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MTL or Marklin track?

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11 years 1 month ago #10855 by C502ndPIR
MTL or Marklin track? was created by C502ndPIR
I'm kind of new so just wondering which is better. I'm currently using MTL track but it needs to be cleaned alot and even then there is terrible connection. Is marklin any better? I know it's alot more expensive but most things marklin makes are expensive but terrible.

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11 years 1 month ago #10856 by Mr.JA
Replied by Mr.JA on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
Rokuhan is better! :woohoo: Easy to put together and a large selection of pieces available... plus, the maker is actively supporting their product with upcoming future releases. The turn-out's mechanism is hidden inside the turn-out... not on the sides, like Marklin or Micro-Track.

All you need to know can be found here... Rokuhan

or, from David K. Smith... DKS Rokuhan FAQ

or, from Garth Hamilton... Garth Hamilton's Rokuhan page

I can get you all the Rokuhan pieces you need... now! I can ship any place in the world. I do this as a service for Z Central Station members, and make no profit from selling the Rokuhan items. :blush: I've even been know to take select trades in exchange for new Rokuhan track. Many members of ZCS can vouche for me and helping them. Please contact me if I can help you. ;)

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11 years 1 month ago #10859 by ztrack
Replied by ztrack on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
If we are just talking about keeping track clean, all track systems are equal. You will need to clean the track at frequent intervals. Z scale is sensitive to dirty tracks. I highly recommend using a Gaugemaster track cleaner. These high frequency devices help to eliminate the performance issues caused by dirty track. You will still need to clean the track, but you will find using such a device reduces the number of times you must clean the track. Also, these devices help keep loco wheels clean. (Note these are not needed if you are using DCC). Also watch what you are using to clean your track. Some track erasures actual leave debris on the track (the cheaper ones tend to). I sue a ver soft cloth and isopropyl alcohol to clean my track.

As for track joiners, I have tested all of the systems. I can't quite say one works better than the other. I do find Rokuhan's to be a bit more robust and go together easier. It uses almost the exact same locking method as MTL so no real difference there. Marklin's can be more tricky if you are just getting started. There is a tendency for the rail to slide up on the joiner if you aren't careful.

As for picking a track system, it is really want your requirements are. The three major players all have benefits and negatives. Do you want ballasted track or not? Are you concerned about the look of the track? Do want many track options or just a few? These is what you will need to weigh when looking at today's three sectional track systems.

Rob

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11 years 1 month ago #10862 by markm
Replied by markm on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
Hi,
You failed to mention what your modeling interests are, which to me also influences the track selection. I'm currently building using the MTL flex and sectional track. The flex allows me to model an old SP secondary line with all the kinks and imperfections and the sectional track does a good job matching the track and ballast of the nearby straight arrow WP/UP line.
If you're modeling long open spaces and wide curves you probably want to use more flex track than sectional.
If you want to model yard operations, I'd go with the Marklin sectional right now: they currently have the largest selection of yard sections, although by the end of the year Rokuhan may exceed their selection.
I've not played with the Rokuhan track, but I like what I see. I've got some on order.

Mark

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11 years 1 month ago #10863 by garthah
Replied by garthah on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
Another way to reduce track maintenance ie. cleaning is to get an Aztec track cleaning car and replace the plastic wheels with Metal ones such as those from Uncle Will and FVM. Plastic wheels have a natural lubricant in the plastic and it is the nature of the plastic. This attracts dust and you end up with a layer of grey gunge on the tread of your car wheels and this gets spread around the track the more you run without cleaning track and wheels the dirtier the track gets and the more intermittent your engines run until you clean the track. The metal wheels do not build up this film if you clean your track before you start using the metal wheels and do not mix the plastic wheels with the metal wheels on the track then the Aztec rail cleaning car keeps it all running smooth. The Gauge master unit certainly helps if your are not cleaning your car wheels regularly and are running a lot of plastic wheels. but it does not solve all your track cleaning problems, only regular cleaning of track and wheels does that.

cheerz Garth

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11 years 1 month ago #10864 by ztrack
Replied by ztrack on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
Mark and Garth have good points. To Mark's point, MTL sectional and flex track have the more prototypical tie spacing for North America. Marklin and Rokuhan have a broader tie spacing that is more typical to European and Japan. Rokuhan actually has the farthest tie spacing. This look may be an issue for some.

