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> Best HO scale track system
codeman_nz
post 25 Mar 2012, 22:53
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Hi All,

I know this has been asked a lot of times but what is the best HO track system to use?

I have looked around forums and the main answer is, of course, personal preference. Well a few questions then:

What is everyone's personal preference?
I would like to use Hornby. What are the pros and cons of Hornby?
What is everyone's personal preference for turnouts, turnout motors and DCC controllers?

Thanks everyone.
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Brossard
post 25 Mar 2012, 23:44
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I have to admit I have never used Hornby track. However, I think you'll find that the most popular track system is Peco. For HO/OO the track comes in code 100 or code 75. The code is the rail height in 100ths of an inch. Most people seem to go with code 100 but I think that is more to do with tradition than practicality. Todays fine models have wheel profiles that are extremely happy on code 75 track. (If you have older models that have "pizza cutter" flanges then you will need to go with code 100. Hornby track, I believe, is code 100.

Plain track: AFAIK, Hornby only do "Settrack", that is rigid curves and straights. Peco do "Flextrack" which can be curved to whatever radius you want. Probably best to visit their website: http://www.peco-uk.com/

Points: Can't say much about Hornby. Peco come in Insulfrog and Electrofrog. Insulfrog is simpler to wire up but some locos (esp. small wheelbase) can stall on the frog. Electrofrog has a live frog that means that locos are less likely to stall but wiring is more complex. Electrofrog is better for DCC. Peco's website has downloadable point templates ideal for layout planning without having to buy the points first.

Point motors: Two main types, solenoid and slow motion. Solenoid motors are made by Peco and SEEP (from Gaugemaster). Hornby do pointmotors but I won't comment. The best known slow motion motors are Tortoise and Cobalt.

Solenoid motors are inexpensive to buy but cause the point to snap over. You should use a Capacitor Discharge Unit with these - transformer AC output is probably not sufficient. I dislike these but that is my personal preference. Again, most people use solenoid motors.
Slow motion motors tend to be quite dear but, as their name implies, move slowly and more realistically. They have 2 sets of aux contacts that can be used to switch frog polarity (DCC) and for other uses, eg signals. I wouldn't use anything else.

Wiring: I refer you here for DCC: http://www.brian-lambert.co.uk/DCC.htm

I strongly recommend DCC as opposed to DC.

John

PS I should add that Richard Johnson has been running a survey in another thread on this board. His findings might be instructive.


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Richard Johnson
post 26 Mar 2012, 02:57
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*** If the question really is "best HO track system" then as far as a high quality / good range combination is concerened, Tillig is best. Slightly dearer than most of the common ones but streets ahead and intelligently designed - nice things like check rails out of phosphor bronze so they don't look shiny after track cleaning, better definition of detail, much more attractive design of parts important to the look and better looking overall geometry.

H's track is at the toy end of the market

Peco is the most commonly available wide range. OK but not great. Stay with Electrofrog and code 75 for best running/look/easier laying of good looking trackwork.

ALSO - define your need more fully. Hornby/all UK prototype is OO - 4mm scale 16.5 gauge. HO is 3.5mm scale, 16.5mm gauge - there is a BIG difference.

NO track is accurate for 4mm scale / OO - So the choices above are simply the "best options" available for OO modellers.

For DCC advice look here - a pretty pragmatic look at DCC, system selection and a black and white set of brand opinions. Many pages of information

http://www.dccconcepts.com/index_files/DCCadvice1.htm

regards

Richard





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codeman_nz
post 26 Mar 2012, 03:05
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Thank you very much everyone. There are so many different track systems that I didn't know which one to go for but now I know exactly what I need.

Thanks heaps.
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Andy SR
post 28 Apr 2012, 22:39
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Personally, I think SMP is the best for OO and Tillig for HO. SMP has the advantage that while being finescale and looking less cumbersome, you can still run old stock with big flanges on it.
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Digimaks
post 30 Apr 2012, 02:26
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Heh, personal preference - that's for sure.
Well depends what you need track for - quick train run on the floor or track for the layout.

Since I live in USA - PECO or Hornby track are very hard to get and very pricy. For my layout I used ATLAS flexi track, and Bachmanns nickle track switches and radius sections on the plastic trackbed.
One thing to keep in mind is nickle track has the best conductivity and more resistant to residue.
When I lived in New York, I had some batch of steel track- cheaper then nickle but... guess what? It was RUSTING! Rusting from air humidity itself. This makes it pain in the neck to maintain them.

I am not sure how is it with humidity ion place where you live, but certainly worth taking into account.
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kristopher1805
post 30 Apr 2012, 05:48
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To answer the question regarding Hornby, the formation is as per Peco Setrack.

