What Track ? Between the Devil & The Deep Blue Sea

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by n_gineer, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. n_gineer

    n_gineer New Member

    I know this has been brought up a million times but I don't want to make the wrong choice on track. I had an N layout several years ago with reg. Atlas track. It worked fine but this time I'm thinking Atlas code 55 or Uni track.

    I bought a pack of Atlas code 55 straight to see how things worked on it. My engines (Kato ) didn't seem to interfere, one LL , GP 38-2 did hit the spikes. Most of my cars hit too. Here is what I'm trying to decide. I really like the looks of the Atlas code 55, but if I go that way, I have to change wheel sets. I want to use DCC and from what I see on here it works fine with the code 55. If I go with Uni track, I don't have the wheel problems (?) How does the Uni track work with DCC?

    Atlas code 55 looks better to me but is it reliable as far as the trains staying on the track with low profile wheels ? I don't mind some extra work but I do want to be able to run my trains as trouble free as possible.
  2. Tyson Rayles

    Tyson Rayles Active Member

    I use Peco code 55 cause it looks good, it's not brittle like Atlas and Micro Engineering and you don't have to change your wheels! I don't use DCC but I don't know why you couldn't if you got the money to burn! :D
  3. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Welcome to the Gauge n_gineer
    I too will look forward to hearing what others think. I have too much already invested in track to make any changesnow. I do think the code 55 looks super and would use it if just starting. As far as UNI track goes, I believe DCC would be fine as DCC would use the same track connectors as the DC ones use.
  4. billk

    billk Active Member

    Seems to me that one of the big concerns re track brand vs. DCC is the turnouts - are they DCC compatible or how hard are they to make them so, etc.
  5. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    From my experience, if the turnout works on DC mode then it will work in DCC as well. I haven't had any difficulty so far.
  6. billk

    billk Active Member

  7. n_gineer

    n_gineer New Member

    After a lot of mental debate I finally decided to go with Uni-track over the Atlas code 55. The reasoning behind this decision is: At age 60 I don't see so well and was not thrilled with the aspect of changing to low profile wheels, tinkering with switches and the hookups. I know that I'm giving up some detail as far as realism but over all I believe the Uni track will be a lot simpler for me to get an up and running system.

    Now, can anyone point me in the right direction for information on the best way to paint or detail the Uni track?
  8. Ted43

    Ted43 New Member

    If you are going to use DCC you will want to have a separate bit of track, say 1 metre, to use as programming track. My advice is to use this to test various ideas on painting Unitrack. The two things you will probably want to do is colour the rail sides, and go over the ties to reduce the contrast. I like to use black for the rails but rust-like browns will also work. For the roadbed I like to use a grey the same shade as the plastic and thin it out - then go over the ties so they are still visible but not with so much contrast.
  9. atsf_arizona

    atsf_arizona Member

    Painting Kato Unitrack for better appearance


    I have done some extensive experiments with painting N scale Kato Unitrack for better appearance.

    Please see my Community Webshots page for more information:


    Hope you get some good ideas, and let me know what you think and what you decide to do!

    Feel free to ask further questions either here or off-line. I'm happy to share what I've found.
  10. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Welcome to the Gauge John. The link you provided is very interesting.
  11. n_gineer

    n_gineer New Member

    My Uni track came yesterday. Toytrain Heaven sure is fast. Tonite I was messing around with a caligraphy pen trying to get the rails to look a little rusty. It seemed to work ok until the pen played out. this could get a little on the costly side at $3.29 a pen per about 12 pcs. of track.

    Also tried painting the rails. Too old and shakey for that . Tomorrow I'm going to see if I can find some cheaper pens. It's not that I'm cheap, I'm living on disability, raising to teenage grandchildren and trying to do a little N guaging. every penny counts. I guess maybe I am cheap. Used to be if I saw something I like, I bought it. Now here I am, just like a kid again wanting what I can't have. But I do have lots of time now.
  12. SD90

    SD90 Active Member

    I still have to make a programming track, all I did to get started was take all the loco's off the track as I programmed each one.

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