Code 55 track

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Connor, Mar 9, 2007.

  1. Connor

    Connor Member

    I'm getting ready to select the track for my new layout.

    I'm debatting on which code 55 track I want to use. Peco or Atlas, or both. I've had issues with Atlas C55 in the past with some older or cheaper loco's and rolling stock because of the rail heads. Peco doesn't have those issues because the way it's contructed. I would like to use Peco switches because they have the snap switch feature, so no switch stands needed.. Peco also has curved turnouts that Atlas doesn't have. However, I like the Tie spacing of Atlas better, and I think Altas flex track is easier to work. The other thing is.. If I do both.. how easy is to to join the two brands..

    Thanks, Connor
  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I don't like the Peco "code 55" mostly because of the turnouts. Instead of a true code 55 rail like the Atlas track, it's actually code 80 rail with an extra foot... half of the rail is buried in the tie. It's really obvious at the turnouts, though, because they can't bury the point rails, so they appear twice as tall as the stock and closure rails.

    I also don't like the tie size and spacing - its based on European or English standards, and doesn't look right for North American RR's.

    The snap lock on the points isn't a big deal for me since I use caboose industries ground throws or switch machines on my turnouts.

    Depending on how much older rolling stock you've got, you might consider changing out the wheelsets or trucks on the freightcars and filing the flanges on the locos.
  3. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Oh, and you can probably join both. I think Micro Engineering has a transition jointer to go from code 80 to code 55, not sure if Atlas does.
  4. TruckLover

    TruckLover Mack CH613 & 53' Trailer

    Atlas C55 track requires low profile wheels which come on most new rolling stock in N scale. I say go with Atlas C55 were you can and stick with peco only were atlas track can't be used such as the curved turnouts and such.
  5. woodone

    woodone Member

    I think it dependes on how much older rolling stock and locomotives you have at this time.
    The older rolling stock and locomotives will not work with the Atlas code 55. The deep flanges will hit the rail spike heads, and will derail or cause poor electrical contact with your powered locomotives and rolling stock. If you have a large fleet of rolling stock and locos this could be costly. If you have newer stock, the code 55 sure looks nice, and you should not have any problems.
    I have a lot of older rolling stock and locos, so I have gone with code 80 so far. I have tried The Atlas code 55, did not work, Peco, most everything I have runs on it. The tie spacing and such looks better with the Atlas. Peco looks fair. I have a new layout going so I am going to try some Peco 55 and see how it works. The Peco rail is very strong for code 55, as the rail is really code 80,but buried into the ties so there is only .055 (code 55 showing)
    Get a little of both, and do some testing before you get all your track and turnouts.
  6. Boilerman

    Boilerman Member

    I have a lot of older locos from when I started in the hobby back in 1971 and when I decided to use Atlas Code 55 on my new layout I learned all about the flange issue:curse: .

    I did discover that I had several older locos that had low profile wheels and ran fine on the Atlas Code 55:) .

    I disassembled the trucks on the diesels that did not make it and chucked wheels in a drill and filed the flanges down.
    The steam locos are a different story, I know that there are places that you can send your locos to that will disassemble & machine the flanges down for a fee however I purchased a small lathe and machined the flanges my self as well as did some grooving of wheels for traction tires on units that did not pull very well:thumb: .
    As for the rolling stock, I changed the wheels for MT low profile units.
    The only other problem that I encountered was that the wheels on the locos have to be in gage to navigate through the turnouts.

    Would i do it over? You bet because Atlas offers more options in their Code 55 than what one can get with the other brands, is widely available and has a better price for the average modeler plus looks better.

    Also it works fine with DCC:thumb: .
  7. Connor

    Connor Member

    What's the best and/or easiest way to join Atlas C55 with the Peco C55 track?
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You have to treat the Peco code 55 as code 80. Slide a rail joiner on the Peco and squash the half that sticks out flat, then solder the Atlas code 55 on top of it.
    Not good if your Atlas is switches and crossings.
  9. Catt

    Catt Guest

    When i started my current layout I went with PECO code 55 track.I bought a lot of used PECO turnouts and they all turned out to be junk.( not comdeming new PECO turnouts just the used ones I bought) I like the varieity of turnouts that ATLAS offers in code 55 so I went with them.To use them with the PECO track I cut the lower flange from the PECO track and use the ATLAS code 80 railjoiners.

    There are only two things I don't like about the ATLAS turnouts.One is the colour of the ties (I have never seen a brown railroad tie in Michigan in my entire 62 years) The other is the rather flimsey nature of the plastic used for the ties. I wanted to use over center springs to control the turnouts and the ATLAS ties are not strong enough to allow it.
  10. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

    I have not built a permanent layout yet but I bought samples of Atlas and Peco code 55 flex track and switches to see what I like best. Atlas is definately better looking and more economical. I'm pretty sold on Atlas code 55 I think. Atlas code 55 flex is springier than Peco eliminating kinks and easement curves are easier with Atlas flex. Many say the bulky look of Peco goes away once buried in ballast. Well it does somewhat but the spreads I've seen in N scale Railroading featuring layouts with Atlas 55 and Peco 55 convince me otherwise. Atlas wins hands down in this respect. My engines all work on code 55 but I have several Micro Trains cars to convert wheelsets.
  11. Boilerman

    Boilerman Member

    The new releases from MT now include low profile wheels that can be installed for running on the code 55 track:thumb: .

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