Point angles 22.5 degrees except for the Express point which is 11.25, this is a bit weak at the leading end.

Curves set for R1 (371mm) to R4 at 67mm spacings on centres.

It is pretty robust, points are strong if not as perecise as Peco it is only code 100.

The curve on the curved point R2-3 seems easier than the Peco equivalent and has been less bother with 'difficult' locos, there is one in the pic below used to replace a series of Peco equivalents that would just not keep locos on the track.

Both Hornby and Peco setrack is fully interchangeable

Peco 'streamline' uses 12 degrees and is easier for all locos it is able to fix together with both the other 2 easily.

Despite commonality there are some detail pieces that are different.

Hornby also has some semi-flex and this is very useful as are the 4xstd straights that both make, true flexi comes only from Peco.

If you can ignore the modelling deficiencies then this is a large junction with a mix of track, it is also very reliable now.
http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd490/...05/DSCF1987.jpg

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delvaux
post 15 May 2012, 06:34
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I use Fleischmann - it is expensive but it is ready ballasted so saves a lot of work (and time important - for me) . The plastic bed that the track sits on means that flexible track can easily be cut and pinned down at baseboard ends and it's very secure. Also it can be easily re-used when another layout inevitably is shouting for you to build it. I find that Fleischmann points are extremely well built, again relatively expensive, can be used with DCC - I've had no problems. Finally flexi track can be joined to other track using ordinary rail joiners

But of course its all about personl choice, experience down the years and product loyalty. For my particular needs Fleischmann is perfect though.

Derek
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billericaybill
post 16 May 2012, 13:38
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I have had a play with some Fleischmann profi that I have to hand and I did not find conductivity to the switch rails very good, it got a good polish up too before i tried it. I had considered using it but I knew after that it would not satisfy my need for shunting reliability. These were used, may be new ones might work better.

Andrew
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Makemineadouble
post 16 May 2012, 16:58
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QUOTE
Tillig is best. Slightly dearer than most of the common ones


While I don't dispute that Tillig track is excellent quality,
when you do the sums its just about double the price of
Peco track. I also got the impression that stock isnt always
available when I phoned for my samples.
cool.gif
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7113
post 16 May 2012, 21:12
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QUOTE (billericaybill @ 16 May 2012, 13:38) *
I have had a play with some Fleischmann profi that I have to hand and I did not find conductivity to the switch rails very good, it got a good polish up too before i tried it. I had considered using it but I knew after that it would not satisfy my need for shunting reliability. These were used, may be new ones might work better.

Personally I've never had any problems with Fleischmann Profi - but hey... that's what I intend using.

Regards


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neil_s_wood
post 17 May 2012, 00:48
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For HO track I use Tillig. It is more expensive but it's good.

cheers

Neil


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Swamp Locos
post 17 May 2012, 01:35
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QUOTE (codeman_nz @ 26 Mar 2012, 10:53) *
What is everyone's personal preference?
I would like to use Hornby. What are the pros and cons of Hornby?


Hi there,

I am using Hornby Points and Hornby semi-flexible track.
Mainly because that it is what is easily available at the local shop and it's reasonably priced. On my infrequent forays to the big smoke, I can just grab what I need.
Seems to work ok, in my blinkered, 'never tried anything else' opinion huh.gif

Jay smile.gif


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Graham Plowman
post 17 May 2012, 01:44
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QUOTE (codeman_nz @ 26 Mar 2012, 08:53) *
Hi All,

I know this has been asked a lot of times but what is the best HO track system to use?

I have looked around forums and the main answer is, of course, personal preference. Well a few questions then:

What is everyone's personal preference?
I would like to use Hornby. What are the pros and cons of Hornby?
What is everyone's personal preference for turnouts, turnout motors and DCC controllers?

Thanks everyone.


Before answering, I would ask the question: are you running British or Continental rolling stock on it ?

If you are running British stock, then I would suggest Peco. Code 75 is the way to go these days and make sure you use as larger radii as you can.

If you are running Continental stock (which I presume you are by the location in the forum of this meassge), then I'd agree with Tillig.

While British stock will run on Tillig, I wouldn't recommend this combination as Tillig doesn't look anthing like British track.


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(British outline 00 - Lenz 100 - DCC Sound and computer controlled signalling/interlocking with SSI software)
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Sol
post 18 May 2012, 02:15
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While close examination of a couple inches away may show a difference , it is hard to determine Peco 75 vs Tillig from a normal viewing distance of at least 2 feet.

These photos are about 6 inches away.








Tillig points, I would not recommend solenoid motors but there is a bigger range.


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Devan & Summersett Railway - very, very loosely based on GWR/WR/BR.
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