Peco or . . . ?

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Jaws, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. Jaws

    Jaws New Member

    I used Peco electrofrog in HO with DC for several years because it was simple to install and was positive throw in either position.

    Now I am n-ga with DCC. I have heard + and - about Peco under these parameters.

    Sage advice?? Please.

    Jack Wilson
  2. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    There isn't one N track out there that doesn't have a positive and a negative. Peco is still one of the best - go code 55 - it is code 80 in drag (you'll understand when you see it). Peco has an excellent range of turnouts, crossovers, sissors, and double cross overs, etc to still make it an excellent choice. I am convinced once I get my Peco 55 laid, Peco is going to come out and make an announcement that they have created a North American 55.

    Atlas 55 looks better but has some flange issues with some engines and cars (and some find out the hard way it affects them, even though they laid the Atlas aware of the problems) and there is less turnout numbers available.

    ME some like, more dislike.
  3. hemiadda2d

    hemiadda2d Member

    I like to think Peco makes some of the most bulletproof turnouts in its price range.
    I use c80 Peco Insulfrog turnouts exclusively on the BN High Prairie Sub. Insulfrog is DCC-ready straight outta the box, not even needing insulated joiners at most crossovers and such. I put feeders in between all turnouts, and on any track longer than 4". Tnhis way, I have no dead spots, and do not need to rely on turnout points contact for electrical flow.
    I do need to add another feeder ont he main, as I have a large voltage drop. I think it just has to do with the Tech 2 pack I'm using till I get enough locos equipped with decoders to warrant installing my in-the-box Digitrax Empire Builder 2 setup. I have a 5A power supply for the EB2.
  4. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    I wouldn't use anything else but Peco turnouts as I learned my lesson over the years using others. With improved techniques hopefully Atlas and others will improve but until then Peco is the way to go in N gauge
  5. uboat

    uboat New Member

    As rsn48 states , in N there is no one best track choice. It all depends on what features are important to you.

    Kato Unitrack - good points - easy to work with - great choice of crossings, radii and turnouts, great for temporary set ups and test tracks, extremely durable. down sides - expensive and unrealistic toylike look.

    Atlas Code 80 - had been the standard in N for a long time, plus sides - N trak acceptance, no flange interference problems, great availability and relatively inexpensive. Downsides - appearence.

    Atlas code 55 - plusses - great appearence - finescale look to ties and rails, good availability and relatively inexpensive. downside, flange intereference with older MT cars and locomotives, even some newer locos reported with interference, necessitating expensive and time consuming low pro wheel changeouts and risky loco flange turndowns. current selection of crossings and turnouts limited. to be fair the track meets NMRA recommended practices and most older wheels don't.

    Peco Code 80 - see Atlas code 80 above - very similar, slightly more pricy, their turnouts have been the standard in N for a long time due to positive "snap action". downside - "european" look - (not a downside if modelling european outline:) )

    Peco code 55 - basically Peco 80 set further into the ties to give a fine scale rail look. Does not interfere with older flanges on all but the most outrageous pizza cutter wheels like Arnold used to have. Good availability and selection, but still has european look. In my opinion FWIW - this is currently the best track choice in N, durable, available - easy to work with, great quality. Hopefully Peco will reconsider a US proto track.

    Micro Engineering Code 55 and 70 - great looking track - probaly the best looking N track there is. Availability spotty, and fragile - recommended for experienced modellers for the most part - the 70 seems to be the right compromise in rail size for less interference problems and fine look. ME code 55 has less problems with wheel interference than Atlas 55, but is more expensive and harder to find than Atlas.

    Keep in mind there is no real US proto track or ties standard - rail weights vary from main to branch, tie width and spacing vary from road to road etc.
  6. Catt

    Catt Guest

    I got one question about this PECO European look.WHERE THE HELL IS IT???.

    I'm sitting here looking at my portable layout with ATLAS code 80 flextrack and PECO turnouts,and my home layout with nothing but PECO code 55 track and turnmouts.I don't see the big difference you all claim is there.

    Tie space variation is a common occurence in the real world why not in our model worlds?I defy anybody to come to my layout and tell me what brand my ballasted track is. :D :D
  7. uboat

    uboat New Member

    That's precisely the point Catt. once the track is weathered and ballasted one is hard pressed to tell what kind it is, and since there really is no set standard variation in the real thing is normal. The deal with Peco is the way the frogs are and the guard rails on the turnouts compared to say Atlas, and the wider shorter ties and further apart spacing is more common to european lines than US lines where longer narrower ties with less space between is more the norm. But only the fussiest rivet counters would ever notice the difference. Many an excellent N layout has been done in both Atlas 80 and Peco tracks. To me having reliable track with the fewest problems with older rolling stock and locos takes precidence over finescale appearence - hence that is why Peco 55 is a good choice for me.
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    It's interesting that the British modellers object to Peco because the ties (or sleepers as they call them) aren't far enough apart. I find the Peco looks OK for North American track. Apparently, when asked how far apart the ties should be, some early American said "Just far enough to get a shovel between."

    For the life of me, I can't remember what European track looks like.
  9. rsn48

    rsn48 Member

    When compared to Atlas and ME, Peco tie distance is visibly greater. But I still prefer Peco.
  10. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    I also think Peco switches are the better ones to use, they are about twice the price, but you get what you pay for!

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