Which track to use?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by KentBy, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    I got a great deal at an estate sale. I want to start my layout now and have set aside a 16x14 space to build in.
    The question I wish to ask is should I start building with the Atlas and Bachmann section track that was part of the estate sale or should I order flex-track?

    The track appears of be code 100 (brass) and some code 83 (silver).

  2. Trainiac77

    Trainiac77 Member

    If you have older engines you should probably stick with code 100 track. I would go for the flex track and use the section track only if necessary.
    Some of the older engines have larger flanges on the wheels that require the higher rail height. So for what it's worth I say code 100 nickel silver track - my 2 cents.
  3. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Yes,and the brass track I hear has to be cleaned very often
  4. nkp174

    nkp174 Active Member

    I would avoid the brass track...unless you like to polish the "high iron" regularly. Brass Code 100 sectional track is also the worst looking track in HO. It scales to 155lb rail...which was larger than any railroad has ever used...except for the Pennsy. The code 83 is the right size for modern mainlines, looks 2x as good as the code 100, and won't require much (or any) cleaning.

    I would get some Code 83 atlas flex track to supplement the code 83 track you have...unless you have enough for your layout. I wouldn't use the Code 100 at all, unless you plan to run a roster of mostly old Rivarossi engines (pre-1990's)...as they have huge flanges that bounce off the frogs of code 83 turnouts.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You don't have to throw out the brass track, however. If you take off the ties, the rail on sectional track is perfect length for a flat car or gondola load of rail. It can also be used for industrial fencing or overhead crane track in an industry. These are just a few things to use it for "off the top of my head." One of the first rules for model railroaders, "Don't throw away anything!"
  6. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Good point Russ:thumb:
  7. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer

    Thanks Russ,

    that tip gave some ideas for the abundance of brass track that i have kicking around.

    PM me if anyone has anything to trade for some sectional brass track, I have about 200 feet of strait pieces and a few less of 18'R curves.
  8. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    I'll trade you some horn-hook couplers... ;) :D hamr

  9. beamish

    beamish HO & Steam Engineer

    Thats ok i think i have about 50 of them sitting in a parts bin. :mrgreen::thumb:
  10. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi...Take into account that code 100 is much more user friendly when trying to re-rail a car or loco. The difference in rail height is also less noriceable once it is painted.
  11. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Ditch all the brass track, or use it for displaying your equipment on a shelf. It's more trouble than it's worth.

    I'd also ditch most of the sectional track, since you're planning a large-ish layout, and go with flex track.
  12. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    The height difference in code 100 and code 83 rail is hard to distinguish after the track has been ballasted. I have people praising me all the time about how great my ballasted code 83 track looks. They're always very surprised when I drop the bombshell on them. It's ALL Bachmann code 100 EZ-Track, nickel silver of course. The ballast obscures part of the rail.
  13. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    A bit more advice (yopu haven't come to this question yet, but you will): Don't use the turnouts you probably have. With sectional track, you likely have Atlas Snap-Switches or similar-size Bachmann switches. Not that I'm saying Snap-Switches are automatically bad, but they're 18" radius. In your space, you don't have to go with 18" radius. And for general use, #6 switches are the best assumption.

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