Author Topic: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?  (Read 4423 times)

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MVW

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Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« on: August 13, 2014, 05:18:38 PM »
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I've run a few searches and haven't found quite what I was looking for, so here goes:

I'm contemplating using Peco code 55 turnouts on my next layout, but would prefer using a different brand of flex. I've always been an Atlas guy in the past, but would consider ME. Question is, which would be easier to use with the Peco turnouts? Any difference? How difficult?

I'm more than two hours away from the nearest "L"HS, so it's not easy to do an in-person comparison. Any insight will be appreciated.

Jim

C855B

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2014, 05:44:21 PM »
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Neither are going to be easy. Remember - Peco Code 55 is not really Code 55, it's a double-web Code 80 (...I think it's 80...) where the bottom portion is buried in the ties. It is only plug-and-play with Peco flex.

I could stand correction, but IIRC that's the gist of it.
...mike

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glakedylan

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2014, 05:46:15 PM »
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I am not certain about this, as I have never seen or used the ME flex
but!
atlas code 80 flex, as I see it, is closer in looks to the Peco turnouts, either code 80 or code 55
and since the code 55 peco turnouts are really code 80 sunked into the rails, I would think
that Altas code 80 would not be that difficult to connect to.
hope this helps...

kindest regards
Gary
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and all may care for each..."

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2014, 05:55:57 PM »
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Mike is correct, the Peco rail has a double base and is really code 80. There is no commercial solution I am aware of for joining it to true code 55 rail.  From an ease of use and reliability standpoint, you would be better off using Peco flex with Peco turnouts, if you don't mind the wide tie spacing.  I have been very happy with it in my staging yard, but I prefer other track for the main portion of the layout.

glakedylan

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2014, 06:01:19 PM »
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if the question is connecting Atlas 55 to Peco 55
or ME code 55 to Peco 55
there is a coupler made by ME (all though it be plastic) for connecting the two
check out the ME website for it.

fwiw...

Gary
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GaryHinshaw

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2014, 06:05:20 PM »
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I tried that for connecting my staging to the rest of the layout, but the code 80 side of the ME joiner was not compatible with the Peco double base (not to be confused with a double bass...  :P).


glakedylan

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2014, 06:09:30 PM »
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thanks Gary for sharing that first hand information
I have a couple packs in my stuff but have not had an opportunity to use
actually bought them with Altas 80/55 in mind

talk about a part that would appear rather useless
except, perhaps, with ME track

oh well...

kindest regards
Gary
"...that each may live for all,
and all may care for each..."

wazzou

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2014, 06:10:09 PM »
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On a previous layout, I successfully blended Peco Code 55 and ME Code 55.   The biggest drawback is the difference in the heights of the ties and overall track profiles when laid end to end.  To remedy this, where the track was laid directly on a plywood sub-roadbed, I used a router to slightly countersink the Peco TO's to allow evenly meshed rails.  In order to join the two track sections, I filed away the web of half of the rail joiner, leaving only the flat bottom surface beyond where it slid onto the TO and soldered the ME Code 55 rail to this pad.
Where the two tracks were used on cork, I had to leave about 6" at the ends of the ME track unglued to carefully shim to meet the height of the Peco TO's. 
Once ballasted this remaining 6" or so was firmly affixed.  It worked just fine but I won't likely go that route again.  I'll still use the ME Flex but will combine with Atlas TO and hand lay the balance.
Bryan

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MVW

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2014, 06:37:37 PM »
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So, what I'm hearing is that there is no easy answer?  :trollface:

I like what I've read about Peco turnouts (and the variety), but wouldn't be thrilled with the look of the Peco flex. I've used Atlas code 80 before, but would prefer to use code 55 this time around, but I'm not thrilled with what I hear about Atlas code 55 turnouts, even though I love the looks of their flex. ME sounds like another option, although I've never used their flex, and they only make a #6 turnout.

Sweet Jesus, you'd think someone could manufacture quality track components that work together.  :facepalm:

Jim

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2014, 06:52:02 PM »
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Peco is the only company using the weird code 55/80 track. All of the other companies' track is pretty much compatible.  So is not as bad as you are lamenting.  :) The Peco code 55 is IMO a very clever solution, but it also makes it a pain to interface with true code 55 track.   The track standards are not as compatible as other things (like DCC). As long as the gauge is correct, the companies are not forced to make their track compatible with others.

