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How to identify what track you have

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  • Member since
    January, 2018
  • 2 posts
How to identify what track you have
Posted by Trainer on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 2:18 PM

Greetings:  I have an old layout with brass track. I wish to upgrade the layout to nickel silver code 100.  The nearest train hobby shop is several hours from my house, so I recently went on line and found a vendor that sold 3 ft. sections of nickel silver flex track code 100. I received the order of 10 sections, but the track does not look any different than my brass track.  The label on the box reads “ #168 HO Code 100 Superflex Track-3’ section “.  As there is no reference on the label to nickel-silver, I wonder whether it really is? There was no packing slip, though the invoice reads nickel silver. Is there a way I can tell for sure what kind of track it is before I contact the vendor? Thanks. 

 

  • Member since
    September, 2003
  • From: California
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Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 4:16 PM

The brand is Atas.  It is nickel silver. "Featuring black ties and nickel silver rail"     

http://shop.atlasrr.com/c-485-h42.aspx

 

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/Atlas-HO-Code-100-36-Super-Flex-Track-25-pieces-p/atl-168-25.htm

 

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    October, 2006
  • From: Western, MA
  • 7,450 posts
Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 4:34 PM

Welcome Trainer.

I searched for 168 HO Code 100 Superflex and that is what I came up with also.

Found it at Amazon also but probably cost more.

Rich

N

  • Member since
    December, 2015
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Posted by BigDaddy on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 9:22 PM

The rail itself ought not to look like brass.  Hard to believe a reputable vendor would have brass flex track in stock these days.

 

Henry

COB Potomac & Northern

By the Chesapeake Bay

  • Member since
    March, 2012
  • 31 posts
Posted by PC101 on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 9:40 PM

You should be able to tell the differance between Brass (gold color) and Nickle Sliver (silver color), easier to see when looking at the side of the track, web as it may be called, then the top of the rail.

Others above have searched the Atlas #168 and came up with what you should have or should have received. But what do you really have?

People do send the wrong thing in the box then what you asked for or whats marked on the box and invoices. Mistakes are made. I do not see Brass carried nowadays anywhere except old stock on line and it's listed as "vintage".

I guess "Code 100 brass rail on fiber ties" would be listed as "Super Rare Collector Quality".Laugh

 

  • Member since
    May, 2010
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Posted by mbinsewi on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 9:43 PM

Yes, it is NS track, just like DSchmitt posted.

Mike.

  • Member since
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  • From: California
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Posted by DSchmitt on Tuesday, January 09, 2018 10:07 PM

Brass is made from copper and zink, % of each element vary to create different alloys.

Nickel Silver from copper (60%), nickel (20%)and zink (20%). Although the % of each element may be varied.

Nickel Silver is silver in appearance but  some does have a slight brass tinge.

 

I tried to sell my two cents worth, but no one would give me a plug nickel for it.

I don't have a leg to stand on.

  • Member since
    March, 2015
  • 1,011 posts
Posted by SouthPenn on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 9:20 AM

www.modeltrainstuff.com probably have better prices.

South Penn
  • Member since
    January, 2018
  • 2 posts
Posted by Trainer on Thursday, January 11, 2018 12:05 PM

Thanks to all of you who replied to my inquiry on identifying track! Perhaps it would be helpful if I restate my question.

Is there an objective way of identifying the metallurgic components of the two types of track?

For example, I read an article about how nickel-silver is a poorer conductor of current than brass track.  The author suggested that more power track feeders per foot might be needed for nickel-silver than brass when using DCC.  This would imply that there would be a difference in resistance if one were to measure two equal lengths of the two types of track.  If I were to use an ohmmeter on a section of brass and then on a section of nickel-silver of equal length, would there be a discernable (measurable) difference in ohms?  And what might these amounts be?

(PS  The box that I received originally contained 25 sections of track according to the label.  I ordered and received ten sections. So this box was opened by the store and may not have been the original box the product came in.)

  • Member since
    June, 2003
  • From: Culpeper, Va
  • 7,580 posts
Posted by IRONROOSTER on Friday, January 12, 2018 9:09 AM

Look at the underside of the ties.  Many manufacturers have their name molded into the plastic - sometimes with information about the track itself.

You may need good light and a magnifying glass to read it.

Paul

If you're having fun, you're doing it the right way.
  • Member since
    July, 2006
  • From: west coast
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Posted by rrebell on Friday, January 12, 2018 9:51 AM

Trainer

Thanks to all of you who replied to my inquiry on identifying track! Perhaps it would be helpful if I restate my question.

Is there an objective way of identifying the metallurgic components of the two types of track?

For example, I read an article about how nickel-silver is a poorer conductor of current than brass track.  The author suggested that more power track feeders per foot might be needed for nickel-silver than brass when using DCC.  This would imply that there would be a difference in resistance if one were to measure two equal lengths of the two types of track.  If I were to use an ohmmeter on a section of brass and then on a section of nickel-silver of equal length, would there be a discernable (measurable) difference in ohms?  And what might these amounts be?

(PS  The box that I received originally contained 25 sections of track according to the label.  I ordered and received ten sections. So this box was opened by the store and may not have been the original box the product came in.)

 

While brass conducts ellectricity better than nickel silver, it oxidizes and eliminates that advantage in very short order. That is why they moved over to the nickel silver.

  • Member since
    January, 2017
  • From: Southern Florida Gulf Coast
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Posted by SeeYou190 on Sunday, January 14, 2018 7:42 PM

Welcome

.

It is 99% likely to be nickel silver rail. Yes, you will need more feeders than with brass, but that is pretty easy to do.

.

Have fun!

.

-Kevin

.

Happily modeling the STRATTON & GILLETTE RAILROAD located in a world of plausible nonsense set in August, 1954.

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