Model Power flextrack?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by n4085b, Feb 1, 2007.

  1. n4085b

    n4085b New Member

    Hey Guys,
    I'm getting back into the hobby after about 3.5 decades! I'm to the point of ordering track and had a question. I am looking at 36" flex track and wanted to know if any here have had experience with Model Power code 100 flex track vs Atlas. It seems to be much cheaper for the box of 100...about 120.00 compared to 200.00 for Atlas....must be a reason why!

  2. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Just to clarify. Are you speaking of brass or nickle-silver rail. I suggest that you don't buy brass, no matter who makes it. I don't believe that Atlas even makes brass rail anymore. There is still some brass track being sold but usually its old stock. For comparison of price, make sure you are dealing with nickle-silver rail.
  3. n4085b

    n4085b New Member

    I'm sorry....Yes, nickel silver track. Now that I look at it...the Model Power ad doesn't specify what kind it is!

  4. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    No need to be sorry. Just mentioned the brass track because you said that you had been out of the hobby for a long time. There was a thread here a couple of days ago discussing the price of HO track and where to get the best price. You might try a search and see what comes up. Also to throw in some more confusion. Have you thought about code 83 rail?
  5. n4085b

    n4085b New Member

    Hey Jim, Thanks for the response. I did see the code 83...and I think its a more accurate representation of the scale..just a little more expensive. I checked out a local train show this weekend and visited the local MRR club's layout...they used code 83 as well. I might have to revise my approach on this one! By the way, one of the vendors at the show was saying that Atlas was going to raise their prices by as much as 30-50% in the next few days! Anyone heard of that?...I suspect it may have been a high pressure "sales tactic" though.

  6. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Jess,Be careful of what train show vender's tell you and some hobby shops owners as well.
    Always be a skeptic and use some salt.:D
  7. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    I have used lots of MP flex track and I'm very satisfied with it. I got mine from Hobby Land.

  8. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    The one advantage the new Atlas code 83 track has over the code 100 is that it keeps its gauge much better through curves. The code 100 has 1 rail that slides, and is very sloppy. Depending on whether you put it on the inside or outside of the curve, it can change gauge on you.

    Go with the code 83. Yes, it's more money, but it looks 100x better, and the new code 83 turnouts are a big improvement over the older code 100 ones.
  9. n4085b

    n4085b New Member

    Thanks for all of the input everyone! I took the plunge and ordered a box of 100 Atlas 36" code 83 flex and the cork roadbed to go with it. Still trying to decide on the turnouts #4,#6,?
    Planning on using a mix of 4 and 6 axle diesels pulling freight/passenger, a small dead end yard(maybe 5 lanes),a passenger terminal, and a couple of mainlines and some sides on a bookshelf type layout out in the barn...approx 20'X30', dcc powered. I understand for larger locos and longer rolling stock 22" min on the radius of the curves? Is that right? Also shim for a slight bank in the turns? I'm still roughing out a plan...I'll post it for everyone to take apart!
    I also just rcvd a couple of Athearn Genesis F7a/b powered units...I thought they were DCC equipped but turns out they are only dcc ready...any ideas for a good/economical decoder?..not too interested in sound at this point.

    Thanks again for all the help!
  10. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Jess... remember - bigger is better! At least when it comes to curves and turnouts. You'll have fewer troubles if you can keep your visible mainline radii to 24" or larger, and use easements on all the curves, and use #6 turnouts on the main and in the yard. Industrial sidings can use #4s.

    You don't need to superelevate (shim) your curves, the trains will run fine on flat curves, but they do look nice. About 1/16"-1/8" is usually good.

    Before you start knocking togther benchwork, make sure you're happy with your track plan. Use Xtrkcad (free) or one of the other layout design programs to come up with a plan that really works for you.

    As for economical decoders, I think your basic decoder will start at about $25, and go up from there as you add functions.
  11. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member


    An Atlas #4 has a closure rail radius (curved part) of about 22"; a #6 closure rail radius is about 40". Use the #4s where 22" radius and smaller is acceptable, use the #6 elsewhere.

    Full scale passenger cars do a lot better on bigger radii than 22". Ideal would be 36" or more. Less than 30" means problems sometimes with diaphrams and body-mounted couplers. Truck-mounted couplers on 80ft passenger cars generally work down to 24" radius without any problems. Special couplers and modifications can be made to work on 18" radius, but the overhang is pretty horrendous.

    Bottom line is that the smaller the radius you try to make the long rolling stock work on, the more involved your testing and modification program is going to have to be, and the more overhang you will have.

    Another option is "shorty" passenger cars that are 60-70 scale ft long. Made by Athearn and others specifically for 18" radius curves.

    Superelevation should never be more than 1/16" (5.5 scale inches). A smooth transition (taper) from zero to full superelevation is required to keep trains on the track. The transition should be at least 12" long.

    my thoughts, your choices

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