Discussion in 'FAQs' started by nmoon, Apr 19, 2001.

  1. nmoon

    nmoon New Member

    I'm a newbie! Recently purchased older tru-scale roadbed for my future American Flyer layout. Have learned that original AF track has .220 rail. Best advice so far is to use .148 weathered brass. I would like a second opinion before purchasing.
  2. Biggerhammer

    Biggerhammer Member

    I'm certainly no expert, but I've been advised by many with experience that brass rail requires considerably more cleaning to reliably run.
  3. LC

    LC Member

    Biggerhammer is very correct, brass rail is very hard to maintain, and I know of no one who uses it at all anymore.
    My advise, don't use it. It was all we had years ago and darn hard to keep trains running right. It can even turn green with age.
    Spend your time running trains, not trying to figure out why they arn't running.
    And no matter what, always use a block system even with D.C.C., it is much easier to find a short in that type of system than attempting to find one with no blocks.
    Happy modeling,
  4. nmoon

    nmoon New Member

    No Brass recommended by 2 people. I'll definately go another route, but my ignorance pops up again. What type rail would you recommend?
  5. nmoon

    nmoon New Member

    OK! No Brass. What do you recommend. Sorry to be so dumb, but what is a block system?
  6. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi nmoon,
    If you look at the post (BELOW THIS ONE,THIS FORUM) you will find an article I wrote about"What is a common return".
    Every thing is explained about block control, wiring a layout and making a control panel.

    To your other question, the best track is Nickel Silver. Peco makes probably the best track & turnouts and have either code 100 or finescale code 75. Also if you use the Peco stuff, you can add the Peco PL10 turnout motor to the bottom of the turnout. If you want to move your turnouts electrically that is.

    [This message has been edited by shamus (edited 04-20-2001).]
  7. Biggerhammer

    Biggerhammer Member

    Nickel-silver is the most popular track material out there, for a good reason. It looks like steel and runs even when not perfectly clean (though it will run better if cleaned- see the Academy archive for an article on how to clean it, or just use a Bright Boy [looks like a large pencil-eraser, sold at model railroad shops for $3-5ish]).

    Another question that you'll soon enough run across is flex-track or sectional rigid track? Sectional rigid track is simple- it comes in nine inch sections, straight or in several different curves. It's cheap and you've probably seen it before, running around a Christmas tree. The disadvantage is that it is fixed- it defines what layout you can make. Flex-track is bendable, so you can lay it in whatever curves you want, but it's not quite as simple to use. You have to cut it after curves, for instance. I strongly prefer flex-track, as (I think) most of the people here do.

    Thank you for asking about block wiring- that's one I hadn't known about, and now that Shamus answered your question I'll know more about it too [​IMG]
  8. nmoon

    nmoon New Member

    Thanks Guys, you've saved me from a big mistake. I'm sure I'll have more questions later.

  9. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    My two bobs worth?
    The Peco nikel/silver is just fine. I use code 75 and also the flextrack. Make sure you finish the cut rails of the flextrack finely with a needle file before attempting joins. The turnouts are good and the turnout motors are good a powerful, that can also run microswitches for signaling etc. I have not yet found anything I need to do that the Peco HO code 75 track will not do. As for brass? Yep... corrodes, is difficult to keep clean... Look at the difference between brass fittings on your house... (door knobs etc) and the stainless steel sink... hmmm... nuff said I think.


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