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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all!
I have recently acquired some Atlas model train track from a family member, and I will be honest... I have absolutely no knowledge about it. I was hoping someone could help me figure out the scale or other information? I will attach photos, although I don’t know identifying factors . Thanks so much!!
 

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looks like atlas code 100 flex track, HO scale.

If the ties are brown it is code .083, black code .100.
code is the height of rail in thousands of inch. So code .100 would be 100/1000 or 1/10 of an inch.

Also looks like the rails may be brass. If so, not the most favorable track to use. Constantly needs cleaned.
Modern nickel silver much more desirable.
 

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I agree with Cole as to what you have there.

It looks like brass, and badly oxidized brass at that. It will need to be cleaned before use.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you both for your input. Just to clarify, the track's code is determined by the height of the tie not including the metal railing?

Secondly, which part determines that it is HO? Is it the spacing between the rails or the size of the metal? Like I said, this is all new to me.

I added more pictures for kicks. The tracks aren't quite as oxidized as they looked in the first pictures, though they still look brass to me.

train 1.png

train 2.png

train 3.png
 

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The code is the height of the rail.
 

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Thank you both for your input. Just to clarify, the track's code is determined by the height of the tie not including the metal railing?


No, the "code" is the height of the rail. Not the ties. Tie height isn't important.

"Code 100" (0.100") is the most common size in beginner train sets. It's a little bit oversize/out of scale for most track, but many people have a hard time noticing this.

"Code 83" (0.083") is the next most popular for HO, usually by people in the hobby a bit longer looking for a more scale look. It's a good proper scale match for most heavy mainline rails.

"Code 70" (0.070") and "Code 55" (0.055") are also available for representing lighter rail if you want to really model the look of the track properly. Not everyone does this.

Secondly, which part determines that it is HO? Is it the spacing between the rails or the size of the metal? Like I said, this is all new to me.
"HO scale" is the name for the specific scale ratio of 1:87, which means everything on the model is 1/87th the size of the real thing (or roughly close to it - some details and parts may compromise and be slightly oversize because they would be too fragile otherwise, or sometimes model makers just straight up make mistakes, or if it's something towards the cheap "toy" end of the spectrum, they simply might not be that picky).

North America has a "standard" gauge (distance between the rails) of 4 feet and 8 1/2 inches. In HO scale (1:87) this is just over 0.6 inches. Another popular scale, N scale (1:160) would be about 1/3 of an inch between rails. The size of the rails is also somewhat relevant but can vary as detailed in the code discussion above. Smaller scales like N tend to have really oversized rails though, as properly scaled rails would be pretty small at that size. But the distance between the rails is pretty fixed by the scale...


Definitions:

Scale - ratio of real life to model size difference

[Track] Gauge - distance between the rails

[Track/Rail] Code - height of [just] the rail in 1000ths of an inch
 

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Actually, N gauge got it's name from it's distance between rails.....9 mm......N for nine.....
 

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All statements about code and gauge by others is correct.
But I just want to warn you that if, IF you are going into this hobby, planning a layout, and want it to look realistic I'd forget using these pieces of 3' brass code 100 flex-track for 3 reasons.
1) The rails are brass (early MRR rail designed in the 1950s) and yes, are a maintenance bugaboo because brass oxidizes and grows greenish, non conducting areas that if not cleaned away, causes engines stall on it..
2) The rail height (Code) if converted to real rail height, measures out at around 12"-14" tall. Real heavy main line rail is about 9" tall (this doesn't include the tie height or tie plates)..So, 100 looks kinda toyish.
3) The black plastic ties are too high, too wide, and too far apart to look realistic.
But if you just want to set up a very very simple loop of track you can stay with this if you like..
Just wanted you to be aware of these stats. M
 
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