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Re: Track code selection.
I am designing and building my FIRST N-scale railroad.
I plan to use Atlas flextrack with Woodland Scenics roadbed.
What is the best code track to use for N scale these days?
I am debating between code 55 and code 80.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
I do not currently own any old cars with "pizza cutter" wheels.
 

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Your choice

Re: Track code selection.
I am designing and building my FIRST N-scale railroad.
I plan to use Atlas flextrack with Woodland Scenics roadbed.
What is the best code track to use for N scale these days?
I am debating between code 55 and code 70.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
I do not currently own any old cars with "pizza cutter" wheels.
thebarber;

Either code 55 or code 70 will work. the difference is simply a matter of appearance. Code 55 is closer to scale size for real rail reduced to N-scale. I use Micro Engineering's beautifully realistic code 55 flex track on my present home layout. My old N-scale club used Shinohara code 70 flex track and turnouts. The San Diego N-scale club uses hand-laid code 40 track, which looks great, and works well, but I would definitely not recommend attempting that on your first ever layout! :eek: Those club guys have been model railroading for decades, and they're are a little bit nuts. One member has an N-scale dining car with full table settings including flowers in a vase at each table! I'd never do anything crazy like that! :rolleyes: (see photos)

Atlas code 55 flex track would be OK. It doesn't look as realistic as the Micro Engineering code 55, and has very oversize spikes that pizza cutter wheels hit, and rattle along. Newer shallow flanged wheels will work fine on it though. The Atlas code 55 is way better-looking than their ugly code 80 flex, which looks quite unrealistic. The code 80 rail scales up to a real rail a foot high, the ties are too short and too far apart, it looks like toy track, not real track. It was designed for those pizza cutter wheels you mentioned, and you are wise not to have any of those.
I was not aware that Atlas made code 70 track in N-scale. Are you perhaps confusing code 80 with code 70? Or are you debating between Micro Engineering code 70 and M/E code 55? Either would be excellent, but code 55 would be closer to scale size. Your choice.

There are other differences between Atlas, and Micro Engineering, code 55 flex track besides looks.
Atlas track is super-flexible. If you bend it into a curve, will spring back to straight as soon as you let go of it.
Micro Engineering track is stiff. When you bend it, it stays bent, and it takes a little more care to form it into the desired curve. However, once bent, it stays bent.
Some people like the Atlas flexibility others, like CTValleyRR and I, like the M/E track 's shape-holding, Micro Engineering also costs more that Atlas, and because of it's smaller spikes, it will work with either shallow flange, or pizza cutter wheels.
Micro Engineering's code 55 turnouts are way better quality that Atlas code 55 turnouts, and immensely better than Atlas code 80 turnouts which are one of the worst types available. The attached file, "All about turnouts" has more info on turnouts.

good luck, have fun

Traction Fan :smilie_daumenpos:

View attachment All AboutTurnouts rev 5.pdf


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