Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!


Laying Atlas 100 Super Flex Track

Joseph has this question:

“Guys. I need a straight answer please. When laying HO flex track does it matter how you lay it? It’s about split right now some say out side some say inside some say it don’t matter. Please help I’m really confused. I’m building a 20 x 12 foot layout and I’m looking for the right way and the best way to go about it. Thanks guys.”

6 Responses to Laying Atlas 100 Super Flex Track

  • MIKEsays:

    I don’t understand what is meant by ‘outside” or “inside” I use code 80 Atlas Flex track exclusively on my N scale layouts. just draw straight lines with a ruler or yard stick and let the curves fall where they may and you will be fine. I don’t buy the straight or curved track pieces as they are way to exacting. I lay mine on Woodland Scenics foam road bed, ti is so easy to work with and quiet. It is laid onto my 2 inch foam table top. I cant imagine using any other method.

  • J Lsays:

    I learned from my mentor to lay the flex with the sliding rail on the outside of curves, soldering pieces together to complete the entire radius if necessary. I have done it that for both the clubs layout and my own layout without any issues other than those I created by not paying attention. Soldering the sliding side to the stationary side for instance.

  • David Stokessays:

    I’m an old hand, but this is a newy for me. Does only one rail in Atlas slide? I use both Peco and Atlas, both HO/OO and N Scale and in 40 years of involvement, I just pick the length out of the box and curve it. No science or system. Am I doing it wrong?

  • Henry Robbinssays:

    I found id better to solder the ends of the track before laying any joints in a curved section. First cut the sliding track to length solder then lay it. This can prevent any sudden deformities in the curve. Good luck in your hobby.

  • W Rusty Lanesays:

    Howdy Joseph,

    When I laid my flex track the outside rail was joined to other outside rails and usually I would have to trim the inside rail on the curve radius to make it fit to the other inside rails. That´s the only way I learned to lay flex track, no matter which brand you choose. I think Micro Engineering is the type of flex track that I used. After using rail joiners and making sure there were no gaps in either inside or outside rails, I would then solder the joints making sure of good electrical circuits.

  • Randall Styxsays:

    I’m confused by the question. Does “outside/inside” refer to “outdoors/indoors”? Or is the question about where to measure the radius of a curve? Or is it whether to place the fixed rail to the outside and the sliding rail to the inside or vice versa? I’m guessing you’re referring to the outside and inside of a curve. If it’s plotting out a curve, the radius is to the center line of the track, not to either rail. If it’s about to which sides to put the fixed and sliding rails, it doesn’t matter. If you put the fixed rail to the outside, the ties will scrunch together along the inside rail and the end of the inside rail will slide out beyond the last tie and need to be cut off (unless you have a reverse curve coming us and want to fuss with sliding that extension into the ties of the next section). If you put the fixed rail on the inside of the curve, the ties will spread apart a little along the outside rail, and the outside rail will not reach as far around the curve, leaving some half empty ties at the end. You would then need to cut off the inner rail to match up with the outer as well as the empty ties. (Or you could slide in a short scrap of rail to match up with the inner rail, but that creates a need for an extra joint.) Some people find it easier to put the fixed rail on the outside so they need to cut only the inside rail and don’t “waste” ties. I agree that the first joints should be soldered before actually bending and laying the track so there is no tension on the joint during soldering. Either way will work and I would be surprised to learn if anyone could see the difference from three feet away.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add a photo or image related to your comment (JPEG only)

Download Your Free Catalog

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video


Submit Your Model Railroading Questions!

Before you submit your model railroading question please add some feedback, answers or comments to other postings on this model train blog. What goes around comes around... so if you can help others in the hobby, someone else may help you.

Important - Please add plenty of supporting details to any question you submit (eg. scale, solutions you have already tried etc.) , as the clearest and best questions usually get the best answers. Also, please check your spelling and punctuation as all questions need to be approved by the blog moderator prior to publication. Approved questions are normally published within a week (if not sooner).

Submit your model train questions here.

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

A micro controller is basically a small programmable computer device to help the model railroader “make things operate.” It is clever way to realistically replicate the movements, actions and functions you are likely to see on a full size railroad.

Watch These Club Videos

Club members access helpful new resources each month: diagrams, video tutorials, articles, track plans and more. Watch the tour videos here.

Scenery Techniques Explained

Everything DCC



Model Train Help Ebook

Bringing Your Railroad To Life!

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Share With Friends


Submit Your Article

Would you like to write an article and have it published?

Preference will be given to articles that help others progress in the hobby, maybe suggesting an idea for their layout, a quick tip or two... or perhaps a little bit of good advice based on your model railroading experiences.

We are all in this hobby together, so the more we can do to share ideas and help each other, the better.

Submit Your Article Here

It’s YOUR Railroad!

Your rolling stock and locomotives might actually be the center of attention on your layout, but the scenic features that surround and envelop your layout is what's likely to make your train setup stand proud of the rest. Your selection of scenery and structures will add an element of customization that will make your railroad truly unique.

Scenery, structures, and fine detailing is a fundamental aspect of any good model railroad, particularly if it is intended to replicate a true-to-life railroading scene. How realistic or authentic you make your railroad is entirely up to you... and you alone.

Some enthusiasts like to replicate every tiny detail so as to accurately depict, in every aspect, a miniaturized version of a real life scene.

Others in this hobby adopt a more "free-style" approach and choose to mix and match accessories and features they personally prefer. Even though the purist will possibly be unimpressed with unrealistic or out of context elements, it is YOUR railroad layout so you can make it anything you personally want!

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.