N Code 40 Rail

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by Wings & Strings, Oct 11, 2010.

  1. Wings & Strings

    Wings & Strings TrainBoard Member

    Will there ever be a day when N scale Code 40 Flextrack and Premade Turnouts will be widely avaliable AND ACTUALLY WORK? I know that Micro Engineering's Code 40 flextrack spike heads cause trouble with most equipment (especially steamers) and that some modelers solder code 40 to PC ties. Not wanting to deal with either case, should I just stick with what I've been using for the last 2 years, which is Atlas Code 55?
  2. friscobob

    friscobob Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    I use low-profile wheels on my rolling stock, and those cars as well as my locomotives operate just fine on my ME code 40 track. I also use code 40 only in spurs and one passing siding, and have no issues. All of the so-called "pizza cutter" wheelsets have been removed.

    At this point, however, you may be better off using the Atlas code 55 track & turnouts. You could mix in the ME code 55 here & there, but IMO you should be satisfied.
  3. Tony Burzio

    Tony Burzio TrainBoard Supporter

    Ummm, probably not. Unfortunately, the SD&A was laid with really tiny rail, some with the year 18-something stamped on the side of the rail (still in use!).

    That said, a good weathering job (and we know you can do it) will make the Code 55 rail almost disappear. Try a diorama and see what you think.

  4. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

    I laid a couple of sidings on an Ntrak module a few years ago with ME C40 flex track, it looks great but the lack of turnouts meant I never went further with it. Maybe something along the lines of Peco's C55 could be done to accommodate deeper flanges but the fine detail of C40 rail seems pointless if you are going to keep deep flanges.
  5. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

    I thought that Code 55 was about as far away from Code 80 as anyone would want to go, I guess I was mistaken. Lordy, Code 40, that's some small trackage there boy !

  6. sharriso

    sharriso TrainBoard Member

    Being a purist, I would lay code 40 rail everywhere. However, flanges are still an issue. I can replace freight and passenger wheels, but the small branch-line locomotives and switchers my wife and I want to run are not "there" yet.

    Having said all that, big flanges and code 80 rail are going to be with us for a while. That's what is easiest to set up and run.
  7. DaveWonders

    DaveWonders TrainBoard Member

    To my eyes (and goes without saying my opinion...) the only benefit of code 40 is when you also have code 55, i.e. a mainline and siding side by side. If the only track on the layout is 40 then, to me, the effect is lost.
  8. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    I love code 40, but I still use code 55. Perhaps when I expand I'll try some, probably with c55 switches.
  9. Westfalen

    Westfalen TrainBoard Member

    Code 40 rail scales out to 110lb/yd in N scale, light if you're modeling a modern day heavy mainline but heavy stuff otherwise, code 55 is larger than the heaviest rail ever used on the prototype, Pennsy's 155lb/yd rail.
  10. donfrey

    donfrey TrainBoard Member

    Rail sizes

    It would sure seem to me that, given the small size of "N" scale, smooth operation would be worth way more than trying to get the rail size prototypically correct. I, for one, am quite content to use code 80 rail because that's what I have a lot of, given to me by someone getting out of model railroading altogether. If the scenery and structures are done well, nobody's going to notice the size of the rail. Needing to file down wheel flanges to keep the cars or locomotive from derailing seems like way too much work for what's supposed to be an enjoyable hobby. I'm sure not all share my perspective, and that's fine. I'd rather build a layout and run trains!


    Best regards,
  11. DCESharkman

    DCESharkman TrainBoard Supporter

    Code 40 track and turnouts are available.

    If you hand lay the Code 40, you will not have any issues with any flanges except maybe those old Arnold S2 wheels.

    As for turnouts, well there is a guy who makes them on the evil ebay, but charges a fairt price for the quality of work. Or you can get the Fast Tracks tunrout jigs and hand lay them too.

    You can get everything you want for a great Code 40 layout from Fast Tracks. They even have made it easy to lay track even easier than making turnouts.

