Author Topic: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?  (Read 4799 times)

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Freight Train

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Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« on: April 22, 2020, 05:54:38 PM »
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I built a shelf layout using Atlas code 83 track. Have 3 locos ( 2 Atlas, 1 Bachmann) and have a problem with all 3 starting and stopping. I've clean the track using a track cleaner & conditioner I bought from Tony's Train Exchange and still have the problem. I did notice  when I place the locos on the track and slide them a little forward & backwards it seems the wheel flanges and riding over the molded heads of the track spikes. I don't seem to have this problem with my freight cars. Is it possible if the flanges are riding the spike heads that it's causing the locos to loose electrical contact with the rails ? 
Phoenix Southside Connecting Railroad (H0)
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Mark5

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2020, 06:33:20 PM »
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It seems very unlikely that any 21st century locos would have any problems with flange depth on Atlas Code 83 track.

Is this problem in DC or DCC? Are the locomotive wheels clean?

Mark

Freight Train

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2020, 06:59:08 PM »
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Hi Mark,
    Yes, the locos wheels are clean and also I'm also using DCC. I know DCC is a bit finicky with dirty track and cleanest is a must but this is just plain weird. I can take a freight car and roll it back and forth and it's not a problem. Do that with any loco and it should just slide across the rails even though the wheels are not free to turn. But it's a very bumpy ride. And that's not even going where two sections of track meet. This happens any where in the layout. I've done N Scale for years and have done some HO layouts in between. I always used code 100 before and this is the first time with code 83.
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peteski

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2020, 08:26:47 PM »
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It seems very unlikely that any 21st century locos would have any problems with flange depth on Atlas Code 83 track.

Mark

True, but the problem description seems to be indicating that the flange depth on C83 track might be the problem.

Quote
I did notice  when I place the locos on the track and slide them a little forward & backwards it seems the wheel flanges and riding over the molded heads of the track spikes. I don't seem to have this problem with my freight cars. Is it possible if the flanges are riding the spike heads that it's causing the locos to loose electrical contact with the rails ?

Freight Train, I think that you already correctly diagnosed your problem.  Do you have piece of C100 track to see how that same loco runs on C100 track?
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Freight Train

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2020, 11:24:53 AM »
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Hi Pete,
    Don't have any code 100 on hand but am about to order some . I too was thinking along the same lines about trying different code track to test my problem out.
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Mark5

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2020, 02:53:10 PM »
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True, but the problem description seems to be indicating that the flange depth on C83 track might be the problem.


None of my many HO modeler friends have issues with Atlas Code 83. (FWIW)

Weird things can happen though.

Does every rail have a power feed?

Mark
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 02:54:48 PM by Mark5 »

peteski

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2020, 03:41:08 PM »
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Quote
I did notice  when I place the locos on the track and slide them a little forward & backwards it seems the wheel flanges and riding over the molded heads of the track spikes. I don't seem to have this problem with my freight cars.

Quote
I can take a freight car and roll it back and forth and it's not a problem. Do that with any loco and it should just slide across the rails even though the wheels are not free to turn. But it's a very bumpy ride. And that's not even going where two sections of track meet. This happens any where in the layout.

To me this is a pretty clear indication that it is a mechanical (not electrical) problem.  I have also never heard any H0 scale modelers complain about compatibility problems of H0 c83 track with deep flange wheels. But what Freight Train is experiencing seems to indicate just that.
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Mark5

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2020, 04:08:47 PM »
+1
Yeah, maybe he has some ancient locos with huge flanges.

Code 83 here:
/>
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 04:11:43 PM by Mark5 »

Mark5

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #8 on: April 23, 2020, 05:02:00 PM »
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Here is the source of my skepticism about the flange. Here is one of my locos (Athearn SD40-2) on some Japanese brand of Code 83 track  ;). There is so much room between the flange and the spike that you could put a Ed K side Philly Sub in there. :D

[ Guests cannot view attachments ]

The Atlas spike heads could be a little larger but I can't see it being that much bigger.

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Pic from here:http://designbuildop.hansmanns.org/2013/02/17/track-installation-basics-part-2

peteski

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2020, 05:10:09 PM »
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I'm not in H0, but was going by what seems to be a clearly described problem of flanges riding on the spikes.  Maybe Freight train can post some clear close-ups of the flanges and spikes so we can see it for ourselves.  Or wait until his c100 track arrives and find out whether the problem persists on c100 track.

I just thought of something that might be too crazy to mention" Maybe the wheelsets are so tight in gauge that they fall between the rails, and the flanges are riding on the ties?!  :scared:
« Last Edit: April 23, 2020, 05:12:04 PM by peteski »
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Freight Train

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #10 on: April 24, 2020, 02:50:50 PM »
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Sorry for the bad photos as I only have a fire tablet to take pictures with . Using a millimeter scale I measured from the spike head to the top of the rail head which gives me a clearance of 1 milimeter. Also, measured the flanges of one of my locos which also gives me a clearance of 1 milimeter. I have no clearance space between the flange and the spike heads. The locos are not ancient as their newer Atlas with sound and DCC and sound factory installed as well as 1 Bachmann unit I have. Also note, I use a NMRA scale to test both track and wheels gauge with. I've used code 100 track and never experience a problem like this. I got a pack of Atlas code 100 track on its way. Once I get this I will test the locos on that and give my result here.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2020, 02:53:35 PM by Freight Train »
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Mark5

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #11 on: April 24, 2020, 03:11:45 PM »
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Fascinating. NMRA max on HO flanges in .025" - that should leave at least 58 thousandths between the flange and the base of the rail.

Watching this, as I am also building a small HO shelf layout and I plan to use Atlas Code 83 track (like many of my friends).

I'd run out and grab some Atlas C83, but we are under Covid-19 shutdown here.

Mark

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #12 on: April 24, 2020, 03:42:07 PM »
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That is weird.  1mm is 0.039".  So the flanges seem very deep, and the spikes seem very tall.
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Freight Train

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2020, 12:00:17 PM »
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Finally got the Atlas code 100 track in and got to doing the testing. I didn't clean the track as I wanted to see how my locos ran on it as is. Wanted to see if I go the same starting and stopping to restarting as I did with the code 83 track. The first loco a Atlas SD 35 high hood ran flawlessly. Ran it back and forth multiple times trying to get it stall and start over but it worked the way it should. Tested the second loco a Atlas C420 that stuttered just slightly but didn't stop. Cleaned the wheels which eliminated the slight stuttering and ran it back and forth to see if it would stall but it to ran as it should. Tested the last loco a Bachmann GP 40 and ran it back and forth and got the same results as the first two. Also did the empowered test as to sliding the locos slightly to see if I got that toughness as I did with the code 83 track as it felt the flanges were riding across the spike heads. All locos slid smoothly across the rails. Fortunately the bench work is done and all cork was laid and I hadn't ballasted the track so pulling up the old track to lay new ones will not be such a head ache. Just a hit in the wallet instead. I should of went with my first instinct to use code 100 for this shelf layout but I wanted the brown ties and prototypical look of the code 83 instead.
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davefoxx

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Re: Any one ever experience problems with Atlas code 83 track ?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2020, 05:22:02 PM »
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Any pictures?  I've got a couple dozen of HO scale Atlas, Athearn, Rapido, and Intermountain locomotives, and none of them ride the spikes on Code 83 track.  I have Atlas flextrack and Walthers (Shinoharo) turnouts.  Either you have a defective piece of track or something else is going on.

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