THE Track / MT Wheels Debate ...

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by jeffsauer1957, Jul 6, 2003.

  1. jeffsauer1957

    jeffsauer1957 New Member

    It has been a couple of months now, for me, since making the big decision to switch to 'N'.

    I am so impressed with the rolling qualities of the MTL (I call this abbreviation 'Mikes Train Loss' - a little joke for my 'O' scale friends;) )

    I really want to build the layout with Code 55 & 40 and I'm dreading the challenge of converting to finescale wheels and potential derailment increases.

    Can Peco code 55 handle the pizza cutters?

    Has anyone out there built any modules with the finescale track?

    Anybody ever regretted making the finescale move??? (track and/or wheelsets?)
  2. The great wheel flange - track debate

    JeffSauer1957, Micro-Trains standard wheelsets will clear both PECO code 55 track and Micro Engineering Code 55 track. They only strike the "spikeheads" on the Atlas Code 55. M-E is excellent track - its problems are its price and availability, plus only No. 6 switches. The PECO line is also excellent, but the tie spacing is British and not North American prototype. IMHO, this isn't noticeable if it's properly ballasted and no other track is used on the layout.
  3. Blake

    Blake Member

    I'm rebuilding a relativly small N scale railroad and have made the decision to A). switch to body mount couplers, B). use Atlas metal low profile wheelsets and C). to use Atlas code 55 and code 70. As the railroad is small, I will be backing many trains in and out of staging areas. The talgo style couplers do cause problems when backing up. I chose to use the #1015 unassembled couplers as they only cost about $1 per pair. I keep the original trucks on the cars. The atlas metal wheelsets cost about $2 per set of 4. They sound really cool on the rails, they track very well, they look cool too, but most importantly, they stay much cleaner than the delrin wheelsets. I use a black Sharpie marker to blacken the edge of the wheels and the axles and then weather them. I am using the Atlas code 70 stuff in all of the hidden areas of the layout and only because I have many powered switches already. All of the exposed trackage will be code 55. The new Atlas code 55 looks great (rails are just a few 1/1000 of an inch larger than scale and the tie spacing is correct). It flexes just as smoothly as the code 70 and the switches have the option of powering the frogs. They come in #5's and #7's and both are the same length. Life is good!
  4. jeffsauer1957

    jeffsauer1957 New Member


    You are bringing up another topic that is on my mind. How do you go about body mounting? (Tools & tricks of the trade etc?) The Atlas track is code 80, and like code 100 in HO, is probably the best bet for all hidden track. As for code 70, that seems to be Shinohara via Walthers. Does anybody have any experience with this stuff?
  5. Blake

    Blake Member

    You are right, the Atlas is code 80. The Shinohara stuff is nice, but it is expensive and a bit delicate. We used the HO switches at a club I belonged to years ago (when I was a "BIG SCALE" modeler!). The points constantly came unsoldered. As far as body mounting couplers, it's pretty straight foreword. You need a 00-90 tap and tap drill. You can get a set from Micro-trains. Many non Micro-trains cars already have a pre drilled hole for you to tap. Some Atlas cars have a dimple where you are to drill the hole. If a car doesn't have a predilled hole or dimple, just make a line on the center of the underframe and measure 1/8" from the end. Drill the hole at the intersection and your all set. The most common alignment problem will be height. With the 1015's they are usually high. They include shims that, in most cases, bring the coupler to the right height. On occasion, the coupler screw will touch the wheel axles on the ends of the car. For this, I just replace the screw with a flat head screw. One last consideration for good operation is weight. Micro-trains and Deluxe Innovations cars are usually weighted well. I add 1/4 oz. to everything else. I use those stick on 1/4 oz. weights that you can buy in the hobby shop. I screw them to the floor of the cars to insure they will not come off. If I have a box car where the doors open, I will cut the weight in half and mount them on the ends of the car, out of sight through the opened door. I hope this helps.
  6. Micro Engineering makes Code 70

    N scale Code 70 track and No. 6 switches are made by Micro Engineering in addition to its Code 55 line. At one time it also made Code 40 track, but not switches. The molds wore out and I believe the Code 40 was discontinued. :cool:
  7. uboat

    uboat New Member

    MT large flange wheels have no problems with Peco 55, nor do the major brands of locomotives going back about 20 years or so.

    The only ones you might have a problem with are the old old Arnold Rapidos and Limas that had what looked like HO wheels on them.
  8. jeffsauer1957

    jeffsauer1957 New Member


    Thanks for the repiles and help.

  9. the_great_snag

    the_great_snag New Member


    I believe Trainworx offers ME code 40 rails and flextrack. You may be right about the flextrack being OOP though. They have good articles about handlaying it on regular wood ties on their site...

    I'm thinking about trying it, but the turnouts make me a bit nervous...
  10. viking

    viking New Member


    I'll share my experience. I have built modules using ME code 55 and they have worked flawlessly. Also, having converted all of my MT's to low-pros, I am using Atlas code 55 on my latest module. IMHO: ME code 55 WAS the absolute best track out there until Atlas released their code 55 line. The only drawback of the ME in my experience is that shaping the stuff can be an all-day affair. I could never decide if it was tougher to make a straight straight or a smooth curve. I succeeded in both, but like I said it takes time. Atlas, on the other hand, is a pleasure to work with. It has just the right amount of "spring" to it to stay straight where you want straight while also easily conforming to a smooth curve. Now, if we could just get those mainline switches....


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