Pros: easy to use, cheap, opens doors
Cons: corrodes more easily than nickel silver
The first HO scale electric train set I bought came with a circle of Bachmann Ho Steel Ez 18" Radius Curved pieces. My daughter and I enjoyed the set and started plans for expansion. It wasn't long before I bought a second set as well as a card of extra curved pieces, but this time we bought Bachmann Ho Ez Track 22 Inch Radius Curved (set of 4). If you are only going to run a single set I don't think you need to worry about getting 22 inch radius track, but if you plan on a more elaborate layout you may want to consider this larger radius track. It more easily allows allows for concentric circles or ovals.
Ez Track General Description
Ez Track is a line of HO scale train tracks made by Bachmann Trains. It comes in both steel allow, being reviewed today, and nickel silver. HO scale track has to have electric current running through it and tracks can sometimes be tedious and tricky to join. Bachmann attempts to solve this problem by fixing their sections of track to a track bed. The pieces of track bed snap together, making it much easier to join the pieces of track together.
What I am reviewing today is a card containing four pieces of 22 inch radius curved Ez Track. This track is made of steel alloy and the track is fixed to black plastic roadbed. A completed circle will measure approximately 44 inches in diameter.
Bachmann Ho Ez Track 22 Inch Radius Curved gave me some more options. The table I built was 48 inches wide, so a 44 wide oval almost filled it up. I added a single piece of 3 inch track to make the most of the available space. I then placed another oval inside of the 18 inch radius track and used straight pieces to fill it out as much as I was able. The future plan is to add a third oval inside of that one, just raised a level. Bachmann Ho Ez Track 22 Inch Radius Curved is also easy to use. Joining small pieces of rail can be tedious and there is kind of an art to it. This track bed snaps together easily, making it easier to connect the track. It is just that much more likely that the rail joiner will slip automatically into its seat. It isn't a no-brainer, but less tedious than without the track bed. The track bed itself is another plus. Some of the more serious model railroaders, those going for a real scene, will buy extra track bed. It gives the track a good surface to lay on and helps absorb engine noise. The track bed included in the Ez Track is plastic and frankly it isn't that nice but it is included, so you won't have to buy it later. Lastly, Bachmann Ho Steel Ez 22 inch Radius Curved is relatively inexpensive. I suspect also that the 22 inch radius track is better for the bigger engines to run on. The set I bought with a big engine came with this size track.
Bachmann Ho Steel Ez 22 inch Radius Curved is the cheapo version of the Bachmann nickel silver track. The steel allow is prone to corrosion and I have experienced that first hand. The corrosion degrades the flow of the electricity and will cause your train to stop, or not run smoothly. With the rails being so small, it isn't exactly easy to clean off that corrosion either. Also the included track bed is not very good, not compared to what you would buy separately. Finally, the track bed snapping together together makes it easier to connect the track, but you can still get it wrong. An improperly connected track degrades the flow of electrical current through the track and increases the chance of your engine or cars derailing.
I really recommend Bachmann Ho Ez Track 22 Inch Radius Curved for a serious layout. I like that the big engines can run on the more gradual curve and I like how easy it made it to set up concentric ovals. You can certainly do a lot without 22 inch radius track, but it just opens some doors. I got started on the steel track because the sets I bought came with steel track, but if I had nothing and was choosing track I would choose the nickel silver. The corrosion on the steel rails is a pain.