ONLINE
STORE
"ASK THE BACH MAN"
FORUM
PARTS, SERVICE,
& INFORMATION
CATALOGS AND
BROCHURES

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
July 21, 2019, 03:19:04 PM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Please read the Forum Code of Conduct   >>Click Here <<
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  General Discussion
| | |-+  Steel Track or Nickel Sliver ?
« previous next »
Pages: [1] 2 Print
Author Topic: Steel Track or Nickel Sliver ?  (Read 6807 times)
sloan

View Profile
« on: May 16, 2008, 07:50:51 PM »

 Gonna rebuild my layout .I've read the pros and cons .But I like experience better ........  Smiley  Steel Track or Nickel -Sliver  Huh???   That IS the question People Smiley  Sloan
Logged
Hunt
?
MBB


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2008, 09:18:13 PM »

Use nickel silver track for small scales.


Large scales --- pick control system first then type of material for track.
Logged
r.cprmier

View Profile
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2008, 10:14:30 PM »

Hunt;
With the advances in RC equipment in large-scale, I would be more apt to use either aluminum or stainless steel for outside track, as current pickup via rail isn't an issue.  Steel would rust and present problems I wouldn't want.  I'll be starting my backyard layout in a year or so.  What are your thoughts?

Rich
Logged

Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
grumpy

View Profile
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2008, 11:36:53 PM »

I have a HO layout in my basement using Bachman EZ track in both steel and nickel silver .My experience has been that neither of them require more cleaning than the other..I also have a small G scale in my backyard usinng a mixture a mixture of track.If Aluminum was available I would use it because of its anticorrosion properties and cost . I f I could afford it my whole layout would be stainless steel. As it is brass is the best compromise
considering price and availabilityand its anti corrosion properties..Open up your wallet ,see you banker ;use stainless steel.
Don Smiley
Logged
Hunt
?
MBB


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2008, 01:50:53 AM »

Hunt;
With the advances in RC equipment in large-scale, I would be more apt to use either aluminum or stainless steel for outside track, as current pickup via rail isn't an issue.  Steel would rust and present problems I wouldn't want.  I'll be starting my backyard layout in a year or so.  What are your thoughts?

Rich
Rich,
Large-scale track to be used outside. Not taking cost into consideration.

Controlling your locomotives by track delivered power, DC or DCC, the better selection is grade #304 stainless steel rail over the brass. When brass oxidizes, corrosion occurs and electrical conductivity is lost. As stainless steel oxidizes, electrical conductivity is not lost. Also, oxidization of stainless steel creates a surface film resistant to corrosion.

If using battery on board power with one of the radio control systems available… if traffic, human, animal or non train equipment, on the track is not a problem, then consider aluminum over brass. Many outside layouts are built with brass rail not aluminum do to selection and on rail traffic, human, animal or equipment other than trains.

Cost – check market for latest prices of track 



If track for large-scale cost continues to rise at the same rate from last year’s level then by time you are ready to build your layout there could be track with plastic rail available at a cost per foot of discounted brass track before the price increases. I examined some new gauge 1 track for outside use the other day made with plastic rails. It is not available to the public yet so can’t say any more about it.

Logged
r.cprmier

View Profile
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2008, 07:27:15 AM »

Hunt;
Thanks for the feedback.  Yep, there is definitely a rise in the price of metals.  In my field, copper is considered "coiled gold", and is heading pricewise for the semiprecious metal status.
I do not know when this will end or what is spurring it, as ther is no lack of copper, zinc, tin, et al in the earth.  Plastic rail may just be the way to go, as there are some pretty resilient compounds of late.  There is one compound that is very hard and machinable I would like to see employed in this setting.
RIch
Logged

Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2008, 02:08:37 PM »

Indoors in H0-scale I use nickel-silver, brass and steel interchangeably and all with good success.  I rarely have to clean any of them (once every few years) but I do oil them after cleaning and about once a year thereafter.

Outdoors I use aluminum rail almost exclusively on my track powered, DCC controlled G-scale layout.  I normally add oil (one drop per rail per 100 feet of track) every time I run but I still find it needs a good cleaning every spring after the snow melts off.  My experience with code 250 aluminum is rather more positive than Hunt's.  The only time I bent a rail was accidentally running over it with a steel wheeled wheelbarrow full of garden soil.  Running the garden tractor and a rubber tired wheelbarrow over it have never caused problems.  I like aluminum rail - it is cheap, easy to work with, and very conductive (I bond all the joints and do not have to use bus wires beside the tracks.)

Over the last 40 years I have used Singer Sewing Machine Oil, Wahl Hair Clipper Oil, and the various "conductive" hobby oils to oil my rails.  Many of the hobby oils have the advantage of being compatible with plastics and do not affect ABS plastic wheels.  All of these oils work well with metal and acetal (Nylon, Delrin etc.) plastic wheels.

I feel sorry for electricians like Rich.  Unlike plumbers, they cannot replace copper with plastic.  And after the aluminum wire fiasco, they cannot use the third best conductor.  Maybe with digital photography depressing the price of silver and wars increasing the price of copper, we will yet see the day when house wiring is made of silver.

