Answers to Atlas' Most Frequently Asked Track Questions

Atlas is the leading manufacturer of model railroad track, worldwide. Here are some answers to the most Frequently Asked Atlas Track Questions…

For more information about our Super-Flex Track®, click here.

HO TRACK Frequently Asked Questions

There are quite a few track manufacturers out there. Why should I use Atlas track?

Atlas has been making HO scale model railroad track for over 50 years. We are known throughout the world for our famous Snap-Track®, patented Super-Flex Track®, and Custom-Line® Turnouts. Atlas track and switches are made from quality, injection-molded plastic and nickel silver rail so that you can be sure the layout you build will be reliable. What's more, Atlas track is surprisingly affordable.

What's the difference between Atlas HO Code 83 and Code 100 track?

Literally, the code of a piece of track is the height of the rail in thousandths of an inch (meaning code 83 rail is .083" high; code 100 rail is .100" high). The significant difference lies in the physical appearance of the two types of track. Atlas Code 83 track has fine, brown ties whereas Code 100 has slightly thicker black ties. Because of its accuracy (and the color of the ties), Code 83 is more prototypical, and therefore more realistic than Code 100. Code 83 is known as a finer-scale track, and is the choice of discerning modelers. Atlas carries a full line of both Code 100 and Code 83 products.

I've heard some rolling stock may not run on Code 83 track. Is this true?

The only rolling stock that may have problems on any Code 83 track are some older European-mode models. The reason is the flanges are too large. If you are running trains made within the last 20 years or so, you should not have a problem with Atlas Code 83 track.

Does Atlas offer that easy-to-use roadbed track?

Yes, Atlas' brand of roadbed track is called True-Track®. True-Track contains a section of Code 83 track, snapped into a gray, graveled roadbed base. It is easy to assemble and can be set up just about anywhere because it does not need to be secured to a board.

How is Atlas' True-Track® different from other brands, say Bachman's EZ Track®?

True-Track is more versatile because the track can be removed from the roadbed and used separately. This gives you options. For example, as you grow into the hobby you may decide you want to ballast your own track. With True-Track®, you can do just that.

Where do I start?

Atlas offers five HO Layout Instruction Books that contain over 40 different railroad plans. Simply choose one and you're ready to go! Click here for the HO layout gallery.

 

Atlas HO Track Summary:
HO Code 100 (Black Ties/Nickel Silver Rail) - Basic Line
HO Code 83 (Brown Ties/Nickel Silver Rail) - Modeler's Track
HO True-Track (Roadbed w/Code 83 track) - Beginners

 

How many pieces of track do you need for a circle?

Radius Curve No. of Pieces
HO Code 100 & 83
15" Radius Section 12
18" Radius Section 12
22" Radius Section 16
24" Radius Section 16

 

N TRACK Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I use Atlas N scale track on my layout?

Atlas has been making N scale model railroad track for over 25 years. We are known throughout the world as one of the most prominent track makers in the hobby industry because of our high quality products and incredible performance. Our track and switches are made from injection-molded plastic and nickel silver rail so that you can be sure the layout you will build will be dependable. What's more, Atlas track is surprisingly affordable.

I've decided that I'm going to model in N scale but I'm not sure whether I want to use Atlas' traditional N scale Code 80 track, or the N scale Code 55 track. Can you please describe the differences between these track lines?

N Scale Code 80
Atlas' popular line of N scale Code 80 track is well known for its high quality and durability. With black ties and nickel silver rail, Atlas' N Scale Code 80 Track is sturdy, reliable, and looks great on any layout. The Code 80 line is very extensive and includes the popular Snap-Track®, Snap-Switches, Super-Flex® Track and more.

N Scale Code 55
Atlas' N scale Code 55 track was designed with the scale modeler in mind. Featuring simulated brown ties and a lower rail profile than N scale Code 80 track, Atlas' N scale Code 55 track is quickly becoming a favorite of N scale modelers everywhere. As with all Atlas track products, you can expect durability, flexibility and reliability with the N scale Code 55 track.

I've heard that some rolling stock may not run on Code 55 track. Is this true?

Some older rolling stock may have problems on N scale Code 55 track because of the wheels that do not comply with NMRA standards. You can run your favorite cars on our N scale Code 55 track by simply fitting your existing cars with a low-profile wheel set (Item # 22134) available from Atlas or several other manufacturers.

Where do I start?

The next step is to review the various layouts in our N scale Layout Gallery. Simply choose one and you're ready to go! Or you can download our popular layout planning software FREE! Click here for more details.

Atlas N Scale Track Summary
N Code 80 (Black Ties/Nickel Silver Rail) - Basic Line
N Code 55 (Brown Ties/Nickel Silver Rail) - Modeler's Track

 

How many pieces of track do you need for a circle?

Radius Curve No. of Pieces
N Code 55
10" Radius Curve 16
11.25" Radius Curve 16
12.5" Radius Curve 16
13.75" Radius Curve 16
15" Radius Curve 16
16.25" Radius Curve 16
17.5" Radius Curve 16
18.75" Radius Curve 16
20" Radius Curve 16
21.25" Radius Curve 16
30.609" Radius Curve 32
71" Radius Curve 44 + 4.25" straight
N Code 80
9 3/4" Radius Curve 12
11" Radius Curve 12
19" Radius Curve 24

 

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