Author Topic: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track  (Read 14778 times)

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sumfred

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Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« on: April 28, 2012, 10:22:38 AM »
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Have searched but not found any info on this.
What is considered the better choice.
I have a small True Track test layout and found that about a quarter of my steam engines (only have steam) have problems managing the True Track turnouts.
Did not have that problem with Peco electrofrog turnouts.
Any Ideas?

Fred

Brakie

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2012, 10:38:30 AM »
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Fred,I really don't think there is any real versus between the two brands. :|

First,have you  checked the wheel gauge of your locomotives?

As far as  the track IMHO the Kato's Untitrack is the better choice and I base that on my dinning room table top switching  layout experiences .I really love the smooth operation of their # 6 switch.
Larry

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avel

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2012, 12:04:53 PM »
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Kato Unitrack has seven times more unique track pieces compared to Atlas's True Track. Also with Kato you have code 80 rail vs code 65 for the True Track. So you can easily use some other brand of track (like Atlas's) with a piece of cork under to shim it to the proper height. Not that hard to use different code track, but if you're using Kato's track, why complicate things.
Ok so the Atlas True Track has smaller rail and more realistic, for North American railroads, tie spacing. Kato has thicker ties that are spaced further apart, something to do with Japanese "N" scale actually being 1:150 instead of 1:160, at least that's what I remember.

Atlas's True Track is very limited piece wise. Kato's Unitrack is practically bulletproof, I have some pieces from the 80's that are just fine. There are some excellent layouts built with Kato's Unitrack. I've just woken up and too lazy to find them.
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sumfred

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2012, 12:20:08 PM »
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Thanks for the info.  I also have heard that the Unitrack is better and has more possibilities.
I was just taken by the True Tack's appearance.
I have not checked the gauge of all my steamers as I did not have this problem with my Peco Code 80 medium radius turnouts.
Just wondered if someone else had problems with the True Track turnouts and if the Unitrack's were better.
Fred

SkipGear

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2012, 12:41:35 PM »
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The only thing TrueTrack is missing right now is turnouts and crossings. Options there are limited. There are 4 different radius curves available and multiple straights. Atlas has promised more turnouts, with a #6 coming first but with them in the middle fo switching production facilities, I don't see them coming till the end of the year at best.

If you want to build more than a basic loop of track and want to work with a sectional roadbed style track, Kato is what I would go with. If you are willing to wait, the Atlas track has a lot of promise but it's just not ready for prime time now.

BTW - Kato #4 turnouts are not exactly bulletproof. Stay with #6's if possible.
Tony Hines

sumfred

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2012, 12:51:44 PM »
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Just ordered a #4 turnout, a #6 turnaout,  4pcs 11" radius, 4 pcs. 9 3/4" radius and some straight pieces Unitrack and will test my problem engines
(True Track) with a mock switching layout.
Also heard about the problem with the # 4's. Apparently filing a small slot in the stock rail for the points solves the problem
Fred

avel

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2012, 01:28:43 PM »
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I've also read that the #4 turnouts have problems, I only have the #6 turnouts luckily.
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rogergperkins

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 09:06:38 AM »
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I cannot offer a personal comparison between Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track, but I can tell you I changed my entire layout from Peco turnouts and Atlas flextrack to Kato Unitrack about 10 or 12 years ago.
I have noticed an improvement in running trains on the Kato, however my layout with Peco was about 25 years old had been moved three times within a 20 years period to bigger basements.  I am primarily modeling the steam era so have various steam from 2-8-0 to Kato GS-4 and a couple of 2-8-8-2s.

Much of the Kato Unitrack I am now using came from that initial change, but I am in another location with a layout started about 6 years ago.  Some double mainline track has been added.


sumfred

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2012, 11:50:35 AM »
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I cannot offer a personal comparison between Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track, but I can tell you I changed my entire layout from Peco turnouts and Atlas flextrack to Kato Unitrack about 10 or 12 years ago.
I have noticed an improvement in running trains on the Kato, however my layout with Peco was about 25 years old had been moved three times within a 20 years period to bigger basements.  I am primarily modeling the steam era so have various steam from 2-8-0 to Kato GS-4 and a couple of 2-8-8-2s.

Much of the Kato Unitrack I am now using came from that initial change, but I am in another location with a layout started about 6 years ago.  Some double mainline track has been added.

If Kato gave you better performance than Peco, I guess I will use Unitrack on my next layout.
I'll keep the True Track layout as a small portable (2'x4') to fool around with as I am designing the "new one"

Thanks for the info

Fred

railtwister

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2012, 01:25:39 PM »
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Kato's Unitrack is excellent track whose biggest advantage is it's replaceable rail joiners (Unijoiners) which allows the track to be set up securely on a non-permanent layout or table. The other brands can't even approach the Unitrack method of joining the tracks together, and for running trains, Unitrack is an excellent product. The Unitrack turnouts with the electric switch motor built into the roadbed are also excellent, but if your track is permanently attached to the layout, servicing access for those switch machines becomes a problem. It seems that most of Unitrack's advantages would be lost on a layout with permanently attached track, and Unitrack's biggest weak point is it's appearance, due in part to it's molded roadbed plus the fact that it's curves are limited to only 15, 30, and 45 degrees, which results in rather geometric looking track plans. If you are the type who likes to change your layout's track plan before it's completed, then Unitrack is hard to beat.

Bill in FL

Iain

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2012, 01:46:10 PM »
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Track locks!
Thanks much,
Mairi Dulaney, RHCE
Member, Free Software Foundation and Norfolk Southern Historical Society

http://jdulaney.com

DaveB

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2012, 03:40:57 PM »
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Is there any source for track plans using True Track on the web?   My quick look didn't come up with anything.

sumfred

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2012, 04:45:20 PM »
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The Atlas web-site has some plans for True Track
Fred

spookshow

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2012, 04:55:16 PM »
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I'd originally planned to use True Track on my current layout, but eventually gave up on waiting for Atlas to expand the line. I prefer the look of True Track to Unitrack, but there's just not enough variety there yet. So far I am completely happy with Unitrack.

Cheers,
-Mark


BOK

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Re: Kato Unitrack vs. Atlas True Track
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2012, 04:57:15 PM »
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I have used both types of track and continue using Kato track in teaching new railroad conductors how to switch cars.  We also have equipped each regional safety manager in our company with a model railroad using Kato track to use in teaching Safety and Operating rules.

Having said that I would not use it again to build a model railroad as it is not very realistic. Durable, yes. Reliable, yes. Realistic, no. The ties are too large and spaced too far apart reflecting their Japanese hertiage. Because of this Kato does not look like American track no matter how much it is painted or ballasted in order to disguise it.

Is Atlas True Track a bit more fragile, yes and the connectors are not quite as rugged. However, Atlas Code 55 is also more fragile than Kato track but it too is much more realistic. Before I moved from N scale using Atlas Code 55 track, to another scale, I built a few layouts using True Track including a wye, a reverse loop and modifying a switch to become a spring switch. Overall I was very pleased and in the future when we move to a home with less space I will use True Track not only because of the realistic tie spacing but because it already includes a nice ballast road bed. In addition, I am aware that Atlas
plans on introducing larger radius switches and probably various, degree-crossings along with larger curves. What I don't think they will be too quick to produce is a double crossover which while desired by model railroaders, is generally only found on prototype railroads in heavy density freight and passenger operations and not all that common.

There are pros and cons to each product and each of us needs to decide which to choose. Both have advantages and disadvantages and they are both excellent products. I choose True Track because it is more realistic and fairly easy to work with. It's all up to the modeler...besides it really is your railroad.

Barry