HO steel rail flextrack

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Dan Lawler

Member
Does anyone know a source of steel-rail flextrack?

Not seeking brass or nickel silver. I know steel rail doesn't conduct electric power worth a hoot. This is purely for the "silvery glint" appearance; conductivity doesn't matter in this application.
steelflex.jpg
 
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PowrCab

Member
I don't think there is flex with steel rail...There is separate steel rail you can hand lay if you can find it..
Nickel silver conducts fine...Only brass is a headache that way...
 

Topherisme

Chris wants more hobby time!!!
I think brass conducts better than nickel silver if I remember right, but the headache comes in cleaning it so often…. I tried a couple quick searches for steel flex track, but coming up with nothing
 

Rico

BN Modeller
Not sure about flex track but I know both Bachmann and Triang have steel rail.
If you’re using it for a display I’d think you could disassemble the prefab track and shape it to what you need in prototypical 39’ lengths.
I like the rust look it gives, with other track you’d have to apply rust solution or paint.

Just had a thought, Micro Engineering has weathered flextrack and individual rail that would take rust color well.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
The Pasadena Model Railroad Club had steel rail made for their layout years ago. They might be able to steer ya in the right direction.
 

Iron Horseman

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know a source of steel-rail flextrack?
Lifelike used to make steel rail flextrack. Have not seen it new for years. I think they abandon it when they started the power-loc series.
So the short answer is probably used on e-bay or at swap meets.
 

PowrCab

Member
Thanks. That was a good lead, but they say they are out of it now and starting to use nickel silver. Apparently the steel track is made out of unobtanium.
Not sure about the Pasadena being all steel. But for sure the Highland Park Society of Model RR Engineers, a club I visit here in Los Angeles, is all hand laid steel rail...And it runs flawlessly and looks great... The amount of rust they've said is negligible..
There is sectional track in steel, but I believe has only 18"r curves...I would not go there.
 

Dan Lawler

Member
Not sure about the Pasadena being all steel. But for sure the Highland Park Society of Model RR Engineers, a club I visit here in Los Angeles, is all hand laid steel rail...And it runs flawlessly and looks great... The amount of rust they've said is negligible..
There is sectional track in steel, but I believe has only 18"r curves...I would not go there.
Hand laid is a labor of love. I just don't quite love my track that much!
 

PowrCab

Member
Then you'll have to skip the idea of a steel railed layout unless you want to settle for sectional track with no wider than 18"r curves and quite poorly designed switches (T.O,s)... Why not instead go code 83 nickle silver flex from several makers and fuggeddaboudit !!!
 

Dan Lawler

Member
As a pilot I fly over railroad tracks and I find the silver glint from real railroad tracks to be a significant part of my visual appreciation of railroading. Nickel silver is such a misnomer, it is neither nickel nor silver in color. Somehow that goldish color of rail does detract from my train obsession. But, oh well, reality being what it is ordered a bunch of nickel silver Atlas code 83 today. I guess I have no choice but to fuggedaboutit! :confused: Thanks everybody.
 

PowrCab

Member
Good decision !! Just curious tho - What goldish color do you speak of ? The 1:1 is chrome-like to gray on top..and the NS 1:87 is chromelike on top...
are you seeing the 1:1 that way, or the model ? The old brass rail is goldish--orangish... Wha da ya mean ?

btw: Did you buy sectional or flex track ? If flex, you need to know some things about cutting, bending and laying it; the few tools needed and such..
Or, do you already have all that taken care of ? If not, you really need to know some important stuff aboudit !!
 

Dan Lawler

Member
PowrCab, I wonder if your color vision might be different from mine; I'm looking at this moment at a length of Peco flextrack with nickel silver rails, and the top of the rail looks like the same color as the side of the rail, a pretty shiny goldish color. It isn't an unpleasant color, but it is not at all like the chrome-like surface of full scale rails. The sides of the code 83 rails will get panted dirty brownish, but there is no way I know of to paint the tops of the rails that won't screw up conductivity and quickly wear off. I guess the color thing bothers me way more than it bothers most folks, and it's a small enough thing that I'm not going to let it stop me from enjoying building my railroad. I bought 25 Atlas sections, 75 feet of track. enough to start. I will buy Peco turnouts. All of my model railroading tracklaying experience is over a decade old, but yes I have used flextrack in the past with good results. Thanks.
 

PowrCab

Member
Well, OK.. But to me and I'd think most others, Peco, Atlas, Walthers, ME, is silvery-chrome looking, not gold or yellow..Perhaps you do have a vision discrepancy... Again, it's outmoded 1950s brass rail that is, well, brass colored...Todays NS is silvery or steel-gray in color.. not gold or yellow..
 
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PowrCab

Member
DAN L !! THIS JUST IN !!
Turns out you are right !! I was communicating with you outside home...Last night I grabbed a piece of Atlas flex and put it under strong light !!
There was a chromed nail clipper right there too..Compared to the clipper the flex rail is kind of goldish as you said !!!
I honestly never looked at the track that way, using a comparison, and all these years just chalked it up to as being completely silver in color !!!
And now that I've finally seen this, I sure wish there were code 83 steel-rail flex !!!
My sincerest apologies for doubting you..You were right and I'm glad to have found this out after decades of mistaken identity of (at least) Atlas track.
 
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PowrCab

Member
ADDENDUM TO ABOVE
I wonder if it is at all possible that NS ages and turns a bit yellow ? The piece of track I grabbed (above) is about 10 yrs or more old..
I say this as a response to the vast majority who claim ( as I normally did ) that NS is not yellowish, but silver in color.
 

Dan Lawler

Member
DAN L !! THIS JUST IN !!
Turns out you are right !! I was communicating with you outside home...Last night I grabbed a piece of Atlas flex and put it under strong light !!
There was a chromed nail clipper right there too..Compared to the clipper the flex rail is kind of goldish as you said !!!
I honestly never looked at the track that way, using a comparison, and all these years just chalked it up to as being completely silver in color !!!
And now that I've finally seen this, I sure wish there were code 83 steel-rail flex !!!
My sincerest apologies for doubting you..You were right and I'm glad to have found this out after decades of mistaken identity of (at least) Atlas track.
Oh no, I've done you no favor. Now you'll never be able to see NS rail as silver again! Apology accepted.
 

PowrCab

Member
ADDENDUM # 2 !!
Thanks !! But get this !! Just for the halibut I was watching a couple Vids from Britain about their track v gauge, conditions they deal with (or OO v HO) completely to pass the time as I find it interesting even though I'm a US HOer..One was about all of Peco's track products..
Anyway, there were tons of shots of NS rail shown in these Vids and I swear all of it looked spanking, near sterling silver, or chrome; not goldish !
I don't know what's going on...In one way, as I'd described, there was the goldish tint in mine...Yet in views of it in the Vids it had no tint like that !!!

I'm hoping other members will join in here with their explanations and insight as to just what is happening here !! This is certainly a new one on me !!
I'm not reversing my agreement with you as much as perhaps hoping others will be able to BRING LIGHT to this anomaly over NS's appearance, once and for all...
 




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