G Scale Model Train Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been seeing their advertisement in Garden Railways over the past couple issues for Accucrafts Code 332 flex. Anyone know of any more information on this track?  I had been thinking I needed to convert but seeing their new track, and the MSRP (seeing how dealers usually sell them much less than that) made me happy.

The ad says delivery for Spring 2008 which would be right around the time I start working outside on track again.

So, anyone have more information? :cool:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,311 Posts
I've been looking at the same stuff, marketed as AML (American Mainline). I posted a thread a week or so ago, didn't get much of a response. I'm still curious to find out more myself. Looks like a good deal and Accucraft/AML is know for their quality.

If you find out anything, keep me posted.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,746 Posts
I think I had read that Track Shack, a dealer on the Isle of Man, had some on one of the forums and it was showing up in some UK shops, so maybe stateside too?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I ordered some a few months ago at the pre-release pricing. Even with shipping it came to less than $3/ft - good enough for me.

A few days ago I received an e-mail stating that the track was on its way! I am expecting it early this week. I plan to use it for my indoor railroad, which consists of USAT And Aristo track right now. I just couldn't pass up the price on the Accucraft stuff.

I work all week, but as soon as I receive it, I will leave a comment about it.  And if I can figure it out, I will try to post photos.

Scott
Mt Pleasant, WI
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like good news Scott. Keep us updated please as I would really like to know how good it is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
170 Posts
My understanding is that this stuff is in 6ft lengths - great for the railroad, but not for shipping - USPS won't take it I don't believe, and ain't paying UPS an additional $40 in brokerage fees (on top of taxes) to deliver badly bent track... I see a run to Ridge Road in my future.... /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sad.gif :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
I agree shipping can be outrageous on track.  For me, it was a matter of realizing that at the rates track prices have skyrocketed lately, even with shipping, this was something I didn't want to pass up.  I bought two boxes, and in addition to the track I already have, I figured this may be all the track I would ever need.

I guess if Ridge Road is within driving distance, and it costs less than $40 in gas to get there and back, it would be worth your while.

I will point out that this track is also sold in 3' lengths.

UPS tracking shows it should arrive sometime today.  Work and a baby are keeping me a little busy, but I will post pictures as soon as I get a chance.


Scott
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Following is my initial review of the new Accucraft Code 332 flex track, ordered in 6' lengths, euro / narrow gauge style:

What's in the box:
(Qty 12) 6' lengths of flex track,
(Qty 27) (odd?) rail joiners,
2 extra sets of 11 ties (approx 1 foot each).

Each section of track arrived straight and unkinked, already assembled with 6 sections of 11 plastic ties.  The length of each rail is EXACTLY 6 feet - no metric lengths here.  This makes it approx 1 1/8" longer than a 6 foot equivalent length (1800 mm) of Aristo track.  The way it comes assembled leaves about 2 inches of bare rail (no ties) at each end, which I think will come in useful if the rail is bent - no ties at the end to get in the way.  If left straight, the extra ties included would be easy to slide on.  The track is in gauge with the other brands of track I own (Aristo and USAT).

The ties (see photo below) are brown, similar to the LGB tie color, and have square ends, most similar to USA Trains ties.  Just like other track it has a nail hole every few ties.  The ties are not secured to the rail in any way other than friction - this is true flex track - and I found that bending the track was actually rather simple, just by using two hands.  The track would try to return to its natural position, of course, but if someone did not own a rail bender, this track could very easily be bent and secured to some sort of foundation.  (I model indoors, so for me, plywood would work just fine.)  Although the ties are not physically secured, I found them to be on the rail tight enough for normal use.  While the ties arrive fairly uniform, I found that by squeezing a few of them together, a "backwoods" look can be achieved.  Also, each tie is held to the next on alternative sides (similar to Atlas HO flex track), making the rail easy to bend to an 8' diameter equivalent or tighter, just by using two hands.

The rail is brass, and appears to be very close to identical to other brands.  BUT - the rail base and tops are approx 1/64" wider than Aristocraft track (and I would assume LGB and USAT as well).  So joining the rails to Aristo track is quite easy using the included AML rail joiners, but I found it impossible to slide an Aristo rail joiner on without doing some slight filing.  Also, when joining the two types, some slight filing might be needed on the inside of the rail joint to ensure a smooth transition.  Don't let that scare you - it is an extremely small amount of filing that would be needed - perhaps only one or two passes with a good file.  It is a minimal difference, but one that needs to be pointed out.

