Will my n Kato run on Atlas Code 55 track?

Are all the different codes designed for different brands of rolling stock? Just looks? What?

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More than "just" looks... code 55 track (.055 inch high) is a more prototypical track. The standard code 80 (.080 inch) track is WAY oversize.

You might not think it makes much difference... until you see the code 55 ballasted and in place.

Yes, all your newer (recent manufacture) locomotives _will_ run on Atlas Code 55. I've got it on some BendTrak modules, and have run recent Atlas, Kato and even the ConCor GS4 locomotives on it with no difficulty or additional noise. The only real "problem" is MT large flange wheelsets, and some of the cheap cars with huge metal wheel flanges... and even those will _run_, (even through turnouts), but they're noisy and put additional drag on the train.

I did note that the lead (pilot) truck of the Kato Mikado has large flanges... more a noise problem than anything else, and I suspect (though I haven't tried yet) it could simply be replaced with a smaller-flanged wheelset rather easily.

The look of the Code 55 Atlas track more than makes up for the minor problems with out-of-standard wheels, though.

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Joe Ellis

N scale cars and locomotives designed in accordance with NMRA wheel specs SHOULD run on code 55 rail. Some, especially older, European manufactured, do not and require the grossly oversize code 80 rail to handle their oversized wheel flanges.

The "code" bit really just means the rail height in thoudandths of an inch - code 100 (40 years ago, the HO standard) is .100" high; code 70 is .070", code 55 is .055, etc.; code 80 in N is close to code 150 or 160 in HO - and code 100 in HO scales out to some of the heaviest rail used on mainline railroads. HO code 83 is a good compromise, with lots of folks preferring code 70 with some code 55 for industrial spurs.

In N scale, code 55 is just acceptable to my taste, code 40 looks great, but might lead to problems with lot of generic rolling stock. People do it, though. But for my old eyes even HO is pretty small to work with.

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Steve Caple

My new Kato N-scale RS-2 runs fine on the Atlas-55 track but the Model-Power heavy weight passenger car wheel flanges bump on the ties. I plan to reduce the size of the flanges to correct this problem.

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Max Coynes

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