Jump to content
  • 0
burnthebox

TRACK - WHICH IS BEST

Rate this question

Question

Recommended Posts

  • 0

BtheB I like Peco code 75, works well, robust but will take a bit of abuse, a good range of switches and crossings, easily modified for DCC, lots out there on the s/h market ( or there is this side of the Irish Sea). New is stocked almost everywhere.  Works for me.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
14 hours ago, burnthebox said:

HI GUYS, WHICH TRACK IS BEST, PECO, CODE,, ETC. HORNBY, ETC, 

TIA

BTB

Suggest avoid setrack from either Hornby or Peco. Gaps between tracks looks unrealistic and curves can be unrealistically sharp. Recommend Peco code 75 or code 100 and flexitrack for gentler curves. Code 75 seems the 'goto' choice for most modellers

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'm just getting back into this after a long break, but my impression is there is no single right answer. By "best" do you mean the best for running trains on, or the best looking, or perhaps best selection of track elements, or best in terms of easy to fit together?

I believe most of the major manufacturers produce very good track. I'm sure there are brands to avoid. I would look at the range of components availble and the general look of the track when deciding. I believe that you should avoid mixing brands, as they tend to have slightly different track profiles, which may cause derailments where different brands meet.

Finally, if modelling an Irish railway, be aware that "HO" 16.5mm gauge track is significantly under-scale for Irish broad gauge, and if you want the best looking track at OO scale, you need to go to 21mm. To the best of my knowledge, there's no off the shelf track available at this gauge, so you have to build your own.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
38 minutes ago, WRENNEIRE said:

Peco code 100 is my track of choice and I avoid Hornby points at all cost

Agree with that. Using code 75 for the new layout.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I'm with Dave on this. Code 100 Peco, but probably because I had so much of it from pre-Code 75 days.

Noel is right that the Setrak points give too big a gap between rails, but the Peco Setrak sure saves a lot of cutting of Flexible track lengths. They made a "Special Curve" to go with their Y Point - little thinking that I would have about 30 of them on the layout to save difficult joins on some of my curves. 

That said, the Proxxon tool with a cutting disc gets a lot of use. Time spent track-laying is well spent (finding the patience is another matter!), especially if like Noel and I you like running long trains effortlessly!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
3 hours ago, LostCarPark said:

I'm just getting back into this after a long break, but my impression is there is no single right answer. By "best" do you mean the best for running trains on, or the best looking, or perhaps best selection of track elements, or best in terms of easy to fit together?

I believe most of the major manufacturers produce very good track. I'm sure there are brands to avoid. I would look at the range of components availble and the general look of the track when deciding. I believe that you should avoid mixing brands, as they tend to have slightly different track profiles, which may cause derailments where different brands meet.

Finally, if modelling an Irish railway, be aware that "HO" 16.5mm gauge track is significantly under-scale for Irish broad gauge, and if you want the best looking track at OO scale, you need to go to 21mm. To the best of my knowledge, there's no off the shelf track available at this gauge, so you have to build your own.

Correct. 21mm true scale is impractical for most not alone because of the tedious need to make hand built track, but also because there are no RTR models for 21mm, only models that you convert yourself or commission an expert to do it yourself. Later generation IRM wagons (Tara, Ferts, 42ft) are convertible to 21mm relatively easily, but converting Murphy Model coaches and locos requires skill and significant effort, and some specialised tools, not to mention existing kits and other RTR stock such as Bachmann, Hornby (ie for resprays, kit bashed, etc). I've seen it done and it looks fabulous, but then you'll have rolling stock that you cannot run on club layouts nor other folks layouts as they more than likely 16.5mm. Converting stock to 21mm requires real precision or you can have constant derailments. 21mm may also require larger radius curves (eg 3ft).

Peco code 75 if ballasted nicely and weathered can greatly help alleviate the narrow gauge look of 16.5mm track, and can look quit well. We all probably started with train set track systems like Hornby setrack or Peco code 100 setrack. These I recommend avoiding as the points are not great and imposed rather unrealistic geometric track formations instead of gently flowing track work with scale gaps in parallel tracks like the real thing. Some of us migrated from toy train setrack systems to Peco code 100 flexitrack or Peco code 75 flexitrack which allowed reasonably prototypical track formations. The right one is the one you are able to lay and the one you like.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Peco bullhead looks good as an OO gauge proxy for proper Irish gauge in 4mm. I think their non-bullhead is OO gauge but at 3.5mm scale so the sleeper spacing is wrong, and it does look wrong.