The Aztec track cleaning car is great. I have two in my inventory and use them quite a lot. It is a recommended buy.

Rob

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11 years 1 month ago #10865 by C502ndPIR
Replied by C502ndPIR on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
Thanks for the help guys, I decided id go with Marklin track since I already have like half I need already, and I like the way it looks without roadbed. Also Ill look into cleaning it alot more... I haven't touched the layout since school started in september and I've been really busy between tons of school work and I got into WWII reenacting lol :unsure: Now that I have more time for the trains I got the layout fixed up alot but definitly a bad idea not cleaning the track. Im thinking about getting the gaugemaster track cleaner, but just for normal cleaning with like a cloth or something what do you guys think would be a good idea?

By the way it is 1940s era, half is a small town and the other half is forest with logging camps and a hidden military base(of course).

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11 years 1 month ago #10866 by ztrack
Replied by ztrack on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
I was wondering if you were going 1940s based on your interest in WWII. I actually started into Z based on my interest in WWII. I was going quite a bit of military modeling and started moving into war gaming (1:285). I thought it would be interesting to build a war gaming table with a running German train. Z seemed close enough. That summer, I went to Germany and picked up a Marklin steam starter set and a few extra cars. Needless to say, my interest quickly turned to the trains.

I still have quite a lot of interest in WWII and history. I also continue to collect trains from that era. If you want to see some amazing WWII offerings, check out the armored train and rail gun from Z-Panzer:

www.z-panzer.com/

Rob

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11 years 1 month ago #10871 by C502ndPIR
Replied by C502ndPIR on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
Wow the K5 Railgun is very cool, I never knew that site existed. I also have tons of war game stuff from 1:285 scale and I still have some of the jeeps and trucks in the streets of the layout.

As for the track do I need a marklin controller for it's track? I have the micro trains modified one, and I tested it with some of the marklin track but didn't work. But I guess that could just mean the curcuit track was broke. I found it burried in my closet.. and are there any tips for manually cleaning the track?

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11 years 1 month ago #10873 by garthah
Replied by garthah on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
For track cleaning I use a eraser type product called a right boy.It is like an art easer but has some grit of some king in the mix. If I need any fluid I use denatured alcohol or I think some call it isopropyl alcohol any way type you can not drink and comes cheap in the drug store. I use a rough cloth such a blue jean denim wrapped on a paint stir stick which I have cut down to 2.5 x track width or between 9 and 10mm wide.
I am sure there are other combinations that work but this is what I use.
cheerz Garth

cheerz Garth

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11 years 1 month ago #10874 by ztrack
Replied by ztrack on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
I have the K5. It is amazing! The gun raises and lowers. They shell loader moves. It is one amazing design.

You can mix and match track and transformers. If you already have a MTL transformer (MRC) you can use it with Marklin track. I would check your circuit track and your connections. You can test the transformer by running the leads straight to your loco wheels.

Manually cleaning track is easy. Again, go with a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol. This is by far the easier route. You will see two black lines on your cloth. This is the buildup being removed. Run the cloth with alcohol around your track a few time then run your trains. But if the wheels of the locos are dirty, you will need to clean them as well to ensure good running. I highly recommend an electronic wheel cleaner for the job.

Rob

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11 years 1 month ago #10883 by Mr.JA
Replied by Mr.JA on topic Re: MTL or Marklin track?
Mr. David K. Smith has a new blog entry...

Tie spacing

This has been my thinking for some time. If you use the same track through most of your layout, with weathering and ballast... it should look fine. I find Mr. Smith's observations about scale rail heights and sizes to be most interesting.

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