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Re: [z_scale] track "code"?

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  • Reynard Wellman
    Hello Randy, To quote from my resources: Prototype rail is usually specified in pounds per running yard . ---Paul Mallery --Trackwork Handbook, Boyton &
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 24 9:18 AM
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      Hello Randy,

      To quote from my resources: "Prototype rail is usually specified in
      pounds per running yard". ---Paul Mallery --Trackwork Handbook, Boyton &
      Associates Publ. Therefore, if you are working for a real railroad you
      might specify track that is code120, meaning that it weighs 120 pounds
      for every three feet of rail.

      However, it gets much more complicated. All of today's standard model
      railroading track is derived from HO track standards which were based on
      the real prototype rail.

      So what has happened is this. A maker of model tracks says; "Hmm, I want
      to make some true to scale 120 pound rail for the N scale guys, so I'll
      just reach in my vast inventory of HO scale rail which contains
      everything from code 22 to code 167 and pick a profile which best fits
      for N scale." He pulls out the HO scale code 40 rail from his batch and
      uses that to build his N scale code 120 profile track. If he uses HO
      scale code 55 rail then for N scale that is roughly equivalent to the
      prototype 167 pound rail, the heaviest rail used in the industry.

      That's why so many N scalers way back in the 70's wanted smaller profile
      track. Atlas, Bachman, etc. were all using HO scale code 70 rail to make
      N scale standard mainline track which is wildly out of scale and looks
      horrible. These manufacturers have finally gotten the message and are
      now offering N scale track in code 55 (which would actually be 165 pound
      rail in prototype profile).

      I realize that in Z scale no one seems to care, and even if they did
      they will find that even HO scale code 40 rail is actually a little too
      big to match the actual equivalent prototype. Needless to say, Marklin Z
      scale track does not even come close to prototype track in rail section
      profile. This doesn't stop me from loving a nicely built Marklin track
      layout. Besides, Z scale is so tiny that most people don't even notice
      --- it's just my personal preference.


      Randy Smidt wrote:

      > I was wondering if anyone could explain track "code" to me. I
      > understand that it refers to the size of the rail and it seems that
      > the
      > lower the number the smaller the track. But what exactly is it? Rail
      > height to width ratio of some kind or just rail height?
      > Also, what are the common track we see in Z? Is Marklin code 55 or
      > 40?
      > Do Peco and or Micro-Trains make both Code 40 and 55 or just one or
      > the
      > other? And lastly, the Halwa trunouts that everyone is talking about,
      > these are a different size than the regular old Marklin track aren't
      > they?
      > Thanks,
      > Randy Smidt

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