My ongoing code 55 nightmare...

N scale
After so much anticipation and excitment, as well as hours upon hours
of work, I'm ready to throw in the towel. With about $1000 of Atlas
code 55 flex track and switches on my workbench and half of it now
glued to my layout, I threw down my freight cars and locked up the
room. It started with about 20 pieces of flew track going to waste
getting the hang of code 55. Sanding off glue and constantly
relaying track to curve better. Straights were also extremely hard
to get perfect. The straw that broke the camels back was after about
20 hours of laying track (soldering all pieces) I put my Kato
Smoothside Cars on for a run. Clickity, clickity, clickty... they
sounded horrible!!! Yes, I did test them on this track beforehand.
I took a deep breath, "The Micro-Trains Low-Profile wheels will surely
be o.k.". After stringing five together.... Clickity, clickity,
clickty.... I about threw up. My temper almost got the best of me
wanting to tear the whole layout down in a blaze of rage. Start a new
hobby someday... Is there anything anyone can say to help me? It
makes no sense....
Frustrated beyond belief,
Kevin Miller
Reply to
Kevin Miller
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WOW Kevin! I am assuming you have been in the hobby a while and did not take all this on for the first time.
For the sake of building confidence for the code 55 track and again I am assuming you are talking about Atlas I would advise you to not glue it down. I use Atlas code 55 and love it. I nail mine down just like I used to do with the HO.
If you turn the track over you will see small dimples on the ties spaced about 6 inches apart. Take a small drill bit in your dremel or whatever and drill that dimple out then you can use a regular Atlas nail to secure the track down. The same thing is true for the Atlas code 55 turnouts which I love also.
Next I solder each joint just as I did with HO. This makes for a very good system in my case. I spend a lot of time making sure the track system is bullet proof before I ever do much of anything else. Yes I have installed Atlas metal low profile wheels in all of my rolling stock. I do not buy any locomotive that does not have low profile wheel sets.
I am not a drinking man but I am a praying man so that helps me. You need to whatever helps you and give it another go and this time slow down and enjoy it.
Larry at Papas Trains
Reply to
Thank you for the reply, do you think it's the glue causing my problem? Most people I speak to advise me to glue it, so I did... Also, how can you "tell" if an engine has low profile wheels? Thanks again, I'm calmer now than last night :)
Reply to
Kevin Miller
I have built a small test layout(36" by 57") that uses Atlas code 55 track. I used Woodland Scenics 'sub-roadbed' with Atlas cork glued to it(large 'T' pins to hold it in place until it 'set'). The code 55 track was glued down using a thin film of 'Liquid Nails' with those 'T' pins used again to hold it in place. I have had NO problems with Atlas GP9's, but a Kato USRA 2-8-2 did have some 'clicking' problems when I tried it. All of my MT freight cars have has the wheel sets changed out with Atlas metal wheel sets(Atlas has special 33" wheel sets just for MT trucks). All joints on the curves are soldered, as well as some other spurs(there are only 4 turnouts and one bridge). The entire layout was built on a old interior door 'blank', with the above mentioned Woodland Scenics 'sub-roadbed' glued to the door 'blank' with 'Liquid Nails'. The layout was built about 1 1/2 years ago, and has survived several road trips and storage leaning against the wall. The track is ballasted using Campbell dark gray ballast, that has been glued down using 'matte medium'. I feel that the matte medium is more flexible that white glue and helps secure the trackage in place. I found the trackage to be a little fussy to work with, but everything went together fine and the trains run over it with no problems(better than the old Atlas code 80 turnouts!). Older engines like the Mintrix FM switcher and Arnold Alco switcher have deep flanges and will not work. What surprised me was that the Kato 2-8-2 had problems(lead/trailing trucks, not the drivers).
Jim Bernier
Kev> Thank you for the reply, do you think it's the glue causing my
Reply to
Jim Bernier
Peco make a gauge called Tracksetta. It comes in straight and various radius. I laid all my track using them, and although it takes time it is worth it in the long run. What it does is sit between the rails to form the straight or curve. It has holes in it for those who like to nail, or you can glue. I got mine from:
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as I am building a British layout, but Walthers may have them??? Rob
Reply to
You say the cars go clickety, clickety? Where? The sound from hitting the ties would be a rumble so I would suspect that the wheels are hitting the rail ends of the track and making that noise. If so, you have to go back and look at those joints and make sure that the ends of the rails are correctly butted together so that the inner top corner is nicely mated into a smooth continous line (it can be interrupted by the gap but it must continue on as if nothing had happened). Failure to do this will mean a nice little bump at each railjoint and you get all kinds of clicks and clacks from that little problem. I'd also stop gluing the track down until you learn the process of bending it and so forth so that it is correct each and every time. Even using HO track spikes to hold the ties down at intervals will do wonders and you can do your gluing down with the ballast later after you have the track where you want it. The job isn't hard, it is more just tricky and you just need to learn the tricks. Don't forget that there are some of us that handlay the rails themselves and thus when we lay the ties down, we have just permantly determined where the rail is going to be!
-- Bob May Losing weight is easy! If you ever want to lose weight, eat and drink less. Works every time it is tried!
Reply to
Bob May
In our club we have an huge lay-out all build in flexible sections (34) and we used only Code 55 Peco Track and we noticed that it is very important that the inside of the rail is absolutely clean no glue or ballast on this spot and glued onto a corkbedding Greetings Ben
Reply to
Ben en Grietje Leone

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