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Old 16th May 2012, 20:45   #1
CuriousCoot
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Default Wow, there is a lot to digest......

Like any new endeavor it is easy to get overwhelmed early on. I am re-discovering this after a lifetime of being overwhelmed initially by new projects. This undertaking, I knew up front, would be much the same if not actually worse!

I had heard the part about dust and grit on your tracks and this does concern me somewhat because I have a dusty house. Hey, I am a bachelor. Dust is part of our life. It's part of our caves. It's part of our cooking. Heck bachelors understand dust and realize that if we leave it alone and make no sudden movements it will lie there quietly. Now I find with N Scale I will have to re-assess my relationship with my domestic dust! Not too bad until you look under my sofa....... that's gonna take some dust bunny negotiations!

Anyway, I didn't post this to try to be funny. I wanted to know something about track considering my re-learning this dust thing....

I've bought some track off of eBay and a single pack of Bachman straight track, the kind that comes with a plastic road bed attached. The eBay purchase is Atlas track I think.

My question is, does mixing track brands cause difficulties?
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Old 16th May 2012, 23:06   #2
RW James
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Default Re: Wow, there is a lot to digest......

First - be VERY careful with some of that Bachmann track. You do not want the track made of steel. Only use nickel silver. Steel is hard to keep clean and doesn't conduct electricity as well.

Generally speaking, most brands of track should work well together. The only thing you need to be concerned about is rail height - usually expressed as "code" - such as code 70, or code 55.

And while the initial warnings about N scale were valid, you should know that a lot of people use it very successfully and I would be willing to bet many of them are worse housekeepers than you.

Do not be scared away from this hobby. It is very rewarding. Dioramas are great, but in this case you will be building dioramas that actually move. It can't be beat.
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Old 17th May 2012, 00:05   #3
CuriousCoot
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Default Re: Wow, there is a lot to digest......

Quote:
Originally Posted by RW James View Post
First - be VERY careful with some of that Bachmann track. You do not want the track made of steel. Only use nickel silver. Steel is hard to keep clean and doesn't conduct electricity as well.

Generally speaking, most brands of track should work well together. The only thing you need to be concerned about is rail height - usually expressed as "code" - such as code 70, or code 55.

And while the initial warnings about N scale were valid, you should know that a lot of people use it very successfully and I would be willing to bet many of them are worse housekeepers than you.

Do not be scared away from this hobby. It is very rewarding. Dioramas are great, but in this case you will be building dioramas that actually move. It can't be beat.
I don't know RW...... I USED to have a little miniature Dachshund that ran up under the sofa one night...... Ain't seen her since! LOL

Did I mention I sometimes have a tendency to exaggerate?

I'm probably here to stay unless I come up on something that just completely distracts me from this like Particle Physics or Quantum Mechanics........ LOL

One thing I have never feared is a new undertaking. I've finally learned over many years and many other undertakings that there is a very organized methodology to learning.

Dive right in and make mistakes. But know they are coming and document! LOL
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Old 17th May 2012, 02:34   #4
BR60103
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Default Re: Wow, there is a lot to digest......

The track with the roadbed varies from brand to brand. Mainly, the ends are all different and incompatible.
However, most of them have ends (rail joiners) that will mate with the plain track if you prop the plain track up on some roadbed. There may be one or more that don't have railjoiners and use brass electrical contacts. I waver in my opinion whether the differences are caused by patent considerations or plain cussedness.
The same problems come in HO and O.
Most of the sectional track is code 70; for code 55 you probably will have to use flexible or hand-laid track. Peco makes "code 55" track with rail the height of code 70 but enough of it buried in the ties, so they can be used together.
Some of us feel that if the sides of the rails are painted a dark colour they become less obvious and we can getaway with larger rail. Some of the wheel flanges are large enough to bump along the smaller track.

Don't worry too much about dust -- there are track cleaning cars, and blocks, and fluids, and Flitz, and ...
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Old 29th September 2012, 20:30   #5
Hondo
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Need advice on track code for HO. I've heard that I should go with code 100 to avoid having to re-work trucks on rolling stock. Others have said 83 works fine. I don't think I want to chance code 70 but would like to "look" as prototypical as possible w/o having to buy all new wheelsets.
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Old 30th September 2012, 06:12   #6
BR60103
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Hondo:
I have a mix of Peco 100 and 75. Plus a few weird things.
I don't have problems with modern wheels on the code 75. Most of my problems are from British trains bought before 1980, possibly before 1970.
There have been cheap N. American prototype wheels that don't like it -- they have what we called "Pizza cutter" flanges. On most stock (except locomotives) the wheelsets can be popped out and replaced.
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Old 30th September 2012, 10:11   #7
Blackcloud
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You can touch the dust, but please don't write your name in it.

I find a little naturally settled dust on a layout tones down bright colours in the scenery and takes the gloss of things which shouldn't be glossy anyway. Running at least one train a day helps to keep the track clean but if that's not possible you can always lay dust covers gently over the areas you want to keep clean.

Mixing track brands has never been a problem for me, I often use second hand track from numerous sources, but the earlier mention of steel and nickel silver is an important point. Steel will corrode if there's the slightest bit of moisture in the air so it is best to avoid it completely if possible. Also steel is not as easy to solder as nickel silver so electrical connections need more care.
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