The best solution would be for Peco to come out with US-specs flex track.  But I wouldn't hold my breath...
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Loren Perry

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2014, 06:53:05 PM »
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The description below is how I handled this problem. My Hollywood Railroad as seen in past (and future) issues of N Scale Magazine uses mostly ME Code 55 flex track and all 69 turnouts on the layout are Peco Code 55 Electro Frogs. After I ground away the lower part of the Peco rail (up to the bottom of the upper flange), a standard rail joiner connected the two brands nicely. Soldering the joints sealed the deal. The track looks good and the turnouts are best available in this scale as far as operation is concerned. In a perfect world, Atlas or ME would come out with their turnouts using the Peco construction features which would give us a U.S. style appearance combined with Peco's robust construction and performance. I'm having almost no operational problems with the Pecos. Once the track is ballasted, painted, and weathered, the difference in the two brands is almost unnoticeable unless one is really looking for it.


On a previous layout, I successfully blended Peco Code 55 and ME Code 55.   The biggest drawback is the difference in the heights of the ties and overall track profiles when laid end to end.  To remedy this, where the track was laid directly on a plywood sub-roadbed, I used a router to slightly countersink the Peco TO's to allow evenly meshed rails.  In order to join the two track sections, I filed away the web of half of the rail joiner, leaving only the flat bottom surface beyond where it slid onto the TO and soldered the ME Code 55 rail to this pad.
Where the two tracks were used on cork, I had to leave about 6" at the ends of the ME track unglued to carefully shim to meet the height of the Peco TO's. 
Once ballasted this remaining 6" or so was firmly affixed.  It worked just fine but I won't likely go that route again.  I'll still use the ME Flex but will combine with Atlas TO and hand lay the balance.

GaryHinshaw

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2014, 07:09:37 PM »
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After I ground away the lower part of the Peco rail (up to the bottom of the upper flange), a standard rail joiner connected the two brands nicely. Soldering the joints sealed the deal.

I was thinking this might be a good solution.  Glad to hear it actually works well with standard joiners, I think I'll go this route when I tie my staging in.

mark dance

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2014, 07:15:28 PM »
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The description below is how I handled this problem. My Hollywood Railroad as seen in past (and future) issues of N Scale Magazine uses mostly ME Code 55 flex track and all 69 turnouts on the layout are Peco Code 55 Electro Frogs. After I ground away the lower part of the Peco rail (up to the bottom of the upper flange), a standard rail joiner connected the two brands nicely. Soldering the joints sealed the deal. The track looks good and the turnouts are best available in this scale as far as operation is concerned. In a perfect world, Atlas or ME would come out with their turnouts using the Peco construction features which would give us a U.S. style appearance combined with Peco's robust construction and performance. I'm having almost no operational problems with the Pecos. Once the track is ballasted, painted, and weathered, the difference in the two brands is almost unnoticeable unless one is really looking for it.

This is the approach I have used to connect ME code 55 bridge track to (what-I-consider-bullet-proof) Peco code 55.  Sorry for the commercial but, the ease of installation, low profile, turnout variety, and reliability without maintenance on a medium/large N scale layout requires me give Peco a plug. I think they deserve it for such a robust design.  I owe them a lot :)

md
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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2014, 07:32:42 PM »
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I had also used the Peco turnouts, grinding the bottom flange off and using Atlas joiner to mate it to Atlas Code 55. I used narrower cork under the turnout to make up for the height difference. It took a little work, but it was a bombproof combo. The only reason I got away from that is that I liked the appearance of Atlas #10 turnouts better than the Peco long turnouts. 
Karl
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Ngineer

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Re: Peco turnouts and Atlas flex? Or ME flex?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2014, 07:41:53 PM »
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How do you make Micro Engineering track (either Code 55 oder 40) perfectly straight?

It is so stiff that if you correct a kink the next kink will show up about 3 to 5 inches from the corrected part of the track. Compare that to Atlas Code 55 flextrack, which always returns to a perfectly straight position.