1. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    0
    0
    0
    I would like to get some input about what track to use for the layout we are in the process of building. I known that I want to use flex track, but whose? Is code 55 or 80 the way to go? Atlas, Micro Engineering, or Peco? Alan, what do you use for your N-scale?
     
  2. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

    1,087
    4
    29
    On my N-Trak Modules, I currently use a mix of code 80 and code 55. I "fliped" the mains on my set-up, the outside "red line" is now the "Uncle Pete" [​IMG] Branch and uses code 55 Peco wood-tie Flex. The "yellow" and "blue lines" are the BNSF/AOW Double Track Main line and uses code 80 Peco concrete-tie. Turnouts are a mix of Peco and Atlas Premiums, #6 and #8's. My "diamonds" are Atlas code 80. I'd like to use a more prototypical looking track, but MicroEngineering Code 55 is expensive and doesn't like anything without a low-profile wheel. I've heard my train "bump along" a streach of ME code 55, flanges tapping the spikes! [​IMG] It wasn't cool. At the last train show I went to (Urbana, IL.) I got some heat damage from an overhead sky-light. [​IMG] I now have to go back and start over again. My town's streets needed a make-over anyway, so it's back to the drawing boards! [​IMG] The Module's over 7yrs. old and has gone through some minor changes over the years, but now it's time for some real improvments! [​IMG]

    ------------------
    RAILROADING-TO-THE-MAX!
    Brent Tidaback
     
  3. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    2,770
    178
    49
    I am in the same boat. I am looking hard at Peco, Atlas and yes even Kato. Kato has good quality track and I have seen layouts where they weathered the rails and partially filled in the roadbed varying the amount of fill for main lines and branches. After the roadbed was filled they ballasted it as you would standard cork. It looked good. Kato is not cheap though. I have never worked with flex track before. My old HO layout used Atlas snap track (brass). I have heard great things about Peco NS 80 flex track. I have read alot about using flex track and soldering pieces of flex ends together. How is this done and is it worth the hassle? If cost is not an issues, what do you guys think is the best way to go regarding 1st performace, 2nd looks, and third ease of use.

    Thanks
     
  4. Catt

    Catt Permanently dispatched

    915
    2
    24
    Fur my 2 cents worth I use nothing but Atlas code 80 both at home and on my NTRAK modules.It is reasonable priced very available and looks good weathered and ballusted{IMHO)As far as people telling me it is to tall I say if your that close, your to close.

    ------------------
    Catt!
     
  5. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

    1,087
    4
    29
    There was a heated debate on the Atlas Forum about the "soldered rails" issue. go to the arhcives there and you'll see how I feel about it, and see many other idea's on the subject. Some good, some not so good. I solder the rails in the curves, but only before laying the track. My straight track generally doesn't get soldered. I NEVER solder turnouts. If they go bad, it's harder to replace them.

    ------------------
    RAILROADING-TO-THE-MAX!
    Brent Tidaback
     
  6. sd75mac

    sd75mac Guest

    0
    0
    0
    I used Atlas on my first n-scale layout. On the current, and future, I like Peco. Atlas flex has a memory and Peco doesn't. This becomes an issue on curves. Peco will hold the curve and Atlas will snap back to straight.

    ------------------
    Keep on Track'N
    Harold Riley
    www.phcomputing.com
     
  7. Gats

    Gats TrainBoard Member

    4,122
    23
    59
    Good questions, Patrick. I have used Atlas and Peco together in the past. I prefer Peco's points and I like Atlas flex. They work well together.
    The current layout I have (6x3 bought second-hand) has been stripped of scenery and next is the track. It's Peco throughout except on old Atlas switch.
    When it gets relaid, I'll try ME's code 55 this time. Yes, it's expensive (especially Downunder) but I like it's look and it comes up very realistic when weathered and ballasted.

    Gary.
     
  8. Gats

    Gats TrainBoard Member

    4,122
    23
    59
    oh, yeah, I forgot... if using ME55, I recommend using Peco's Z Scale joiners - very small and a tight fit.
     
  9. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    0
    0
    0
    First of all I want to thank everyone for the great input. I’m a rookie at model RR, Jan. 2000, and I appreciate all of your help. There is nothing like learning from other people’s experiences; that’s where the rubber meets the road or in this case the wheel meets the rail. [​IMG] No stone throwing please.

    Brent, you mentioned low profile wheels. The rolling stock to this point is all Micro Trains and engines are Kato SD40-2s. Would these be considered low profile?

    Maybe something else I should mention is the fact that I plan on using DCC for controlling the layout. Don’t know if this is significant in regards to the track that’s picked or not. Leaning towards Digitrax at this time.

    Hello Gray from Downunder. It so happens that our first layout will be 3 x 6. We decided to do Woodland’s Scenic Ridge with a lake and cabin, in place of the city, and a small logging area. We are building one of their learning kits now for the education and I am starting to pull at the bit to get going on the real layout. When I say we or our, I am referring to my wife who has the bug almost as bad as I do. Its fun to sit at a proto type RR X and discuss the consist with her. We’re having a ball.

    Love this Train Board. Thanks again you all!


    ------------------
    MBR#307
    Residing in the BNSF's St. Croix Subdivision near Trempealeau, WI

    [This message has been edited by Patrick (edited 06 April 2000).]
     
  10. Danimal

    Danimal TrainBoard Member

    77
    2
    19
    My last layout and my Bendtrack modules used Atlas flex and Peco turnouts. My new layout will hopefully use all Atlas products. Guess I'll just have to see how their code55 stuff measures up!
     
  11. Alan

    Alan Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    10,798
    463
    127
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Patrick:
    I know that I want to use flex track, but whose? Is code 55 or 80 the way to go? Atlas, Micro Engineering, or Peco? Alan, what do you use for your N-scale?