Edited by NIR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
12 minutes ago, leslie10646 said:

I'm with Dave on this. Code 100 Peco, but probably because I had so much of it from pre-Code 75 days.

Noel is right that the Setrak points give too big a gap between rails, but the Peco Setrak sure saves a lot of cutting of Flexible track lengths. They made a "Special Curve" to go with their Y Point - little thinking that I would have about 30 of them on the layout to save difficult joins on some of my curves. 

That said, the Proxxon tool with a cutting disc gets a lot of use. Time spent track-laying is well spent (finding the patience is another matter!), especially if like Noel and I you like running long trains effortlessly!

Code 100 ballasted

IMG_0014.jpg

 

Pic Below Code 100 taken about 6 years ago.  Flexitrack code 100 or 75 allows flowing track work and gentle curves. Like Leslie and many I started live with code 100, but for future use will be using code 75 due to the lower profile which helps disguise the gauge somewhat. In the prototypical world there is very little straight track work unlike the geometry imposed by train set systems with long straights and 90 degree bends.

DSC_6530-1.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

At some point in the future if and when I build another layout I will probably opt for Peco code 75. However, I'm currently using Peco code 100 points with Atlas code 100 flexible track.  I prefer Atlas for two reasons; (a) it is easier to keep straight when laying straight runs and (b) the sleeper spacing is more realistic.

When deciding on the track code keep in mind that older stock may not run on code 83 or code 75. Code 100 is fairly universal so if you have any Hornby Dublo favourites you want to run occasionally for sentimental reasons. you may want to stick to code 100.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

 

PECO Code 75 bullhead, range of points is still very limited but to be increased this year  Lovely track and certainly the sleeper spacing helps reduce the narrow gauge look  

 

image.jpeg.e0d63cc2dffe28c0e74236a7fa42c664.jpeg
 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
14 hours ago, Ironroad said:

At some point in the future if and when I build another layout I will probably opt for Peco code 75. However, I'm currently using Peco code 100 points with Atlas code 100 flexible track.  I prefer Atlas for two reasons; (a) it is easier to keep straight when laying straight runs and (b) the sleeper spacing is more realistic.

When deciding on the track code keep in mind that older stock may not run on code 83 or code 75. Code 100 is fairly universal so if you have any Hornby Dublo favourites you want to run occasionally for sentimental reasons. you may want to stick to code 100.

Ironically Hornby Dublo had reasonably fine scale wheels, it was the later Tri-ang Hornby era stuff that had the Pizza cutter wheels and Rovex stuff. I have an old Tri-Ang Hornby BR class 37 that cannot even get through code 100 points without grounding. Mid 1970s Lima were a little better but border line pizza cutters also. Any stock since the mid to early 90s should run on code 75 without issue.

1 hour ago, NIRCLASS80 said:

 

PECO Code 75 bullhead, range of points is still very limited but to be increased this year  Lovely track and certainly the sleeper spacing helps reduce the narrow gauge look  

 

image.jpeg.e0d63cc2dffe28c0e74236a7fa42c664.jpeg
 

Yes it was the lack of points that stopped me using Bull head for gort.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

For appearance, 21mm is best. However, for running trains, much depends on your stock and if there is older stuff then Code 100 may be the only option, otherwise stuff could be bumping along the rail fixings.

 Peco Code 75 the likely compromise,  I guess if your stock is all from this century.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)

Hi guys & many thanks for all your suggestions / advice  etc,  and as I don’t as yet have a layout I’ll be taking all on board and reviewing all this when the time comes to start building it,  and so while I’m on here has any one seen what  that guy EVERARD JUNCTION has been doing on his new layout where he’s using Peco code 75  Woden sleepers & see at trouble he go’s to by cutting out so many sleepers to make the appearance of the track more real on  at least some of the track laying, ( have a look at Part 5 )  as this code 75 wooden sleepers is what I think is best suited for what I’m hoping to have my layout based on.....thanks all 

BTB 

Edited by burnthebox

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Another one to consider if the layout is still in the planning stage is that the EM Gauge Society in conjunction with Peco will be releasing ready to lay EM Gauge 18.2mm bullhead track in plain track lengths and B6 radius points. No need for building track. 

