Where to buy HO scale Train tracks?

I am starting a huge HO scale train project. I am wondering what brands to go with and where to purchase at discount those brands.

I haven’t done Electrics in over 20 years but my Son is now graduating from BRIO to HO scale.

A friend is go to work on it with me and he has a lot of old stuff and lots of rolling stock, but a little light on track.

Extra Questions:
What is HO-83 vs HO-100 and EZ Track?
Can they be used in the same track system or are they incompatable for some reason?

83 and 100 refers to the height of the rail (.083" or .100"). Code 100 is the standard for train set quality track, but 83 is more prototypical. Your friend’s track is almost certainly code 100.

Any hobby shop will stock Atlas track in 100. It’s good enough quality for what it sounds like you need. And 100 would be better because its a little more forgiving with taller wheel flanges.

I am going to try and bump this once. I am trying to supplement the week of research I had put into Wooden tracks. Looking for lots of info on HO guage, compatability between types and where to buy track at a discount.

Atlas model railroad is at www.atlasrr.com and can give you the skinny. EZ Track refers to a play type track, with a mock plastic rairoad bed under the track.

Different codes approach different levels of realism. They try painfully to be scale reproductions. Some are pretty close, but more friendly to the builder/operator.

Tower Hobbies has a train site at www.trainmodels.com and they are one of the most respected hobby suppliers around. – Always having sales, discounts for first time customers, coupons, etc.

It all depends on you and your goal. You need to have a goal, such as “I want to build a mock set up of the PRR that ran in Chester County, PA from 1915-1930, and I have $4,500 to spend”.

Or it might be, “I want my 10 year old son to have some nice electric trains running by the Christmas season”.

Thank you, I found Atlasrr last night and need to spend more time there.
I’ll check into www.trainmodels.com.

My Friend and I both like trains oursleves and are using the kids as an excuse to build an elaborate train setup. I have built a 5’x9’ table and plan to put a small lower level on it and a seperate ceiling large run.
This is why I am looking for a lot of track. My friend has plenty of rolling stock, powered switches and a few transformers.
I am still waiting to see if my old stuff survived my nephew who is now in college. I started looking and the HO-83 vs -100 was new to me, I haven’t bought track since 1981.

Use nickel-silver track. The cheaper brass track gets a layer of corrosion on the rolling surface, impeding the electric current.

When I need model RR stuff (which is not often, being a car modeller mostly), I buy from Walthers (www.walthers.com) and have no complaints.

For ease of setup, I recommend the Bachman’s E-Z track (other manufacturers have similar products). The track comes built into a plastic roadbed, and comes in various lengths of straight track and various radius curves. You can also get turnouts, and they are all easy to snap together. The major drawbacks are that it isn’t flexible, so you have to plan your layout to be made with the sizes provided, and the plastic roadbed isn’t very realistic-looking. Painting the ballast with a flat paint, or better yet gluing real model ballast to it, will help. Painting the sides of the rails (not the tops!) a rusty color makes a big difference too.

5x9 is a pretty good size to make an oval with 22" radius curves. I would stay away from 18" curves if you can - big locomotives and long rolling stock can have problems with them; plus the wider turns look more realistic. You can use sharper curves on your sidings, if you need to.

www.trains.com is another good resource, with plenty of layout tips for beginners including tracklaying and scenery hints. I buy my track through our local club and get a 25% discount, but for stuff I can’t get locally, I either go to Walthers.com or look for it on Ebay.

And definitely get the nickel-silver track, avoid brass (the EZ track doesn’t come in brass anyway, as far as I know).

I meant to add that comes not only in code 100 and 83, but also 75 and even, I think, 55. 100 is probably the easiest to work with, and although its a little too big in terms of scale, probably no one would even notice unless they also do railroad modelling. 100 is also more forgiving in terms of guage, so you are less likely to have derailment problems even if your wheel flanges are less than perfect.

Thank you everyone. I’ll be researching the rest of the week, but this info really helps alot.
I’m not worried about realism too much. To make it fun for my kids, we have been making houses out of Styrafoam and poster paints for the layout.

I think I am going with nickel-silver track HO-100.

Sounds like a good bet for me. Thank you everyone.