You may be better off using Code 148 for 2 rails, realistic handlaid track. I use Code 148 or code 125 depending on the engine I want to display. You may find code 172, but it is usually reserved for 3-Rails operation.

 

Micro Engineering manufactures both sizes (Micro Mark resells them).

 

Yves

Code 172 represents very heavy rail.   

 

code 148 would be more appropriate for typical mainlines and code 125 for sidings.    Some guys even use some code 100 for industrial and light traffic areas.

 

Brass is not as good as either Nickel silver or steel.   While brass is a very good conductor, the oxide is not conductive.   So once the rail heads oxidize a little, contact gets bad.   Nickel silver is not so good a conductor, but the oxide is conductive.   so if the rail oxidizes a little,  you still get good contact.

 

I don't know much about steel, A number of the big O scale clubs use it.   I do know that it is less slippery for traction than Nickel silver.   Conductivitity is probably someplace between brass and nickel silver.

Fast Tracks sells the Micro-Engineering Code 148 rail, but at $4.11/rail (36"length) and a minimum of 66 pieces per order (plus shipping) it adds up. Micro-Mark sells the 36" Code 148 flex for $53 for six sections. You're almost better off just getting the flex and pulling out the rail.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
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"Micro-Mark sells the 36" Code 148 flex for $53 for six sections. You're almost better off just getting the flex and pulling out the rail."

 

   Yeah, I did most of the sidings and spurs on my O layout using Atlas code 100 rail that I pulled from HO flextrack that I'd bought cheap at sales or train shows .........DaveB

Turns out Micro Engineering sells directly. http://www.microengineering.com

 

16-148 Rail, Code 148, wea, n.s. (33 pcs, 99 ft)$ 147.70

 

17-148 Rail, Code 148, non-wea, n.s. (33 pcs, 99 ft)135.85

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
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Originally Posted by Martin H:
This is the price I paid when I ordered it through my lhs here in Houston.  I had to pay sales tax, but no shipping charges!
 
Originally Posted by AGHRMatt:

Turns out Micro Engineering sells directly. http://www.microengineering.com

 

16-148 Rail, Code 148, wea, n.s. (33 pcs, 99 ft)$ 147.70

 

17-148 Rail, Code 148, non-wea, n.s. (33 pcs, 99 ft)135.85

 

Which LHS? O scale in Houston seems almost non-existant.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
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G&G Models has been in business for a long time.   They are located in Rice Village.  A lot of their scratch building stuff is oriented towards architects, but they do have plenty of Lionel and other gauges in stock.  They are a dealer for the micro engineering rail.  They have also special-ordered Tamiya paint for me in the past.

 

Originally Posted by Martin H:

G&G Models has been in business for a long time.   They are located in Rice Village.  A lot of their scratch building stuff is oriented towards architects, but they do have plenty of Lionel and other gauges in stock.  They are a dealer for the micro engineering rail.  They have also special-ordered Tamiya paint for me in the past.

 

Thanks. I'll drop by on my next trip to Houston.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
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Interesting comments, I just measured a piece of 3 rail Gargraves track which mates to Atlas and Ross track , the rail top is .231 above the tie . This would be accurate for G scale  or close.

 

Code 172 was used with Truscale wood road bed from the 60's .It may accommodate 3 rail flanges .

 

I am aware that code 148 is the most common , when measuring the rails with a caliper there is .024 difference in height . Early Atlas sectional 2 rail track was .166.

 

I was just curious if many 2 rail guys still use  .172  rail . And yes the steel rail is often used on grades for better traction  . The O scale club that was at the LA fairgrounds , used .172 as did the old Santa Fe RR at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

 

As many of you know , the flanges on the early Max Gray and USH  trucks had larger flanges than what is offered today.

 

Many 3 rail modelers should use those trucks do get away from the oversize flanges when going for a more scale wheel profile and could negotiate 3 rail track brands mentioned above..

 

 

 

 

Code 172 was used with Truscale wood road bed from the 60's .It may accommodate 3 rail flanges .

As I recall, code 172 was the default for the old Hi-Rail/2 rail modelers.

Many 3 rail modelers should use those trucks do get away from the oversize flanges when going for a more scale wheel profile and could negotiate 3 rail track brands mentioned above..

Right you are. I'm a sort of 2-rail modeler at a 3-rail club (3-rail locos, 2-rail rolling stock wherever possibler-conversion from 3-rail is an ongoing PITA). I use the old wheelsets whenever I can get them. I can back a train(15+ cars) through Ross facing point turnouts with out a derailment. Slowly, of course

"I was just curious if many 2 rail guys still use  .172  rail"

 

  When I first got interested in O scale back in the 1980's the code 172 rail was considered outdated and was not stocked in the train shops. I recall one shop with a large lot of used code 172 turnouts and track but the owner told me I'd be better off starting with code 148 .......DaveB 

Kelly,

 

The code 100 rail height would be good for that purpose, but the rail head would be narrow. Most rail meant for O scale, even the lighter stuff, has a wider rail head than that of HO flex.

 

It doesn't look bad for On30, but IMO not for standard gauge, particularly if you are going for more of a fine scale look for P48.

 

Also, if it is the older Atlas HO flex with the big plastic nubs holding the rail, it might have an odd, blocky cross section where the rail head meets the web of the rail.

 

Jim

I guess I shouldn't have passed up the two partial tubes Joe had at the Weaver cash and carry sale. I use it for MOW muck loads. A friend gave me a whole bunch of used atlas 2 rail a few years ago; it's almost gone.

Don

I can't think of everything         

God'sNot Dead

Thank you for the reply Jim,
 
I was afraid the rail head might be on the narrow side, your reply confirms that.
No reason to start off on the wrong foot, I will order some proper rail in the 125 pound range. 
 