Rich,

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

I wondered about that too. The gauge is still nearly nine inches too narrow, but the profiles will be good and sorting wheels/axles should be a lot simpler. Should improve running too and the point crossings will be tighter and hence smoother.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
22 hours ago, David Holman said:

I wondered about that too. The gauge is still nearly nine inches too narrow, but the profiles will be good and sorting wheels/axles should be a lot simpler. Should improve running too and the point crossings will be tighter and hence smoother.

There is at least one influential modeler who models the  Irish Broad gauge on EM gauge track.

Using EM (18.2mm gauge)  eliminates the narrow gauge head on appearance of a British or Irish OO gauge model and the conversion process is much more simpler than 21 mm gauge with drop in wheel sets and conversion sets suitable for the majority of rtr models, which largely eliminates the need to widen or replace coach bogies and wagon underframes.

There is the added bonus of being able to run Irish and British outline stock on the one layout if you feel so inclined.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

There is an American 00 scale, which utilises a track gauge of 19mm. If that had been adopted over here,rather than 16.5mm, there would have no great need for EM/P4.

Stephen

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
3 hours ago, LostCarPark said:

Why 18.2mm? 1435mm/76 would be 18.88mm.

You need to divide by 76.2, not 76. ;) 

That makes it 18.83mm (rounded up), which matches P4 gauge. EM leaves a little more room to maneuver, to help with reliable running, etc.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, StevieB said:

There is an American 00 scale, which utilises a track gauge of 19mm. If that had been adopted over here,rather than 16.5mm, there would have no great need for EM/P4.

Stephen

I don't think anyone is producing American OO and I think those that still use this are a small niche.

This may seem a bit wild but has anyone considered On3 and what are the pros and cons. On3 is 7mm to 1ft (O scale) of prototype 36” narrow gauge track so the model track is 19.2 mm gauge and a bit closer to the Irish 21 mm gauge than either EM or Scalefour.

The only supplier I’m aware of is San Juan Car Co who produce On3 code 100 flex track and a couple of points. http://sanjuancarco.com/track-and-accessories/. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
7 minutes ago, Ironroad said:

I don't think anyone is producing American OO and I think those that still use this are a small niche.

This may seem a bit wild but has anyone considered On3 and what are the pros and cons. On3 is 7mm to 1ft (O scale) of prototype 36” narrow gauge track so the model track is 19.2 mm gauge and a bit closer to the Irish 21 mm gauge than either EM or Scalefour.

The only supplier I’m aware of is San Juan Car Co who produce On3 code 100 flex track and a couple of points. http://sanjuancarco.com/track-and-accessories/. 

 

Would the rails (and sleepers?) be a little bit on the large side for 00?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
On 3/11/2020 at 4:08 PM, Broithe said:

Would the rails (and sleepers?) be a little bit on the large side for 00?

A correction is needed to my original post as I stated O scale is 7 mm to one foot ignoring the fact that there are different standards in the UK, US and Europe.  UK O scale is 1:43.5,  Europe except France is 1:45 and US is 1:48. 

The track used by UK O scale 36" 'narrow gauge modelers is O21 which is 21 MM gauge but to my knowledge no one makes track for this market which is a pity as it could be a good solution for Irish OO. 

The track used by US O scale 36" narrow gauge modelers is On3 which is 19.2 MM gauge and there is at least one producer in the US of this track in 1m flexible lengths and they also supply left and right points (no 6 which are 9.5 degrees at the frog-same as Peco code 83 whereas Peco code 100 and code 75 points are 12 degrees at the frog)  While this is still not 21mm it is a lot better  than 16.5 mm gauge and even better that EM or Scale4 for the purposes of representing Irish broad gauge in OO scale. And I'm curious if anyone has considered this and what the pros and cons may be.  

