Old-style track?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by alastairq, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. alastairq

    alastairq Member

    Here in the YuK, the home of Peco, they offer a range of turnouts in their code 83 trackwork.

    Having looked at this product line, I find it quite 'realistic' for modern, U.S. practice.

    However, what of the steam era?

    or the early 1950's?

    Or even the '60's?

    Short of making my own trackwork [I am used to that task] does anyone have any views on the subject?

    or does anyone recommend a trackwork range that looks a lot less 'modern' than Peco's?

    Or is Peco's code 83 range actually appropriate for older timescales?

    [can anyone remember that far back??]
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    If I remember correctly, Peco is located in Beer (mmmm... beer!) in the YooKay.

    Anyway, one answer to your question is - it doesn't matter really. By the time you weather and ballast the track, the "modern" look (such as it is) is somewhat hidden, and the result is a reliable turnout that looks pretty good. In my experience, reliability trumps appearance - at least when it comes to turnouts.

    The local modular club, and many modellers I know in my area, even used the *gasp* "euro-look" Code100 turnouts on their North American lines, simply because of the reliability of Peco.

    Hope that helps.

  3. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I was just a child in the sixties but I do remember that a prototype turnout looked pretty much as one does now, maybe some different trackside equipment.
  4. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Except for the changes to occasional use of concrete ties, and the change to favor continuous welded rail, there has been very little change in the appearance of track in North America since the 1950s to the present. The only other change I can think of is the discontinuance of the use of creosote as a tie preservative. I believe that happened in the 1980s or even 1990s.

    Since 1900 to 1920 when their use became widespread, the use of tie plates and creosote are the big visual changes as compared to the 19th Century. Also, before 1905, financially poor lines laid where saw mills were located a long ways away would use hand-hewn ties instead of sawn. The further back into the 19th Century you go, the more common hand-hewn ties were.

    Rail, tie plates, and ties all grew in size during the 1st half of the 20th Century. Ties went from 8ft long, and 5x7" cross section to 9ft long, and 7"x9". Main line rail went from 80lbs/yd (code 75 in HO) to 132lbs/yd (code 83).

    yours in modeling track
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I haven't looked at the Peco code 83 track that closely as it is not suitable for my British layout, but:
    Unless it has Pandrol clips or similar, the track type hasn't changed much. The main change has been welded rail and no one does rail longer than a metre.
    The biggest modern change is bigger rail because the cars are getting heavier; there was talk that some shortlines couldn't afford the upgrade.
    If you stay this side of WW2, there's not a noticeable change at all.
  6. alastairq

    alastairq Member

    Thank you....I haven't been able to do a close-up comparison of the real thing.......and there ARE issues with Peco Streamline not actually replicating modern UK practices [post-1980's]....it being a primarily HO range....[ yet not even similar to protoype track in places like Germany!!]

    I like the Peco code 83 turnouts....and am aware of their reliability.

    But somehow shoving a 'modernised' MDC old-time consol down the stuff didn't feel right.

    Back in the past, I used Shinohara track......actually 'trusting' the manufacturer to have 'got it right?'

    In fact , I am amazed at how much we DO trust the manufacturer, in many respects, as far as replicating the real thing is concerned?
    [Athearn, and their over-wide Geep hoods, for example??]
  7. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    Unless you want to go back to a c.1900 layout with stub switches, the Peco code 83 track should be fine for a steam or transition era layout, anything from maybe 1920 onward.
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Some of the appearance problems may be manufacturing problems. My earliest Atlas Snaptrack (contemporary with the introduction of Peco streamline) has some pretty big pieces of plastic holding down the rails. At the same time, flextrak was fibre (or fiber) ties with metal staples holding the rails, while TruScale had wooden roadbed/ties milled with large wooden lumps to hold the rails to gauge into which you pushed large spikes.
    Peco's Streamline code 100 is now approaching the half century mark, although it has had some manufacturing upgrades.

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