Peco track question?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Harp, Jan 2, 2003.

  1. Harp

    Harp New Member


    Thanks to Mr. Templar for letting me know about this forum. This is my first post of many I am sure. My question regards the overall difference in the quality of Atlas and Peco flex track. I have posted this on a different forum with Atlas getting the nod. I realize the appearance is different. I specifically would like to know if Peco is worth the extra $$. My local shop only carries Atlas so I have not checked out the Peco first hand. What do you use and why? I am making an effort at modeling the Raton Snake Valley (the original) in HO scale with a few mods. A very long term project. I am back into the hobby after a 5 year absence and am loving it, plus my 8 year old daughter is a great helper and inspiration in seeing things through the eyes of a child.

    Thank you one and all.

  2. clumber

    clumber New Member

    I don't think there is much difference in quality though I would say that Atlas is probably more North American in style. Peco is very much European looking. Having said that it depends on what is easily accessible for you. I use Peco but thats understandable coming from the other side of the pond.
  3. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I've always used Peco code 75. (never really looked at others). It works fine for me. Good conductivity, lots of add-ons (turnout motors, DPDT switches etc). Weathers up well. No need to look elsewhere I suppose. :cool:
  4. rockislandmike

    rockislandmike Active Member

    I prefer the Atlas, primarily for the reason that the Peco doesn't have holes for track nails.

    I do however, *LOVE* Peco turnouts, and am using them exclusively in my layout.
  5. msh

    msh Member

    I too am strongly considering the Peco line of turnouts to replace the Atlas units I have or will have. I will be also going to code 83. DCC is in use and power routing is not part of the plan.

    My questions are thus:

    1) what specific Peco T.O. replaces the #4 or the #6 Atlas Customline T.O.
    2) Curved turnouts - if I'm going to be using a 24" radius, what specific curved turnout will fit in nicely? What about 22" radius?

    I really need model numbers to help me search for deals. Thanks!
  6. Donn Welton

    Donn Welton Member

    Peco-Atlas Dilemma

    This thread deals with a dilemma that I am facing as I am about to build my layout. I work in DCC and find the Peco turnouts (Code75) to be exactly what I am looking for, mainly because the points snap in place and insure good conductivity. Also this rail code is much closer to almost all prototype rails (whereas Code 100 is much too large) The obvious move to make is use Peco 75 track with this. But the problem is that the ties are too big (again, as compared with prototype). You can see the problem immediately if you place a length of Atlas Code 83 next to the Peco 75. The ties on the Atlas code 83 are much truer and much better looking. (Unfortunately, Peco uses the same ties for Code 100 and 75.). Thus my dilemma:
    1. Use Peco code 75 turnouts and track and live with fat ties
    2. Use code 83 Atlas track with Peco 75 turnouts (they can be made to match) but then have different size ties next to one another.
    3. Go with the Atlas 83 track but this would require using different turnouts than Peco (Walters/Shinohara would be much better than Atlas turnouts, both visually and functionally, but they could break the bank).
    What in the world was Peco thinking of when it make its ties for code 75 the same as the ties for code 100? (My guess: keeping them the same allows for mixing on a layout.) Any help/suggesiions here would be most appreciated.
  7. msh

    msh Member

    Yep Don, after a little more research I've found Peco isn't even in the code 83 game. That's going to shoot them down for me, since I really want to go 83 and leave 100 behind - I just like the looks of it better, especially the ties. But NOW I have to use Walthers turnouts to replace the Atlas code 83 models.

    But are they really that much better (OR) are Atlas' that much worse? What about compared to the Atlas 100 turnouts?
  8. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I am wondering folks, what is the complaint about the atlas turnouts? Standard Hobby seems to have the deal on atlas flextrack. Donn, on option number three, maybe I'm comparing apples and oranges, but Peco seems to be as expensive as any of the other options, maybe evena little more...

    I'm toying with the same issues, prefer code 83, want the most bang for the buck... maybe if we save enough on flex track, we can afford better turnouts. Anyone tried the model power flex track (code 100) they have for just over a buck a stick? maybe can be used effectively in the tunnels or wayyyyy in back :)
  9. Donn Welton

    Donn Welton Member

    Codes and prototypes

    It turns out that code 100 would be equivalent to a 160lb rail, which is much larger than any railroad used on the main track (except maybe the PRR on some mountain stretches). Most mainline rail was 130 to135lb, which is what Code 83 covers (=132 lb rail). If it were just a matter of rail size, I would immediately go with Peco code 75 (track and turnouts). But the problem is the size of the ties. I have not actually measured them and done the caculation as to what the toes would be in prototype but they are certainly bigger and spaced wider apart than the Atlas Code 83. The visual effect with the Atlas is to give you ties that looks right and then makes the track look like it is longer. If Peco were on top of their game, they would scale down their code 75 ties. With Loy's and Tony's both encourgaing models who use DCC to go with Peco, I think they would walk away with the market.
    Well, I am not the only one with this dilemma!
  10. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Why not just go atlas code 83 all the way to incl. turnouts???
  11. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    I have all Atlas code 83 turnouts and I am very disappointed in their quality. I do not know about the code 100, I do not have any.

    Some of the frogs are raised, some as high as .020". I have sanded them down.
    The points are often a bit high. I have not found a fix yet.
    Both of the above problems cause the cars to rock when hitting the frog or points and with a loco can cause a bit of noise. The turnout is not smooth at all.

    The #4 are slightly bent. The straight rail of the turnout is not straight. This does not affect performance but it looks bad. I have not found a fix to straighten them yet.

    Electrical problems that do not show up until you have ballasted the turnout. I have soldered jumper wires from the stock rails to the closure rail for a fix.

    I am thinking of using Walthers turnouts and Atlas flex track on the new layout. You have to shim the Walthers to match the height of the Atlas track. The Walthers ties are thinner.

  12. marty w.

    marty w. Member

    Oh ....

    Atlas will replace the turnouts with the raised frogs. I sent back 4 and the replacements did not have the rasied frog but they did have the raised points. All the Atlas turnouts do not have this problem out of the 26 #6 I have, 7 have had problems. All 4 of the #4's are not straight, but the frogs and points are fine.

    I like the Atlas flex track. It is very easy to bend to a curve and the detail on the ties are great.

  13. Marty and group;

    Indeed, the ties on the Walthers/Shinohara turnouts are .020" thinner than the Atlas ties (at least as far as code 83 goes). I bought a few packages of .020 x .080 Evergreen Styrene strips, cut to length, and just cement them to the ties; I actually did it lengthwise, under the rails...


    Marty w wrote:

    I am thinking of using Walthers turnouts and Atlas flex track on the new layout. You have to shim the Walthers to match the height of the Atlas track. The Walthers ties are thinner.

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