Flextrak vs Snaptrack

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by dcfxq, Jun 4, 2004.

  1. dcfxq

    dcfxq Member

    OK. So I began last November with a fairly simple loop with one switch and a siding just to run my one loco and a handful or cars and now I am getting serious about a micro layout. Have new cars and a small switcher and the layout is coming together.

    I am looking to do a double loop with one siding and a couple of switches. I had been using Atlas Code 80 snap track and have been reading about flextrak and Code 55.

    What are the advantages/disadvantages to making the switch from code 80 to code 55 and from snap to flex? I tried searching the Atlas forum but for some reason the search function fails to operate there so any and all comments and suggestions are welcome. :confused:
  2. DanRaitz

    DanRaitz Member


    There are nothing but advantages when you use flex track versus snap track. So I would go with flex!!
    As for the code 80, code 55 question:
    Code 80,
    + Its everywhere (you can find it in just about in every toy and hobby shop).
    + Costs less than code 55.
    - oversize (scales up to be some VERY large rail)

    Code 55,
    + It looks a lot better than 80 (closer to a scale size)
    - More expensive then 80
    - Some older equipment will not run on it (wheel flanges to large)
    - Might be harder to find

    So what would I use?? CODE 55 of couse, Why? Closer to scale size!!!

    PS: We are talking N Scale aren't we?
  3. dcfxq

    dcfxq Member

    Yes, most definitely n-scale! The cost side isn't really a major factor since it is a micro layout (31"x33") and won't get any larger because of space lmitations. (Well I could always do another same size layout and swap them out of course).

    All of the rolling stock I have is new (mostly micro-trains, atlas and mdc) and since I haven't found a decent LHS in the Wash. DC area MB Klein is always there in Baltimore (about 45 mins. away) and my wife has no problems w/ a little roadtrip there and also can sneak in a lunch in the Greektown section or Fells Point area as an added bonus. :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  4. neilmunck

    neilmunck Member

    Flexi track is better because you are not trapped in a predefined track geometry. Flexitrack allows you to have easements, where the radius of the curve increases to the maximum curvature over a car length or so rather than slamming straight into a corner.

    It requires a bit more time to lay as you have to trim the rails but everyone who is really into the hobby uses it because it looks better and performs better.

  5. Cogent

    Cogent New Member

    I was going to ask about the differences between Code 80 and Code 55 but you beat me to it.
    I do know that Flex is the way to go. Right now I have a box full of sectional and I have no idea what I can or can't build with it. It would be one thing to start with a plan and buy from there, but I am going backwards and starting with track. The reason is that my budget is very limited and I do have a lot of track lying around.

    What a headache....
  6. Medicine Man

    Medicine Man Member

    Nothing wrong with haveing the track first. Look at the Atlas track plans book's (or the little brosure they give out) for idea's. I did the super-pretzel but enlarged it to 9' X 16'. This layout fits well into my 1920-25 Eastern Kentucy theme. :)

  7. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Nothin' wrong with early Kentucky either, MM :D :D :D

    The only drawback to flextrack is some people find it harder to work with. I think it is well worth the effoprt to master a few new skills to gain the awesome flexibility of flex track :D Soldering is pretty much required. You need to do cutting and trimming not needed with sectional track. As you bend it, one rail "grows".

    If you have old loco's, or would like to be able to buy them later, or let your friends run their old loco's, better test all these possible old loco's on code 55 before building with it. I had a minitrix, and when I proudly brought home a piece of code 55 flextrack, it's large flanges bounced happilly across the ties.

    No, I don't usually buy just one piece of track at a time. I knew it might be a problem, and it was! It won't be a problem if you run new, American made stuff.
  8. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Don't lose any sleep over it. Last I checked, there was no law against using sectional track. Solder your joints, make sure they're flat and true, then run a couple of extra feeder wires every 2-3 feet for good electrical continuity. Our club's layout has a yard module that's 28' long and 12 tracks wide---all in sectional track. Would we rather have done it in flex---yes, but when the track's free, who's gonna argue? Shoot, most of the turnouts are----gasp----brass rail! :rolleyes: :eek: :p

    As for scale size, C100 works well enough for me in HO and I never have to tell someone they can't run what they brung because the flanges are too deep. The attached picture shows what a bit of weathering and ballast can do for oversize rail. The front tracks are bare, the rear ones are ballasted.

    The hobby is one of progression. Everyone of us started out with sectional, I still have to use it on my old Marklin equipment. Experiment, make mistakes, learn, have fun, move on. If the Anacronism Police come knocking on your door, I got your back ;) :p :D

    Attached Files:

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