What track to use.

astrotrain May 9, 2021

  1. astrotrain

    astrotrain TrainBoard Member

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    I want to do a N scale layout. I been doing HO for 40 years. So I have always used Atlas code 100 flex and code 100 switches ' hand thrown . Always worked great. I was looking at Atlas code 80 flex and switches N scale' Is that a good choice. Do not want to use Kato tracK' Seems a little to expensive and a little fake looking. I like using Cork road bed. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. Trains

    Trains TrainBoard Member

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    For a long time I used Atlas flex track and Peco switches with no problems.
     
  3. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Same here. Atlas flex and Peco switches.
     
  4. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    I would chose, and did on my Cajon layout (1999 issue MRP), ME code 55 flex, but were I going to do it again, I would likely use ME code 40. All switches were handlaid. I chose to compare prices, and I discovered that using paper templates, the cost savings were sufficient to pay the cost of a good resistance solderer, which is then available for use into the future. The handlaid turnouts were far more reliable than factory made ones, and yard ladders were all made as a single assembly. I prefer ME track, ans when formed it stays that way, while the atlas always wants to return to straight.
     
    Sumner likes this.
  5. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    Peco C55 track and switches. I think the Peco rail contains more nickel than the Atlas track and thus lessens conductivity issues.
     
    Wesley Warren likes this.
  6. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Atlas flex track is supposed to go back straight when released. That's so it is easier to reuse and easier to curve in the first place. Atlas' original flex was like the others and was more difficult to form into smooth curves.

    Doug
     
  7. Dogwood

    Dogwood TrainBoard Member

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    I use ATLAS and MicroEngineering Code55 flex track and switches. Both are prototypical.
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  8. astrotrain

    astrotrain TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks all.
     
  9. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    It all depends on the amount of nickel in the track. The price of nickel has varied quite dramatically over the past several decades. Nickel is often used as a hardener in metal alloys. This causes it to want to retain its shape and if bent will spring back to its former configuration. Its advantage to model RR is that the oxide of nickel, unlike that of brass, is electrically conductive. The more nickel in a rail the better electrical conductivity it has. Those of us who recall the old days of HO brass track with the fiber ties and the staples used to affix the rail to the ties will recall the time spent on cleaning track so trains will run.
     
  10. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, I remember. My older brother had an HO layout with some of the old fiber tie flex track and other track, all with brass rail., As long as you ran trains every day, it was fine but, if it sat for awhile, you had to clean it. Another problem with the fiber ties is that, when you ballasted it, the water made it warp, reducing the gauge and you then had to nail it down at the ends of the ties.

    Some of my Atlas flex track of the really flexible type is around or over 50 years old and remains conductive almost indefinitely. I don't think Atlas ever had a problem with putting enough nickel into it.

    Doug
     
    BoxcabE50 likes this.
  11. Dogwood

    Dogwood TrainBoard Member

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    That should be a sufficiently long test.
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  12. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Yes and when it gets to 100 years, we'll REALLY know something!

    :D

    Doug
     
    Hardcoaler and Dogwood like this.
  13. Dogwood

    Dogwood TrainBoard Member

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    OK ... then we'll talk in 50 years, drinking a Bud and test our tracks.:ROFLMAO:
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  14. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for all the info. Hopefully I will soon need to make a decision. (y)

    Maybe when I get my special money from the uncle. :cautious:
     
  15. hoyden

    hoyden TrainBoard Supporter

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    Late to the show. I chose Peco c55 because I needed all the special switches: curved, double slip, scissor crossover, three-way. Too bad the tie spacing isn't North American prototype.
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  16. Dogwood

    Dogwood TrainBoard Member

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    Peco is still a very good choice.
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  17. bill pearce

    bill pearce TrainBoard Member

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    The degree of difficulty between the two tracks is not very much,, definitely a first world problem. when curving ME, start from the middle of the stick and go both directions. And regarding the subject of reuse, why not just build a good layout in the beginning and be happy?
     
  18. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    I use track from just about every manufacturer past and present. I even have one Shinohara #6 turnout. They all have drawbacks and advantages. I have been using the Code 80 simply because I started with that. My trackwork is mediocre, so the Code 80 also is more forgiving.

    I have had to take out and replace most of my PECo turnouts, of late. They have been giving me constant electrical continuity problems. At times, it is a matter of taking a Q-tip and my LL track cleaner and cleaning the points and stock rails. I seem to have to do this more, of late, than I used to. The cleaning does not always solve the problem, however. In addition, two recently broke the springs on the points. I am guessing that this is from their becoming fatigued from constant use. My biggest issues seem to be with turnouts.

    The Shinoharas and B-mann #4s cause derailments at speed when set for "diverging". They are alright for slow speed, but at anything over twenty-five SMPH, they cause derailments.

    The PECo s cause electrical continuity problems that cleaning does not always address.

    The Kato #4s cause point and frog picking when set for "diverging".

    The Kato #6s have internal electrical continuity problems or the points will not make proper contact with the stock rail in the "main" position.

    The Kato UNITRAM are too sharp for almost any locomotive.

    The Atlas seem to have the fewest problems, but, they are available only with plastic frogs, which causes my smaller power to stall at slow speeds.

    I never have tried B-mann #6s.
     
    Doug Gosha likes this.
  19. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Untrue.....
     
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  20. ggnlars

    ggnlars TrainBoard Member

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    “Brokemoto” does your comment about Kato #6 come from personal experience. If so how many had the problem.
     
    NorsemanJack likes this.

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