Hi, I'd appreciate some advice on what Peco track to use for a UK layout in OO. I have seen the term Setrack mentioned along with Code 75 and 100. Of course I could ask Peco but as Luke wrote below, the Peco site is dreadful and a real turn off for the hobby.
Setrack is sectional track (compatible with Hornby), using fixed radius curves and points; it is available only in Code 100. Streamline points & crossings have a larger radius, and are usually used in conjunction with Flextrack, which has to be cut to fit. Streamline Code 100 can be connected to Setrack; SL Code 70 has a lower-profile rail with more realistic appearance. Most modern rolling stock will run on Code 70; older stuff such as Tri-Ang with large flanges will foul the chairs. It's even possible to have Code 70 and Code 100 on the same layout, will special Peco rail joiners to provide a level transition.
Basically, if you are building a permanent layout and are not too restricted for space, use StreamLine Code 70.
UK flat-bottom rail is 6.25" high. That scales to code 82 in
4mm/ft scale. Code 75 is too small, and code 100 is too big. Code 83 is just a thou over, which comes well within normal manufacturing tolerances.
I'm also coming from the idea that a model should be based on a known prototype, even if it is the wrong one at the wrong scale! You wouldn't be too impressed if Hornby and Bachmann simply invented free-lance locos and rolling-stock - why adopt a different approach for the track they run on?
Goodness me, how time flies. I bought one ages ago and when the planned layout didn't arise I sold it. How I've regretted that more recently.
Ah well that's encouraging to say the least. If anyone should want you to take one back into stock then put me on your list as a prospective purchaser. :-)
We stock the Skytrex wagons but the quality is a bit diappointing and they have not sold tremendously well. I reckon some decent metal wheels would improve them, but I reckon they should be included at the price.
Not at all happy with the crude underframe, especially the gross brake V-hanger.
"Setrack" is the stuff intended for laying out on a flat table and being put away after use. Flexible track is for when you have a bit more experience and know how you will want your track for the nex five or so years. Code 100 rail is relatively rigid and will withstand some handling, but the rails are heavy compared to scale. Code 75 is a better scale rail height but has little strength. The strenght comes from being fastened to a rigid baseboard.
Some of us don't model the railways of 2005 - prototype rail was smaller in past times. My prototype would have been relaying the old pre-steel main line rail in minor goods yards and the like so I should probably be using something like Code 35-50 there. Unfortunately Code 70 is the finest that most of my flanges will cope with, or Code 50 if I glue the rail to the sleepers, which means making rectangular bedplates for every sleeper.
Hornby made it's fortune making freelance locos and Bachmann has made their share too!
(or was there a prototype for "Connie" and the Dock Shunter and ... ;-)
In my OO days I used SMP Scaleway code 75, which was bullhead and probably smaller than more modern flat bottomed track.
These days, living in the US I see FB rail which is considerably larger than 6.25". I haven't measured it, but it looks like girders!
There's freelance and there's outright wrong. Remember Wrenn painting the BR standard class 4 2-6-4T for the big four companies? Or the Rebuilt Merchant Nany for Southern Railway?
Don't remember Connie but Nellie was actually based an LSWR Drummond prototype. It was originally the power unit for a steam rail-motor, turned into a dock shunter when it was removed. The prototype had outside cylinders and Walschaerts motion which the model didn't.
US axle loads (well wheel loads) are up around 35 tonnes while European axle loads are 20-25 tonnes. That weight has to be supported between sleepers. My prototype railway was at a point where they were leapfrogging from 14 to 17 to 20 tonne axle loads - mainlines were laid for either 14 or 17 tonnes so the rail height was quite small.
What can one say?
The same loco came in red, yellow or blue as Connie, Nellie or something else. Black came later.
That's getting pretty close to freelance in my book!