Author Topic: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?  (Read 9746 times)

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NorfolkSouthern9708

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N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« on: April 26, 2010, 07:32:21 PM »
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Yeah, so this seems to be a very interesting debate between some people here at The Railwire, as well as throughout the N-scale community. Atlas C55 or ME C55? There are many pros and cons that each of them have. But there HAS to be a better track. So I ask you, what is better, and for what reasons? The reason I ask this is because I finaly bought a door, and I want the best materials for the layout.

ljudice

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2010, 08:37:58 PM »
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There is a better track product - Peco Code 55. It's only downfall is the British (and really 1/148th scale as well) tie spacing.

Other than that, it's far higher quality than the Atlas junk.  ME track is very nice and I know some folks who swear by it.  I also know people who swear at it.

Also, Atlas is hard to find, thanks to China, Inc. - and ME - I guess it's made here is also sporadic in availability.

I sent 200 feet of Atlas Code 55 to the dumpster, so forgive me if I am taking this personally. I hugely admire what some folks here have done with the stuff, but they must have very, very steady hands and a lot more patience than me.

Lou





« Last Edit: April 26, 2010, 09:03:44 PM by ljudice »

wm3798

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2010, 09:14:11 PM »
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Peco track is better right up to the point where you look at it.  Then it falls flat on its face.  I use Atlas because it's affordable, well rendered, durable, and (aside from the recent distribution hiccup) generally available.  Micro Engineering is certainly nice looking, but it's a little more difficult to work with, and nearly impossible to find unless you know someone.  They also only make one turnout size.

Peco is expensive, can be hard to find, but does offer a reasonable variety of turnouts.  When it's within its own context, it doesn't look terrible, but compared to the finer detail of the Atlas and ME alternatives, it's big and clunky.

Lee
Rockin' It Old School

Lee Weldon www.wmrywesternlines.net

John

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2010, 09:19:10 PM »
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There is a better track product - Peco Code 55. It's only downfall is the British (and really 1/148th scale as well) tie spacing.


OK .. did you get abducted and brainwashed by uboat / MichiganCentral? :)

pfs

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2010, 09:26:27 PM »
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ME can be had almost any time at MBK and is easy to order direct...just call the US based corp. and they pleasantly answer the phone and will help you.


http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/product_p/mec-10-124.htm


http://microengineering.com/

NorfolkSouthern9708

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2010, 09:48:12 PM »
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Yeah, the only problem would be availibility for Atlas. I basicly ruled out peco cause it is more than it's worth if you ask me.

Lee- What about mating the two (I know, that's what she said) ME flex, Atlas turnouts? Caleb sure makes it look good.  ;)

Ed Kapuscinski

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2010, 11:46:07 PM »
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There is a better track product - Peco Code 55. It's only downfall is the British (and really 1/148th scale as well) tie spacing.


And it's butt ugly, and I honestly don't think it looks any better than the Code 80 stuff.

I like the Atlas flex better, mostly because it's cheaper and more plentiful (when there isn't a supply chain disruption). Also, I don't like that you're bound to #6s with the ME stuff. However, that said, it looks and works just fine. But the switches are finicky.

Mark5

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2010, 12:04:46 AM »
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ME can be had almost any time at MBK and is easy to order direct...just call the US based corp. and they pleasantly answer the phone and will help you.


http://www.modeltrainstuff.com/product_p/mec-10-124.htm


http://microengineering.com/

I've seen several periods of ME "drought" over the past dozen years or so. The recent Atlas outage is hopefully a "one-off" thing that will not repeat.

(I did a lot of business in the old days with a ME predecessor - RailCraft)

Mark

wcfn100

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 12:11:00 AM »
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I used to like the ME track, but over time and the release of the Atlas track, there are three visual issues I can't deal with anymore.

1. 9' tie length.
2. Pretty severe draft angles on the ties.
3. A lot of flash on the tops of the ties.

I think the Atlas stuff is actually a bit undersized i.e. tie width just under 9" and tie spacing under 22" but it looks the best of the two for my purposes.


Jason

GaryHinshaw

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2010, 12:46:56 AM »
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I sent 200 feet of Atlas Code 55 to the dumpster, so forgive me if I am taking this personally.

Lou

Now Lou, I thought we established it was that spongy Brand X roadbed that caused all your problems.   ::)

For those of us needing concrete tie track, ME flex is the only way to go.  Atlas turnouts (or handlaid) work just fine with it.


Nato

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 02:31:39 AM »
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  Definately ME Flex and Atlas switches. Yes I know the tie spacing is slightly different on the Atlas switches ,but the two brands look ok together. Do not buy the weathered track from ME everyone says its a pain in the patooie to clean the rails for conductivity. Use ME code 40 for branch tracks. Of course I'am a great one to recommend because my layout is code 80 with Peco switches, too late to change, but good balisting and weathering helps hide the track. The Wasatch N Scale club I belong to http://www.wasatchnscale.org just reciently purchased a large supply of the ME 55 flex track for members to get to use on future modules. Nate Goodman (Nato).

NorfolkSouthern9708

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 06:50:55 AM »
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I've added the possibility of choosing ME flex and Atlas turnouts.

ljudice

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 07:52:40 AM »
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Gary, there's no question it was the combination that caused my problems, but hey, I'd rather run my trains on rails - not linguini pieces (poorly) attached to paper thin "tie-lets".

Among the other issues with Atlas Code 55:

  - Turnouts out of gauge (oh, I forgot, this is model railroading, where products routinely
    come broken and need to be fixed by the buyer!!)
  - Spikes "randomly" too high, especially on the sectional track which everyone will
     tell you is so fantastic to build yards from
  - When glued down, follows all surface contours so precisely that every imperfection
     is amplified.

As I said - I highly admire what some people have made of this junk, I'm not wasting my
time on it anymore.

As far as availability - right now IT'S NOT EVEN AVAILABLE!!!!!!!

And by the way, I've seen Atlas Code 80 track that looks superb - it depends upon how
it's built, painted and detailed. So please none of the barbs about the look of Peco track.


« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 07:59:20 AM by ljudice »

ljudice

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2010, 08:00:21 AM »
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By the way, I've got a pile of this junk here - maybe I should put in up for sale to the highest bid, since it's the only supply around???

Kev1340

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Re: N Scale Flextrack, what to use?
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2010, 08:14:05 AM »
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In my personal opinion, Peco code 55 is one of the best track systems around - plus it's readily available ;)

While Atlas code 55 doesn't look too bad, oversized spikes push it out of consideration.

I'd rather use Peco code 80 than Atlas code 55!!

Cheers,

Kev