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EZ TRACK by Bachman

TRU TRACK by ATLAS

pros and cons

O gauger planning first HO layout
 

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Not sure but the gray Bachmann is a little bit nicer than the black. A lot of folks will for the plastic molded base style track say "Oh you mean Unitrack -- it's the best!" (kato) I don't have any of that either. But I do have the Bachmann.
 

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I like Unitrack the most.
Can't vouch for their turnouts though.
 

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Bachmann track with the grey roadbed is nickel-silver.......black roadbed is steel.....nickel silver is better.....
 

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And the gray plastic seems a tad better although this may be my imagination and the overall quality.
 

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I do have atlas in O and so I'd look very closely at that if I knew I was committing more to HO. If just experimenting a little, bachmann is cheap enough. In my case I left the molded bases completely.
 

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Definitely avoid the Bachmann with the black roadbed. Steel track doesn't conduct all that well, and it can be a maintenance nightmare.

Atlas True Track uses code 83 rail, which many modelers think has a more realistic appearance. The pieces can also be pulled off the roadbed and used as standard sectional track pieces. This may end up being important later, if you decide to switch to non-roadbed track.

The problem with both kinds is that the turnouts are junk. In Atlas, they're just the standard crappy Snap-Swiitches, Bachmann's are a whole new level of absolute junk. That by itself would give the advantage to Atlas in my mind.

If you're going to use roadbed track, Kato Unitrack really is the best thing out there. But it's expensive?

Have you thought about using flex track? It's really not that hard, and it allows virtually unlimited creativity in your track plan?
 

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I think it depends on if you are dabbling or already committed... Or none of that matters and you just want the best.
 

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EZ TRACK by Bachman

TRU TRACK by ATLAS

pros and cons

O gauger planning first HO layout
billp213;

A far better choice than either Bachmann EZ-Track, or Atlas TRU TRACK, is Kato Unitrack.
While any of the three brands of actual track itself, will work, the "turnouts" (track switches) are a very different story!

If, for whatever reason, you absolutely HAD to choose from ONLY Bachmann, or Atlas,(Why?) I'd suggest the Atlas, simply because the Atlas turnouts, with modification, can be made to work reliably in terms of keeping trains on the track.
I'm not a fan of the Atlas twin-coil switch machine that comes attached to their "Remote" (AKA electric) "Snap Switch" turnouts. You might consider using Atlas "Manual" Snap Switches instead, if that's an option with TRU TRACK.

Atlas also makes another completely separate line of turnouts called "Custom Line." They are better quality than the Atlas "Snap Switches", but may not fit the TRU TRACK plastic roadbed, since they are a different shape than the "Snap Switches."
You could still use the Atlas Custom Line turnouts, or better still, Peco turnouts, by adding a matching thickness of cork, or foam, commercial roadbed, or a simple piece of wood under the turnout.

Bachmann EZ-Track turnouts have a quite lousy reputation for not working well. (many derailments & a tendency to fall apart internally.) See the file "All About Turnouts." At the end, there Is a comparison of turnout brands. At the very end of that, are some quotes from Bachmann EZ-Track turnout owners that are pretty bad.

I think that Atlas TRU TRACK is basically their old "Snap Track" line of sectional track, on a plastic roadbed. The Atlas "Snap Switch" turnouts, used with their "Snap Track" line, are not so hot out of the box, (lots of derailments) but can be improved with some simple modifications, to operate well. See the file "Improving Atlas Turnouts" for details.

Kato Unitrack is the best quality brand among the various brands of "roadbed" track. They also offer a wider selection of curves, and other track shapes, than their competitors, and their turnouts are reliable. It is more expensive, but the best usually is. In the long run the quality and lack of frustrating problems, are well worth the extra cost.

Since this is your first HO-scale layout, you may benefit from the information in these files.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan 🙂
 

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I have a 4x8 plywood table with two ovals (test tracks) in the basement.
It's all Unitrack... no turnouts though.
I highly recommend it.
 

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Not sure but the gray Bachmann is a little bit nicer than the black. A lot of folks will for the plastic molded base style track say "Oh you mean Unitrack -- it's the best!" (kato) I don't have any of that either. But I do have the Bachmann.
My first question is the layout to be temporary or permanent?
 

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Do you have your exact layout path planned or just want to try on oval? bachmann is cheap and you can probably find a ton of on ebay ... certainly new its widely available. you don't even need any switches -- but that could be their real weak point as well as the atlas or any brand of prefab switches. This could be how you decide if you know your layout plan now .

In my case I'd want DCC and remote/toggle throw capability if such exists in one switch in the brand(s) of interest. In fact if that's not available in the brand, i would probably go with the brand that did support if it could be found. So that would brand show stopper for me based on my previous experience with fastrack where I never quite got used to the wireless throw and instead reverted back to the toggle throw... it's nice to have the option so perhaps that's the key to it.

Another example on along those lines might be that you want a fancy triple quadruple quintuple crossover or something and well -- only one brand has that -- so it has to be it. etc... (I don't see anything like this with kato... not sure of the others)

And here's another that's a little esoteric for some but might be super important to you -- does the brand support ramped curves? Kato does support these "superelevated" curves at least in their cement ties.

Etc...
 

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In case you need a visual...
I photograph some of my models on Unitrack:
FriscoCab1~2.jpg
20190302_184616~3.jpg
 

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A friend of the family has a friend who moved into a smaller house and gave her all his Bachmann EZ track which she gave to me. I normally run O gauge, but I have put together a small oval and have been running trains on it. It also came with three transformers, two Spectrum 15v and a Control Master II.

It came with an engine and some rolling stock and I bought some more. My O gauge layout takes up most of the space, but I'm going to elevate the HO track over my O gauge.
 

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I had that, sort of -- I mixed HO in with some N, among a sprawling O layout that was never quite formalized into anything permanent. But now the O stuff sits boxed up. I haven't decided what to do with it yet. It isn't that I don't like it -- but even used, its kind of pricey and with just 2 main suppliers... I got a bit tired of all that. Then I got to thinking about it a little bit differently too. From a sort of space/scale point of N makes a lot of sense -- but it's hard to ignore the shear scope and variety of the HO world. So for now... HO it is!
 
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