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Author Topic: Help with makes of track  (Read 627 times)

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Offline Jonathan Prince

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Help with makes of track
« on: February 03, 2018, 11:24:28 PM »
Hello!

I have a fairly wide range of types of track, most of it being fairly old stuff. I've had a look around to see if I can identify some of it and get some more of the same kind. I have determined that it is all code 80, but the widths of the rails are quite different.

I have a couple of points and tonnes of flexitrack which have thick rails and are a steel/silver colour. However, the rest of my points have much thinner rails and are a more copper/bronze colour - this is very similar to the modern peco [edit: not actually sure if this is peco] setrack I have. I also have some setrack (from a Graham Farish loop which came with a train) which is slightly more silvery and has larger fishplates.

I've come to the conclusion that randomly mixing different track types up isn't going to look to good in the scenic areas, as the rail colour would keep changing. Instead, I'm looking to get some more flexible track of the same colour as the points / peco setrack to put in the scenic area, whilst the silvery points and existing flexitrack will go 'behind scenes'.

My question is: what kind of track is the thinner bronze coloured track? I need to know that the flexible track I'm buying is the right colour - I'm a bit confused with the metals: is nickel the silver coloured rails? What metal is the copper/bronze coloured rails?

Here are some pictures to hopefully clarify:


The old silver coloured points (right) and the old bronze coloured points (left). The points on the left are connected to the very similar modern peco setrack.


The old bronze coloured points with the thinner rails - this is the kind of track I want more flexitrack like.


The existing silvery flexitrack. I find it a bit 'train set' like, plus the sleeper mouldings are pretty abysmal so I'll keep it to the fiddle yards.


A clear comparison of the colour and the thickness of the rail of the two types of track.

Thanks in advance! :-)
« Last Edit: February 12, 2018, 10:55:23 PM by Jonathan Prince, Reason: Moving pictures around... »

Offline PLD

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 11:58:10 PM »

The old bronze coloured points with the thinner rails - this is the kind of track I want more flexitrack like.

These are Peco Streamline points in rather well (ab)used and badly tarnished condition... New Peco Streamline points and flexitrack is readily available from all good model shops however if you want it to match the appearance of those you need to use heavily for about 20 years and preferably leave in a slightly damp atmosphere when not in use...

Offline PostModN66

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2018, 12:03:00 AM »
Hi Jonathan,

Common practice is to "weather" track by lightly spraying it with a "dirt" colour; this would lessen the noticeable difference between old and new track.

Cheers Jon  :)
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Offline Jonathan Prince

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2018, 12:12:25 AM »
These are Peco Streamline points in rather well (ab)used and badly tarnished condition... New Peco Streamline points and flexitrack is readily available from all good model shops however if you want it to match the appearance of those you need to use heavily for about 20 years and preferably leave in a slightly damp atmosphere when not in use...
They will definitely be cleaned up at some point... I kind of like the old feel to them though  :D
Is peco track the same these days then? Would off the shelf peco flexitrack match the rail colour (give or take a bit of dirt)?

Offline Jonathan Prince

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2018, 12:13:59 AM »
Hi Jonathan,

Common practice is to "weather" track by lightly spraying it with a "dirt" colour; this would lessen the noticeable difference between old and new track.

Cheers Jon  :)
Weathering is definitely on the list. However, it's the top of the rails I'm concerned about (see last picture) - that can't be painted over otherwise the electrical connection is gone.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2018, 12:58:24 AM »
Yeah, those points are definitely Peco Code 80, insulfog by the looks of them. As PLD says, they are in pretty bad nick and in need of a good cleanup. I doubt very much that a loco would negotiate them in their current condition.

The present day Peco Code 80 range is completely compatible with them. My layout is Code 80, all points electrofrog (both electrofrog and insulfrog are available), but were I starting over I would go with the Code 55 for a finer appearance.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline mattycoops43

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2018, 01:12:20 AM »
As far as I am aware, all track is either Nickel Silver, or Steel. The silver stuff in the pics is steel track. Personally I wouldn't use as it used to rust quite well with age. (see old Hornby track as an example) Anything Nickel Silver should last pretty indefinitely if looked after.

Offline Bealman

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2018, 01:20:07 AM »
Agree. Stay away from steel track. As a kid I had Triang Super 4 which rusted horribly.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline Jonathan Prince

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2018, 09:53:04 AM »
As far as I am aware, all track is either Nickel Silver, or Steel. The silver stuff in the pics is steel track. Personally I wouldn't use as it used to rust quite well with age. (see old Hornby track as an example) Anything Nickel Silver should last pretty indefinitely if looked after.
Forgive me for being stupid, but the steel track is the silvery track (on the right in the first picture), and the nickel silver track is the... non-silvery gold coloured track (on the left in the first picture)? Does this mean the modern peco setrack is also nickel silver?

Thanks!

Offline Bealman

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2018, 11:01:09 AM »
All Peco track is nickel silver. The steel stuff you have looks like it could be early Minitrix, Arnold or Atlas, looking at the point motor.
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Online jrb

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2018, 11:11:45 AM »
If you want to know the make of any of the track, simply look underneath. All track has the manufacturer's name moulded in to the underside of the sleepers. It may be small, and hard to see, but it'll be there somewhere!

Online ntpntpntp

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2018, 12:26:49 PM »
All track has the manufacturer's name moulded in to the underside of the sleepers.
Almost all.  There is some cheap generic flexi track out there that is unbranded underneath.
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Offline Newportnobby

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2018, 04:43:08 PM »
With Peco code 80 the whole of the rail sits atop the sleeper webbing, whereas code 55 is slightly sunken into the webbing. Code 55 is consequently less likely to pull out of the chairs when curving it and so is perceived to be stronger than code 80. There is a difference in height between the two codes, enough to cause poor running. More discussion here..........
http://www.ngaugeforum.co.uk/SMFN/index.php?topic=2455.0

Offline Jonathan Prince

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Re: Help with makes of track
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2018, 11:47:21 AM »
Thanks for the advice! Any hints as to how to buy fishplates for the slightly wider rails? I've got plenty of Peco fishplates (which work fine with the Peco track), but I'm looking for some larger fishplates for the other track as the Peco ones really struggle to fit on.

I've found https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Fleischmann-22213-50-x-Rail-Joiners-fishplates-for-N-Gauge-1st-Class-Post/122025410176?epid=19003305460&hash=item1c6947fe80:g:8w8AAOSw44BYJchT and https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Graham-Farish-Rail-Track-Joiners-Fish-Plates-x-24/302603358738?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649 but those are the only N gauge non-Peco fishplates I can find.

Any hints?

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