Opinions on Bachmann EZ track for a beginner

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Hello all,

I just wanted to get your opinions on Bachmann EZ track. I have never even attempted a layout before, and am just getting started. I want a realistic look with ballasted track on my layout, once I get it started, but also think that flex track (which seems to be the standard these days) is a bit too much to jump into. The one thing that I dont like about EZ track is that it doesnt look realistic at all going across bridges. What is your all's opinions?
Depends on how far you want to go. What will your benchwork be like and how large? You could get standard track for curves and flex track for straights and would have little trouble. Some people here use EZ track and like it. You might be able to glue a thin coat of ballast on it. Cant hurt to try.
I'd say start with decent track like atlas and work through the learning curve and get it over.
I'm a user of EZ-Track and my entire layout is done with it, turnouts included. On my previous layout I had several bridges, 2 short and 1 long. The 2 short bridges were both plate girder so I laid the EZ-Track right across and once it was ballasted it looked good. On the long bridge I put a piece of flex track across. I know the EZ-Track has built-on roadbed but adding some more ballast makes it look a lot better. The way I do it is to pour the ballast down the centerline of the track then using one of my fingers I push it off to either side so it piles up beside the track completely covering the built-on roadbed. I then use a glue bottle to drip alcohol onto the ballast then use another glue bottle to add a 50/50 mix of white glue and water. After this dries (about 12 hours here) it's hard and will stay in place. If I ever have to pull the track up I just soak the ballast with water and wait about 10 minutes. After that it'll come right up. BTW, use the nickel silver EZ-Track. The steel stuff (black roadbed) is a headache. Also make sure to look down each piece to make sure it isn't bowed. If it's bowed you'll have a little peak where the sections come together and that will cause some unexplained uncouplings. Steamers don't like those little peaks either. On the curves make sure that the rail ends meet sqaurely and aren't slightly off-center.
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Active Member
It is a good product for a beginner...fast and accurate, and easy to use. But you pay for that convenience. Most of us gravitate to flextrack before long because of its infinitely variable geometry within a given range for the scale.

I found the turnouts to be rather quirky for their cost. The often take some tuning to get them to work consistently. If you get a good one, it should serve you well.

EZ-Track can be covered with a fine layer of ballast material to make it look even better.

EZ Track is a good type of track for "beginners" and I personally think it is good. Many people in my model railroad club do recommend EZ track. For people who have been into model railroad for many years it is probably not going to be used by model railroaders who have been into the hobby for many years. So if you are a beginner I'd recommend EZ.


Fleeing from Al
E-Z track itself is fine and it's an easy way for a beginner to get started if they want build a simple oval. If you wand sidings and yards, the E-Z track switches areboth expensive and don't work well. Even with a lot of tuning, they still don't hold the points solidly against the stock rail. You can use E-Z track with conventional switches by building up the roadbed to the E-Z track height and cutting off the big plastic connector. Normal rail joiners will work fine between the two. Just make sure you get the same code size for everything. If the E-Z track is code 100, the switches should be also.
I've been using E-Z track for a few years for temporary layouts and it's easy to put together and it stays together. But, I have the same problems with E-Z track as others have already mentioned - the switches are not very good and require tweaking to make work properly and are expensive. I have one steam locomotive that routinely derails its tender on the E-Z track switches and I use #6 switches. Since my E-Z track layouts are just temporary, they do not get any ballast or other 'refinements' - just put together to run trains during the holidays.

I've read several good reports about Kato Unitrack and I bought enough Unitrack to give it a try this winter. I have purchased 2 each right and left #6 turnouts in HO and I like the way they look and work but I haven't actually ran a train on them yet. Maybe next month when I get the chance to create a layout in Unitrack. Unitrack prices are comparable to E-Z track but not as readily available at hobby shops.

