I have a large finished layout in my basement that Ive got bored with,
so I am planning on demolishing it and building a new one. The track
is Peco code 100 and includes many turnouts and crossings.
Do you suggest I reuse the track and turnouts or go new with Code 75?
My stock is all newer Hornby and Bachman.
I have had some derailment problems with th newer stock on code 100
points, or is it down to bad track laying
My 5p's worth - new stock on Code 100 should be fine, if its just some of
your new stock then check the B2B of those locos. Both Bachmann and Hornby
can be slightly incorrect straight from the box.
I'd suggest code 83 or 75 rather than retaining your code 100. Rather
than Peco you might like to consider Shinohara (Walthers) or Roco points.
Why? Well, Peco have changed their standards over the years slowly
moving from "Universal" to finer standards. I have at least 3 iterations
of flageway clearances on my Peco points, the older ones are not always
kind to NMRA RP 25. My preference now is for Shinohara (Walthers) points
as I still see issues with correct BtoB RP 25 wheels picking the vee.
"Rob Kemp" wrote
Code 100 is naff, code 75 is less naff, and works well with all recent
Bachmann & Hornby products, but remember BOTH are basically European HO
products even though they're made in England.
For me Peco code 75 is a reliable compromise especially if well ballasted &
nicely weathered, but if time were not an issue I'd hand-build a closer to
UK scale OO track - but you can argue that if you're going to do that then
you might well consider switching to EM (or Scale 4).
Am sure these are good points (oh a pun), must admit dont know anything
about code 75 so happy to leave that part of discussion to other more
experienced and knowledgable.
However, if your locos have difficulty with Code 100 then wouldnt be
suprised if they have difficulty with other varieties of track. Dont know
enough details of problems you are having, but under reasonable conditions
Code 100 is fine. Would therefore suggest you sort out those locos first
before moving to new track/layout which would introduce a new situation and
confuse the issue.
Take one loco at a time, check B2B, note where and frequency of derailment.
Run it slowly over those places, observe and report whats happening.
I'm quite sure Peco would be quite happy to admit that their track is a
compromise, after all all 00 track is. I'm also sure that they would be
happy to make "proper" 00 track if people were prepared to pay for it.
The trouble is that that there is such a vast amount legacy track out
there, and most users would baulk at mixing the two and certainly not
consider re-laying their entire layout. Let's face it, the vast majority
of users don't really give a damn, or Marcway 00 flexi track, which has
been available for donkeys years, would be the de-facto standard rather
beamends wrote in
Most users want to go in to thier local shop and say, "I'll have 'x' yards
of track please" and as 99 shop keepers out of a hundred haven't even heard
of Marcway 'x' yards of Pritchards Patent Products track is handed over ...
... and by the time most users actually know the difference and know of the
existence of Marcway etc it's to late as they've already got a Peco layout.
Marcway don't make track in yards. Marcway make points, which match
track produced by SMP.
As it happens, SMP is now owned by Marcway, but the two brands are
still sold separately. To the purist, that may be a good thing. But
such a blinkered approach to branding and marketing is one of the
reasons why very few shops stock Marcway/SMP products and very few
modellers have heard of them.
It's easy to knock the likes of Peco, but they do at least have half a
clue about marketing. But it's still only half a clue, and a well-run
competitor could easily make big inroads into their market.
Unfortunately, Marcway/SMP don't fall into this category.
Actually, I prefer Atlas flextrack (and settrack, but not their turnouts).
It has finer rail fasteners than Peco, and the web is attached to the rail
on one side so it's easier to keep a uniform tie/sleeper spacing both on
curves and on straights. It's cheaper on this side of the pond, too.
I've been using SMP for over 30 years now, and combined with handbuilt
pointwork it is by far the most realistic track around. Peco stuff is
rubbish. You use it, and it shouts 'TOY TRAINS' at anyone who knows anything
about railway track. SMP is code 65 BTW which is deadscale for 4mm. SMP
copperclad kits also use code 65 and they are a good way to learn handbuilt
track building but they are not, and do not pretend to be, accurate
representations of real track. For that you need to use the Permanent Way
Institution's 'bible' - 'British Railway Track' published in 1971 by the
BRB. Turns up second hand quite frequently. Not for the mathematically
I didn't know Markway had taken over SMP. It's a while since I bought any
ready made plastic based SMP.
"Fred X" <
Considering Peco's largest, by far, market is the North American market, is
it no wonder that they bastardised their track design to make it sell better
in North America.
Peco "Universal" track follows no known design, not North America, not UK.
It has some features of both but is accurate for neither. It's at best, a
mid Atlantic design and although reliable, it's best use is for staging
tracks, fiddle yards and any other hidden trackage.
It's very strange that a British company makes so much specialists track
suitable for almost every scale imaginable, including several different
types of HO-scale track, but fail lamentably to make a track aimed
specifically at the British OO-scale modeller.
I *know* Peco have been asked for a decent OO-scale track (with scale
British sleepering) for many years, and I know any number of my customers
(self included) would happily pay a modest premium for such a track system.
After all if they can produce specialist HO-scale Code 83 track specifically
for the American market, something more suitable for the British modeller
shouldn't be beyond them.
Yeah, they could produced it in parallel with their HO track so that
those who want to stick with their existing track work could still buy it
and I'm sure it would be popular. Although I guess it would mean shops like
yours having to sell two track systems which probably wouldn't please a
lot of shop owners as there are enough different permutations of Peco
track as it is. Perhaps we just aren't a big enough market to justify
the costs of producing it?
I suspect he will have done some market research and possibly concluded
that introducing "proper" UK 00 track would split the market, causing
them to have increased overheads. I've no idea how much track they sell a
year to the UK, probably quite a lot, but lets say that if they
introduced 00 track and the drop in sales of their standard track fell
significantly they would have to increase the price to cover costs
(reduced volumes) - I would guess that track is probably quite price
sensitive - leading to further falls in sales. They might conclude that
taking the risk is just too great, especially when demand for true 00
track might be quite low. Then there's the cost of developing matching
points etc. And, of course, there's the dealers - specialist like
yourself may be prepared to hold additional stock, but many wouldn't I
I would guess that are waiting until a rival comes along and starts
producing mass-market true 00 track, and then they will react (quickly) -
but in the mean time it's probably just not worth the commercial risk,
and it could be they know the risks quite well, as they will know what
happened when concrete sleeper track was launched.
The reason why they have produced US track is the size of the market, and
for 00-9 etc the lack of competition helps - but I'd venture the current
00 track is their bread and butter and upsetting the apple cart would be
The fact that no one else has launched true 00 UK track speaks volumes.
You don't seem to be reading the posts on this thread carefully. SMP have
been producing very accurate code 65 UK track for at least 35 years but did
not go on to make turnouts RTR, only kits (and their one plastic turnout kit
is not brilliant - it's a B6 seldom seen anywhere but sidings). They then
went down the road of producing copperclad pointwork kits instead. This is
probably why they don't get the coverage of PECO because you have to be a
'modeller' rather than a 'box opener' to use this approach. Personally I
find copperclad easy to build, and you can make your own formations for
prototype locations. I once made a scissors crossover with a single slip
followed by a three way tandem turnout all in one piece. It passed trains
beautifully. The trackwork on my current layout which has mostly curved
turnouts was built this way and was done from the rating plan for the
station. It looks very good indeed and is commented on by visitors. If you
don't believe me pm me and I'll send you some photos.
Since Atlas improved their track a few years ago, it is better value in
N.A. However, their set track curves are different radii (15", 18" and
22") and their turnouts do not look as good as Peco's, but they may work
just as well or better with NMRA standard wheels.