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Types of Flex Track

Mike M asks:

“Hello, I really hope you can help me with a couple of quick questions. Will a HO Marklin coal tipper fit on a flexible HO track? Also, is there a flexible HO track that is a little taller than what you usually get at hobby stores? I have a very old tin plate made in japan train that will not run on my HO tracks. The wheel flanges are a little too big so it hits the cross ties. Thanks for your time! I am not a model train expert and am having trouble finding answers for a HO train project I’m working on.”

5 Responses to Types of Flex Track

  • geoffsays:

    HO is HO, so any HO wagon will fit on any HO track. But. Marklin uses a three rail system (although they have a central stud instead of a rail) and the wheels on their wagons, as far as I know, are metal and not insulated, so if you put it on a layout that is not marklin while it will fit it will cause a short and so the layout will not work.

    The other caveat is that is a wagon is old, it may have wheels with larger flanges than are used these todays and so won’t really fit – similar to your issue with the old model train you have.

    The largest track that you can get these days is code 100.

  • Bob DeBargesays:

    I disagree – HO is not HO when it comes to track. It comes in different rail heights. You can find it in Code 55, 70, 83, or 100. The ‘code’ is the ratio of rail height – e.g. Code 83 is 83% of the height of Code 100. You’ll find also that Code 100 has larger black ties, while Code 83 has smaller brown ties with a different spacing. The idea is that Code 83 is more ‘to scale’ and ‘realistic’ than Code 100. Thie issue is that older trains were manufactured with wider wheel flanges, which causes the wheel to hit the ties on newer track with shorter rail heights. So you can change your track or change out the wheels or trucks on your trains. Most of my layout is Code 83, but I choose to not alter my older (and in some cases collectible) trans and I have a couple of tracks build from Code 100 specifically for those older trains (and of course the newer trains will run on it also). It’s a question of whether to be as prototypical as possible or to make concessions to run older trains.

  • David Stokessays:

    Bob’s point says it all. If your equipment won’t run properly on Code 100, then they become static displays, or you could search the speciality auctions looking for the track that originally came with you equipment.

    As your gear came from Japan originally, then that is where I would start.

  • Jim Hallsays:

    all the previous answers are correct BUT check for maybe at a On scale of track you my find a scale to suit. Try asking PECO for help. One way if you dont mind the work is to hand lay a larger track than 100. I know there is a 120.

    Good luck
    Jim Hall

  • Mikesays:

    Geoff Bob David Jim thxs

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