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Model Railroading > HO Code 83 or 100

Date: 12/02/00 19:15
HO Code 83 or 100
Author: nsduprr

When I started my HO layout three years ago, I was new to the hobby. On advice, I went with code 83 track. Although I have no regrets, I do have one comment / question.

I liked the Micro Engineering code 83 track (looks and seems to run great). The problem that I did not realize at first is that ME only has one turnout size and style available. I then bought code 83 Walthers / Shinohara turnouts only to find out the rail head height is different then the ME track. Shimming is a pain and the rail connectors are not compatible with ME track. The result is that I seem to be restricted to Walthers code 83 products.

Was going with code 83 bad advice? Should I have used code 100?

Date: 12/02/00 20:17
RE: HO Code 83 or 100
Author: wheel

Definetly right using code 83. I laid my track with Micro Eng. weathered track. Excellent product and used (Walthers) Shinohara #6 & #8 turnouts.
There is a bit of difference in the two track profiles, but I shimmed and adjusted the joiners to fit.. It was not that much of a problem. The layout has been down for 5 years and has been terrific.
One of the most important things is to have a well laid roadbed.
I used 3/4 " plywood and cork roadbed, keep everything level and smooth,that's real important..
Never a derailment due to track , only the operator, Ha! Ha!


Date: 12/03/00 07:11
RE: HO Code 83 or 100
Author: gtirr

When I started building my current RR about 5 years ago, Atlas did not have large selection of switches.
I've used a lot of Code 70 in the last 20 years and really like it because of the type of RR I model (Branchline).
On my current RR I used Micro Eng. weathered Code 70 with all Peco Code 75 turnouts. the little "Bump" caused by the difference only produces a little noise which sounds like the real thing going accross a rail joint. Never had any derailments caused by the mis-match. I paint the sides of the rail in my switches Testers "Rubber" which seems to match the weathering on the Micro Eng. track.
One piece of advice I give everyone is "The extra time you spend making sure your track is as perfect as you can get it is well spent," as you will rrealize the benifits when you start running trains.

Date: 12/03/00 08:39
RE: HO Code 83 or 100
Author: ncng

I have used Codes 100, 83, and 70. I much prefer the Code 83 on the mainlines and Code 70 in the yards and branches. The Code 100 just looks too big.

In hidden areas of the branchlines I use Atlas Code 83 flex track. That means I have to transition between Code 70 and Code 83. I sand the bottom of the ties on the Code 83 track to match the Code 70 and then solder a very small piece of brass to the bottom of each of the Code 70 rails. I then insert the rails in the rail joiners and solder the 2 pieces together making sure the inside and top of the pieces are flush. Then I gently file the inside and tops to make sure they are smooth.

I have a similar problem with the Walthers turnouts and the Atlas flextrack I use on the mains. The ties on the Walthers turnouts are not as thick. I file the bottom of the ties on the Atlas track to match the height of the turnouts. Again, solder the top and inside edges flush.

Date: 12/03/00 16:59
RE: HO Code 83 or 100
Author: kbdb

Can anyone explain why code 83 from one company is a different height than another?I found this also with code 100.
Thanks for your thoughts!


Date: 12/03/00 18:05
RE: HO Code 83 or 100
Author: trainmaster

My first layout was laid with brass track. Big mistake. Too much maintenance. My second layout was built using Atlas code 83 flex track and Walthers / Shinohara switches all in nickel silver. Huge improvement. The track has been down for several years and the layout is close to completion. It is so much more enjoyable to operate this layout since I don't spend all my time cleaning track. I use Rail Zip and don't have to clean very often. I would definitely go with code 83 again or maybe even code 70.

Date: 12/03/00 18:48
RE: HO Code 83 or 100
Author: nsduprr

Thanks for the input. I guess that being an Engineer (no mom, I don't drive trains)I was expecting seamless compatibility between product lines.

Date: 12/03/00 19:11
RE: HO Code 83 or 100
Author: fmilhaupt

kbdb wrote:
> Can anyone explain why code 83 from one company is a
> different height than another?I found this also with code 100.
> Thanks for your thoughts!

The ties are of different thicknesses. "Code" only refers to nominal size of the rail itself (in 1000ths of an inch), and says nothing about the thickness of the ties underneath them.

If I remember this correctly, Atlas' ties are the thickest and Micro Engineering's the thinnest, with Shinohara/Walthers'somwhere in the middle.


Date: 12/03/00 19:16
rail heights
Author: MediumClear

Shucks, nsduprr, even the prototype has to buy compromise or offset joint bars once in a while and are they ever expensive! Even if they stay with, say, 100 lb rail, 100PS is different from 100RA, 100RB, 100PR, etc etc. I'm just kidding with you of course but it is true and, I guess, just part of the real aspects of the hobby.

Date: 12/04/00 15:57
The Lone code 100er?
Author: stivmac

I like the reliability of code 100. In talking to guys at the Pasadena Model RR club, their take was far fewer derailments w/100. Needing all the help I can get, 100 Atlas flex has been my way to go. I do paint the rails and ties and this seems to cut things down to size. Its also cheaper!

Date: 12/04/00 18:54
RE: rail heights
Author: nsduprr

I admit I can get the M.E. track to match reasonably well with Walthers turnouts. However track joint reliability seems to me to be more important then being as prototypical as possible. The extra time spent making the M.E./Walthers joint perfect did not seem worth it. I would rather get nicked the extra $$ for the Walthers flex track (and easier joint) then risk constant de-railments. Someday, when I take my hobby to next level, different rail heights might not bother me as much.

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