Gurus help with track selection..Please

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Conrail, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    I am redoing two of my 3 layouts. The first one will remain H.O. scale. I am purchasing all new track for this layout and was wondering what you experienced gurus thought would be a better choice...I am considering either Peco code 75 or Shinohara code 70. I am leaning toward the Peco due to cost, but to be honest I have never used anything but Atlas/AHM/Bachman code 100 so I know nothing of the quality from either Peco or Shinohara. I am really going to strive to do a top notch job this time around and want to use good quality hardware. I appreciate all coments and suggestions. Thank you.
  2. Stu McGee

    Stu McGee Member

    What's the deal with the PECO 83. It looks good. Like you I am getting started.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I like the Peco code 75. There are some problems with old wheels that have deep flanges bumping along the spikes.
    The code 83 is supposed to be more American looking. The main difference I see is that the "spikes" holding the rail are more delicate. Also some difference with the tie size and spacing. So far, a lot less variety in track pieces.
  4. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    I looked at some code 83 by Atlas at the local shop and it was nicer looking the code 100. The shop doesent carry Peco or Shinohara so I could do no comparison. I didnt know Peco carried code 83. I was really hoping the pros would chime in becuase really all I have to go on is the pictures I have seen online. For cost effectiveness I may go the code 83 route myself. I suppose unless I'm going to be super technical and make sure everything is to perfect scale and NMRA specs then there is no reason to pay that much more money for track that is closer to scale than 83 or 100. To be honest after totaling up the cost to start this over and just get the track laid down (road bed, turnouts, bridges, connectors, etc.) I'm lookin at about $550.00 to run Peco code 75. I would probably save about $65-70.00 to use Atlas code 83. I would still like to know if there are some better benifits of running code 70 or 75 versus 83 or 100 other than just being closer to scale. :confused:
  5. tillsbury

    tillsbury Member

    I don't know about HO personally, but Peco code 83 is the new kid on the block that the experts are supposedly raving about. Historically, Peco has had the best track operationally but looked like the UK prototype -- now their new code 83 is US-style track so if you're planning a US layout it's got over the last remaining complaint about it...

    Not the cheapest, but then I don't suppose you expected that, did you?
  6. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    I figured stepping up the layout was going to cost a pretty coin but I quit smoking a few weeks back and I gave up on my bad Soda habbit (9 cans of MT. Dew a day) as well so I intended to spend the extra cash an my new layout as a reward. ;)
  7. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member


    I use Peco Code 100 switches- they're the best I've ever used. I use 100 'cause I don't want the hassle of fuzzing about for 5 minutes to get a car (or steam engine) on the track.
    I like your idea of using cigarette/soda money for the train...Might just be enough of an incentive to quit both...

  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Hey Conrail. the only benefit of codes 83 and 70 over 100 are appearance. If you're happy with the code 100, save your money. The Atlas code 83 isn't actually much smaller than their code 100, the ties are thicker so it matches code 100. The cross section is too large compared to other brands code 83. I haven't used or seen peco code 83 so can't comment. Other brands are way more expensive and are worth it only if you are concerned with appearance.

  9. Conrail

    Conrail Member

    Ive really been kicking this around the last few days. I'm still undecided. I love the price of code 100 but I hate having to paint every piece to get more realistic looking ties. My new layout as mentioned will have ALL new track which is going to be in the range of 60-75 pieces of 3' Flex and that is some serious painting! I usually use modelers masking tape 1/8 wide to cover the rails then take some brown spray primer & flat black and mist them until I get the look I want. Most likely I will go with Atlas code 83 because a 25pc box of Atlas code 100 will cost me around $60.00, Peco Code 100 would be $105.00 per 25pcs (but the ties are brown already), and Atlas code 83 (also has brown ties) would be about $73.00 per 25pcs and I don't have to buy paint, tape, and spend hours masking and painting. I have totally forgotten about the Shinohara code 70 and Peco code 75. These are just not within what I would consider to be a cost effective range for my layout, and I guess really have nothing more to offer other than bieng "closer to scale" over 83 0r 100. I am also moving up to DCC with the new layout over my old DC setup so I really don't think I would be able to fit the code 70 or 75 into the budget like I had first thought I might.

Share This Page