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What kind of track should I use?
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Author:  paulrace [ Fri May 16, 2014 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  What kind of track should I use?

Brass track. Aluminum track. Stainless Steel track. Even plastic track. All kinds have been used with success on garden railroads. But not all kinds suit all situations. If you're wondering what the differences are, check out this article:

http://www.garden-train-store.com/track/track.htm

If you have corrections, additions, personal experiences to add, please post them here. If you're signed up, you can reply to this message or start a new topic.

Author:  markoles [ Wed Sep 24, 2014 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What kind of track should I use?

I've been using stainless steel code 332 rail outdoors on the ground for over 10 years now. The biggest issue is getting power to the track. I have been using some old hillman rail clamps and the aristo rail clamps with mixed results. The aristo clamps are about 1/8" too thin and crack at the threads. Otherwise, these would be ideal.

I do find that lately, I've been running my track cleaning caboose a lot more. Due to electrical pick up issues, I used some windex on a paper towel to scrub extra dirty sections of track 'clean'.

Author:  paulrace [ Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What kind of track should I use?

Mark,

I use mostly Aristo Track (now NexGen or something I suppose) and I agree the rail joiners could be a tad more sturdy. I also run jumpers using 16-gauge lamp wire every so many feet, so it's a belt and suspenders approach. I use little "lugs" and fasten the jumpers to the bottom of the track using the little Aristo screws. The whole setup works pretty well as long as I watch out for and replace broken railjoiners.

On my RR, track cleaning is something I do when I'm "trimming the verge."

Paul

Author:  SteveF [ Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What kind of track should I use?

I have mostly Aristo track, evenly divided between brass, stainless and aluminum, purchased in that order. I started with brass, but had to clean it frequently, so added some stainless, which worked quite well. The little bit of corrosion that occurs on stainless is the most conductive of all the corrosion.

Then I made the switch to battery-R/C about the time that Aristo came our with their code 332 aluminum. Since track cleanliness was no longer an issue, the aluminum track worked well for me. This year, I noticed that one length of Aristo aluminum track had become twisted, becoming out of gauge, something that others in our club have noticed, as well. So far, only one length has been affected, though. Time will tell.

Some have a problem with Code 332 (332/1000 inch high) because it is way over scale, and recommend the use of Code 215 or Code 205, instead. I'm not that fussy about scale, and prefer the strength of Code 332. The other, smaller sizes seem kind of flimsy, to me, for my use. I've seen it well used on layouts that are built on a secure base, like benchwork, or even concrete roadbed. You mileage may vary. :D

Author:  paulrace [ Wed Aug 12, 2015 7:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: What kind of track should I use?

Steve, I agree that the smaller codes only work well when the roadbed is "bulletproof." I feel the same way about aluminum, even .332, but other folks have had better experience. One fellow locally used Llagas creek aluminum, which is a smaller profile, but he had to remove it because our Ohio summers are so humid, and aluminum makes such a great "heat sink," that water was constantly condensing on the track, making the locomotive drive wheels slip so he couldn't run the really long trains he liked even on "dry" days. My friends in California don't seem to have a problem with that, though. :-)

Author:  SteveF [ Wed Aug 12, 2015 12:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What kind of track should I use?

paulrace wrote:
Steve, I agree that the smaller codes only work well when the roadbed is "bulletproof." I feel the same way about aluminum, even .332, but other folks have had better experience. One fellow locally used Llagas creek aluminum, which is a smaller profile, but he had to remove it because our Ohio summers are so humid, and aluminum makes such a great "heat sink," that water was constantly condensing on the track, making the locomotive drive wheels slip so he couldn't run the really long trains he liked even on "dry" days. My friends in California don't seem to have a problem with that, though. :-)


Almost all of my aluminum track is on 2X6 wood, so I tend to agree with you about solid roadbed.

I had an elk bound through my property in beautiful Deer Park, near the sign that says "Edge of the World - 2 Miles," landing with one of his hooves square on stainless track that floated in gravel. Bent the bejeebers our of that piece of track. The take home lesson is that nothing is "bulletproof!" :D :lol: :o

Author:  paulrace [ Wed Aug 12, 2015 9:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What kind of track should I use?

Amen to that, Steve. Even 2x6 roadbed doesn't stand up against your neighbor's 50' maple trees falling it. Don't ask me how I know. :-)

Author:  SteveF [ Thu Aug 13, 2015 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: What kind of track should I use?

:o :shock: :lol:

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