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Good evening,

Has anyone done a comparison, pros-cons, of Kato versus Atlas (vs Peco?) sectional track?

As a newbie, I really want to avoid hand-laying track or using flex. (Even soldering looks tough right now!) So, I'd like to know which sectional joins easily, operates well, and lasts.

  • I need to match Peco Streamline code 55 turnouts that my husband bought for my use.
  • It's for a very small table-top layout (2 x 2.5). I'll be modeling steam, mid- to late-1800s.
Thank you,
Sally
 

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For your purpose,handlaying track is definitely out as not required in any way.However,I do recommend that you use Peco C55 flex track as it will be the best match to your turnouts,wich are very good if not the best you can get.Installing flextrack is indeed more labour intensive than sectional track but is well worthed it.With sectional,curve radiuses are much more limited while flex allows you to custom fit your curves.

But if you want to go the sectional route,Peco C55 turnouts will accept Atlas C80 sectional track (not Atlas C55) fairly well.I've done it on a test loop and I've only had to file the railheads a little to match the height.Atlas C80 comes in 9 3/4 and 11 inch radius curves (11 in. being the largest you can use on a 24 in. layout) and have a very useful small hole every few ties to nail them down.Atlas C80 are reliable,easy to work with and decently priced.

As far as Peco sectional,I honestly don't know if Peco has them.If they do,I've never worked with them.They'd likely be your best option as they should be perfect fit.The only Kato track I know of is Unitrack,great trackage but definitely not an easy fit to Peco turnouts.Shimming and soldering likely required to fit and these are somewhat pricey.
 
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