 
 
Originally Posted by Jim Policastro:

Kelly,

 

The code 100 rail height would be good for that purpose, but the rail head would be narrow. Most rail meant for O scale, even the lighter stuff, has a wider rail head than that of HO flex.

 

It doesn't look bad for On30, but IMO not for standard gauge, particularly if you are going for more of a fine scale look for P48.

 

Also, if it is the older Atlas HO flex with the big plastic nubs holding the rail, it might have an odd, blocky cross section where the rail head meets the web of the rail.

 

Jim

 

I am building a short line based in the Sierras and I plan to use light rail, Code 100 in O Scale, because the original used 75 - 85 pound rail. Heaviest loco is an SW9 and the lightest, if I can find one in two rail, will be a GE 44 Tonner. The railroad hauls dimensional lumber, wood framing and other forest products out, and general freight to supply the town in. The light rail helps enhance the feeling of shortline railroading.

Originally Posted by Edstrains:

I am building a short line based in the Sierras and I plan to use light rail, Code 100 in O Scale, because the original used 75 - 85 pound rail. Heaviest loco is an SW9 and the lightest, if I can find one in two rail, will be a GE 44 Tonner. The railroad hauls dimensional lumber, wood framing and other forest products out, and general freight to supply the town in. The light rail helps enhance the feeling of shortline railroading.

I believe MicroEngineering has code 100 flex, but I can't guarantee that it isn't just H.O. rail strung into O scale tie strip.

Matt Jackson
"The best service you can provide for the hobby is to pass on what you have learned."

 Angels Gate Hi-Railers San Pedro, California

"Celebrating over 20 years of moving freight and passengers from Point A to Point A!"
E-mail

YouTube Channel

I actually love code 172 rail, even though it's technically a bit tall. Most 3 rail wheels will run on it with very few exceptions. I'm nostalgic for old techniques and still love outside third rail too. I buy up all the code 172 I can find. I have over 400 feet of brass rail, which I'd actually like to get rid of, only about 80 feet of steel rail, and around 200 feet of nickel silver. I'd love to find more of the NS. I also have tie plates for it in both plastic and brass.

Originally Posted by prrjim:

I don't know much about steel, A number of the big O scale clubs use it.   I do know that it is less slippery for traction than Nickel silver.   Conductivitity is probably someplace between brass and nickel silver.

Actually steel has pretty bad conductivity compared to brass or nickel silver(which from what I gather from the following charts is sort of like brass a mixture of nickel and silver as opposed to a mixture or copper and nickel et al where the nickel component pulls the conductivity of the copper or silver down disproportionate to its alloy percentage).

Metal 1

Metal 2

Iron has better conductivity than steel but steel looks like the worst of the bunch.

I got curious and looked it up online and was kind of surprised by the numbers but I guess for our purposes the effects and amount are negligible.

 

Jerry

I looked at your charts to see where your nickel silver alloy came from.  Believe me, if nickel silver rail had any silver in it you would not be buying a lot of it.  It is possible that it has maybe a percent or so, but it is generally 60% copper, and 20% each nickel and zinc.  Aluminum rail has been produced, but it was not popular - hard to solder.

So basically nickel/silver is a brass or bronze type of alloy so not much different than brass rail as far as conductivity is concerened if the compositions are correct.  I learn more on this forum about things I probably should have remembered from school.

 

Jerry

I love old posts- inquisitive minds who think what I'm thinking are looking for sources of code 172 Nickel silver rail to do some handlaid track, and "other things". I find it interesting that after 25 years, no one has still introduced an O gauge version of Marklin track.

The reason for using code 172 rail are obvious- but if a Vision Line Challenger can run code 148 track, I guess I'd be the person to see if it actually could.

Geno

 

 

 

I don't think the vision line challenger would have a problem. I use code 148 flex track on my visible front straights with an N scale center rail, which is hardly noticeable. I do replace the pilot truck wheels with 2 rail wheels. Here is my custom 3 rail cab forward, and super detailed Lionel Alcos on the code 148 .

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SP cab forward
detail on the move
Ron H posted:

I don't think the vision line challenger would have a problem. I use code 148 flex track on my visible front straights with an N scale center rail, which is hardly noticeable. I do replace the pilot truck wheels with 2 rail wheels. Here is my custom 3 rail cab forward, and super detailed Lionel Alcos on the code 148 .

Ron,

Your layout looks awesome- I'd love to see a a better pic showing your trackwork.

Geno

72blackbird posted:

I love old posts- inquisitive minds who think what I'm thinking are looking for sources of code 172 Nickel silver rail to do some handlaid track, and "other things". I find it interesting that after 25 years, no one has still introduced an O gauge version of Marklin track.

The reason for using code 172 rail are obvious- but if a Vision Line Challenger can run code 148 track, I guess I'd be the person to see if it actually could.

Geno

 

 

 

I have some code 172  nickel silver , brand new  I would sell .

Geno, Here are the pictures you requested. I use flex track, but pull the rail from the ties and paint the ties and rails separately. I also distress the ties with various saws and take out a few and replace with distressed wood.  This is about a 10 ft. straight. I have not gone all rc yet so the N scale center rail powers the 3 railers.

track 1track 2

track 4

The ice depot shot is regular code 172 which will eventually be covered with asphalt and coal ballast. I use HO ballast. Because the ballast should be small enough an individual rock should fit in the palm of a scale persons hand.

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That is good looking track.

Soon you will be able to get rid of that conduit down the center - yesterday I got in a race with a skateboarder and he won!  Two motors, a battery good for 25 miles with a 200 lb rider, and a hand held R/C controller.  $500 - but a good bit of that was for the quality skateboard.  A model train would not need to be that robust or expensive.

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