Is nickel silver rail Atlas Code 100 ok for DCC operations?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by vanda32547, Sep 24, 2004.

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  1. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member


    Is nickel silver rail Atlas Code 100 ok for DCC operations or is something else preferred? I have alot of it and want to use it on my new layout. Most of my turnouts are also atlas snap switches, which I think are code 100 also.

    Thanks for any info on this.

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Why would you think it wasn't? :confused: Fred
  3. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    If its good for DC then it will certainly be good for DCC
  4. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    Thanks Guys
  5. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    All nickle silver track should be fine... I would avoid the brass stuff, but that is thankfully pretyt rare these days.
  6. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    Bob, I would advise learning which turnouts are good and which are cheap/train set ones. I think custom line is good. Fred knows. You can tell f you hold the two in your hand, but for mail order, you need to know. The price is a hint. Cheap ones will be $5 less at the same shop.
  7. vanda32547

    vanda32547 Member

    I am using the ones off my old dismantled layout...


    I am using the turnouts from my old dismantled layout which were controlled by under table switch machines. They worked well for many years but now I am wondering if I should replace them all with new ones? :confused:

    Any opinions out there? I'd need about 15 of em'

  8. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    I wouldn't replace them if they were in good shape and working, I would just clean them up, look them over, and put them back in use. Fred
  9. Railery

    Railery Member

    If the switch machines still work, you don't need to replace them. :thumb:
  10. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I would even consider keeping them if they are brass. A little brass requires a little cleaning. A lof of brass is a major project every week. As long as they are not hard to reach. If NS, go for it for sure! Just check the gauge.
  11. I would suggest only use nickle silver track for your layout. As for turnouts, you will not get a straight answer as to which brand is best. Ask yourself - am I happy with the performance of the Atlas snap switch? can you afford new turnouts at $15 + each? don't switch to brand X because that is what everyone else uses. Go to a good model shop and check out the differences between brands - it is amazing. Good luck.
  12. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    Brass is a better conductor then nickel silver.

    Nickel silver tracks are "nickel silver" only on the outside. It's NS plating. The rest is made of various alloys..

    If you run your trains regularly, brass or NS will required the same cleaning.
  13. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    BTW nothing wrong with Brass.

    If you don't like the color, paint it!
  14. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    He might not have snap switches. The higher grade custom line switches may or may not be as good as other brands, but I've seen them abused for 20+ years and still work. I have a pair of old brassies on my test loop from the 70's with only about 1/3 of the ties left from carelessly nailing/ripping them up. They work fine.

    I agree, if he has the trainset quality ones, they may not be worth the hassle. I'll agree NS is the way to go, but brass does have it's strong points and it works well when maintained.
  15. Vanda said it, not an assumption on my part.
  16. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    jon-monon; 35% of my layout is brass, including some turnouts.

    Never had a problem with 'em

    Never had to clean them more often

    Once the tracks are painted, you have to be close to tell them appart

    Brass is a better conductor. Great for DCC
  17. RioGrande

    RioGrande Member

    Might be,

    However, the MR magazines have preached over the years that oxidized brass conducts worse than oxidized NS (whats on the outside). I can say from personal experience that I had more difficulties keeping my engines running smoothly on brass if I didn't keep it clean and shiny than with NS. And if brass is really better at conducting electricity than NS, then why has it essentially disappeared from the market?
  18. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    First nickel silver is an "alloy" of brass. From the
    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition.
    Copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
    Published by the Houghton Mifflin Company.

    nickel silver


    A silvery, hard, corrosion-resistant, ductile, malleable alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel, used in tableware and as a structural material for hospital and restaurant equipment. Also called German silver .

    Its also solid as you would notice if you ever cut it, its not plated.

    RioGrande is right about oxidation and why brass is no longer sold. Jon is right about using it if it's kept clean.

    CN is correct on "Once the tracks are painted, you have to be close to tell them appart"

    NOW... he has nickel silver code 100 flex track ALREADY, why are we talking about brass?
  19. jon-monon

    jon-monon Active Member

    I stand corrected Mr. Dweller, thank you. :)

    mmmmmm we're trying to emulate another unmentionable forum??? :D :D :D
  20. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    It's no longer sold because it's cheaper to use NS instead.

    Brass is still use in certain electrical components

    I never never notice oxydation on brass tracks that was worse then NS. I have both. I know what I'm talking about.

    NS tracks are plated and mixed with other alloys.

    'nuff said
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