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Mixing code 83 track

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  • Member since
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  • 62 posts
Mixing code 83 track
Posted by relation on Wednesday, January 02, 2019 7:10 PM

I have all Walthers code 83 track and switches on my layout want to expand and Walthers code 83 track is so hard to get was wondering what other brand code 83 track and switches fit well together with Walthers code 83 track and why is Walthers 83 so hard to get.

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  • From: US
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Posted by wp8thsub on Wednesday, January 02, 2019 7:46 PM

Due to variations in rail profile and tie thickness, mixing of brands should probably be kept to a minimum unless you're experienced and confident in your tracklatying skills.

Micro Engineering uses ties of similar thickness to Walthers.  Atlas and Peco have considerably thicker ties that may require shimming to prevent unwanted vertical transitions.  All of these brands have different rail cross sections.  Variations in the base and/or web of the rail can make it challenging to use any one brand of rail joiners.  Variations in the rail heads can require careful filing and fitting to eliminate rough joints.

If you can plan to have only a few joints between brands the extra work required may not be too bad.  Just plan on having to do it, and be patient.

Walthers code 83 has been manufactured by Shinohara.  Shinohara has announced plans to exit the track business, which may be playing a part in availability.  I don't recall news about that being resolved.

Rob Spangler

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Posted by BigDaddy on Thursday, January 03, 2019 2:56 AM

I used mostly Walthers code 83 turnouts and I had a problem with some flex track.  It might have been older Atlas flex track.  Whatever brand, the problem was the ties were thicker.  Sanding the last 6" or so of the flex track brought the top of the tracks down to match.

If the rail profiles are different, it did not cause a problem with the rail joiners, visual appearance or function.

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

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Posted by kasskaboose on Thursday, January 03, 2019 7:25 AM

One thing I kept between my 1st and current layout is using code 83 ME track and Atlas turnouts.  They work quite easily.  I also use Atlas rail joiners since they're easier to use than ME. 

I don't know if the limited Walthers track availability is caused by being more expensive or less popular.

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Posted by MisterBeasley on Thursday, January 03, 2019 12:17 PM

I use Walthers turnouts and Atlas flex track.  I use foam roadbed, which provides some give if there's a small vertical mismatch.

It takes an iron man to play with a toy iron horse. 

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Thursday, January 03, 2019 1:23 PM

As long as you can match the top and inside surfaces of the rail, you should be fine.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

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Posted by hardcoalcase on Thursday, January 03, 2019 6:39 PM

riogrande5761

As long as you can match the top and inside surfaces of the rail, you should be fine.  

I use Atlas 83 flextrack, and mostly Walthers turnouts.  On a former layout I did not adjust for their difference in tie thickness, thinking the caulk would pretty much fill in the gap.  Not so, and as a result locos and cars had a noticable dip passing through the turnouts.  Not an operational issue, and perhaps not unrealistic, but not something I wanted to see. 

Following a tip in a MR article, on my current layout, I glue a strip of evergreen styrene .020" thick, (= the difference in tie  Atlas/Walthers), .100" wide (= tie width) on every 4th tie.  This provides a seamless connection.

Jim 

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  • From: Northern Virginia
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Posted by riogrande5761 on Friday, January 04, 2019 6:55 AM

hardcoalcase
I use Atlas 83 flextrack, and mostly Walthers turnouts.  On a former layout I did not adjust for their difference in tie thickness, thinking the caulk would pretty much fill in the gap.  Not so, and as a result locos and cars had a noticable dip passing through the turnouts.  Not an operational issue, and perhaps not unrealistic, but not something I wanted to see. 

 

Jim 

It goes without saying, shim as necessary; common sense.

This yard is a mix of Atlas, Walthers code 83, and some code 70 turnouts, as well as Atlas code 83, Shinohara code 70 flex. 

I used my home-made version of these when connecting track of different codes.

 

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, January 04, 2019 5:23 PM

I found that Walthers and Atlas match up well.  Peco requires shimming to Atlas, so I assume it would also need shimming to Walthers too.

- Douglas

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Saturday, January 05, 2019 11:15 PM

I use Walthers/Shinohara code 83 and Atlas flex and sectional tracks with no problem.

.

I do not spike track down hard. I have always relied on the ballast glue to hold my track in place.

.

Tie thickness variation has never been a problem.

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, January 07, 2019 8:02 AM

Doughless

I found that Walthers and Atlas match up well.  Peco requires shimming to Atlas, so I assume it would also need shimming to Walthers too.

Same here, which is mostly what is in the yard photo above.  The only thing that has a noticable drop and needs a bit of shimming at the transition is the code 70 Shinohara track connected to code 83 Atlas turnouts.

So far the only Peco I have used are a few turnouts in my code 100 staging yard and they seem to be ok with the Atlas turnouts and Atlas flex.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

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