Track building materials....question.

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by YellowHawk, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. YellowHawk

    YellowHawk New Member

    Hello everyone...I am new to model railroading, but I'm anxious to get started. I was given an Athearn John Deere Model 'B' Express Authentic HO Scale Train Set for Christmas. It seems to be a pretty good set. The locomotive is an F7A locomotive w/ dual flywheels, operating headlights and 5 pole skewed armature motor.
    I just found out, through some research, that the set comes with a 14 piece oval of Life-Like Power-Loc track with built in roadbed. My question is, should I purchase more Power-Loc track to go with what I have and expand my set, or go with another style of track without the integrated roadbed? The Power-Loc track is certainly more expensive. Thanks for you thoughts and advice.
  2. mhdishere

    mhdishere Member

    I've personally never used track with integral roadbed, but that won't stop me from giving my opinion on the matter :D

    Easy to use.

    No need to worry about cutting it.

    Good if you want to set up and take down repeatedly (I'm thinking here of something like a Christmas tree layout, set it up at Christmas time, take it down and store it away the rest of the year). I've been considering an On30 set-up around the tree for the past couple years and if I did that I'd probably use this type of track.

    Cost: As you pointed out, it's expensive, and if you have a large layout with lots of track that could get to be an issue.

    Limitations: You're dealing with fixed radius curves, and fixed angles. For free-flowing trackwork you'd be better off with flex track and "regular" turnouts. Of course the ultimate of this is hand-laid track, but that's probably not for a beginner. Plenty of beautiful layouts have been built with flex track and Atlas turnouts. Flex track has to be cut though.

    The final answer is "it depends", do you want to build a layout or do you just want something to run around the tree or for the kids to play with on the carpet?
  3. YellowHawk

    YellowHawk New Member

    I was planning on building a permanant layout something like what is pictured here....The type of track to use and where to get it is my first roadblock. For the track I have listed, here is the list of materials:

    (5) Atlas 9.0 in straight

    (2) Atlas Mark III #4 left-hand turnout

    (19) Atlas R-18 30° curve

    (3) Atlas Mark III #4 right-hand turnout

    (1) Atlas 2.50 in straight

    (1) Atlas 1.25 in straight

    (2) Atlas 3.0 in straight

    (1) Atlas 1.50 in straight

    (1) Atlas R-18 15° curve

    (2) Atlas 6.0 in straight

    (3) Atlas #43 track bumper

    I am assuming Atlas is the brand of track...where can I purchase these pieces? As far as I know, there is no hobby shop around here where I could get this stuff. How about internet ordering?

    Attached Files:

  4. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Howdy Yellow Hawk, welcome to the gauge. There are many internet suppliers of track and such, some good, some bad. This one has always treated me good and I've never heard a bad word about them, and they are reasonable priced. This link will take you right to the Atlas HO page for track. Fred
  5. YellowHawk

    YellowHawk New Member

    Dash10, thanks for the link. I'm going to order some track and hopefully get started putting together a layout here pretty quick. I'm itching to get started and see how it turns out. Thanks.
  6. YellowHawk

    YellowHawk New Member

    Wow, this stuff can get downright confusing. On the website, they have Code 83 and Code 100 track. I am guessing I need code 83? Then I just search through and order the pieces from the list above?
  7. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Code 100 and 83 refer to the height of the rail, ie, code 100 is .100 inches. Now, code 83 looks better and is more to scale. I would get that. They can't be mixed without some blacksmithing and soldering, so make sure and get ALL one code. Code 100 is the "older" size and is a holdover from the olden days when wheels were made on the models with bigger flanges (and less precision). The set you have, and almost all new stuff will work on code 83, if not you change the heels to proto2000 metal wheels, same with old stuff, change the wheels. Get code 83. A quick wat to tell the difference on Atlas is the color of the ties. Brown=100, black=83 Fred

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