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Mixing Code 80 and Code 55 Track

Justin models N scale and asks:

“I have started my layout using code 80 but thought of using some code 55 on the spurs. Could I encounter issues doing this?”

Post your comments or suggestions under this post… and read what others have to say too!

6 Responses to Mixing Code 80 and Code 55 Track

  • geoff says:

    well, there’s obviously going to be a height difference when your trains transition from one code to the other, although I gather that some if not all manufacturers have “transition track” to cope with this.

    There’s also the possibility that older stock (if you have any) will have larger wheel flanges and won’t run on code 55.

  • Dale says:

    You could encounter problems but, if you’re careful, you won’t. The main issue is making sure the transitions are smooth. The code 55 rails will have to be shimmed up to match the height of the code 80 track. The easiest way, generally, is to slip thin shims between the code 55 ties and rails.

    Another problem you might encounter is if any of your locos or rolling stock have large diameter flanges (cookie-cutter flanges) as these may by too large for the smaller height rails.

  • Morgan BIlbo says:

    Although I personally have no experience. I have seen where they take the joiner, flatten the end for under the code 55. And solder the joint. The joiner is on the code 70, but under the code 55, raising it enough to tet the top or head of the rails even. You may not need to solder on code 70 because that’s just a slip on. But solder it under the code 55.

  • Dwight Campbell says:

    I am using N scale code 55 rail but had to transition to code 100 in the lead to a Walthers turntable that uses code 100 in the bridge. I used Micro Engineering transition rail joiners without any problems.Two things to note:
    1. I am going from M.E. code 55 to Atlas code 100 and both have a similar rail profile so there was no need for any touch up filing.
    2. The rail joiners are plastic so they provide an insulated gap.

    Justin, I think that the code change would really be visually effective.

  • Phillip Colins says:

    If you use Peco track, it shouldn’t be a problem, as Pecos code 55 is actually code 80 with more sunk into the plastic sleeper base so that, above the base, it’s 55. You would need to do some filing for the fish plate, and possibly shim the base of the code 55 track.

  • gene jablonski says:

    I combine Peco code 55 with Atlas code 80 with no problem since the Peco code 55 is actually code 80 embedded deeper into the ties than the Atlas code 80.

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