The rail joiners are similar to LGB - i.e. no screws - and held in place by friction.  I found them easy to slide on and off, but for permanent use, I would either drill and tap an Aristo screw, or at the very least use a pliers to make the joiner a little tighter.

Overall, I found this track to meet my expectations.  The only flaw would be the very slightly wider rail - but it is a minor complaint.  The only time it would be an issue is when joining this track to another brand, and then would only take 15 seconds of maintenance to get them to mate.  This is my first attempt at using flex track, so I cannot compare it to, say, LGB flex.  But I am pleased with this purchase and hope my review helps others.  Feel free to fire away with questions - I will try to answer them whenever I get a chance!

Pros:
- Inexpensive compared to similar brands
- Bends very easily using just two hands
- Extra tie strips included

Cons:
- Will not accept Aristocraft rail joiners without filing rail
- Rail top very slightly wider (1/64") than other brands
- Included rail joiners not as tight as desired

Scott

Pictures:
What's in the box - Track, Rail joiners, extra tie sections:


Accucraft flex on the left, Aristo straight section on the right:


Closeup of the ties and spike detail:


An EXTREME closeup of the difference in rail widths.  Aristo on the top, Accucraft on the bottom.  Although very slight, it is enough that an Aristo rail joiner will not slide on.  (At the base is an AML rail joiner)

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Excellent review Scott. Looks like some good quality track and makes me feel better about purchasing it seeing it compared to Aristo Craft track (which I have) and it looks like it won't be that big of a difference.

May I ask where you purchased your track?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Sure, I purchased from RLD Hobbies (http://www.rldhobbies.com/).  They had a booth at Trainfest in Milwaukee back in November, and had some great prices on nearly everything.  After a purchase they handed me a flyer about the pre-release pricing of this track and it was too good to pass up.

Unfortunately, now that it is "in stock", the price has gone up considerably, at least on their website.  But compared to what other brass rail is going for, I think it is still reasonably priced.  The only other website I've seen it on is St Aubin's.


Scott
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,311 Posts
When they call this stuff "flex" track, just how flexy is it? Is it whippy like HO & N flex or is it liks Aristo & USA where you can shape it with a track bender like the Train-Li ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Dave,

It is surprisingly flexible. With just two hands (and the help of a tummy, knee, or foot in the middle), I am able to easily bend the track tighter than an 8' diameter curve (the smallest I have to measure against) - perhaps as tight as 6' diameter. It will naturally want to spring back to straight, but if it is secured to some sort of foundation, no rail bender is necessary. It is not as easy as Atlas HO track, but remarkably close.

I bought a Lindsay rail bender, but with this track, I won't even need it since my track is secured to plywood indoors. For floating in ballast outdoors, I would guess a rail bender might still be needed to hold the track in a permanent curve.

Hope that helps!
Scott
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24 Posts
Thanks for the info on the Accucraft track.  I just ordered 2 cases from RLD Hobbies.  Not quite as cheap as your purchase but still less than $3.50/ft w/o shipping.  That's a steal compared to Aristo or USAT.  I spoke with RLD this morning and they said it was in stock and would ship today.

Dan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,311 Posts
Dan. when it arrives, give us some feedback on your impressions. I've got a bonus check coming at the end of Feb, I might just be placing an order for two cases..
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24 Posts
Dave,

Will do.  I got a shipping confirmation and tracking number just before lunch this morning.  It should be in my hands tuesday or wednesday :D.  I have some Aristo code 332 that I can compare it to.  I'll post an update when it arrives.

Dan
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
24 Posts
UPS delivered my order of Accucraft Code 332 track today.  Based upon my uneducated inspection, the track looks quite similar to Aristo code 332.  There is a slight variation in the width of the rail, but it is very small.  The track seems easy to flex, but as Scott mentioned in an earlier post it will probably take a rail bender or some method to restrict the track from straightening back out.  I agree with Scott's earlier observations concerning the rail joiners, although, due to the cost of good rail joiners, I plan to solder all my joints instead of using rail joiners.

Here are a few photos I took. BTW I do not claim to be a photographer.:D 

I hope this link works!!





The center rail is Aristo.



Just my thoughts and observations. 

Dan

Well, that did not work, what am i doing wrong????????  OK, Now I see the errors of my ways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
So five years on, what are people's impression of AML/Accucraft track?

The reason I ask is that I purchased 3x lengths of 3' flex-track back in June 2010 which have sat outside without shade here in Brisbane, Australia for the past three years. I went to move them the other day in a minor track reconfiguration and I found that the ties had become chalky and brittle.

Anyone else have this issue?
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top