    So if you want Code 40, you can have it and run as good, if not better, than any ones Code 55 track.
  12. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

    I agree 100% !! Well said !! :thumbs_up:

  13. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

    N code 55 approximates code 100 in HO. HO has gone to a code 83 which would scale out to about code 45 in N scale. That is about 7.2 inches. Right now the push is on for new wheelsets with smaller flanges but I doubt if we will ever get wheelsets with scale depth flanges. That would be a depth of .000625 of an inch.
  14. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

    Well, I took my unused box of Atlas Code 80 and traded it in on a box of Code 55, so I am now commited to 55, Visually I am impressed with Code 55, I may have to change alot of wheels out to get everything running OK. We have replaced all locomotives with new ones so all of these should run on 55 without any issue. Just some of the older cars will need wheels, maybe trucks and wheels. I think the biggest reason to go with the Code 55 was the vast selection on Switches versus Code 80's small selection. Once we get bench work up , we'll find out how it is to lay Code 55 track,
    stay tuned...........

  15. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

    If you prefer running without having to deal with those, then I'd stick to C55.

    However, if you're going to have a siding next to a mainline where the difference in rail height would be clearly noticible, or a low maintenance industrial district that you hope to photograph often, C40 will definitely be worth the effort. (Especially considering the high quality of your photographs so far!)
  16. Wings & Strings

    Wings & Strings TrainBoard Member

    Thanks for the photo! Let's compare...

    Hmmm...not too bad... I weathered the ballast with light tan weathering powder and then painted the rails and ties. The paint on the lower half of the rail's web mixed with the weathering powder and faded, while the paint on the upper half remainded solid and dark, making the rail appear half of its regular height.
  17. fatalxsunrider43

    fatalxsunrider43 TrainBoard Member

    I am quite disappointed with the topics of Code this and that. I had a box of Atlas
    Code 80 flex, many folks said that the Atlas Code 80 was superior, looks wise and would run most everything. So, I traded in the box of Code 80 for Code 55, and yes it looks better, but it does NOT run most everything. My Minitrix K4 and my Decapod
    do not run on it, all of my rolling stock is of about 10 years ago, and it does not run on it. So, I really feel confused and unsure. Someone had mentioned that when Atlas was going to release the new production of Code 55 that it would run everything, well, that didnt happen, the new Atlas Code 55 is the same old stuff. Now I find out that the Micro Engineering Code 55 WILL run everything, and I hope that truly means EVERYTHING. So, now I am at the cross roads, do I sell the box of Atlas Code 55 Flex ? and purchase the more expensive Micro Engineering Code 55 track so I can run everything ? Do I have to change out all the wheels on my older rolling stock ?
    Do I have the wheels on my Minitrix K4 and Decapod modified, which seems to be difficult to even get a reply from some guy by the name of MAX who is supposed to be the best at that task. You see, this has really gotten to be a nightmare.
    I sure wish Atlas would have changed the Code 55 to run all. Oh well, no one said it was going to be easy. Any ideas ?

  18. Cajonpassfan

    Cajonpassfan TrainBoard Supporter

    Mark, agreed, to me the extra trouble is worth it. Wherever I can, I use Code 40 on sidings and spurs as I think the contrast between Code 55 on the main and 40 on the sidings makes a big difference...see below. I find modern equipment works well on Code 40, but you do need to be extra careful laying track and keep the flangeways free of ballast - a good idea regardless of rail size. To each his own....:)

    Regards, Otto
    modeling Cajon Pass in N scale, circa 1950

    Attached Files:

  19. Mark Watson

    Mark Watson TrainBoard Member

    Have you tried the method of sanding down the inside rail spikes? About 95% of my roster is MT pizza cutters. But everything runs perfectly fine on my Atlas C55 because I sanded down the spike heads.

    It's the cheapest and easiest fix. (Yes, laying Atlas C55 and sanding down the spikes is even easier than just laying Micro Engineering's flex without having to sand spikes).
  20. Jerry M. LaBoda

    Jerry M. LaBoda TrainBoard Supporter

    I am no where near close to having a reason to use code 40 track since my primary goal right now is to get a Bachmann Ten Wheeler or two and trying some kitbashing with them, as well as some of the MT heavyweights and carrying out similar kitbashing on them. But, like other code 40 threads before this one, I would seriously consider using code 40 on branchline mains, sidings and spurs simply because I would want the best overall appearance and I believe working with Code 40 is worth it. Others can use what they want but for me it is the way I will go in once a layout or diarama is built. Its just that important to me, especially so given the size of some of my steamers will be.

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