question about flex track.......

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by trainsteve2435, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. hello guys, i want to replace all my atlas code 100 flex track with a better more realistic flex track. i am already useing all Shinora and Peco code 100 turnouts, so i dont really need to change them out. i have been looking on the net trying to find what brand would suite me best considering what type of turnouts im useing, but im not haveing any luck. i thought you fellas might have some ideas or input. also, whare is a good place to purchase flex track from? im gonna need around 400' of it, so price does have a bearing on it. thanks everyone!:confused:
  2. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi steve, it needs a little paint and weathering to tone down the black ties,
    but I'm not aware of any quality problems with the Atlas track. What are you
    disappointed with specifically? Does it not match up with your switches?

    I would have to give it a long think afore rippin' up 400 feet of track :D :D
  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    i agree. If you are going code 100, atlas is going to be as good looking as anything else once properly weathered. You really can't get any more realistic until you go with a smaller rail size.

  4. well guys, its just that there are so many other really good looking track manufacturers out there, i just figured it was time to try something new and more realistic. is there any flex brands that are smaller that might match up to code 100 Shinora turnouts out there? thanks!:wave:
  5. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Undoubtedly the best track to match up with Code 100 Shinohara turnouts
    would be Code 100 Shinohara Flex-track. Go for it! :thumb: :thumb:
    (gas up the MasterCard first):D :D
  6. dsfraser

    dsfraser Member

    Before you walk into your LHS, spend a half-hour on the internet and solicit bids. Send a dozen emails to different suppliers and ask them for a quote on 400' of Atlas or Shinohara or Peco or Acme Code 100 Flex-Track. You'll get a bunch of quotes. Then go back at them: so-and-so says he'll supply for $X, can you better that? You'll get a good price, you're buying a known quantity, so you can be reasonably confident in accepting the lowest quote.

    The otehr thing is to talk to your LHS. Mine buys from estate sales, and from people who are ripping up an old layout. I can get used track for substantially less than new track if I'm patient. Happy hunting.

    Scott Fraser
    Calgary, Alberta
  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    In my opinion, MicroEngineering track and turnouts are the best looking. But you have stated that you do not want to change the turnouts. So why change the track? I'm confused... :confused:

  8. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Well heck, Andrew, it's not rocket surgery. :D
  9. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Personally, although Atlas flex track is really easy to work with (ie it flexes smoothly with no catching of rails on ties) I find the ties are HUGELY out of scale. I have some track I bought at the LHS, c100 that says "made in Italy" on the back. I think it's Rivarossi. The ties look great, with North American style tie plates, but it's very hard to find.

    Actually though Steve, I don't understand why you want rip out all your track just for appearance sake. If you were going to c87 that would make sense, or if there are other issues, like maybe you also want to change the track plan in some way.

    I assume you haven't ballasted yet. Why not try throwing down some ballast and see if it doesn't look a whole lot better?

  10. Connor

    Connor Member

    You can get code 100 to code 83 rail joiners and use code 83 atlas flex track.
  11. farmer ron

    farmer ron Member

    I have a lot of code 100 peco switches, buy them at swap meets and clean/fix them up, can not justify the cost of replacing them with code 83. As I handlay most of my rail, I got a fab deal at a swap meet on code 83 rail so this is what i use. I attach the code 83 rail to a short length (aprox 1 inch of code 100 rail and then attach them this to my code 100 switches. This way I can put an insulated joiner or a metal joiner at the end of the switch.
    You can use the code 83 to 100 joiners or I just use a 15th thous piece of brass shim and solder them together using a code 100 metal joiner. depending on the type of metal joiner you may have to file the sides of bottom flange of the code 83 a little to make it fit properly but with very little effor it works great. I weather the code 100 switches and the rail and they look fine. Ron
  12. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    I have a q for spitfire here, hey Val, what dimensions do you feel are off-base
    on the Atlas track?? I just put the ruler to some of mine and I come up with:
    Tie width 9.5"
    Tie height 7.5"
    Tie length 8'5"
    Tie spacing 21.8"
    (as close as I can measure)

    Prototypical US ties seem to be:
    Tie width 9"
    Tie height 7"
    Tie length 8'6"
    Tie spacing 22" +/- depending on road and application.
    (nominal, might vary somewhat, I really don't know widdout goin'
    trackside with a tape measure :) :) )
    The Atlas track seems to fit purty good!! :thumb:
    It does have some draft angle for extracting from the mold,
    which makes the base of the tie a hair wider.
    Now, my track is code 83, so if the Code 100 is different for some
    reason, then I'm all wet here. If I'm out-of-whack let me know!!
    Like my buddy says,
    "I thought I was wrong once, but I was mistaken." :D :D
  13. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    So, after comparing some Atlas Code 100 at the LHS, the difference is obvious.
    The ties are quite a bit large than the correctly scaled Atlas Code 83.

