Mixing Kato and Atlas track.

hawkdriver Sep 6, 2022

  1. hawkdriver

    hawkdriver TrainBoard Supporter

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    Has anyone actually mixed Kato Unitrack with Atlas code 80 flex track/cork roadbed?

    I am currently planning a new, larger layout and I was planning some Kato curves intermixed with
    Flextrack and cork roadbed. Turnouts would be Kato......some connected to Atlas flex.
    Does the height of Kato Unitrack EXACTLY match the Atlas flex/cork sandwich or do I have
    to shim or otherwise fool around to match?
     
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  2. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, we have at the Museum, and quite successfully from what I see observing operations. I wasn't involved, but can ask tomorrow if you wish.
     
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  3. hawkdriver

    hawkdriver TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes....please ask.
    Thank you.
     
  4. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    I would like the information as well. Incase I really expand.
     
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  5. Mr. Trainiac

    Mr. Trainiac TrainBoard Member

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    There is no guarantee that the cork matches the height of the Kato roadbed, and it probably depends on the type and brand of cork roadbed you use. Kato is a metric-based system, but cork thicknesses are in fractions of an inch.

    Building a model railroad is a project, and I would go into it assuming you need to modify and adjust some components. Assume nothing is plug-and-play, especially when mixing sectional track with unlike third-party components. While Unitrack is a well-designed track system, it's not explicitly designed to mate with non-kato systems. Sure, it follows NMRA and N scale specs, but for mating with flex track or other track brands, they aren't going to hand you a solution on a silver platter. A 'no-'shim' layout is a bit unrealistic.
     
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  6. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    N? HO? I have done it in N scale. There is a Unitrack adapter piece made just for this brand change. (#20-045) It does require a bit of shimming, etc. But that is very easy to do.
     
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  7. hawkdriver

    hawkdriver TrainBoard Supporter

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    You are absolutely correct.....I did overlook scale. N scale please.
     
  8. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Check out that adapter I suggested, above.
     
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  9. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  10. Hytec

    Hytec TrainBoard Member

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    In that case, I'll ask no further, The Museum has done it only in HO.
     
  11. DeaconKC

    DeaconKC TrainBoard Member

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    Just to make sure, the Kato Unitrack in N scale is Code 80?
     
  12. hawkdriver

    hawkdriver TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yes, code 80.
     
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  13. SecretWeapon

    SecretWeapon TrainBoard Member

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    in multiple places on my layout. perfect match.
     
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  14. hawkdriver

    hawkdriver TrainBoard Supporter

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    Thank you very much.
    I want to use some Kato turnouts I already have.
    I want to use quite a few Kato curve sections......I already have......(you can see where this is going).
    And the new layout has a fair amount of long straight runs and would rather not use short pieces.
    Thanks again,
    Hawkdriver
     
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  15. Doug Gosha

    Doug Gosha TrainBoard Member

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    That's what I did on my current layout, all Atlas code 80 except for a couple of spurs which are code 55. I used some old stick rail (5" straights) in the yards but mostly flex for long straight sections on the mainlines. Curves on the mains are 19" radius and flex.

    Doug
     
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