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Reference my earlier post about Kadee couplers, when I put my HO stuff away in the 70s, I was transitioning to code 83 track. So all of my existing Atlas track is a mix of 100 and 83, with the newer stuff 83.

Of the 3 hobby shops I've visited, all three said they sold more code 100 than 83. Makes me wonder. Is code 100 more reliable? I just assumed 83 was more prototypical.

I'm not a rivet counter, per se, although I do care about the realism. I care more about reliable operation than the height difference between code 100 and 83.

Thanks again for your inputs.
 

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It depends upon your rolling stock. Those from 30 or more years ago may or may not make noise as the oversize wheel flanges strike either the tie plates or the spikes. European equipment from that many years ago most surely will, and some new equipment using older NOS parts used to assemble them may also.

I have three Roco Era III passenger wagons that strike the spikes as they move on my Code 83 railroad. They were purchased new in 2017, but used older wheel sets for assembly. These may very well be re-issue models. They would much rather be on Code 100 rail rather than Code 83, but they run fine. There is usually so much sound from the locomotives that it is not at all noticeable.

Code 83 looks more realistic, but non-railfan or model railroaders to your layout will not notice any difference. Only you will know. It's not really a matter of reliability, only scale realism.
 

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You can always change the wheels to a lesser flange depth, to clear the tie spikes on the code 83 track....
 

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I've been running 50 -70 year old trucks on Kato Unitrack (code 83) and haven't had issues related to rail size, but the trucks' overall performance is so poor you'll want to replace them anyway.
 

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there is little visual difference between code 83 and code 100,after all it's only 17 thousanths and is not really noticeable once it's ballasted ...
i would use whatever i had the most of, especially the turnouts, as they are the most expensive ...
yes; 'pizza cutter' wheels -might- hit on code 83, but they really should be changed anyways
 

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I've been running my Tyco stuff from the 70's on the code 70 track I've been laying. One loco just barely clears the tie plates on the flex track, but otherwise I would think most everything but the obvious pizza-cutters will work fine on code 83. Sadly my local hobby shop does not carry code 70 so I have to order everything online.
 

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Some manufacturers' code 83 track has less pronounced "spike heads" thus it plays nicer with medium-deep flanges.
 
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