    The Code 83 depicts 7.2" high rail while the Code 100 represents 8.7" high.
    It does seem to be pretty much out-of-scale, like Val reported.
  14. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    I meant to take this photo a couple days ago, to show the difference between the Atlas c100 on the top and the Italian-made c100 on the bottom. Not so obvious is the photo is the difference in the tie plates. Atlas have very little detail.

    On the plus side, Atlas is really flexy and easy to work with, whereas the Italian track (Rivarossi?) catches when you flex it and has to be coaxed into a curve a lot more.

    I didn't measure anything - I'm more of an "eyeballer" when it comes to things like this. :eek:


    Attached Files:

  15. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Val, that's an interesting photo. Now for me, modeling a logging operation, I plan to hand lay most of the track and make my own ties. I'm not worried about the actual dimension of the ties. I figure whatever came off the saw the day they laid the ties was the dimension it was and this works for me. In my case, the more rustic the better. When my tracks reach the switchback way up the mountainside, I plan to use parts of trees and rough hewn logs as ties because that's what they used to do in the real world and I just love that sort of "catch as catch can" feel of the whole thing.

    I don't want to be pointing any fingers and I don't mean no disrespect but isn't this whole debate about the size of the ties close to rivet counting? I know some fellows are really into the miniscule details and it thrills them to know that their model is absolutely 100% perfectly authentic. I vew this as an extreme affliction and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone, although like gambling some people choose it and they have their reasons. The unfortunate thing, I think, is that for people who are relatively new to the hobby get caught up in this whole serious "rivet counting" bit and it destroys the fun of the hobby for them. Now for people who have been in the hobby for a long time I can understand how their attention to the relatively insignificant details can be a point of joy for them. But it is not for everyone, especially not for relative beginners. Rivet counting can be very expensive, too.

    My advice to trainsteve is to get his layout up and running with the track he's got. He might find that once the trains start to move that he is no longer concerned with the dimensions of the ties or the spacing or whatever. It's so easy to get bogged down in minute details that sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. As for me, I plan to lay my whole layout with Atlas code 100 track and once I have it all working just the way I like it, then I'm going to pull up the track and hand lay the track in sections. This way by the time I get to hand laying track there will be no question about the layout. Trainsteve should work with what he's got and when he's certain and he's run the thing, down the road he can buy the fancy track.

    These are my thoughts. :rolleyes:

    TrainClown ;)
  16. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    Seems to me that "rivet counting", that adherence to exacting prototype standards, isn't a bad thing, as long as the rivet counter only applies those standards to their own work. I think we run into conflicts as modelers with different skill levels when its communicated that one person's work isn't "as good as" another's. I agree with Trainclown that this attitude is alienating, especially to beginners. Personally I believe, that unless we are entering contests with expectations of modelling excellence, we should model the way we like, and if we desire to improve our work for our own satisfaction...that's just fine!

    I'm happy with my Atlas code 100 flex track, but Trainsteve, you appear to be interested in changing track out of your own interest in more closely modeling the prototype. More power to you! Looking forward to learning how it goes.
  17. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    I guess it is, but Steve did ask what was more realistic track. Normally I don't get into rivet counting, and I would never tell someone their track isn't good enough. Heck, mine's code 100 which I chose because it was more forgiving, so what does that tell you? :) :)

    Besides, once it's weathered and ballasted it's hard to tell the difference. Or maybe it's not weathered and ballasted. That's cool too. I'm ok with whatever anyone wants to do on their layout. Where I get picky is with mine. :D :D


    PS Mr Clown, when you say you were typing with your feet again, did you have those giant clown shoes on at the time??? :D :D :D :D
  18. 13Mtrainer

    13Mtrainer Member

    i use atlas c100 because it is very cheap were i live and has a great quanity of it at my LHS. Also this is my first layout so i went with what was cheap. i plan to weather it and ballasted it. i do not really care about the ties because they look fine to me. its up to you what you want to do so chose wisely
  19. trainworm

    trainworm Member

    i think Micro Engineering has the best looking track out there. the ties look great and the tie plates where the rail rests are very realistic looking.

    the only problem is that it is pretty expensive.
  20. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    And there you have it - the more realistic a model looks, the more expensive it is. Which is why most of us have to compromise somewhere between realism and affordability.


Share This Page