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Having already trawled many of the model railway forums, I am still undecided whether to use code 100 or 75 rail for my intended garden railway. I do not have any old rolling stock and while not being a rivet counter I would like the railway to look realistic.

I currently have a 5 car Hornby Brighton belle, Golden Arrow pullman train (unrebuilt and rebuilt locos) and intend to also run a CEP or VEP electric set - Long trains, hence the decision to go Garden rather than indoors.

There seems to little difference in price and as I intend to use Radio Control I am not worried about wiring, control etc.

I would also like to install 3rd rail for extra realism ...

Any advice or experiences gratefully received ... :?

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If you ever have visitors to your railway they might not be able to run their trains if they have not been modified to run on code 70 track especially older Tri-ang stock.

Code 100 can be modified to look correct by removing sleepers, but as I am not an expert about this, its just what I have seen mentioned elsewhere in cyber space about the pro's and con's of using 70 or 100 code track.

Ian

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Personally I don't think there's a lot to choose between code 75 or code 100 if using modern stock but I guess it all depends on where you track will be situated. Visually, at anything more than a couple of feet you're barely going to notice. I have used so called finescale on an 'under-construction' (still) indoor section and standard code 100 in the garden and you've got to look very closely to see the difference even if you've got a metre length of each in your hands. I think for the outdoors I would certainly play safe and go for the coarser scale - if nothing else it gives you that extra height above sleeper level for the myriad of obstructions that are prevalent on an outdoor line. I believe everyone here uses code 100 but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to.

If you've read my Worsley Dale thread you'll know that I decided to alter the sleeper spacings to get a more realistic look with my track. It certainly does that but blimey - what a chore it is. I hadn't foreseen just how difficult it would be to handle the track and get it in to alignment once the sleepers had been chopped. Every touch of the track and the sleepers move again until they're finally ballasted in place. Would I do it again? I don't think so - give me the standard track next time.

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My advice would be, if you're building in OO in the garden then don't trying and do finescale.

If you want finescale, model indoors.

I find it a constant battle with myself to stop trying to create too much detail outdoors. I need to keep things robust. There are birds and cats out there. There's frost and snow and rain, oh so much rain.

Keeping everything straight, true, waterproof, rustproof, bonded etc. is enough to keep me busy. I've got to resist finescale.

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chris said:

No need to weather your rails. That is one of the advantages of modelling outdoors, you can leave some of the weathering to the weather.

YEP it goes a nice manky green after a couple of years outside

I have used steel track on non running area's in Sher-Voo scrapyard and thats rusted nicely

Ian

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Totally agree - leave the weathering of the track sides to good old 'mother nature' - she does a far better job than we can do ourselves. It takes a while longer but it's much less hassle.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for the info chaps ... I have found a guy who has a large amount of track for disposal but it is steel and not NS - Would this just mean occasional de-rusting of the top working surface of the rail bearing in mind I am not interested in the electrical integrity of the track as I will be using radio control and on-board batteries?

Ta .. Andy

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as far as I can see, Andy, steel will be perfectly fine for your purposes. It is what the original railways used, after all :D

I would expect it to rust completely away though, so be prepared to replace the lot after a few years, unless you protect it somehow (paint, varnish etc). If you are happy to factor in the cost of replacement track it will be a cheap short term solution IMO

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Sorry to say, but steel will rust in a spectacular fashion.

I've left some steel track out to see if it starts to look like redundant sidings. It's rusts very quickly and not to scale! I would not want to run any of my trains over it. Points would unuseable within a few weeks.

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Resist the temptation Andy, as Chris says, it'll rust at a scale of 12":1ft. Everything metal outdoors needs to be non-ferrous i.e. brass, copper, N/S or stainless. I'd recommend using brass track pins too.

Ian R

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IanR said:

...it'll rust at a scale of 12":1ft...

Totally agree with that. If you want to model a disused line then you could get away with the steel track but for operating purposes you certainly don't want to be running over a heavy coating of rust. Nickel silver rail will eventually tarnish a nice brown colour, which is great for the rail sides, and who knows, with regular use you might even retain a nice shiny rail top without having to go round with a fine abrasive rubber like the rest of us.

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  • 6 months later...

Although the last answer was last year, I'd say code 100 only for outdoors you'll never notice the difference as your viewing distance is far greater than inside. Painting the of sides the rails is a waste of time as you'll have to undercoat it first otherwise the paint will just flake off due to you having no control over the atmospheric temperature. Some people have contemplated using C&L Fine scale outdoors but unless your a track work masochist I wouldn't bother. You will use much more track in construction of a garden railway than you would ever use indoors. People say I want my railway to look as realistic as possible. Well take a look at the average garden. The house you live in is out of scale so are garages, garden sheds, garden plants, garden ponds, fountains, windmills,waterfalls,gnomes etc. I look upon my railway as entertainment and if I wanted a scale scene I would only build it indoors.

Roy.

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  • 1 month later...

My choice is code 75 as i want concrete sleepers in my 80/90's railway. They don't seem to do points in concrete in code 100 but they do in 75. I've seen layouts with concrete flexi & wooden points and it looks ridiculous.

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  • 1 month later...

My calculations, which can be found here,

suggest 1mm should be enough.

I did get a little concerned this summer that the rails may be getting hotter than 60ºc in the sun, but 1mm should be enough even if they get to 100ºc.

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