As to the proportions of the rail and sleepers. I have not seen or inspected this product personally but the rail is advertised as code 100 which is the same as most of us are already using. I would note that while code 75 maybe preferred by some I think code 83 is closer to the Irish standard. As regards the sleepers,  since the sleepers of prototype narrow gauge track were/are proportionally smaller than the sleepers used on standard gauge or broad gauge track I suspect the proportions of On3 track may be acceptable.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
6 hours ago, Ironroad said:

 

The track used by US O scale 36" narrow gauge modelers is On3 which is 19.2 MM gauge and there is at least one producer in the US of this track in 1m flexible lengths and they also supply left and right points (no 6 which are 9.5 degrees at the frog-same as Peco code 83 whereas Peco code 100 and code 75 points are 12 degrees at the frog)  While this is still not 21mm it is a lot better  than 16.5 mm gauge and even better that EM or Scale4 for the purposes of representing Irish broad gauge in OO scale. And I'm curious if anyone has considered this and what the pros and cons may be.  

As to the proportions of the rail and sleepers. I have not seen or inspected this product personally but the rail is advertised as code 100 which is the same as most of us are already using. I would note that while code 75 maybe preferred by some I think code 83 is closer to the Irish standard. As regards the sleepers,  since the sleepers of prototype narrow gauge track were/are proportionally smaller than the sleepers used on standard gauge or broad gauge track I suspect the proportions of On3 track may be acceptable.

IMG_0831.thumb.JPG.27c2b8ad04f14540fdb708587dc239e7.JPG

American 3' Gauge track. Como Colorado

IMG_1339.JPG.75febec222ada90b808364777dadf516.JPG

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

1164208299_FBKiltimagh.thumb.jpg.f8afe9395aab364a6760bc00ee94f5a3.jpg

Irish Broad gauge jointed track flat bottom rail on baseplates.

 

 

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Hi guys & many thanks to one & all for your efforts in trying to get me to the tracks for my layout,  now I didn’t expect anyone to go comparing COUNTRIES. !! I’m only going to build a MODEL LAYOUT!! What I’m looking for is the kind of information like gauge,  appearance, looks etc.  in my case it’s oo gauge,  if it be Peco code 75 or 100 Bullhead or Hornby whatever so be it, & I’m not looking for perfection. !!  I’ll say right now I don’t know what this “ Bullhead “. thing is...!  so maybe the wise ones on here might fill    me in on the difference between code 75 & code 100 Bullhead, if there’s any difference, 

TIA TO ALL

BTB

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
5 hours ago, Mayner said:

IMG_0831.thumb.JPG.27c2b8ad04f14540fdb708587dc239e7.JPG

American 3' Gauge track. Como Colorado

IMG_1339.JPG.75febec222ada90b808364777dadf516.JPG

Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad

1164208299_FBKiltimagh.thumb.jpg.f8afe9395aab364a6760bc00ee94f5a3.jpg

Irish Broad gauge jointed track flat bottom rail on baseplates.

 

 

Where’s the Irish pic of, Mayner ? Looks familiar but can’t place it! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, burnthebox said:

Hi guys & many thanks to one & all for your efforts in trying to get me to the tracks for my layout,  now I didn’t expect anyone to go comparing COUNTRIES. !! I’m only going to build a MODEL LAYOUT!! What I’m looking for is the kind of information like gauge,  appearance, looks etc.  in my case it’s oo gauge,  if it be Peco code 75 or 100 Bullhead or Hornby whatever so be it, & I’m not looking for perfection. !!  I’ll say right now I don’t know what this “ Bullhead “. thing is...!  so maybe the wise ones on here might fill    me in on the difference between code 75 & code 100 Bullhead, if there’s any difference, 

TIA TO ALL

BTB

I would ignore most of the thread apart from Noel's & NIR80s replies of 29th Feb and 1st with photos of Peco HO and Bullhead track on their layouts.

Peco track systems are the standard for mainstream use in the UK and Ireland as they are robust and relatively simple to use and the large selection of points, crossings and accessories. 

The Peco Streamline HO (Code 100) is probably the best option for someone building their first layout as it is fully compatible with their fixed geometry Set Track System. Set track curves and straight track can be useful if space is restricted or if you want to experiment with a track layout without having to cut flexible track.

I would avoid using small radius set track or Hornby points and recommend using medium or large radius points rather to achieve smooth and reliable running particularly with large diesel locos like an 071 and 201 and bogie coaches and wagons. Two foot is the minimum recommended radius for OO gauge,  No2 or No3 radius set track curves should be used if you are not able to achieve a 2' minimum.

