code 40 / code 55 / maerklin track
- Hello Z-heads,
excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is the difference of code 40 track to
code 55 track, and what is different to normal marklin track?
Which one is better to run micro-trains cars?
What pieces of track are available in code 40 ?
Where can I get the code 40 track from?
Thanks! Best wishes, Daniel
- d.baechtold@... wrote:
>The word code in reference to model RR track is the measurement of the
> Hello Z-heads,
> excuse my ignorance, but what exactly is the difference of code 40 track to
> code 55 track, and what is different to normal marklin track?
height of the rail. I don't know about European practice, but here in
NA the most common rail used for HO scale trains was code 100 which has
a rail height of 0.10 inches or 2.5 mm.
This rail height would represent a scale rail that was used only in the
most highly trafficked rail in the US. I think it was used only by the
Pennsylvania RR and in only a few locations.
Since this code 100 rail was so oversized someone (Kemtron?) produced
code 70 rail which is 1.7 mm high. This rail would cause no problems
with NA HO equipment but the European wheels with their deep flanges
would bump along hitting the spike heads. The most popular ready to run
HO locomotives were the ones imported from Rivarossi and they all had
the European flanges.
Someone then made the code 40 rail for narrow gauge models. This rail
1 mm high and it had to be glued or soldered to the ties instead of
being spiked because even the NA wheel flanges would strike any spike
heads. Besides that, the code 40 rail is so frail that spiking rails to
ties would cause dips in the rail that could lead to derailing trains.
Marklin and Microtrain rails are code 55 or 1.4 mm high. I've seen code
50 rail mentioned but I have not seen any or maybe my measurement of Z
scale rails is faulty.
>Both are comparable for operation. The differences are cosmetic.
> Which one is better to run micro-trains cars?
Microtrains does not offer sectional tack nor do they offer turnouts or
crossings. Peco also offers Z scale flex tract. The Marklin flex tract
is not so flexible. You must do some surgery on the ties to make them
flex into a smooth curve. Both the Marklin and Peco track are models of
European track with wider spacing of the ties. MicroTrain track is
closer to NA practice.
>Code 40 ready made switches are available from Halwa:
> What pieces of track are available in code 40 ?
I don't know about other track selections.
> Where can I get the code 40 track from?Don't know the answer to that. I bought some from The Whistle Stop in
Pasadena, California. Could not find any other shop that had any.
The real difference between code 40 and 55 or Marklin track is
appearance. Most Z scale hobbyist are just happy that their equipment
is operating smoothly because that is a major accomplishment. Once you
get beyond running trains smoothly and begin to consider how closely
your models replicate the actual thing, you will become aware of how
huge the code 55 rails look in relation to the rest of your equipment.
According to my measurement they represent rail that would be almost 2
Get trains running first. Get to know your equipment and how to make
them operate smoothly. When you find that you have nothing much else to
do with your model railroad, then start worrying about rail size. There
are many things that are not really close to scale simply because of the
laws of physics. If your RR cars were built with scale size side walls
they would collapse as soon as you try to pick one up.
I hope that this answers some of your questions.