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  • Member since
    October, 2013
  • From: Brownsburg In
  • 35 posts
Posted by Jim Hornaday on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 6:40 AM

Morning all! What is everyones opinion of Atlas 3-rail track? I went to Mr. Muffin's Trains on Saturday and was really impressed with his trackwork. I've had the thought of just going with traditional 3-rail tubular track (from Menards), which I like, but I find myself being drawn more towards the "realistic" look. Plus, I want my trackwork to be bullet-proof!!

Thanks for the opinions!!

  • Member since
    September, 2004
  • From: Middle o' Nowhere, MO
  • 1,019 posts
Posted by palallin on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 11:15 AM

Atlas provides good looking, versatile, well-built track; I use it myself.

It is not, however, bullet-proof.  It does not work well for temporary layouts:  it wants to be laid permanently.  It is somewhat fragile--short pieces and switches in particular--and it wants a solid, even  foundation.  The blackened center tail really needs to have its coating removed for good conductivity, and it will need to be kept very clean, especially for CC layouts.  The switches can be buggy, especially older ones, about getting power to all the rails, and some of the fixes can create shorts when wheels hit guard rails and the frog.

As I said, I use it, and I wouldn't change, but go into it with eyes open about its imitations. 

  • Member since
    February, 2008
  • 308 posts
Posted by robmcc on Tuesday, March 06, 2018 4:59 PM

I'll second the Atlas O. I did the whole pros and cons as well when I was making a track selection, and I felt Atlas O had the best balance. Palallin did a pretty good summary, although I do have some wide radius curves I use for the "Carpet Central" from time to time, and they've held up for multiple set ups. I looked at MTH Scaletrax as well, but there has been plenty of supply issues over the last few years.



  • Member since
    April, 2007
  • From: MICH
  • 7,921 posts
Posted by sir james I on Friday, March 09, 2018 10:05 AM

Old style tubular track will give you the best electricly. After that it becomes your choice. I am a Gargrave man but Lionels fastrack has proven very reliable as well. The sound issue is easily overcome with the right kind of base under it.

"IT's GOOD TO BE THE KING",by Mel Brooks 

  Charter Member- Tardis Train Crew (TTC) - TCA  - Detroit3railers-  Detroit Historical society Glancy Modular trains- Charter member BTTS

  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
  • 8,955 posts
Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, March 11, 2018 3:42 PM

They're all pretty good, Atlas, Gargraves, Lionel Fastrack, MTH Realtrax et al.

My advice?  Buy the best you can afford, it's hard to go wrong that way.

I use MTH Realtrax myself, I like the corrosion-proof nickle silver rails since the layout's in a backyard shed without air conditioning or any kind of climate control.

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