Newbie N Track question

Hi, all. *Brand new* to the hobby. My 10 yr old son and I are having a
ball. Two areas of questions:
1. Is all N track compatible? Other than say Bachmann Easy Track, are they
all basically sized to work together? Our local Hobby Lobby had a 50% sale
so we bought all the ModelPower Flex they had, and all of the packs of Atlas
straight and curves in a couple of different radius sizes, and a couple of
switches. I notice on Atlas's web site they have both a code 55 and 80 but
I couldn't find what the difference was.
2. What is the preferrred means or tool(s) to use when cutting flex track?
We finished our bench tonight - 40" X 60", small, but fits the only space
we've been allotted by my wife.
Thanks to all for help...
Reply to
Charlie Brandt
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"Charlie Brandt" wrote in news:MSNEc.1093$
Welcome to the greatest hobby there is!
As far as gauge (distance between the track) goes, mostly yes. Avoid the European brands *at* *all* *costs* though. As far as roadbed, connectors, track height (also known as 'code'; which is basically the rail height in thousands of an inch), no.
The difference is the height of the rail; Code 55 is lower, and appraches the proportions of real rail (which IIRC is around Code 40 in N) Beware, some (older/poor quality) models may have large wheelflanges which may hit the ties on Code 55 and lower rail; there are replacement wheel sets available though (NWSL)
A Xuron railcutter. A sturdy tool designed for the job. I have one, and it hasn't let me down. I like it; it leaves virtually straight cuts that require minimum filing and finishing.
That sounds like a pretty interesting layout! What are you going to run on it ?
Reply to
No and yes, in that order. The rails are all equally spaced apart and any N gauge train you buy should run on them. The geometry of set curves and turnouts of different brands will not be the same. The rails may be of nickel silver (non-magnetic) brass or steel - throw away any that are not nickel silver.
You should be able to mix the pieces you have without trouble.
The difference is in the depth of the rail. Code 80 is more robust (0.080" high) while code 55 looks more realistic (0.055" high)
A Dremel or similar rotary tool with a carborundum or fibre cutting disk will cut rail neatly and will also trim away the remaining burrs. A razor saw is much cheaper but you are very likely to crumple the rail. A cheap craft knife/carton knife will trim the plastic sleepers neatly.
We all have to start somewhere!
Reply to
Gregory Procter

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