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Thread: Brass or Nickle-silver track?

  1. Default Brass or Nickle-silver track?

    I personally use brass track for my HO trains, but I was wondering what the pro's and con's are of using Nickle-silver and the opinions of the rest of you about which track you choose? Is there any track that you refuse to use?

    I hope this discussion hasn't been had on here, I looked so if I missed my apologies to the mods.

  2. Default

    Brass is not used much anymore because it get oxyded much faster than nickel silver and is harder to keep clean, brass is also a self lubing metal that has less grip than nickel
    "I reject your reality and substitute my own"
    - Adams Savage

  3. Default

    I used brass when I got back into this hobby four years ago. When it was time to build my second layout I wanted code 83 instead code 100. That dictated that I buy all new track. I have all of my old brass track in a box. I thought about tossing it out but it's from my first layout twenty five years ago. I think I'll save it so I don't regret tossing it in my old age. I know most don't use brass anymore but a few here and there do. If it works for you, don't change.

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    I love your signature. Forgive me, but what is LHS?


    Quote Originally Posted by Unfettered View Post
    I have some pieces of brass in my layout, but I got them from another layout I purchased at an estate sale. Like has been stated above, brass oxidizes faster, but both are copper mixed with either zinc (brass) or nickle (nickle silver). I have not seen brass at the LHS, and last time I talked to the, they said they last sold it 8 years ago and recommended I don't use it as the nickle silver works so much better, less maintenence, etc.

    You can safely intemix them as you need to.

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by paradigm81 View Post
    I love your signature. Forgive me, but what is LHS?

    Local Hobby Shop
    UP + Alton Limited

  6. #6


    I'm building my first layout and have most of my turnouts already and they're all code 83. Is it worth it to buy all new code 100 turnouts and track? Any price difference?

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    Unless you are planning to run old AHM equipment with really oversized flanges, you should do just fine with Code 87. Unless, of course you find a bargain of Code 100 track and turnouts (track switches...not to be confused with electrical switches used on your control panel). The only reason I'm sticking with Code 100 on my recently built layout is that I have so much left over from the last 52 years and three layouts, including some brass and nickel-silver flex track with fiber ties.
    Last edited by trailrider; 08-24-2011 at 08:52 PM.

  8. #8


    I wonder if you could plate it. At work we have been plating a lot of things that are not metal to make them look metal. There are a bunch of steps to plate plastic but plating brass is very easy and doesn't require much prep besides cleaning and polishing. The chrome is very hard, I wonder how it would wear.

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    indeed you could plate it, but with nickel since chrome is more resistive to current
    "I reject your reality and substitute my own"
    - Adams Savage

  10. Default

    I've got brass and NS code 100, and have no probelms with any of it.

    You can read more here:

    Use the forums search function, and you'll find more discussioin on brass vs NS.

    Jake: How often does the train go by?

    Elwood: So often you won't even notice ...

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