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 Atlas track - mixing code 80 and code 55?
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Author Previous Topic: N-Scale mag November-December 2008 issue Topic Next Topic: Atlas C40-8W  

Frisco Kid

Posted - 2008 October 20 :  5:01:48 PM  Show Profile
This topic may have been covered before; my apologies if it's a rerun.

I often do 1:1 preliminary templating on the layout using code 80 sectional track pieces to trace outlines, find centerline for roadbed, etc - before laying flex track later.

Atlas code 55 sectional is available in several curve radii - not so with their code 80. Can the code 80 be joined with code 55? I've mated Peco code 55 turnouts with code 80 track, but never tried it with sectional track.

Country: USA | Posts: 98

John Weisinger

Posted - 2008 October 20 :  11:03:59 PM  Show Profile
Sorry I can't give you an answer but I was thinking the same thing. As I try to narrow down the radius of my curves I've settled on 15"/14" radius. As I too am using code 80 flex[Peco] and switches[Peco I wish they made sectional track in that radius cause it would be easier to use as a guide. What I might end up doing is buying a bunch of code 55 15" curves and use them as templates for the code 80 track. If they made a transition track,code 80 to 55 that would work also but am not aware of such animal[yet?] John W

Country: USA | Posts: 268 Go to Top of Page

Rodneys UP 9000

Posted - 2008 October 21 :  01:32:33 AM  Show Profile
MICRO ENGINEERING make transition rail joiners for code 55 to code 80

Modeling The Feather River Canyon in N-scale

Country: USA | Posts: 158 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2008 October 21 :  09:06:35 AM  Show Profile
Rodney, do you have a part number?


Way of the Zephyr

Country: USA | Posts: 2124 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2008 October 21 :  09:29:37 AM  Show Profile
Frisco Kid

If you are just looking for track planing templates, here is what I do. I use RTS and printout the area in question using a zoom of 1. This produces a full size template, I then cut out the track and tape it down on the floor, wall, or table top just to see how things are going to fit.

Do your part buy stuff!

Country: USA | Posts: 2536 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2008 October 21 :  09:40:37 AM  Show Profile
I would advise against mixing Atlas Code 80 and Atlas Code 55. Reasons being:

A) Tie Spacing - the difference is dramatic.
B) Rail profile - the code 80 basically looks like a "slab" while the code 55 as a rail cross section.

The above is my subjective evaluation. I suggest you get a little of both and place them side by side and end to end and see if it passes your own test.

If you decide you can live with the visual incongruence, then you have the challenge of mating the much higher C80 rail top to the C55. Proper track geometry would suggest a transition section of some length - otherwise there will be an abrupt grade to the extent that the tops of the rails must be brought to the same level.


Country: Pitcairn Island | Posts: 4227 Go to Top of Page

Frisco Kid

Posted - 2008 October 21 :  10:09:08 AM  Show Profile
Thanx for the input - I'm not sure I made it clear.. I won't be mixing code 80 and code 55 for the actual layout - this 'code mixing' is for templating purposes only.

I've also used a large compass made from a yardstick to strike the curves, but I like having a few actual track sections with the desired curvature.

Country: USA | Posts: 98 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2008 October 21 :  10:42:04 AM  Show Profile
I like to make a 1:1 cardboard curve template. It allows for nice clean radii, and real easy to add an easement if desired. Large radius between straight pieces or between switches and straight I draw by eye.


Country: USA | Posts: 147 Go to Top of Page

Frisco Kid

Posted - 2008 October 21 :  11:34:48 AM  Show Profile
I like the cardboard template idea - how do you cut smooth curves in the cardboard?

Country: USA | Posts: 98 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2008 October 21 :  11:58:43 AM  Show Profile
I've had enough trouble with Atlas code 80 being rather casual about gauge that I wouldn't use it. I've pulled ouo some in the hidden areas where I used it to "save money" and replaced it with ME like the rest of the layout, so that was no saving.

Had it been available, I would have used Atlas code 55 flex.

Bill Pearce

Country: | Posts: 331 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2008 October 21 :  1:24:23 PM  Show Profile
Use the "compass" made from the yardstick...can't remember the word for that draw the arc across the cardboard...I'd use heavy poster board and not corrugated...and some sturdy, sharp kitchen shears. It's inexpensive enough that you can also make one that represents then the inside radius of the curved track and bend the flex track ties along that for a nice smooth curve.


Country: USA | Posts: 147 Go to Top of Page

John Weisinger

Posted - 2008 October 22 :  12:45:31 AM  Show Profile
The tool I bought is made by MLR part #479-5007 from the walthers catalog page 114. It's a radius tool about 24 inches long. You take a push pin, put it in the radius you want and a pencil/pen in the top hole and swing it around on anything like cardboard/foamboard and then cut out the resulting outline. But I won't be using that method as I went to trainland today and picked up 10 packs of 15" radius curves to use as templates for my peco code 80. John W.

Country: USA | Posts: 268 Go to Top of Page


Posted - 2008 October 22 :  05:37:05 AM  Show Profile
Use PECO code 80 rail joiners. They are a tight fit on Atlas code 80 and a "slip" fit on code 55. This will work for your templating. The rail heights will be seriously off but it doesn't sound like you are worried about that for a temporary mock up.

Martin Myers

Country: | Posts: 930 Go to Top of Page
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