Height of Code 70 rail

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by green_elite_cab, Jan 30, 2006.

  1. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I would like to no the actual size of code 70 rail. I was going to use them to make the arms of transmission towers on my catenary, but i can't find them "loose". on the internet, i can only get them in massive bundles that cost $50, and i really don't need that much. I still have to check some of the other hobby shops by me, but even they don't seem to sell rail on it own.

    Therefore, i want to see if i can find similar Brass structual shapes or something to replace them. I just need to know the size.

    Of course, it would be even more helpful to know the real life dimensions of Transmission towers on top of PRR type Catenary.

  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I'm not sure, but N scale rail seems to be about the same height as code 70. I bought a couple lengths of Atlas N scale flex track, stripped the rail out of it with a pair of pliers, and used it to try scratchbuilding a turnout. It also works well for guardrail on bridges.

  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    code 70 is 0.070" high. Atlas n scale is code 80, or 0.080" high.

  4. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    The code size of the rail refers to its height in thousandths of inches i.e. code 70 is .070", code 83 is .083" etc. :thumb:

    OOOps, sorry, Kevin, see you got it already :oops: :thumb:
  5. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I want to avoid spending alot on flextrack to only strip it down. I'm almost always trying to strip off whatever expenses i can. in the end, it seems, even a few dollars off counts. it all adds up.
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    There's no such thing as "N scale rail". There's Code 55 and Code 80.

    (Curiously, in HO, there's Code 100, Code 83 and Code 70... no Code 80!)
  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Generally speaking flex track is cheaper than rail by itself. It has to do with supply and demand. Flex track is very popular so hobby shops stock a lot of it and discount it. Rail is used pretty much only by those who are going to handlay their track. Since that is a small percentage of those in the hobby, the rail is not often stocked and is almost never discounted.
  8. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    I buy my rail from Model Railroad Post Office, or MRPO. They are here in NJ, in West Milford. Their phone # is 800-328-6776 They do mail order. I have some code 70 and if you want a piece to check out and can come by, you are welcome to it. I don't have anything to mail it in, nor time to get something, but you are not that far away. PM me if interested. I can also then show you the caternary from Model Memories.
  9. sams

    sams Member

    as others have mentioned,
    c70 rail is 0.070" tall...which works out to 11.2 n-scale inches.
    maybe you could just go with regular c80?
    that would work out to 12.8".
    the c80, being so common, would be the cheaper alternative.
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    the problem with rail is they make me buy it in bulk quantities, when i really don't need much at all. However, i have an itching feeling that while code 70 rail was reccommended, i think even that is to big. I'll have to look into it.
  11. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    If a hobby store nearby has N scale flex track you ought to be able to buy one piece, you should be able to get code 55, probably better for your intended use.
  12. JKountz

    JKountz Member

    All this raises a question maybe someone here can verify for me. My LHS owner told me that the "code" for HO rail is a reference to the weight of the prototype. He told me that a 3' section of code 100 rail weighs 100lbs. 3' of Code 83 weighs 83lbs and so on. Is he correct?? Im totally ignorant in this area!!
  13. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    prototype rails are classified by the wieght of a 3' section. 132 lb rail weighs 132 lb per yard. 90 lb rail weighs 90 lb per yard. Codes of model rail in no way relate to any classification of the prototype. Code 83 in HO scale scales out to the approimate dimensions of 132 lb/yd rail used on most mainlines today.

  14. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    sort of... while the code number isn't the weight, it does usualy pan out to an existing weight. everything but code 100 is based on a real size rail. prototype rail that matches code 100 was only used in short sections on the PRR and UP, i read somewhere, but is otherwise is larger than normal rail in scale. However this usualy isn't a big deal except for if you want super accuracy. its probably worth it to go for code 83 anyway.
  15. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The code of model rail refers to its height in thousandths of inches. Code 70 rail = .070 inches high. In HO scale the scale height of rail comes out to approximate prototype rail weights in the following table:

    code 100 => 152 lb rail
    code 83 => 132 lb rail
    code 70 => 100 lb rail
    code 55 => 75 lb rail
    code 40 => 40 lb rail

    That table is based on height scaling only. Model rail is almost always thicker than prototype (for the same scale height) in both web and head thickness. So if you are really trying to be accurate, you would want to use an even smaller than normal rail size for your prototype unless you really have your layout at eye level.

    But remember, this is a hobby, and we are supposed to be having fun.

    yours in rivet counting
  16. JKountz

    JKountz Member

    Interesting, thanks for clearing that up for me. Bad part is I have to add this to a growing list of things my LHS owner has been dead wrong about. I think he was just ticked that I bought my track at a train show instead of from him. But 50 percent off is 50 percent off to me no matter where I got it. Thats actually how the topic came up. I told him I got some Code 83 track and when I told him where I got it he said "well if you got code 83, then you didnt get much". I asked him why and thats when he told me about the weight thing. He told me that code 83 in prototype was weak and also frowned upon and so it should be in modeling too. He then informed me that he doesnt even carry ANY code 83 track for this very reason. I went home thinking I had made a huge mistake until I did some reading here at the Gauge. I think 100 and 83 are just fine and a matter of preference.
  17. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Actualy, i find that most hobby shop owners are dead wrong all the time. they don't intentionaly give you bad info. they want to keep you as a customer.

    For example, i once met a guy at a hobby shop who tried to sell me Athearns' DD40 in PRR. He really thought PRR owned them. the guy next to me believed him. I didn't correct him, ( not only did PRR never own them, they never came in the standard EMD cab either) but the manager did. I felt bad, as the guy was really freindly, but he just didn't know anything about it. More and More Hobby shops these days have all different hobbies, and not just trains. i've only seen a few dedicated hobby shops to trains or airplanes, and even these have alittle tiny minority of eachother, as well as boats, military and car models in them. In general, a man can't know everything. In fact, i'm willing to bet i know more about trains then my local hobby shop does. However, the guy who works there knows more about gasoline motor powered RC cars than i can ever imagine.

    This is why we have the internet. we can guid you through with what the hobby shop doesn't know.
  18. JKountz

    JKountz Member

    Amen to that!!
  19. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I guess I'm very fortunate, both of the hobby shops I deal with are all around hobby shops, but they both hire hobby people for the various departments. The result is the train dept. is staffed by experienced model railroaders, the rc dept. is stafffed by experienced rc guys, etc. The guys in the train dept. are mostly frustrated because they model S.P., don't like U.P. and find that it is much more difficult to find Models decorated for S.P. than it is for U.P.

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