What track to use.

astrotrain May 9, 2021

  1. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    The only issue I have had with Kato #6s has been a issue with it coming apart inside on the linkage. A simple fix and it is back in service.
     
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  2. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I have had no problems with Kato #6's. Bullet-proof trackage and reliable electrical power routing.

    I have no experience with Kato #4's.
     
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  3. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    If this were not true, I would not have posted it. Thus................

    FIFY


    It does, in fact, come from personal experience. The above quoted poster can post what he did all that he will, it does not alter my experience with them. I have had three show the continuity problems and two show the poor alignment problems.

    I have had this problem, as well. There were two where that was not the problem, however. I tried re-doing the Phillips screw, but even that would not address the problem.
     
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  4. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    mtntrainman said:
    Untrue.....
    If this were not true, I would not have posted it. Thus................

    mtntrainman said:
    Untrue.....
    FIFY

    TRW is calling you back...JS

    I have 28 Unitrack #6's on my layout....with 2 #6 double crossovers. They where installed in 2012. I have had...wait for it............ZERO problems with any of them...ever.

    You state you have had multiple problems with Unitrack #6's.

    "It does, in fact, come from personal experience. The above quoted poster can post what he did all that he will, it does not alter my experience with them. I have had three show the continuity problems and two show the poor alignment problems."

    Did you ever stop to think maybe its your bad install procedures or it's your layout itself problem? Just asking.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2021
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  5. Rich_S

    Rich_S TrainBoard Member

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    Hi Aerotrain, Welcome aboard. You've probably heard the old joke, ask 10 people a question and you'll probably get 10 different answers :LOL:
    This is one of those topics that has no right or wrong answer, but boils down to what type of track fits into your budget, looks good to you and is available when you're ready to start construction of your layout.

    I started in this hobby in 1967 in HO scale with Atlas code 100 Brass Snap track. In the mid 1970's I switched to Atlas Code 100 Nickle Silver track. In 1989 I made the switch to N scale and so far have not looked back. I've used the various track from many manufacturers but my go to track is Atlas. I've used both Atlas code 55 and Atlas code 80 track. My current layout uses Atlas code 80, because Atlas was having a supply problem with their Code 55 track when I started construction on my current layout. Now to qualify my track decision, I enjoy track work, I enjoy laying the cork roadbed then laying the track. Once the track is laid I paint the rails and add ballast. Some people do not like this part of the hobby and there is nothing wrong with that, this is not a once size fits all hobby. If you're not keen on trackwork, I would recommend Kato Unitrack. Like George has mentioned above, I've used Kato Unitrack in the past and have had zero problems with Unitrack. But ultimately, the choice is going to be what suits your taste and budget.

    Previous layout with Atlas Code 55.
    My Layout 015.jpg

    Current layout with Atlas Code 80.
    P&WV FM H16-44 90.JPG
     
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  6. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    Simple answer....yes. Atlas C80 track is a good choice. (y)
     
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  7. tonkphilip

    tonkphilip TrainBoard Member

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    - Astrotrain, Agreed, Kato Unitrack, Atlas Code80 and Peco Code55 are all good choices. Kato Unitrack is definitely the easiest, the wiring is well thought out and it is also widely available. Atlas Code 80 is also widely available, economical but I think the turnouts are just OK and the switch motors are large and ugly. Peco Code55 has very good turnouts and the, the spring feature makes them reliable and means that you do not need a switch motor or a manual turnout throw. This feature saves you some money even though the turnouts seem expensive. The Peco Code55 also looks better because the Code 55 rail height looks smaller and is more rugged than the Atlas Code 80. There is also Atlas Code55 which is good track and the best looking of the bunch because the ties are protypically close spaced. But, the installation and maintenance techniques are more advanced for Code55 and it has some availability issues. I also really like the Micro Engineering Code55 track which has the best looking track and turnouts. But, the turnouts need filing to make them reliable which I do. - Tonkphilip
     
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  8. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    I have ten of them. They are all on level plywood and all connected to UNITRACK pieces. The turnouts that showed problems were connected to straight sections on the main and either straight or broad curves on the diverging. Oddly enough, those that show no problems are connected to sharper curves on both main and diverging.

    All joints were checked for misaligned rail joiners, although misaligning a rail joiner is no mean feat on Unitrack. The track is affixed properly to the plywood.

    In answer to your question, yes, I checked that.
     
  9. BigJake

    BigJake TrainBoard Member

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    I think the most any of us can actually claim is that we have neither had, witnessed nor heard about a problem with a given product.

    None of us can honestly claim that any product is 100% golden for everyone else.

    We should welcome all experiences with a given product as additional data to weigh against our existing data. The fact that someone else has had a problem does not meaningfully affect my confidence in Kato #6 turnouts, given my own experiences and their overall reputation. But we should not expect perfection in any product, nor should we abandon our own confidence (or not) in a product: stuff happens.
     
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  10. Hansel

    Hansel TrainBoard Member

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    Having years and years of experience with both Peco c55 and c80, I would recommend c55. C55 is much more durable as it related to ties staying on the rails and it looks a lot better than c80, IMHO.
     
