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Author Topic: best type of track  (Read 3180 times)
chooch1956

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« on: March 13, 2009, 12:16:19 PM »

what is the best type of HO track nickel or steel. I am setting up my set on 3 4x8 sheets as its been 11 years since I had a basement (recently moved from FL to GA mountains) and excited to start but need all new track.

thanks

chooch
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jayl1
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« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2009, 12:21:23 PM »

Nickel silver without a doubt - better electrical conductivity, easier to clean & won't rust.  Personally I prefer Atlas NS track over other brands.
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rogertra


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« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2009, 02:12:23 PM »

Nickel Silver rail, without a doubt.

As for the track?  Handlaid for greatest flexability and Micro-Engineering for the most realistic commercial track.

Peco "Universal" track is unrealistic as it follows no known prototype but is rock solid for running.

Code 100 rail also looks unrealistic, waaaay to large.  Code 83 for the diesel era and code 70 for steam is much better.

Most code 70 or 83 flex track in preferable to any "set track".

Just my opinions, which you are free to ignore.  :-)
« Last Edit: March 13, 2009, 04:10:22 PM by rogertra » Logged

boomertom
Clinchfield/C&O modeler


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« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2009, 04:02:40 PM »

Code 100 rail also looks unrealistic, waaaay to large.  Code 83 for the diesel era and code 70 for steam is much better. Still on the large size.

Diesel would look betterwith the Code 70 and code 55 for sidings.

Steam Code 55 main line and 40 for sidings.

What do I use, unfortunately Atlas code 100, required by my modular group standards. When ballasted and painted it looks reasonable.

Tom



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Tom Blair (TJBJRVT68)
Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2009, 04:33:35 PM »

I run nickel-silver, brass, electroplate steel, and plain steel on my H0 layout.  They all work equally well because I oil them (as posted elsewhere.)  If I did not use oil, then I would prefer nickel-silver because it gets dirty the slowest.

Biggest problem with nickel-silver is that it still requires cleaning occasionally.  Oiled track, even the bare steel, almost never does.
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
jward


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« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2009, 09:09:26 PM »

if you have the time and patience to do it. handlaid track is the best. but any track you lay is only as good as what you lay it on. the best track in the world will do you no good if you have a weak foundation.

nickle silver rail is better than brass or steel, it ocnducts electricity better, and is much easier to solder to.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
WGL
Great Northern


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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2009, 02:04:48 AM »

Do trains run as reliably (no increase in derailing) on rails smaller than 100?
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Yampa Bob

Y.V.R.R.


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« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2009, 05:22:17 AM »

I love my ugly code 100 track.  Pffffftttt. We need a "raspberry" smiley.  Angry   Cool
« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 05:27:34 AM by Yampa Bob » Logged

I know what I wrote, I don't need a quote
Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
pdlethbridge
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2009, 06:20:04 AM »

WGL, Yes, I have code 83 atlas and I'm very happy with the quality and runability of the track.
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jward


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« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2009, 08:07:13 AM »

HO tranis can run reliably on as small as code 55, about half the size of code 100. my dad has been running on code 83 and 70 for over 30 years with no major problems.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
James in FL

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« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2009, 08:37:09 AM »

Because you may have read something on the internet somewhere, it doesn't necessarily make it the truth.
The internet is full of misinformation.

Quote
Nickel silver without a doubt - better electrical conductivity,...

Not true, or to be PC, misinformation.


Quote
nickle silver rail is better than brass or steel, it ocnducts electricity better,

Again not true. Actually itís just the opposite. Steel rails conduct electricity the best of the three, followed by Brass, and then Nickel Silver being rather poor in comparison.
The oxidation on Nickel Silver track is actually less resistive than that of both Steel and Brass. It is also slower to form.
These qualities make Nickel Silver a good choice for rail however, giving up electrical conductivity in exchange.

Do not take my word as gospel, research for yourself.

If youíre using dissimilar rail type, I would caution soldering them together at the rail joints, but that is for another thread.
Again, do your own research.


So, in getting back to OPís question:

Quote
what is the best type of HO track nickel or steel.


They both have pros and cons.

I personally prefer the Nickel Silver.

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SteamGene

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« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2009, 09:40:01 AM »

If youíre using dissimilar rail type, I would caution soldering them together at the rail joints, but that is for another thread.

Does this mean different code rails - 70 to 83  or does it mean nickle silver to brass for examples? In addition, do you advocate soldering them together or NOT soldering them together?
Gene
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Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
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Joe Satnik


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« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2009, 10:04:38 AM »

Dear Chooch,

If you are asking us to compare N/S vs. steel - Bachmann  EZ-Track only,

there is a much bigger variety of pieces in the N/S line. 

This is important if you want to expand your empire beyond a small oval and a pair of turnouts.

Old steel track can be used in hidden locations (tunnels, staging) or covered in ballast to hide the difference in roadbed color.

Hope this helps. 

Sincerely,

Joe Satnik   

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If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.
jward


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« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2009, 12:06:20 PM »

If youíre using dissimilar rail type, I would caution soldering them together at the rail joints, but that is for another thread.

Does this mean different code rails - 70 to 83  or does it mean nickle silver to brass for examples? In addition, do you advocate soldering them together or NOT soldering them together?
Gene

no, there is no problem soldering different sizes of rail together that are made of the same metal. just make sure that the tops and inner edges of the rails are aligned.

as for different types of metal, i haven't had any problems with soldering them together brass (which i have used for sidings) and nickle silver. the brass requires cleaning and flux for the solder to work. steel is VERY difficult to solder to, and using flux tends to rust the rail. btw, i only use rosin type flux. the acid flux used to solder pipes is no good for model railroad use.

i have heard that different metals joined together can cause corrosion due to a small electric current between the metals, but this is getting into chemistry and physics here. aluminum was notorious for corrosion when joined to another metal, and aluminum wiring which was used in houses and some diesel locomotives was a known source of fires.
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Jeffery S Ward Sr
Pittsburgh, PA
James in FL

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« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2009, 03:27:40 PM »

Quote
If youíre using dissimilar rail type, I would caution soldering them together at the rail joints, but that is for another thread.

Does this mean different code rails - 70 to 83  or does it mean nickel silver to brass for examples? In addition, do you advocate soldering them together or NOT soldering them together?
Gene

Quote
no, there is no problem soldering different sizes of rail together that are made of the same metal. just make sure that the tops and inner edges of the rails are aligned.


I agree with this.

You raised one of my eyebrows Gene.
You allege being a former educator.

Might I suggest researching "Electrochemical reaction between contacts of dissimilar metals"?

Research the works and theoryís of Abraham Bennett, also Volta, and Cavallo.

As I have stated many times on forums, modeling toy trains is not rocket science as many make it up to be.

I donít wish to be one of them, but you askedÖ

Itís pretty simpleÖ place the loco on the tracks; apply voltage, increase current, and the loco moves.
If this does not happen, well, thatís fodder for forums like this one.
They ask for advice.

This is all well beyond the scope of the neophyte just getting started in the hobby.

FWIW I am not in the soldering camp for every section of track. Iím not sure why you would ask what I advocate.
Regardless, I solder a feeder to each section of flex track.

Iím an N scaler and each section of Atlas code 80 is just over 29 inches. In case you havenít noticed, I live in Florida, where changes in humidity, and temperature, must be considered. Not so much for the thermal expansion of the track, but rather the expansion and contraction of the benchwork, due to relative humidity.

Three lengths of flex is my limit.

Do me a favor Gene, do your research at the library rather than on the internet.


« Last Edit: March 14, 2009, 04:51:05 PM by James in FL » Logged
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