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Will all HO tracks connect to each other?

Kevin is a beginner to the hobby and is looking for some guidance on mixing HO scale track brands:

“I have seen tracks under different names/sellers/makers, but do all tracks connect with each other?”

If you want to assist Kevin with his HO track connection question, just add your comment using the COMMENTS link below. The Blog Moderator approves most answers within a few hours depending on the time zones around the world.

8 Responses to Will all HO tracks connect to each other?

  • Dale Arendssays:

    Track comes in two basic flavors; with and without prefab roadbed. Those with the prefab roadbed, like kato UniTrack or Bachmann EZ Track, or MTH RealTrax generally don’t go well with other types of track.

    Plain track, on the other hand, generally do play well with others as long as you keep the code size in mind. Atlas code 100 track works fine with Peco Code 100, for example. Flex track works fine with non-flex track (watch those joints!) There are one or two that don’t connect well but they are less common.

    • Sheldon Clarksays:

      Even where the rails themselves are the same height above the Sleepers (“Ties” across the Atlantic), the thickness of the sleepers may differ, affecting the overall height.

  • Billsays:

    Kevin;
    I would not recommend mixing track from different manufacturers even if they are the same code. There are differences in rail height and width between manufacturers even if they are all the same code. This will only bring variation to your railroad track that can be another cause for poor running trains, Stay with the same manufacturer throughout and you will have one less thing to worry about.

    • Sheldon Clarksays:

      Even different kinds of track from one manufacturer may not sit well together. PECO, for instance, does codes 80, 83 and 100 on 00/H0 Scales, so I assume they are of different heights overall, requiring the thinner one to be provided with some sort of packing underneath for at least part of their length.

  • Sundaramsays:

    Most tracks of the same code or compatible. I have mixed Peco and Atlas HO 100 code tracks without problems.

  • Skip Duldsays:

    FOR N SCALE I USE 19 DEG’S ATLAS TRACK CODE 80 STAINLESS STEEL . FIX TRACK AND FLAX TRACK, IT WORKS FOR ME. I USE SWITCH’S MECHINES FROM ATLES AND THE 19 DEG’S FIX TRACK AND THE FLAX TRACK WORK GOOD TOGETHER.

  • Kevinsays:

    Thanks for the help people

  • W Rusty Lanesays:

    If you stay with the same code for each manufacturers you should not run into many problems with mixing track brands. Some say one manufacturer’s track in the same code as anothers is NOT the same as the height above the ties is different. I currently use Micro Engineering code 100 flex track and it has done quite well butting up to Atlas code 100 track. I have seen an article that say’s not to mix the various manufacturers’ track as the rail height is not the same on all of the manufacturers, but I’ve not had a problem with doing so,so far.

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