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I am thinking of expanding my layout. My current layout has Peco turnouts and Atlas track all code 100. what would be the reason you would change the code of the track on the next addition. Looking for feedback. Is it lest costly, more scale, ballast or not?
All my current track has ballast over cork roadbed.
 

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I've changed most of my track over to Atlas code 83 with brown ties. The tie color, size, and spacing was my main reason for changing. At a train show, I bought used Atlas code 83 turnouts for $5 apiece. The downside, half my locos will not work because wheel flanges are too tall. They hit the raised tie plate
 

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Most of my track and turnouts are Atlas. I've only recently started using Peco turnouts. I've had no problems from either brand. My layout is about half Peco and half Atlas.

I bought 12 sticks of Micro Engineering code 83 track for my staging yard and tried to route a 26" radius curve around the laid cork roadbed. That was one big PITA trying to get a smooth curve with this stuff. I grabbed the last three pieces of Atlas flex track and laid the curve with that instead.

The ME track will be fine for the straight yard tracks, but I will never use ME flex track for laying smooth curves. I doesn't really flex. It bends to whatever shape you attempt to make and stays there. A real PITA for laying smooth curves.
 

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Yes. Dennis461 is correct. Code 100 comes from a time (1950s) when wheel flanges were made deep so as to let kids run trains overly fast.. Also, 100 is out of scale. The ties are too wide each and thus too close together looking than the 1:1 scale. Also, 100 rail, if blown up to real size would be about 13-14 inches tall. The tallest real rail is 9 inches (perhaps 10 somewhere)..So its height and the tie shape make it somewhat toyish looking to many...
If you go to code 83 but want to retain 100 in some places you can make a transition by propping up the 83 so as to be even with top of the 100. Real railroads do this using a 'stepped joint' fish plate. You can also bend a rail joiner to lift the lower rail up to the higher rail.
And yes, deep flanged equipment will not run on code 83...M
 

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I would note that deep flanges are uncommon these days. They appear almost exclusively on European models, which have different wheel standards. Any equipment that meets the NMRA standards will operate on rail codes down to Code 40 (though you need to glue down code 40 rather than spike it). Old AHM, Rivarossi, and UK equipment are the primary offenders for deep flanged wheels.
 

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Some love it, others hate it.

Most of my track and turnouts are Atlas. I've only recently started using Peco turnouts. I've had no problems from either brand. My layout is about half Peco and half Atlas.

I bought 12 sticks of Micro Engineering code 83 track for my staging yard and tried to route a 26" radius curve around the laid cork roadbed. That was one big PITA trying to get a smooth curve with this stuff. I grabbed the last three pieces of Atlas flex track and laid the curve with that instead.

The ME track will be fine for the straight yard tracks, but I will never use ME flex track for laying smooth curves. I doesn't really flex. It bends to whatever shape you attempt to make and stays there. A real PITA for laying smooth curves.
MichaelE;

Micro Engineering flex track is sort of a love it or hate it product. You don't like it because it takes more effort to form a smooth curve. I love it for it's super realistic appearance. Atlas flex track too, has its own fans, and critics. You, and others like its super flexibility. Other folks don't like it for the same reason. Unlike the stiff M/E flex track, Atlas will spring back to straight the second you let go of it. Some find that frustrating. To each his own, of course, and both problems can be overcome. The curved track gages from Ribbon Rail are a great way to shape M-E flex into a smooth curve. Pins, weights, or those same Ribbon Rail gages will hold Atlas track in a curve. I use Micro Engineering code 55 N-scale flex track and I don't have any problem forming curves. However it's always nice to have a choice. You have yours and I have mine. Cool.

regards;

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

Wood road bridge at Black River Junction.jpg

Wye at Black River Junction.jpg
 

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I think the ME works great for absolutely straight runs such as the yard I'm laying now. It stays right where you put it and these are some of the straightest straight tracks I've ever laid.

I've tested the two I've laid so far and they are extremely smooth with the cars and locomotive tested. Backing a 7 coach train onto both tracks was hitch-free.

Three to go, and I'm adding another right hand turnout on the outside track to lead to an electric engine service facility.
 

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I think the ME works great for absolutely straight runs such as the yard I'm laying now. It stays right where you put it and these are some of the straightest straight tracks I've ever laid.

I've tested the two I've laid so far and they are extremely smooth with the cars and locomotive tested. Backing a 7 coach train onto both tracks was hitch-free.

Three to go, and I'm adding another right hand turnout on the outside track to lead to an electric engine service facility.
I prefer ME flex track for precisely that reason... because it DOES stay where you put it. I made a shaper tool out of a small block of resin and put two saw kerfs in it where the rails go. Run this back and forth, applying gentle pressure, and it curves like magic. It does help to have a radius template, or an old piece of sectional track, to check your work with, though.
 

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I would bet large sums of money you would be very happy with carefully laid lengths of track in any code from pretty much any source. What makes the track work well applies for all codes and all types. What makes it look good applies the same way, across codes and makes. It's the details, and in some cases that means time and effort to make the track look realistic.

I used to use Code 100, but imagery with the camera at 'eye' height, in scale, made the rails look like the 165 pound rail they would be in the real world. Nobody in railroading ever used 165 pound rail in N. America, and if there is any made, it is for overhead cranes in foundaries or on docks.

I would advise you to consider trying Code 83 as it is more realistic, but it's still very hefty rail. Code 70 would be great in yards, even on industrial spurs with axle loads in the 25 ton range.
 
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