What's the best track for HO scale?

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MRR Refugee
It really depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

If you are setting up a temporary layout on a board, table or floor, Atlas True Track, Bachmann EZ track, Life-Like Power-Loc and Kato Unitrack would be good. The Kato track is great stuff, but I would probably use the Atlas track, since it can be removed from the base if you ever wanted to use it on a permanent layout.

For a permanent layout, most folks use flex track, or a combination of flex and sectional track.

Some folks will even hand lay their own track, spiking bare rail to wooden ties.

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Active Member
Oh that's an easy one. FLEX

Why not have the ability to make your own custom curves in any radius. And I like the fact that you end up with a lot less sections/joiners.

My preference is code 83 Walthers flex. It comes in 39" pieces. It's around $9 /ea.


Well-Known Member
Not all rail stock has the same in look, either. Some have hardly-prototypical cross-sections. Some have fewer ties per unit of length to look more like a seldom-used spur to an industry. Some have brown ties, some have black. Some with the same code of rail have different tie heights, so they won't be easily matched in height on the working surfaces.

If you don't mind limits to your track plan's configuration, use the snap or sectional track. Put together well and ballasted, it looks great. And it works just as well. It will cost you more, particularly the turnouts of the EZ-Track kind, and they have 'issues'.

Code 83 flex is about as good as it gets, and you have your pick of about five or six providers. Micro Engineering is favoured in some circles, Peco in others, Atlas in still others.

Learning to make your own turnouts is a gift to yourself in this hobby. After a couple of iffy first efforts, you will soon realize you can put pretty much any type of turnout together and it will function more reliably than virtually all but the very best commercial turnouts.

BRS Hobbies

Atlas HO Code 83 nickel silver track and KATO HO UNITRACK is high quality and smooth running. The Atlas track is more suited for permanent layouts and the KATO track has a built-in roadbed which makes it good for both temporary and permanent track layouts.

Best regards,


I've been using Central Valley's Tie System, and I think it's the best looking track without using Proto87 handlaying supplies. The ties come in strips that you connect with a very inconspicuous webbing. Then you glue rail down on it, once the ties strips are layed. The webbing means that there is actually empty space below the rail, between the ties. It looks great, but is more of a craftsman style approach. Definitely not a "plug-n-play" appraoch.

The new Peco "83 line" flex track and switches look really nice, with great cross sections and very North- American looking fish plates and spike details.

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