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Peco / Atlas / Hornby Compatibily

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Peco / Atlas / Hornby Compatibily
Posted by Paul280981 on Friday, September 01, 2017 11:53 PM

Hello All,

I'm just about to order a lot of track and finally get started on my railway.

What I'm worried about is the compatibility of Code 100 Track. 

I have 22 degree Atlas track on the curves which will evenually join up to Peco Code 100 flex track then to Peco points.

I also have the Hornby R609 track on the inner curves.

Will Peco flex track and rail joiners match ok with Atlas? I have read that the HO scal was standardised back in the 1970's

Just want to make sure. Thankyou for your help.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, September 02, 2017 2:28 AM

Hornby has a whole different nomenclature for track than what is used in the US.  Single and double curves actually refer to the length of the track and 1st, 2nd and 3rd radius refer to smaller or larger radii.

On this side of the pond we would call the Atlas track 22" radius. 

If there is a difference, I suspect it would be in the thickness of the sleepers (ties for us gringos) which we see with various US brands.  A little sandpaper action on the last 4-6" of the thicker pieces should take care of that.  Until someone comes along, who has used both, I think the rails themselves should be the same.  People also can make code 83 join code 100 with some tricks with the rail track joiners so that is not an insurmountable problem either.

Some people seem to be scared of flex track and only use sectional track.  I think flex looks better and gives you more options.  Unless you already have a stash of sectional track, I would just go with flex track. 

For those interested in Hornby's radii:

https://www.thinglink.com/scene/876128215507140609

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, September 02, 2017 5:09 AM

Paul280981

Will Peco flex track and rail joiners match ok with Atlas? 

You will have a struggle trying to join Peco and Atlas track together using Peco rail joiners because the fit is too tight. It would be better to use Atlas rail joiners which could be squeezed for a tighter fit.

Why are you mixing three different brands of track?

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by railandsail on Saturday, September 02, 2017 7:11 AM

Other Brand Turnouts as Well

I have a variety of other brand turnouts as well, from Germany I believe. (but I am not close by where they are stored presently).

They appear to be mostly code 100, or nearly. They appear to be very well made. I collected them over the years, and decided to keep them for possible use on a new layout.

There are dbl-radius, some Y's , some tighter turns, etc (and they are not 3-rail Markin)

Brian

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Posted by Paul280981 on Saturday, September 02, 2017 7:31 AM

I found that Peco and Hornby only have 24 inch curves which is too wide for my 4 foot width, while atlas makes the perfect 22 inch radius curves which fit perfectly on my layout. The inside curve I was planning on using the 19 inch Hornby radius curves which are a perfect fit.

Being my first layout on hesitant using too much flex track..I'm using it on the points and still not 100% sure how to bring it out back to parallel. At this stage I'm thinking of nailing the peco point down then then nailing the flex track down then bending it straight to get it back to parallel. If that makes sense?

I have a lot of Hornby track left over from my starter set o was hoping to use too.

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Posted by Paul280981 on Saturday, September 02, 2017 8:32 AM
Sorry. Am I right in saying that Hornby and Peco set track are all compatible though?
  • Member since
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  • From: Ludington, MI
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Posted by Water Level Route on Saturday, September 02, 2017 11:00 AM

I used Code 100 Atlas flex track with Peco turnouts(points) on my layout with Atlas rail joiners.  I did have an issue with a slight height difference between the two, and until reading this thread, never considered the ties (sleepers).  Not certain if that was the issue or not.  If you are soldering your rail joiners, this height difference is easily corrected when you solder them.

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Posted by Paul280981 on Saturday, September 02, 2017 5:32 PM

That's a really good idea with the sanding! 

i have to use flex track from the turnouts and bring the track back parallel.

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Posted by BigDaddy on Saturday, September 02, 2017 5:56 PM

Paul280981
At this stage I'm thinking of nailing the peco point down then then nailing the flex track down then bending it straight to get it back to parallel. If that makes sense?

One side of Atlas flex track slides easily in the ties.  I believe you want that on the inside of the curve. 

If you are using something between plywood and the track, push pins or t-pins will temporarily hold the track so you see where you are going.  I'm not sure I see the problem of getting it parallel.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by Paul280981 on Saturday, September 02, 2017 6:51 PM

Sorry... its hard to describe correctly.

i will have to use flex track from the Peco point to where the Atlas track starts. I was planning on pinning the flex track down after the point then bending it to make it parallel?

I will be using road bed but I assumed you'd lay all the track out first, mark it up with pencil then apply the road bed afterwards?

I think I can upload a picture to help:

 

EDIT:

I removed the Atlas track and replaced with Hornby. Seems to work ok? WIll need a small section of flex on the curvs.

