Author Topic: What is the status of the Micro Engineering Code 55 Concrete Tie flextrack?  (Read 466 times)

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ednadolski

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(Disclaimer: This is only meant to pose the question, and not in any way start or perpetuate any rumor or hearsay!)

Does anyone happen to know the current status of ME's C55 concrete tie flex track?   AFAICS it's once out of production, possibly due to mold issues (again! <rolleyes>), with no plan or schedule as to when it may become available again.  I do recall this happened some ~5 or so years ago; the mold was repaired, but the quality was somewhat reduced (more flash and excess plastic evident than previous productions).

I'll try to contact ME directly and see if I can find out anything further, but perhaps someone here has some more definitive information?

Ed

« Last Edit: December 01, 2019, 02:49:42 AM by GaryHinshaw »

daniel_leavitt2000

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I think track would be a great product for Scale Trains. There are large holes in the marketplace for a good alternative C55 line and we could really use a thorough C40 line.
'In my great and unmatched wisdom'

Point353

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Does anyone happen to know the current status of ME's C55 concrete tie flex track?   AFAICS it's once out of production, possibly due to mold issues (again! <rolleyes>), with no plan or schedule as to when it may become available again. 
Last update I've seen from any retailer was from the following, indicating an estimated arrival date of 8/1/2019.
Obviously that date has come and gone.
https://www.n-scalemodeltrains.com/NScale_ME_Track.html
 

MetroRedLine

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I think track would be a great product for Scale Trains. There are large holes in the marketplace for a good alternative C55 line and we could really use a thorough C40 line.

It boggles the mind why no other manufacturer has added Code 55 track to their catalog. Atlas had an overall track drought about 5-7 years ago and Micro-Engineering has had internal issues that have severely limited their product output. And people buy that ugly Peco stuff because it's in stock. The conditions were prime for a new track manufacturer to dominate the market. Not having track available limits people who want to build or expand their layouts. I'm not upset about this personally because I bought about 95% of the track I needed for my layout about 12 years ago when both Atlas and ME track were plentiful, but for other N scalers, especially new ones or those considering converting to N, whether the dearth of Code 55 track options might turn them off to the scale.
Under the streets of Los Angeles

basementcalling

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While not code 55, and certainly an expensive option, I am constantly surprised by the popularity of UniTrak outside of TTrak circles.

No one is betting on N scale track. I feel like we've hashed the reliability and production line issues with tracks and turnouts previously.

But as to the OPs question, nope. Heard nothing about the status of concrete tie track from ME.

Maybe what we need is copper clad circuit board ties that look like concrete ties so we can lay out own?
Peter Pfotenhauer

ednadolski

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Maybe what we need is copper clad circuit board ties that look like concrete ties so we can lay out own?

I tried that with the milled ties from the 2mm Association.   The thread is here, but unfortunately it looks like Photobucket ate the pics:

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=31877.msg356307#msg356307

Bottom lines, IIRC:

 - There was a general consensus that the track looks a little too naked without any rail clips, but no one could think of a practical way to add them.
 - The ties themselves have a noticeable amount of inconsistency in the milling.  That, along with variations due to hand-placement (no jig exists), loses some of the machine-applied regularity that the prototype track has.
 - Height-wise, Code 40 rail is undersized by about the same amount that code 55 rail is oversized.  Code 55 rail has overly-wide rail head (about 5 scale inches) compared to the code 40 which is much closer to the scale 3" width of the prototype.  For some (myself included) the oversize C55 railhead is distractingly evident, particularly when the railhead is shiny/polished.  (The smaller rail does tend to make your rolling stock look more massive, esp. in pics... to me that is a plus ;) ).


At one point I had dabbled in a 3D printed concrete tie strip for code 40 rail, which included the clips as a guide to locate the rails. I had it printed out on Shapeways, but the quality was quite poor.  Nowadays the 3D printing has really improved, so maybe it's time to revisit that idea....


Ed

narrowminded

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At one point I had dabbled in a 3D printed concrete tie strip for code 40 rail, which included the clips as a guide to locate the rails. I had it printed out on Shapeways, but the quality was quite poor.  Nowadays the 3D printing has really improved, so maybe it's time to revisit that idea....

Ed

Am I understanding that you would want N scale concrete ties for code 40 rail?  I have already successfully made code 40 Nn3 tie bed that works as flex track with rails added after the bed is laid.  I see no reason why I couldn't make concrete N scale with the same approach.  It works really well. 

There are some progress pics in this old update thread.  https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=47070.msg618063#msg618063

And here's another link that has several posts that might give a better sense of it all.  https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=46808.msg614318#msg614318

« Last Edit: December 02, 2019, 10:18:19 PM by narrowminded »
Mark G.

ednadolski

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@narrowminded that would be way cool!  ;)   I went ahead and created a new post in the 3D Printing forum with a link to the .skp file that I have from my previous effort.   Would you mind looking that over? I'd love to know what you think.

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=48446.msg642319#msg642319

(If it works out, I can update my photoetched turnout fret to code 40, so there will be some turnouts to go with the tie strip  :ashat:)

Thanks!
Ed

narrowminded

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@narrowminded that would be way cool!  ;)   I went ahead and created a new post in the 3D Printing forum with a link to the .skp file that I have from my previous effort.   Would you mind looking that over? I'd love to know what you think.

https://www.therailwire.net/forum/index.php?topic=48446.msg642319#msg642319

(If it works out, I can update my photoetched turnout fret to code 40, so there will be some turnouts to go with the tie strip  :ashat:)

Thanks!
Ed

We'll have some pieces to test soon. 8)  We'll make sure of the function and details can follow... if needed. :)
Mark G.