The Peco HO/OO Streamline (Code 100 rail) system was introduced in the 1960s as a compromise system suitable for OO (1:76) and HO (1:87) scale as a universal track system suitable for British and international use. The Code 100 rail section was considered "fine" by the standards of the time but is larger than scale for most rail sections used internationally and the Continental HO sleeper size and spacing is incorrect for both British OO and American HO Scale.

Peco H0/OO Streamline Fine (Code 75) system was introduced in the 1990s in response to demand for a finer more accurate rail section by both OO & HO users. There is little to choose between the original Code 100 & 75 systems in terms of durability, ease of use and range of points, crossings and accesories. 

Peco have since introduced an American HO Code 83 scale track system in response to competition from American track manufacturers and British Bull head track systems in response to increasing demand for a OO gauge track system from the scale end of the UK market. The American and Bull head track systems may be less suitable for an experienced user or someone with a restricted space than the the Streamline HO system. The track may be more fragile to work on than the earlier systems and a larger space may be required to build a layout as the points in the American and Bull Head track systems based on full size railway geometry rather than the small, medium and large radius points available in the Code 100 & 75 systems.

Peco Streamline track uses a flatbottom rail traditionally used by railways outside of the United Kingdom. British and the majority of Irish railways used bullhead track with an I beam rail profile for main line track until replaced by flatbottom track from the late 1950s onwards. Irish railways tended to use a mixture of bullhead and flatbottom, with Bullhead mainly used on main lines with the heaviest traffic, with flatbottom used on some main lines incl Dublin-Galway-Sligo and Westport and the majority of secondary lines and branches throughout the country.

 

 

692133131_Bullheadrail.jpg.befae93cf0a33f0274362f04443709df.jpgI264986972_Irishflatbottomtrack.jpg.a7726b5beda1f42e1caaa57acd676b77.jpg

Bullhead track & point work                                                                                                              Irish standard flatbottom track on baseplates on wooden sleepers

Edited by Mayner
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
14 hours ago, Galteemore said:

Where’s the Irish pic of, Mayner ? Looks familiar but can’t place it! 

Kiltimagh on the Burma Road, I have been planning but never got round to building a model based on the station for many years.

  • Informative 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
Posted (edited)

Cheers Mayner. It looked Burma Road which is what confused me - it’s so neat and tidy! I remember when all those stations, such as  Tubbercurry, looked that way - they are rather greener now...

Edited by Galteemore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
2 hours ago, Mayner said:

Kiltimagh on the Burma Road, I have been planning but never got round to building a model based on the station for many years.

Anything known about the signal cabin?  What era or who built it, Any other photos?

8118

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

Here is an old picture no signal box there. Probably due to the poor quality. There seems to be a level crossing at the far left of the picture and may have been controlled by a signal box? 

.2ocqn930ubywvi8z0wl9dhefnm6z926$1bzaudcut36zkphn3rbx3lygfxs8yqn

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0
9 hours ago, Midland Man said:

Here is an old picture no signal box there. Probably due to the poor quality. There seems to be a level crossing at the far left of the picture and may have been controlled by a signal box? 

.2ocqn930ubywvi8z0wl9dhefnm6z926$1bzaudcut36zkphn3rbx3lygfxs8yqn

The photo is of the Swinford end of the station, the gates appear to have been operated by at crossing keeper who lived in the cottage to the right of the photos.

The signals and crossover are likely to have been controlled from the signal cabin which is out of view at the Claremorris end of the station.

Interestingly the wicket gate was removed and a 3 lever ground frame installed to the right of the buffer stop at some stage after the photo was taken. The frame may have been installed to interlock the level crossing gates with the running signals, so that the signal man could not lower the signal for the section to Swinford or the signals to enter the station unless the crossing gates were open

There is another level crossing at the Claremorris end of the station that was operated by the signal man, the gates appear to have been operated by hand rather than from a "big wheel" in the cabin. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/152343870@N07/39574108574/in/album-72157713183200497/

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 0

The "big wheel" was very much a feature of MGWR cabins, where sited to overlook the road to keep an eye on road traffic. Think a few GN cabins had them too, Poyntzpass(?)

I'm not aware of WL&WR/GS&WR cabins having them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use