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Which Track Type or Brand is Best?

Reg S posted this question to the Blog Moderator by using one of the ASK A QUESTION links on this Blog:

“After buying a Bachmann train set for one of my grandkids I decided to have a go myself and construct a simple layout in HO scale. After looking around online I see there are multiple choices. Although the E-Z Track type looks easy and foolproof,…maybe what I need… ha ha… it doesn’t look so real or flexible enough if I want to make changes later??? Also, I read that Bachmann is not all it’s cracked up to be??? I know it is priced cheap so maybe you get what you pay for???

I would like to hear from the old hands at this on what is the best type or brand of track for me considering my layout will be fairly basic. Thank you to everyone.”

If you would like to comment on this question from Reg, or provide an answer, all you do is add your comment under this post. All comments go to the Blog Moderator and, unless they contain spam or don’t make sense, will be published usually within a few minutes depending on the time of the day.

7 Responses to Which Track Type or Brand is Best?

  • phil johnsonsays:

    there is no best track brand. assuming HO scale. code is first: 3 popular; 100 (tallest), 83 (closer to scale), 70 (lightest). Types: Flex track is what it sounds like. It comes in 3′ or meter sections. sectional track comes in various lengths and radii. disadvantage is multiple rail joints vs. joint every 36 or 39″. Most modelers have their brand, recommend you check with your local shop for brand/brands they carry. try them to see which you prefer. Flex track requires a little more time to lay compared to snap track. Suggest you obtain tracklaying book,

    • David Stokessays:

      It often falls to what your hobby shop stocks. In my area are 4, all stock Peco Code 100, one stocks Atlas and another what I refer to as “exotics” – Peco seems to be most people’s first step up from set track pieces.

  • Jim Hall (James)says:

    What Phil Johnson says is true. My preferred track would be Peco and they have a complete selection. The next for me would be Atlas, then Bachmann. then there are systems for most other brand of trains.

  • David Broadsays:

    I have used Peco for 40 odd years and with a few exceptions where the did stupid changes like plastic springs it has been entirely satisfactory including the 40 year old track still being in regular use and track surviving 25 years use in the garden. The peco plastic is very resilient and seems to cope with UV much better than some other brands with more rigid bases which go white and disintegrate with time, and some makes which are not even true to gauge or have over prominent rail fastenings/ clips which catch flanges on some RTR wheels

  • Mikesays:

    In my experience flex track is the best, I use Atlas. Turnouts or switches are very important. Peco is my choice (SetTrack) high quality and they stay open or closed by a spring. I just laid about 70 feet of n scale track and there is only 1 piece of pre-fab track.

  • Christopher Allworthsays:

    Peco is my choice. Eventually I will upgrade from PECO 100 to 83 and a more prototypical track.

  • Billsays:

    E-Z track and other brands of similar track are eazy and fast to setup. Unfortunately they limit you to their curves and shapes. They can be made to look more realistic by using ballast but they generally sit too high to look real.
    Flex track is the way to go if you want the flexibility to design your own railroad. Atlas is the most common (and least expensive) with Peco ( a little more$) close behind. There are other more expensive options but I wouldn’t go there for your first railroad.
    Whatever you go with use it consistently. Do not intermix rail gauge (sidings can be different from mainlines but you need a special piece of track to transition). Also do not intermix manufacturers. An Atlas code 100 rail is not the same dimension as a Peco code 100. The variance isn’t huge but why introduce variance and run the risk of poor performance (read derailment) from one car in your train. Variance in track work result in frustration eventually.

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