• Peco Flex Track

  • Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.
Discussion related to everything about model railroading, from layout design and planning, to reviews of related model tools and equipment. Discussion includes O, S, HO, N and Z, as well as narrow gauge topics. Also includes discussion of traditional "toy train" and "collector" topics such as Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and others. Also includes discussion of outdoor garden railways and live steamers.

Moderators: 3rdrail, Otto Vondrak, stilson4283

  by Mem-160
 
I had heard and read a lot about Atlas changing it's track production location, and that their flex track quality had diminished a bit and it was also hard to find. So I went elsewhere. I like Micro Engineering in some applications, but I feel it is rather delicate. So I gave Peco Code 83 a try. I am very disappointed. It seems like as soon as you touch it, the rails are hanging off one end 2 or 3". Don't get me wrong, it looks sharp, but once the rails work their way out one edge, it seems virtually impossible to thread them back through the ties without breaking the clips holding them in, or the spikes or whatever they are. Maybe I am doing something wrong, but I will never but this track ever again. Even if I got it free. I'll go back to Atlas and stick with that track. It keeps one rail in place to keep it solid, and the other rail is always easy to slide back into place without breaking the spike molds.
Has anyone else had this issue? Or am I doing something wrong?

Thanks
Mark
  by glennk419
 
Atlas went through some serious issues last year with their Chinese manufacturing partners and had to move production to other plants. There was virtually no Atlas track available from any retailers for several months. Those issues seem to have been resolved and stock levels have returned to normal.

That being said, the last sticks of Atlas flex track I bought had the same problem. It was considerably flimsier than in the past and I couldn't even cut it with rail nippers without breaking out a few tie plates.
  by Backshophoss
 
Peco makes North American and British styles of track,depending on the style of track,it just doesn't hold as well.
Had 0 problems with Mico Engineering code 83 flex track,and Walters Code 83 switches.
  by RichM
 
Glenn, I bought and installed about 60 lengths of the "new" Atlas code 83 without a problem nipping or finishing over the past 4-5 months. I also had bought a few lengths of Peco and Micro Engineering while I was getting my needs together, just in case Atlas delayed any further.

My results are strictly my opinion, but I'm thankful that the Atlas track came back on the market... so I'm going with "to each his own."

Now ask me about the Walthers Shinohara 83 double crossover... that's another story!

Rich
  by glennk419
 
RichM wrote:Glenn, I bought and installed about 60 lengths of the "new" Atlas code 83 without a problem nipping or finishing over the past 4-5 months. I also had bought a few lengths of Peco and Micro Engineering while I was getting my needs together, just in case Atlas delayed any further.

My results are strictly my opinion, but I'm thankful that the Atlas track came back on the market... so I'm going with "to each his own."

Now ask me about the Walthers Shinohara 83 double crossover... that's another story!

Rich
Thanks Rich. I'm a life long Atlas customer and certainly hadn't written them off. I'll give the "new" track another try.
  by ApproachMedium
 
I have been using Peco Code 100 flex with no problems, the atlas code 100 flex they are making new now has been alright but I think the old had better quality plastic. was harder. Micro engineering 83 is nice, but i think the price kept my friends away from it.

New atlas Code 83 switches are GARBAGE! Will never buy them again. Two friends in different states bought them for new layouts last year and the points had issues making right and all of the frogs were bent/not laying flat. Stuff would derail thru them. Ripped them all out and went with Peco code 83 and will never go back. On my friends code 100 layout we also went Peco code 100 for turnouts as they look far more realistic than the atlas, can hold position without a ground throw or switch machine attached, and take up quite a bit less space per switch vs the atlas models.
  by Mem-160
 
How are the Micro Engineering turnouts? And what about the Walthers/Shinohara? Specifically the Curved Turnouts??
  by JamesRR
 
I've been using Shinohara Code 83 (Distributed by Walthers in the US) turnouts, both straight and curved, for 15 years. They're great, particularly the newer DCC Ready ones (which have isolated frogs). They are a touch delicate, meaning, they should be installed level, with the ties level and not 'squished' in any area. But they are very precise, and I never have an issue with rolling stock or locos derailing, and I have about 20 turnouts in my terminal - many #4s and #5s with 85' cars running over them.

I have a loop track in the terminal, with about 3-4 curved turnouts, and they work great. Everythings powered with Turtoise switch machines, the only ones I consider reliable enough to throw the Shinoharas consistently.
  by ApproachMedium
 
I was helping a friend install flex track on his layout at the start of the month, and let me say I think from now on I will be buying Peco flex track. The atlas stuff is like a springboard, it flexes too easy and always wants to return straight and wont hold a position. The peco once you get it how you want it, it will generally hold that shape if you just set it down. Its fantastic. Remove the track, set glue, replace the track, leave some weight or pins on it and it sets up exactly as you want. Sooo much easier.