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Thread: PECO vs Atlas rail joiners

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    Default PECO vs Atlas rail joiners

    I found that trying to install Atlas joiners on a PECO turnout or pieces of track is difficult. The PECO joiners are smaller and more narrow and slide easily on to the PECO track. Actually, installing a PECO joiner on to an Atlas piece of track results in a tighter joint. Any comments?

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    I've found that Atlas code 55 joiners are even worse than code 80. Since I'm doing code 55 on the new layout, I broke down and bought one of the Atlas tools for installing joiners https://shop.atlasrr.com/p-48003-all...-sidekick.aspx ..........it definitely saves on my fingertips trying to push joiners on. Since Peco doesn't actually have code 55 rail, the comparison isn't really valid for me, but I still participate in NTRAK, and we have run into what you noted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Austrix View Post
    It's not real code 55.
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    When I last built an N scale layout with Peco code 80 rail (1994), I used Atlas rail joiners.

    With ME code 55, I use Atlas code 55 joiners.
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    Peco code 55 track uses code 80 rail set deeper into the ties to give a code 55 track height. You will note it says it is fully compatible with BOTH Peco code 55 and code 80 since it's the same rail.........you can call it code 55 track, but it uses code 80 rail.

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    The PECO joiner goes on to their track very loosely. How do you keep the joiner from sliding away from the track joint when pushing the track pieces together?

    DMK

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    Quote Originally Posted by Janbouli View Post
    It's not real code 55.
    What you see is code 55. Just because there is an additional .025 web and flange buried in the crossties doesn't change anything. Because of that buried portion, Peco C55 is the strongest track out there and combined with their C55 turnouts make for a nice consistent appearance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMK View Post
    The PECO joiner goes on to their track very loosely. How do you keep the joiner from sliding away from the track joint when pushing the track pieces together?

    DMK

    Wouldn't one simply place the joiner on the other tight track first?
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    Quote Originally Posted by inkaneer View Post
    What you see is code 55. Just because there is an additional .025 web and flange buried in the crossties doesn't change anything. Because of that buried portion, Peco C55 is the strongest track out there and combined with their C55 turnouts make for a nice consistent appearance.
    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion , if you're happy with Peco so by all means use it , but it still is not real code 55.
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    Funny, I have never really had any problem with Atlas rail joiners, either code 80 or code 55. Even now, with my greatly reduced dexterity due to peripheral neuropathy.

    Is the problem getting them started or what?

    And, as far as Peco track, I have no problem with its robustness. It is very well-made track and the design of the code 55 is clever. It's just that the code 55 stuff doesn't really look much different from code 80 because of the tie spacing and dimensions.

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    I am building N scale layout now which has taken me deeper into layout building that I have been so far, My question was going to be why dosent the Peco N scale code 55 flex track line up with the Atlas code 55 number 10 turnout but I think it has been answered already. I worked around by flattening the rail joiner and rested the switch rails on top then soldered.

    Q.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quincy View Post
    I am building N scale layout now which has taken me deeper into layout building that I have been so far, My question was going to be why dosent the Peco N scale code 55 flex track line up with the Atlas code 55 number 10 turnout but I think it has been answered already. I worked around by flattening the rail joiner and rested the switch rails on top then soldered.

    Q.
    Yes, that's the standard way of joining code 80 (which, in relation to the track base, Peco code 55 is) and code 55 track.

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    I am in the process of replacing my Atlas #4 and #6 turnouts with comparable PECO long, medium and short radius turnouts. I am using PECO N (SL-310) joiners on the PECO turnouts because these turnouts have tight plastic joints at the joiner connection and I do not want to cut the end of the turnout to accommodate the larger Atlas joiner. I have found the Atlas joiners to be much easier to work with compared to the PECO. End up damaging many of the smaller and tighter PECO joiners. The PECO turnouts and joiners are also becoming harder to buy. I do not know what is worse, fixing the Atlas turnouts or installing the PECO rail joiners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MRLdave View Post
    Peco code 55 track uses code 80 rail set deeper into the ties to give a code 55 track height. You will note it says it is fully compatible with BOTH Peco code 55 and code 80 since it's the same rail.........you can call it code 55 track, but it uses code 80 rail.
    PECO C55 uses a C80 height rail with a double foot buried deeper into the ties to give it the low appearance / profile of C55 rail.
    It's true that PECO C55 is not true C55 because it uses C80 height but it's not just a buried C80 rail due to the double foot.
    Why don't we just consider PECO C55 a hybrid track?

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMK View Post
    I do not know what is worse, fixing the Atlas turnouts or installing the PECO rail joiners.
    The following works well for me putting them on ME Code 55 (not my idea, copied someone else, maybe got the idea from FastTracks).





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    Making sure that the ends of the rails are cut straight and not have any burrs makes a difference no matter what brand of track/joiners or even scale. Filing a very small bevel on the ends definitely help get the joiners started.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Army-Gandydancer View Post
    Making sure that the ends of the rails are cut straight and not have any burrs makes a difference no matter what brand of track/joiners or even scale. Filing a very small bevel on the ends definitely help get the joiners started.
    Yeah... this is a great point.
    I even do the little filing with brand new, untouched track. regardless of brand/scale.
    Just before I go to place any track, even if if isn't going to be getting a fishplate, I take 15 seconds, and run my file over it...

    The procedure I use is:

    1. File flat at the end. (couple quick back and forth passes) {square up the end}
    2. File the rail head. (drag the file at a 45 down *one direction only* a few times.
    3. Again with the rail head but, on the inside. (*dragging in one direction only, down and toward the outside)
    4. Drag the file once or twice at a 45, in one direction only, on each side of the foot.
    5. Flip the track over, and file the bottom side of the foot. (*dragging in one direction only)
    6. Flip the track over, (right side up), and then drag the file on the 'top' of the foot on each side. (one direction only) at a 45 angle, down and 'in'.

    *I might come back and add some pictures later to show.

    [Insert pictures*]


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    Ok, So I had a few minutes to snap off a couple of pictures....

    So, here I square up the end...
    20220511_020421.small.jpg

    Here I ease the top of the rail head....
    20220511_020437.small.jpg

    Here I ease the inside of the rail head....
    20220511_020459.small.jpg

    Picture of tapering the foot from the sides didn't come out. *too blurry to see anything.

    Next up is the bottom of the foot....
    20220511_020520.small.jpg

    And, finally, taper the top of the rail foot....
    20220511_020531.small.jpg20220511_020551.small.jpg

    Hope these help someone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrifterNL View Post
    PECO C55 uses a C80 height rail with a double foot buried deeper into the ties to give it the low appearance / profile of C55 rail.
    It's true that PECO C55 is not true C55 because it uses C80 height but it's not just a buried C80 rail due to the double foot.
    Why don't we just consider PECO C55 a hybrid track?
    Peco says it is C55 and it is if you measure it like any other C55 rail and that is from the railhead to the tops of the ties. What lies buried in the tie strip isn't seen and therefore doesn't matter. You only see C55 rail. By the way, that lower flange really helps in hiding rail joiners below the tops of the ties. Nothing like taking a photo only to find later that there is a big honking Atlas type rail joiner prominently featured in the photo. Nice!

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