track compatibilty

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by GKRR, Jan 3, 2003.

  1. GKRR

    GKRR New Member

    Hey everybody,

    We bought a RailKing set a few weeks ago and (of course) it came with RealTrax.

    Have been advised (and will follow that advice) to use Atlas O or GarGraves track since we're going to run some trains outside.

    We know there's Lionel O gauge track, Super O, Atlas O, GarGraves and others available that will work, but ...

    Question is: do any of the above work with each other? I know there's a RealTrax-to-Lionel O adapter, but are there others that don't require adapters? Are there any that just aren't compatible at all?

    thanks in advance,
  2. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member


    There are two types of track in O. One is solid rail and usually made out of nicklesilver. The other is called tubular and starts out as a thin sheet of metal run through a forming process to make the track hollow, hence the tubular name. K-Line and Lionel tubular O-27 track will mate without needing conversion pieces. If you use O gauge, same gauge just bigger rail, conversion pins will be needed to mate with O-27. If you use Gargraves, it is tubular with a flat top on the rail head instead of round like K-Line and Lionel. You will need conversion pins to mate those three. MTH and Atlas have solid rail and will need the conversion tracks you mentioned. I don't know for sure, but MTH track is not UV resistant, while Atlas advertises track that is UV resistant. I don't know if Gargraves plastic is UV resistant, but the wood ties would pose no problem in that respect. Where the problem arrises, is the moisture. Lionel and K-Line rust real easy. Gargraves stainless steel track does much better, but your magna traction engines gain no added benefit from it. Of the tubular rail, Gargraves is more realistic in profile. Atlas and MTH have solid profile rails that is realistic also. Like the real railroads, drainage is part of the key. I have heard of people buying brass rail and making their own hand laid rail for outdoors. I hope this has been some help.

    Greg Elems
  3. pcentral

    pcentral Member

    Hi Glenn & Kathy,
    All O gauge track is pretty much connectable to each other with the right connecting pins or tracks and shims. I would suggest checking out Atlas O's website at to see all of the track styles they offer. I would also suggest e-mailing them and ask what they would recommend for outdoor use. I have e-mailed them before and got a quick response. Steve

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