 
Logged

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
Mike

View Profile
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2008, 02:56:44 PM »

Jim- You say you "bond" all of the joints with your aluminum large scale track. Please elaborate. Thanks for your always well-considered input. -Mike
Logged
r.cprmier

View Profile
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2008, 03:09:22 PM »

Bonding can be by any means that makes a permanent totally conductive path from one conductor to another; and example would be the jumper on a water meter to facilitate bonding the plumbing and using the water piping system in the ground as a grounding electrode.  In my trade, it is accomplished by a ground wire and a slew of paragraphs in art 250 NEC.  I might think that it would be possible with code 250 rail to run a wire between two rails, and secure it with a machine screw [and] nut.

The Old Reprobate
Logged

Rich

NEW YORK NEW HAVEN & HARTFORD RR. CO.
-GONE, BUT NOT FORGOTTEN!
Santa Fe buff

N&W


View Profile WWW
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2008, 03:25:05 PM »

Nickel Silver.
Just two words.
Logged

- Joshua Bauer
Hunt
?
MBB


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2008, 06:14:55 PM »

...
Outdoors I use aluminum rail almost exclusively on my track powered, DCC controlled G-scale layout.  I normally add oil (one drop per rail per 100 feet of track) every time I run but I still find it needs a good cleaning every spring after the snow melts off.  My experience with code 250 aluminum is rather more positive than Hunt's.  The only time I bent a rail was accidentally running over it with a steel wheeled wheelbarrow full of garden soil.  Running the garden tractor and a rubber tired wheelbarrow over it have never caused problems.  I like aluminum rail - it is cheap, easy to work with, and very conductive (I bond all the joints and do not have to use bus wires beside the tracks.)
...
Jim,
Based on your experience with the Gauge One (a.k.a. Gauge 1 and #1 Gauge) code 250 track with aluminum rails would lead me to suppose you are using rails made from one of the super strong aluminum alloys.

Your track made by Llagas Creek Railways? Last information I have on them, they use a super strong aluminum alloy for their track.
Logged
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


View Profile WWW
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2008, 11:13:19 PM »

Mike, Rich is right on.  I use #14 gauge bare copper wire held to the rail with #2-56 pan head stainless steel machine screws tapped into the rail.  By drilling and tapping the hole at a 45 degree angle, starting where the vertical web of the rail joins the foot, I get the longest possible threaded length.  Then I can tighten the SS machine screws tight enough to make the joint gas tight.  This just means that it is so tight that air cannot get between the copper and the aluminum to cause oxidation and interfere with the electrical conductivity.  Even after years out in the weather the contact areas are still bright and shiny.

Hunt, most of my outdoor aluminum rail is by Micro Engineering and yes, it is harder than "utility" grade aluminum.  But I also have some softer aluminum rail that is easier to bend but has a "gummy" feeling when you drill and tap it.  It seems to stand up just as well in use.

Part of the reason I get away with driving the garden tractor over aluminum tracks may have to do with the way I lay track.  I spike it onto cedar ties 3/8"wide spaced 3/4" apart.  In most places, these are glued to 1/4" plywood with TiteBond II glue.  The 1/4" plywood is then screwed to full size railway ties, often with a layer of 3/4" plywood in between to even up the rough, old ties I use.  I used to put the scale ties directly onto 3/4" plywood and just lay that on the ground, and even though the trackwork was rougher, it still stood up to rubber wheels.     
« Last Edit: May 17, 2008, 11:16:17 PM by Jim Banner » Logged

Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
Hunt
?
MBB


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2008, 12:26:40 AM »

Hunt, most of my outdoor aluminum rail is by Micro Engineering and yes, it is harder than "utility" grade aluminum.  But I also have some softer aluminum rail that is easier to bend but has a "gummy" feeling when you drill and tap it.  It seems to stand up just as well in use.

Part of the reason I get away with driving the garden tractor over aluminum tracks may have to do with the way I lay track.  I spike it onto cedar ties 3/8"wide spaced 3/4" apart.  In most places, these are glued to 1/4" plywood with TiteBond II glue.  The 1/4" plywood is then screwed to full size railway ties, often with a layer of 3/4" plywood in between to even up the rough, old ties I use.  I used to put the scale ties directly onto 3/4" plywood and just lay that on the ground, and even though the trackwork was rougher, it still stood up to rubber wheels.     
Jim thanks for the additional info. Nevertheless, several garden layouts, for whatever the cause, aluminum track used on those did not fair as well to traffic as you describe your experience.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2008, 01:19:53 AM by Hunt » Logged
grumpy

View Profile
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2008, 12:33:10 AM »

Jim
Can you give me your source of aluminum track I have not been able to source the track locally and the only mfg I have seen is Llagos creek Railways.I have sent them e-mails asking for an outlet with no replies.
Don Sad
Logged
Guilford Guy


View Profile
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2008, 12:41:03 AM »

A couple years ago aristo had a huge sale on aluminum track. I got 4 boxes of 12" straights for 50$, and wish I could have bought more.
Logged

Alex

Pages: [1] 2 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!