Atlas N-Scale Code 55 Track

Discussion in 'Track Planning' started by Agatheron, Dec 6, 2003.

  1. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

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    Hey All,

    As I'm considering different layout options, one that is becoming more apparent is using Code 55 track... specifically, Atlas has a range of sectional track that has a lot more variety in terms of multi-radius turns and the like. Has anyone tried build a sectional layout using Atlas' Code 55? What are the pitfalls to look out for?
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I think the biggest problem you run into with any sectional track is that rail joiners make lousy electrical connections.
  3. Arlaghan

    Arlaghan Member

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    I've used both Atlas Code 55 and Code 80 track, however not the sectional stuff. I used the flex track. Contrary to how it may seem, it is actually EASIER to work with code 55 flex than code 80. I've joined two pieces of flex track along a 15" radius curve WITHOUT soldering and it is kink-free. I doubt this is possible with code 80. (I don't plan to leave it this way, but just nice to know that it can be done.)

    The only drawbacks are the lack of variety in the code 55 stuff (it's not compatible with the Peco stuff) and, to me, the turnouts are flimsy and delicate - must be careful when dealing with them. If close-to-prototype looks are important to you, by all means go with code 55. If you want reliable performance and durability, plus some variety, I say go with code 80. Also, Atlas code 80 is compatible with Peco code 80, opening the door for lots of variety.
  4. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

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    You want to be sure and check your locos run on 55. Older loco flanges can be too big. Rollin' stock could be a problem too, I guess, but at least the wheelsets or trucks are more easily replaced.
  5. Agatheron

    Agatheron Member

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    The two locomotives I've acquired so far are both Kato... One Via Rail P42DC, and a CN SD40-2, they're reasonably new, so their flanges should be okay on Code 55. I have a few pieces of sectional Atlas Code 80, as well as a single Atlas remote turnout at the moment. Although I am most likely to go with Peco when I actually start putting the layout down. The sectional stuff is intended to provide as a mini-testbed for my powered stuff, so I can run stuff on my kitchen table before actually getting my layout together.

    I also have to keep in mind the "walk before you can run" idea, that perhaps it is best to stick with Code 80 until such time that I become more skilled at laying track...

    Thanks for the help so far. I may simply use the Code 55 "library" on the Atlas RTS until such time as I can either afford another rail planning software, OR use the outline to plan a flextrack + turnouts layout.
  6. txcavgr

    txcavgr Member

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    Any of the Atlas and Kato locos will be fine. You will have to take the pizza cutters off of trucks from MT and replace them with lo-pros. Atlas cars with accumates are all fine.

    Code 55 is nice, lots of folks are saying that the flex goes in smoother than code 80. I ditched peco and ME track for Atlas Code 55. Looks awesome, and the turnouts are made for DCC.

    If you stay peco, you will find the flangeways are too big and there is a way to shim them. If you run 6 axle kato power, you may derail on pecos until you fix that. At least that was my experience. I had an atlas forum post bookmarked on my old computer that even had pics of what to do with them but its gone.

    best of luck!
  7. screwysquirrel

    screwysquirrel Member

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    Atlas Code 80 is also compatable with the Bachmann EZ-Trak, Life-life Power-Loc, and Kato Unitrack, if you use transition modules