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Code 100 Track Question

Beginner to the hobby Orjan asks:

“Sorry for my ignorance but in simple terms what does code 100 mean? If I go with code 100 would I always need to use the same track code?”

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4 Responses to Code 100 Track Question

  • Dale says:

    Code 100 essentially refers to the height of the rail. Generally, it is normal to stay with the same code size throughout but it isn’t necessary. Prototype railroads often use smaller rails for sidings and maintenance tracks that get little actual traffic. (Smaller rails take less steel and are, therefore, cheaper.) The trick is to appropriately shim the smaller rail where it joins to the larger rail to ensure that the rail heads are level across the joint.

    Many modellers use code 100 or code 80 (or 83) for the mainlines and go to code 70 or code 55 for tracks serving industries. One other issue is that old equipment with large “cookie-cutter” flanges may cause problems with smaller code sizes. Changing the trucks or wheelsets generally cures that problem.

  • Ron Bannon says:

    I’ve been modeling for many years and I have to use code 100 track and switches, because of the large flanges on my locomotives,most are older Fleischman and Roco, sometimes still a problem when the switches are crossed.

  • Frank B says:

    The code number is the height of the actual rail in thousandths of an inch, so code 100 is 0.1 inches high.

    Modern model rolling stock has more realistic wheels with smaller flanges, so it will run on lower track.
    Older models with bigger flanges require higher track.

  • Nigel says:

    Code 75 track is closer to scale and so many modellers looking for higher levels of realism use it in preference to code 100. For joining code 75 to code 100, Peco produce a transition track to seamlessly deal with the differing rail heights.

    As an aside, Peco code 83 has been produced for those modelling US prototypes.

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