Flex track choices

I am starting a new layout and need quite a bit of flex track. I was
looking at my Walthers catalog and found a variety of manufacturers. But I
am wondering what the differences are other than price. I think I want Code
83 unless someone can tell me why Code 100 would be better.
I found the following options:
Atlas Code 83 w/ brown ties 36" $2.98
Peco Code 83 flex track 36" $5.20
Walthers Shinohara Code 83 - 39" $6.98
Micro Engineering weathered $4.66 6 @ $27.98
Thanks,
Scott
Reply to
Scott
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Go with Peco code 83. Probably the best track out there....
Reply to
Rob
Atlas has been making excellent track for many years. They also seem to be the price leader. Shinohara, Peco and Microengineering all have fine reputations, but so far I am a happy user of Atlas track. Although I do have a wonderful Shinohara double crossover. Just about anything will run on Code 83. The issue is the depth of the wheel flanges. Some very old, or European locomotives have flanges so deep that they hit the "spikes" on code 83 track. But most anything sold in the US over the last 30-40 years will run just fine on code 83. Anything with the NMRA standard RP-25 wheels will have no trouble on code 83. Weathered rail is easy enough to do. Just brush paint the sides of the rail brown, leaving the railheads shiny. Doing so improves the look of the track substantially.
David J. Starr
Reply to
David J. Starr
Atlas flex track is springy: you bend it to fit, but it doesn't stay that way until you tack it down. Walthers/Shinohara and MicroEngineering: you shape it and it holds its shape--not so springy. I don't know about Peco.
I've used Tillig Pilz Elite: also weathered, but springy like Atlas (even more so). The tie detail is more European than the others. You can see some of it laid down at my web site (see my sig). It is $4.36 each (35")
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(see the Tillig link).
I was happy with the flex track and the turnouts. My flextrack decision was based on my turnout decision. Though all of these are "code 83", that specifies rail height, not the width of the web (wide part at the bottom), or the tie height. There are small differences among all of these. For example, Atlas flex has thinner ties and a wider web than Pilz Elite.
So, I would pick the turnouts first (assuming you are going to use all the same brand), then see which flextrack aligns the best. You can always adapt anything, but it is convenient to use stock joiners, etc.
Ed
in article uYbnd.26798$ snipped-for-privacy@bignews4.bellsouth.net, Scott at snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net wrote on 11/18/04 5:26 PM:
Reply to
Edward A. Oates
Hey, what a bargain - only 2 cents more by the half dozen! (6 x 4.66 = 27.96)
I think code 100 looks awful - unless you really want to approach the N scale code 80 look (actually, even N code 55 is close to code 100). Painting and ballast can hide it to an extent, but why have to.
Reply to
Steve Caple
Walthers lists a six-pack at $31.35 on sale now for $27.98. Walthers does not list the price for 1 piece so I would assume the LHS breaks up six packs to sell one piece. In that case the price would be whatever they wanted. The difference in ME track is the closeness to prototype cross section. If you put a piece of Atlas next to a piece of ME (code 83) the Atlas _looks_ like code 100 or larger. So height isn't everything!
Reply to
Jon Miller
I'd go with the ME track as it has a very nice rail section and the ties, spikes and so forth look a lot nicer than the others. I'd also consider using some code 70 for sidings and other such offmain type track.
-- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
Reply to
Bob May
Scott, I've got Walthers HO code 83 turnouts and flex track. I also have Peco On30 turnouts and track. I bought the Walthers track because Peco did not make North American style turnouts at the time. Otherwise I'd have gone with Peco as they produce the best working commercial turnouts made by anyone anywhere. Peco also has switch machines with mounts for under the track that work great and are inexpensive. Pecos are the only turnouts I've ever had that have operated without fail year after year with out any modifications. The ME track looks the best by far. I had one ME turnout. It kind of fell apart but worked ok once it was fixed. It was eventually ripped up and replaced with a Walthers. Lots of people like Atlas. My steam locomotives hated Atlas turnouts 40 years ago and still do today. I have Atlas turnouts on my Timesaver layout. My SW8 and GP30's don't mind them much and clunk right through and rolling stock mostly deals with them too.
Railway Engineering is a company that make various turnouts with some options
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understand that these are outstanding turnouts. They look very nice.
Bruce
Reply to
Bruce Favinger
"> I've got Walthers HO code 83 turnouts and flex track. I also have Peco On30
I hand lay all my own trackage because who can afford Can$27 to $30 per switch? Not me. I noticed that Peco's double slip retails here for a dollars short of Can$100. Way out of my budget.
-- Cheers Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway (Site now back up and working)
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Reply to
Roger T.
I echo Bob's comments. I used code 83 on my mainline and code 70 on the siding. I like ME because it is harder to bend and make a curve. Once you get the shape you want, it stays that way, period. Atlas is too 'flexible'.
Reply to
Jeff Hensley
Roger, Thats a hefty chunk of cash even in US dollars. After I finalized on an HO track plan I ended up with 23 turnouts total. I just bought them all at one time along with flex track and slow motion switch machines and got the pain over with in one shot. I hand laid my Sn3 track on the previous layout. I don't know if it saved money or not because I just wanted to do it. This time I don't. I also wanted slow motion switch mahines to replace the old units many that were my dads and are a good bit older than I am. Bruce
Reply to
Bruce Favinger
Another question. How do you bridge from code 83 to code 70? Special rail joiners?
Scott
Reply to
Scott
I have no quarrel with ME's flex track - I have some (code 70). It was just the "giant economy size for very little more per ounce" pricing I was needling at.
Reply to
Steve Caple
There are pieces of track that are available in dual gauges--it goes from code 83 to code 70, or whichever you need.
I used the Walther's/Shinohara code 83. hated the curve making, so I bought atlas code 83 curved pieces. jai
Reply to
JaiJEF
joiners?< ME has plastic (insulating) jointers that will go from 83 to 70, 83 to 55, and 70 to 55. ME makes a code 55 flex in case you need that size.
Reply to
Jon Miller
My trick when using rail joiners (generally don't use them as I handlay all of my track - ever see a turnout that doesn't have the cutout on the stock rail for the points?) is to flatten the one side that goes to the code 70 and solder that to the code 70 rail end. The difference in height is about the right amount necessary for the difference. I make sure that the joint height is right by bending the railjoiner before installing the mess onto the layout. Today, I just make sure that the two railheads are the same height and that the inside corner of the top of the rail is matching between the two rails. Once you have spiked them in place, the rails don't move.
-- Why isn't there an Ozone Hole at the NORTH Pole?
Reply to
Bob May
Does M.E. code 83 flextrack mate with Peco code 83 turnouts without problems?
Ron
Reply to
Gallillee
You may have to fuss with the railjoiners and/or underlays under the ties so that the top and inside edges of the rail line up. That's all that matters.
I've found that such adjustments are usually needed when mating any two brands of track, since the rail profiles and tie thicknesses vary a bit.
HTH&GL
Reply to
Wolf Kirchmeir

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