, the plastic is deformed and won’t hold the rail.

    So, I’m looking for some strong ties, that either slide on or are strong enough to repeatedly snap on and hold the rail in place.

    Any ideas where I can find strong code 80 ties?

    Thank you.

    DG
     
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  2. nscalestation

    nscalestation TrainBoard Supporter

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    Normally Peco track is rather sturdy, maybe you got a bad batch ?

    For test setups I usually use Kato Unitrack, it's also code 80 rail.
     
  3. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    Technically, if the rail pops out, you broke the track..........it's not designed to be put back together. Sometimes you get lucky and it does, but it's not designed to. As an alternative, if you thread the rail back on from the end vs. snapping it on, you'll have better luck survival wise, but the bottom line is still "you broke the track". I'm not aware of anyone selling what you are looking for because there isn't much middle ground........if you make the plastic hard enough to not deform, it will usually be too brittle and just snap off and you're right back at ruined track. You CAN buy ties that are designed for hand laying track, but I'm guessing you aren't interested in hand spiking the rail to the ties.
     
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  4. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Try PECO SL-300F track, instead.
     
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  5. woodchip

    woodchip TrainBoard Member

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    What method are you using to hold the track in place?
     
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  6. COS-HOn30

    COS-HOn30 New Member

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    Since it's a planning board to test different track plans, turnouts, etc. you are right that hand laying track isn't an option. Maybe for a final layout.

    While I "try" to be careful handling the track I'm finding the rails pop out fairly easily.
     
  7. COS-HOn30

    COS-HOn30 New Member

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    Unitrack would be a good option except that I'm using flex track to try various non-uniform curves.
     
  8. COS-HOn30

    COS-HOn30 New Member

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    It looks like SL-300F is code 55 and I'm working with code 80.
     
  9. COS-HOn30

    COS-HOn30 New Member

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    I use small nails or thumb tacks on the outside of the track. It works well and allows me to make non-linear curves.
     
  10. COS-HOn30

    COS-HOn30 New Member

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    Since this is just a planning board to try different rack plans Hand laying the track would be too time consuming.
     
  11. Point353

    Point353 TrainBoard Member

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    Hoghead2 likes this.
  12. COS-HOn30

    COS-HOn30 New Member

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    Thank you Point353, I was a step behind you but did follow your suggestion and looked closer.

    I think you are spot on that the track will be stronger.

    I will lose my irregular sleepers but can work around that.

    I will gain being able to order and use PECO Unifrog turnouts which are not available in code 80 (and the factory has no forecast of when they will be available).

    Looks like a WIN!

    Thank you for encouraging me to look closer.

    DG
     
    Hoghead2 likes this.
  13. MRLdave

    MRLdave TrainBoard Member

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    I hadn't thought about it from a strength perspective, but all Peco track uses code 80 rail, they just set the rail deeper in the ties on the code 55 stuff, so it very well may be a little stronger. For your use, it may be workable, but because the rail is set deeper in the ties, the code 55 and code 80 don't line up perfectly.
     
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  14. tonkphilip

    tonkphilip TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, the Peco code 55 is very robust because the rail is sunk into the ties. I have been using the Peco code 55 for about 30 years. - Tonkphilip
     
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  15. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    Atlas code 55 flex is springy, and can likely be flexed many times without any of the dreaded tie popping. Have you considered trying that?
     
  16. Sumner

    Sumner TrainBoard Member

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    Haven't had any problems with ME code 50 and code 70 down to 11 in radius. Looks good and love how easy it is to shape into any curve and that it holds a curve before gluing down.

    Sumner
     

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