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Posted by xdford on Sunday, September 03, 2017 3:11 AM

Hello Paul,

Peco and Hornby set track are totally of the same dimensions and fully interchangeable. I have a section or two of Atlas track as it was easier at being flexed as you have noted and better at maintaining a constant track gauge. A slight filing at the base of the rail will make Peco joiners fit OK. You may care to check out a link on my website of the type of layout you originally envisaged..

http://xdford.freeasphost.net/stag19.html

Cheers from Australia

Trevor

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Sunday, September 03, 2017 5:01 AM

Paul280981

Being my first layout on hesitant using too much flex track..I'm using it on the points and still not 100% sure how to bring it out back to parallel. At this stage I'm thinking of nailing the peco point down then then nailing the flex track down then bending it straight to get it back to parallel. If that makes sense?

My advice would be to get some flex track and practice with it. I think that with a little practice you will find flex track ideal for what you are trying to do. It will give you so much more freedom than sectional track to design and implement your track plan.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by BigDaddy on Sunday, September 03, 2017 12:38 PM

Paul280981
I was planning on pinning the flex track down after the point then bending it to make it parallel?

That will work.  Once you start working with the flex track, it will be clear what looks good and what does not. 

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by Paul280981 on Monday, September 04, 2017 2:28 AM

Thankyou so much for your help. It was hard trying to explain what I wanted to do without pictures. Plus being a novice isn't helping!!

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Posted by Paul280981 on Monday, September 04, 2017 2:31 AM

You're probably right. There are a few good movies on YouTube and working with it doesn't look overly difficult. Is flex track ok to use for 22 inch curves?

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Posted by Paul280981 on Monday, September 04, 2017 2:40 AM

Hi Trevor,

i dI'd actually come up with curved turnouts on all 4 corners of the layout, but the Hornby insulfrog is so big that my little 0-6-0 simply won't run over it without stalling Crying

the two locos I really want to run - the BLI Heavg Mikado and ac6000 would probably be ok over the points, but didn't want Risk it. I think my layout is similar to the Black river railroad with the passing siding. It's simple but I think it works Smile all my turnouts are now Peco.

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Posted by xdford on Monday, September 04, 2017 3:41 AM

Hi Paul,

Sorry I did not initially recognise your tag but have had a lot on lately including a possible, now probable moving house ... do you have those two locos... you are quite welcome to test it on my layout or visit Melton MRC which I sometimes get to but not attending regularly due to work and a few other reasons. The move will not take place for two months but who knows???

As you are using stuff with "scale wheels", try filling in the frog with styrene strips (conveniently obtained from yoghurt or margarine tubs) so that the wheels do not drop in the frog gap and lift the back wheels from contact, hence the stalling. Also make sure the wipers on the wheel sets are making hard contact. One of the Melton members had a similar issue and it is now resolved.

PM me if you want to come over to Melton and check out your stuff... I also have a set track Peco curved point. Your plan looks as though it can grow well stage by stage and provides some good operational aspects. 

Cheers

 

Trevor

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, September 04, 2017 5:05 AM

Paul280981

You're probably right. There are a few good movies on YouTube and working with it doesn't look overly difficult. Is flex track ok to use for 22 inch curves?

 

Absolutely. 

You can also use a track alignment gauge to assist you in setting the desired radius on curves.

https://www.walthers.com/10-quot-track-alignment-gauges-curved-22-quot-radius?ref=1

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by Paul280981 on Monday, September 04, 2017 6:16 AM

Hi Trevor, As always thank you for your help. No I haven't unfortunately purchased those locos yet, but will by Xmas hopefully, or maybe sooner if I can sell some Golden Fleece items I own. Looking at around $350 for each train delivered from the USA.

They both work on 18 inch curves which fit in well with my turns. I may just take up the offer of meeting up. It would be nice to meet like minded people. It's been a life long dream of mine to build a model railway and it's taken me 36 years to finally get a foot hold in the hobby.

I love the idea about the filling in the insulfrog gaps. I have seen this done by an Australian fellow on YouTube. I'm 100% sure the larger locos with the tender pickups will be fine, but my little 0-6-0 will keep stalling - even over the Peco points. Just not so much.

My plan is basic, but with the buildings I'd like I think it will fill in nicely and allow a little switching. The possibility of adding to the size later on is definately something that has crossed my mind.

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Posted by xdford on Monday, September 04, 2017 5:24 PM

Hello Paul

You can"test the issue" about the drop by holding a screwdriver or similar between the wheel and the rail of the wheel that is supposed to be still on the rail while the other is over the point.

There is only minimal point contact with that wheel and it is not always obvious that it has lifted clear of the rail thus preventing contact.

It may also be that the wheel tread on the frog (even though it is an insul frog) is bridging to the other rail and shorting as it crosses. I fixed my issue with this by painting on a small amount of super glue (ACC) over the rails to increase the insulated length. I did try nail polish but found it wore over very quickly.

You can test for a short by placing another loco on the track. If that loco does NOT move there is a short circuit, if it does move, then the wheel on you 0-6-0 is lifting when the wheel in the frog drops.

See how you go

Trevor

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