Kato sells ballast that matches the roadbed on the Unitrack, so that may help. The problem with Unitrack in HO is the limited number of pieces available. Kato has many, many more pieces of track for "N" scale in Unitrack and the "N" scale people seem really happy with it.
I spent a small fortune on EZ track when I just started. MAN was that a mistake, sure you can ballast it and mix it with hornby code 100 or whatever but the points keep derailing the trains,save yourself the trouble (agrivation,disapointment,money down the drain) and get something else.
As I stated before, the EZ-Track can be hard to work with at times. If it bows in the middle that will give you peaks where the sections come together and can wreak havoc with couplers and especially with large steamers. As for the turnouts, most of mine worked well right out of the package. There were a few that I had to tweak a little to get them to work well. A lot of patience and a pair of needle nose pliers worked wonders. I hardly have a derailment, even at the turnouts. When I do it's usually due to wheel gauge or a coupler trip pin snagging on a rail. That has nothing to do with the quality or brand of the track. I've seen people make a total mess of Atlas track and top of the line turnouts simply because they wanted a diverging route coming off a sharp curve or an immediate downgrade or upgrade coming through the diverging route. I've seen a few people do this and they were lucky to have it work more than half the time.
I finally set up a basic oval of Kato Unitrack with a simple siding to see how it worked. I'm pretty happy. The Kato Unitrack went together easy and is easy to take apart. It's totally quiet in operation and no problems with power to the track. I'm running a Digitrax Zepher DCC controller to it and using just one 'feeder' track to provide power and DCC control the the train. I'm using 2 #6 turnouts to create the siding.

When using Bachmann E-Z Track, I learned to put a straight section prior to each turnout as my Genesis UP 844 picked the switches if it was still in a turn when it hit the switch. I also had a continous problem with my IHC Gold series Pacific tender derailing on more than one E-Z Track switch.

So, I put both to the test on my basic Unitrack layout. Both #6 turnouts are connected to 22" radius turns and UP 844 went right through them each and every time whether they were straight through or set to turn out and all all speeds from barely moving to full throttle. Ditto my IHC Pacific. The tender on the Pacific is stable at all speeds also.

I like the Unitrack.

Now I have a lot of E-Z Track to sell!!!
I am very new to this hobby. I bought some E-Z track as it is ideal for setting up a temporary layout on the floor until I can get around to developing a layout in the basement.


all my curves are bachmann ez track,every thing else is atlas.i like i don"t have to ballast it.
One thing that hasn't been mentioned, is the 18" radius curve built into a E-Z track turnout. I was intending to model The Santa Fe El Capitan till I figured that out. Maybe I'll use mine and make a On30 layout.
No, the 18" radius curve is not built into the EZ-Track #4 turnout. To join two turnout diverging tracks on a standard oval you need a short curved section that comes with the turnout. This makes it possible to join the two turnouts with the standard 18" raduis curve pieces.
I've got older track. When I bought mine, there was only one turnout. With a built-in curved diverging track. Makes it useless for passenger operation.
I was trying to shoehorn a passenger service HO layout into a 16x17 ft room. Circumstances have made me switch to N scale. No room. I am reduced to a 35x60 in table. But, I have come to the conclusion that all my E-Z track will make a perfect On30 empire. I've got kitbashing plans, for when I learn some more.
Now I have a lot of E-Z Track to sell!!!
Just what I like to hear when I'm looking for some E-Z track. :D I'm using the E-Z track system because I don't have a permanent layout. I'm making temporary layouts for my grandson so we can run trains from time to time. The E-Z track system is perfect for making layouts on the basement floor. I'm waiting on a shipment as I type. It is somewhere in Mississippi...or Alabama. I also bought some straight track last night. Now I need some turn-outs. Next I want to pick-up a DCC system that we can use. Anybody else have some E-Z track they want to get rid of for a good cause?
Now that I understand it's limitations, I'm pretty happy. Have always wanted a Shay,
but in HO or N, they are too small to see details, not to mention delicate. In On30, they are big enough to appreciate. Short, 1880's style passenger cars look cool. Ideas about kit-bashing a rail truck......I see track crossing the horizon. I guess I better go see
where it leads.

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