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Model Power vs Atlas Code 83 flex track

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  • Member since
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  • From: Knoxville, TN
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Model Power vs Atlas Code 83 flex track
Posted by farrellaa on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 7:33 AM

I am in the process of building my HO layout (my first in over 30 years!) and have already used Atlas code 83 flex track plus some Shinohara (which I don't care for; to stiff IMO) but the cost is quite high for my limited budget, being retired. I have used Model Power Code 100 flex and found it to be quite good and half the price of Atlas. Does anyone have experience with Model Power code 83? I would consider using it for the remainder of the layout if it is comparable to the Atlas. I can't find it in single piece or small quantity lots anywhere to try before I order 100 pcs. Thanks in advance; this is a great place for help and advice.

Bob

Life is what happens while you are making other plans!

  • Member since
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  • From: Central Florida - US
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Posted by kog1027 on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 7:48 AM

I bought some Model Power Code 83 at the Orlando Train Show a couple of years ago. 

It's somewhere between Atlas & Walthers Shinohara in terms of stiffness. 

The rail profile matches up nicely with WS Code 83 Switches, but the the MP Code 83 has to be shimmed to match the Atlas Code 83's thicker ties.

Overall I'm happy with the MP Code 83.

My $.02.

Mark Gosdin

 

  • Member since
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  • From: Enfield, CT
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Posted by Doc in CT on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 8:09 AM

 Just do a community search on "model power flex track"; several discussions over the last 5 years.  For example: http://cs.trains.com/trccs/forums/p/120401/1371489.aspx#1371489

Co-owner of the proposed CT River Valley RR (HO scale) http://home.comcast.net/~docinct/CTRiverValleyRR/

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Posted by hminky on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 8:57 AM

 I don't think Model Power sells track anymore. It is not listed on their site.

I use it for On30. The ties and rail are bulkier than Atlas and the spike detail is European. My Rail measured .090. I am now using Atlas 83 switches and it works well with them. Those are Atlas 100's and it worked with them with shimming. I sand the difference down with 400 paper.

The track is less "flexxy" until it is flexed making straight track easier.

Harold

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Posted by Allegheny2-6-6-6 on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 12:47 PM

 I had some and gave it away to a frind, a lot of guys here will tell  you and they are correct in saying that there is limited to no track detail

on Model Power track it's "train set quality" at best. If this doesn't bother you then go ahead and use it. Others have also stated that there is a difference in the metal used in MP track there was a thread about it a while back if I recall. For me the difference in cost wasn't worth it.

Just my 2 cents worth, I spent the rest on trains. If you choked a Smurf what color would he turn?
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Posted by Milepost 266.2 on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 2:12 PM

hminky

 I don't think Model Power sells track anymore. It is not listed on their site.

 

I thought it was out of production too, which would be a big negative for me.  You know Atlas track will always be around if you need to replace or expand.  I can't see the MP stuff being cheap enough to be worth the bother of shimming, etc. 

  • Member since
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  • From: Knoxville, TN
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Posted by farrellaa on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 5:18 PM

I found MP Code 83 at Trainworld for $189.99 for 100 pcs which equates to about $2.00 each with shipping. The best I can do on Atlas is about $3.89 each in quantities. I don't need 100 pcs as I have about 40-50% of my track done, but for the price I could still sell the left overs. HOWEVER, with all the comments you guys have been posting, I would have to agree that the cost isn't worth it for a lesser product. Thanks for all your feedback; I will finish with the Atlas. Also, I have a mix of turnouts that I am using: Walthers/Shinohara, Peco and Atlas. All seem to work about the same except for a MicroEngineering one that I tried. The ME is much more detailed but gave trouble with the cast frog being shallower than the others. The Rivarossi flanges jump out on the ME turnout but not on the others.?? go figure.

thanks again to all the replies.

Life is what happens while you are making other plans!

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  • From: Fullerton, California
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Posted by hornblower on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 6:42 PM

I recently purchased a 100 count box of Model Power Code 83 flex track from Trainworld and, so far, I am quite happy with it.  No, the tie plate and spike detail is not as fine as Atlas Code 83 but it still looks pretty good.  The tie dimensions are a little wider than the Atlas Code 83 and the spacing is tad wider too.  However, I have no intention of ever getting down to the ballasted track with a scale to check for proper dimensions.  The tie height is less than the Atlas Code 83 but it matches the height of the Central Valley Switch Tie strips I am using to build my turnouts.  I was a bit worried about the effort needed to bend the Model Power flex track as the general concensus of this forum was that it was too stiff.  However, I find it quite easy to bend.  No, it doesn't spring back like the Atlas flex but it will hold whatever radius you bend it to without having to tack it down before it springs back.  A bit of tie realignment is necessary for tighter radii but the Model Power track is entirely workable.  If your budget is tight, the Model Power Code 83 flex track is a perfectly adequate alternative to other brands of track.

Hornblower

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    October, 2006
  • 520 posts
Posted by Loco on Tuesday, September 15, 2009 8:41 PM

 This is what I've come up with:

 http://cs.trains.com/trccs/forums/t/149320.aspx?PageIndex=1

If this don't help you then I don't know what will ;o)

LAte Loco
  • Member since
    September, 2006
  • From: NE Phoenix AZ
  • 593 posts
Posted by duckdogger on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 7:54 PM

 An option is to use the MP track in areas where it is unseen, such as hidden staging, or where it is in the background and the viewing distance is controlled.  I am code 83 but use  the ton of code 100 I have in hidden staging areas by compensating for the height difference (again in an area unseen by viewers).

Trains. Cooking. Cycling. So many choices but so little time.
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Posted by Flashwave on Wednesday, September 16, 2009 8:45 PM

DOn't forget, they'll pt ballast on top too. If they're looking at that close a detail, you need to fix the trains.

-Morgan
PR, CEO of the Madison Railroad in HO. no, not that one, the one based off the City of Madison Port Authority.
Exchange Passes? PM me.  
Green Signals Dad, Love ya.

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