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Patrick, I use Peco code 55 flextrack, with medium or large radius point switches on the main running lines, and small radius in the yards (I do not have much space to spare).

    I would heartily recommend using code 55 rather than code 80, not only for the looks, but code 55 is cleverly designed, the rail section actually goes right down into the ties, and is much stronger than the code 80!

    I have a friend who has used 80, and it looks very crude compared to 55. Well, thats only my view [​IMG]

    I naturally use Peco, as it is made here in England, but it is very good reliable track.

    Hope this 'swings' you in our direction [​IMG]



    ------------------
    Alan

    www.ac-models.com
    http://Andersley.homestead.com
    http://galleryusarail_tehcaj.homestead.com
    http://eurogallery.homestead.com
     
  12. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

    1,087
    4
    29
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Patrick:
    Brent, you mentioned low profile wheels. The rolling stock to this point is all Micro Trains and engines are Kato SD40-2s. Would these be considered low profile? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    I think the Atlas, Bachmann Plus/Spectrum, Kato and Newest of the Life-Like Locomotives are OK. But the Micro Trains stock wheels are a regular flange. You can buy the LP wheels in a bulk pack, but be sure you have the right size of wheel diameter. I think the wheels on the newer Atlas cars and anything that uses the wheels from the company that makes Unimate couplers are low enough. The Atlas wheels are fine, but you have to watch the axles on the others. They have a tab that can interfer with smooth operation or you'll sometimes find them warped which makes them out of gauge. I'm sticking with the MT wheels and will probably use the Atlas wheels that come with the new Accumate coulpers. I haven't changed out any of my MT's with the Low Profiles yet, but I will.

    Another thing you might concider. Many folks are using metal wheel sets on there rolling stock. I personally don't use or like them, but they are easier to keep clean. Just remember, it's your layout and Railway! Do it your way! That's all I've got to say about it. [​IMG]

    By the way, I hope to find a nice lady someday that will enjoy this hobby as much as I do. Concider yourself Highly Blessed! [​IMG]


    ------------------
    RAILROADING-TO-THE-MAX!
    Brent Tidaback
     
  13. Patrick

    Patrick Guest

    0
    0
    0
    <BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Maxwell Plant:

    By the way, I hope to find a nice lady someday that will enjoy this hobby as much as I do. Concider yourself Highly Blessed! [​IMG]

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Thanks for the info Brent and I am very Blessed. She is a grand girl! I will hope the same for you.


    ------------------
    MBR#307
    Residing in the BNSF's St. Croix Subdivision near Trempealeau, WI
     
  14. Gats

    Gats TrainBoard Member

    4,122
    23
    59
    Patrick,
    In answer to your question regarding DCC, all I can suggest is that you have electrically continuous joints and plenty of heavy gauge feeders. One brand or the other is not so much an issue, but the conditions it will be living in and how it reacts to it (oxidisation, etc). All the above mentioned brands will do you fine. You'll just need to keep it clean.
    I have heard about the Woodlands Scenic's Scenic Ridge, but not seen it. From what I gather, it is a great learning tool. It will give you invaluable experience for the larger layout you are planning. Mine will be redone with a definite grain theme - elevators, feedmill, etc.
    And congrats on having a partner that is more than willing to share in your hobbies. They don't come along too often [​IMG]
     
  15. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    2,770
    178
    49
  16. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    2,770
    178
    49
  17. Robin Matthysen

    Robin Matthysen Passed Away October 17, 2005 In Memoriam

    834
    1
    24
    I guess I like simplicity so have used Atlas flex track. 80 may be a bit crude but properly ballasted it appears OK to me anyway. Reliable running comes from good track laying and that is what I have tried to achieve. I have soldered track joints but found it necessary to put gaps every so often to relieve expansion. I don't need unplanned hills. All switches so far are Peco. I have not tried the new Atlas ones.
    Any opinions as to switches?
    Robin
     
  18. Maxwell Plant

    Maxwell Plant TrainBoard Member

    1,087
    4
    29
    Yes, I like the new Atlas "non-machined" turnouts. The work really well with those ground throws that are way out of scale.(Of course, they have to make those GT's big enough for us to use. [​IMG] ) Don't get the ones with the "machines" (powered or non) built into them, I've seen alot of the six-axle stuff get hung up on them. I normally use Peco, but when I can't find them, I use the Atlas.

    ------------------
    RAILROADING-TO-THE-MAX!
    Brent Tidaback
     
  19. mtaylor

    mtaylor Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    2,770
    178
    49
    OK OK...after reading serveral of your postings and talking with the local N-scalers I looking much harder at the flex track. I have never worked with flex track other than a couple of sections for straight mainlines in HO (Atlas brass). The Peco code 55 is grabbing my attention. My concern as stated earlier is the flange depth. I am intrerested in running locos from Kato, Atlas, LL, Con-cor, Rivarossi, and Bachman (last 3 being steam). I am planning on cars from Atlas, Kato, Walthers, Con-Cor, MT, Deluxe Inovations, Freight Yard, a few from Red Caboose and Inter Mountain (you guys are shying me away from them though).

    I am interested in using MT trucks & couplers on all of these cars. Is this a bad idea with code 55 or is there another brand of trucks at the same level of quality as MT that works better.

    Thanks All [​IMG]
     
  20. Gats

    Gats TrainBoard Member

    4,122
    23
    59
    Matt,

    Buy a length of each and try all the cars and locos on them. If necessary, temporarily hook up a feed so you can drive the locos. Maybe grab a switch or 2 from the manufacturers you are considering using then put it together on a test board.
    Better to spend a small amount now in testing finding out what works or not than much more whilst building.
     

Share This Page