  11. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    When in doubt, use Unitrack. I've used both Unitrack and code 55 ME and Atlas. Never any problems with any of them. That said, it's hard to beat the bullet proof performance of Unitrack. It also has a good resale value if you change your mind (assuming you don't ballast it or make similar modifications). Also, some of us find the signals and crossing gate accessories to be "fun." Lionel-esque? Sure. But Lionel was fun too!
     
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  12. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    If I were to do it all over again I'd go with Peco c55 turnouts and flex. Their turnouts are ridiculously rugged but mating them to ME flex was too much of a pita.
     
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  13. tonkphilip

    tonkphilip TrainBoard Member

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    Agreed on Code 55: It is the most rugged track out there and the turnouts are a joy to use. I have been using Peco C55 for 35 years. Agreed also that is it is much easier to use the Peco C55 flex with the Peco C55 turnouts. I have been using the ME flex for almost as long but while the flex is relatively easy to use and very reliable, the ME switches take a lot of love and attention but are very realistic. I have about 25 x Peco Code 55 turnouts, 25 x ME Code55 turnouts and 1 x Atlas Code55. - Tonkphilip
     
  14. HemiAdda2d

    HemiAdda2d Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I'm an Atlas fanboy; been using their track since 1986. I love the look of c55, and with a carefully-prepared roadbed, it can just as reliable as c80. It is somewhat finicky to lay, as c55 is less forgiving of modeler mistakes and sloppiness than c80 is. If you have shaky hands, c55 is tough to lay well.

    c55 has a nice array of switches as well, which could influence your decision. I cannot speak to the selection of Kato, Micro-Engineering and Peco switches, but Atlas c55 offers switches from #5-10, curved, 2 wyes, a full array of crossings, and tons of curves in sectional track.
    I have no experience with c65 TrueTrack, although it looks similar to Kato Unitrack.

    Here's what my c55 looks like. I like it enough... ;)

    [​IMG]
     
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  15. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    First off welcome to TrainBoard. Glad to have you on board.

    You've gotten some honest advice and you may have to sort it out a bit.:eek:

    To answer your original question. You'll have no (NO) problems converting over from HO too N Scale using the same name products.

    Now with that said you might want to try using Code (uhh-oh senior moment) 55. :confused:

    Someone will correct me if that's wrong. There goes my credibility.:whistle::unsure::(


    For N Scale: That said, I prefer to use Atlas Code 80 flex track, cork roadbed on the main line (although the cork roadbed can dry out and needs to be sealed), #6 Kato automated switches, again on the mainline (although you'll have to shim your flex track up to the same height as the Kato Switches), and Peco switches off the main. The Peco switches I leave set-up to hand throw.

    I like the Kato switches as they are pre-wired the way most guys who really get into this, like it done. ;)

    Like Mtntrainman, I have nothing but good to say about Kato. Code 70 track. Little to no derailments. Bullet proof. No, I found I could plug a hole in them with my BB gun. Almost shot my eye out. :D

    All but Bullet Proof in every other way. :cool::cool:

    Best of luck and see signature.(y) Or not !!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2021
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  16. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    Yup, I agree. Atlas code 55 is beautiful and not that much different from laying code 80, for me. The only reason my layout isn't totally laid with it is because I have so much code 80 from over 50 years of layouts and I have many older models and their wheel flanges strike the spike tops but that is NOT the fault of the track. The newer equipment I have works great on it and looks just as great.

    Doug
     
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  17. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Member

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    I did my big layout using ME code 55 track. In the process, developed shaping tooling to slowly curve the track at the desired radii. I could shape multiple pieces of flex track at the same time. All of the turnouts were hand laid code 55 and code 40 because code 40 was used for branch line operations. It took a lot testing to get it all right, but when I got there, it was easy to go into volume track laying. All I can say is that this has been a layout that took almost 10 years to build out. But all the trains run flawlessly on any and all tracks. If I do another layout I will not this again, I will keep it simple and use Kato Uni-Trak.
     
  18. NorsemanJack

    NorsemanJack TrainBoard Member

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    A note about ME 55 vs Atlas 55. ME flexes in a plastic manner. Atlas flexes in a elastic manner. I've used both, and elastic is much better for both straight straights and even curves. If I were ever to again construct a massive empire layout, it would be 100% Atlas C55. I won't, so it's strictly Unitrack for me from here on out.... Unitrack will NEVER detract from the fun of playing with trains.
     
  19. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    I originally had Atlas flex with mostly Peco turnouts. Got tired of messing with the finicky Peco turnouts with having to clean almost weekly and other issues. Made the decision to go with Kato unitrack and that was made easy when I discovered how to make a section of unitrack into a flex section thanks to Mr. Fifers videos. I even made some curved sections into flex. A lot of the layout has short radius turnouts with some #6s and a lone #4. Got rid of electrical problems and the need to clean frequently. Rarely if ever have a derailment and that is usually the fault of the car truck and not the track. And I am happy with the ballasted roadbed.
     
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  20. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    ............so I ain't the only one, -eh?
     
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