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Old 01-09-2020, 08:03 AM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
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Scales Modeled: Heavily into semiscale 0-27 with a few scale 0 and some older HO, S, N, and one G and Z scale set.
Which track is better for O gauge?

Which is the preferred type of track to use, hollow rail tubular or solid rail and why? Does the type of referred rail depend on the curves used or other factors? As far as electrical conductivity and for the transmission of tmcc or dcs signals does one perform better than the other?
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:32 AM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Knoxville, TN
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Scales Modeled: O and G
The answer is, it depends. All track systems conduct electricity and command signals fine. You or your trains won't notice any difference there, hollow or solid. It's all in how you wire it.

If you are going to do a carpet central, Fastrack holds up great and the turnouts are the most trouble free. If doing a permanent bench layout, Atlas or Gargraves track looks very realistic, but all their turnouts have little quirks.
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:58 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: SE Pennsylvania
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Scales Modeled: O
I use mostly Gargraves track and switches with some Ross track and switches. Many disdain Gargraves switches. They aren’t as good as Ross, but I have found they work well as long as the rolling stock has the proper weight and gauge. With Ross/Gargraves (they are interchangeable), you get a wide selection of curves and switches. Gargraves flex track can be any radius. The wooden ties tend to reduce noise.

Can’t speck from experience, but I’ve heard the Atlas with its solid rail is very quiet.

As Volpin said, Fastrack is good for a carpet central. Just take a look at a few of his videos. I have seen threads here that talk about problems with continuity at the connectors.

There are polls here that show most use folks tubular track. I still use a bit of O27 track and it works. I think the downside for tubular is its not very realistic, limited switch selection and noisier than wood ties or solid rail.
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Old 01-09-2020, 09:41 AM   #4
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Southwick Ma
Posts: 1,280
Scales Modeled: O scale
There is no right answer or wrong answer. It's what you prefer. I have Ross switches/track and some gargraves and SuperO. If I had to do it over again I'd use AtlasO sectional with Ross switches.

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Old 01-09-2020, 10:29 AM   #5
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Location: Ohio
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You will get many different answers and use scenarios. For my layout I use Gargraves track and Ross or Gargraves switches. Never have had any issues with this combination.

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Old 01-09-2020, 11:30 AM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Brooklyn, Ct.
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Scales Modeled: O
My layout is Ross track and switches.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:04 PM   #7
Jim K
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Southern Indiana
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Like previously said it depends on what you are familiar with and what you enjoy working with. The main table on my layout (9' by 13.5') uses Ross turnouts and Gargraves track. The trolley park line part of the layout (30" by 72") uses tubular. They both work fine. I do like the results of wiring the Ross turnouts so they don't derail. Not sure I could get under the table and wire it up again like that but I did it once!

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Old 01-09-2020, 04:52 PM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: San Diego CA
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Scales Modeled: O gauge
some have reported it makes no difference and it probably does not if you have a home layout and run a few hours a day.

but if you want to run 6 plus hours a day six days a week you will want a solid rail track.
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Old 01-09-2020, 05:47 PM   #9
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Location: Rochester, NY
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Scales Modeled: HO, 3R 1/48
There is no perfect track. Gargraves is probably the most economical if you use flex track. Ross makes good switches that match up well with Gargraves. Note Gargraves makes a stainless track that uses no plating as well as tin plated steel. Use tinplate if you have magnetraction engines.
Atlas is most prototypical with solid T rail and smaller ties. Their switches are reported to be problematic though. There are fixes but out of the box they have issues. MTH track appears to be OK but I have no experience with it.
Gargraves is my local hobby shop and I know the guys. I use their track.

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Old 01-09-2020, 06:37 PM   #10
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Are you nailing or gluing yours down for a permanent layout, or putting it on the carpet or similar for a take down and put away kind of layout?
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