USAT (USA Trains) Track

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Overview / History

For years, Aristo-Craft and USA Trains were in pretty good competition. Whose track to choose was pretty hotly debated. To make it more interesting, USAT track has a very similar joiner system, using the same 2mm socket head cap screws to secure the track.

There are differences, defnitely in the quality of the brass and the switch components.

For years enthuiasts have agonized over how the quality levels of Aristo and USAT could be so different. Of course Lewis Polk always denied any problems at first, so I could never ask him that question, but when I asked the same question of Charlie Ro (Jr), he just gave me a big cheshire cat grin. From other events, we can see that he demanded and followed up and checked quality at a level greater than Aristo ever did, even though products were produced in the same factories.

This difference is reflected in their track and switches.

 

Sectional track

Only available in brass, and a smaller selction of straights and curves as Aristo.

The rails fit closely into the "spikes", ensuring consistent and unchanging gauge,  even though the rails are also secured to the ties underneath.

P1010413

 

P1010415

 

The rail joiners appear very similar if not exactly the same as Aristo, with the 2mm socket head cap screws, securing the joiner on one side ,the joiner bent from brass sheet:

P1010412

P1010411

 

But, there is a differenec: there is a finger at the end of the joiner that is 90 degrees to the rail length, and secures the joiner in the tie, just like LGB.

A real pain in the ass to remove, normally I flatten the jointer and then work it out of the tie.

 

P1010414