Track Rust ... an observation

Discussion in 'Walls, paths, roads etc' started by Chris M, Apr 6, 2023.

  1. Chris M

    Chris M If 2 wrongs don't make it right ... try 3 Full Member

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    Many modellers go to great lengths to make their layouts as scenically realistic and accurate as possible which is great. But there is one thing I have noticed that seems to always be overlooked and I don't know why.

    We all know that used track gets grimy and/or rusty and often unused sidings are modelled as rusty and dilapidated. But when it comes to switches, the unused rail is either left shiny (if metal) or whatever plastic colour they were molded in. As you can see in the photo below check rails and wing rails are never shiny ... mostly grimy with some rust.

    Track Detail 1.jpg

    I don't think I have ever seen a model railway layout where the unused switch rails have been painted with rust and grim even on the most detailed layouts. For example in the picture below (Dean Park station which is a wonderful layout with extreme attention to detail) no wing rails have been grimed/rusted.

    Dean Park.jpg

    None of my comments are in any way a criticism ... this is purely an observation. Am I being too picky? I would be interested in any members thoughts about this.

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2023
  2. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    G`day Chris,
    Brilliant observation and correct as far as I`m concerned...:thumbs:
    However in model form it`s a different kettle of fish.
    I think there would be a fair percentage of railway modellers that resort to using a track rubber to clean their track ( I do ), there would those that also use a masonite ski / skid to clean their track ( guilty ) and there would be those that use chemical methods, some by hand and some by deploying a soft pad soaked in chemical under a wagon.
    The trouble with all these methods is that it is almost impossible to bypass wing rails or check rail tops whilst cleaning the rest of the track.
    It is possible with a track rubber, but is anyone willing to spend the time, especially on a large layout, when you can lay a good sized track rubber across two rails and clean good lengths of track fairly quickly
    I think most are happy to rust up the sides of the rails and accept that as good enough, when considering the amount of time and grief saved by not having to avoid the tops of wing rails and check rails.
    Just my thoughts on visually correct versus practical......:scratchchin:
    :tophat:Gormo
     
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  3. Walkingthedog

    Walkingthedog Full Member

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    I agree with you Gormo. But for some reason I notice that these check rails have remained rusty on all of my points. Strange. :scratchchin:

    IMG_7311.jpeg
     
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  4. gormo

    gormo Staff Member Administrator

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    Interesting Brian.......:scratchchin:
    You must have a method of cleaning that preserves your rusty rails.
    :tophat::cheers:Gormo
     
  5. Walkingthedog

    Walkingthedog Full Member

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    Not that I’m aware of. Perhaps they are set a microdot lower than the rest of the track. Every other bit of track is shiny.
     
  6. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    Hi Chris, some years ago now when I built Elton Crossing the trackwork was mainly scratch built using C&L components since I needed to achieve the correct crossing angles which proprietary points don't give. So I'm totally with you on your observations re wing and check rail surface rusting... its little details like that which can make all the difference, after all we each have our own modelling agendas and derive pleasure from it. Here is a picture of Elton Crossing showing the track geometry.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. York Paul

    York Paul Staff Member Moderator

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    ... then of course we could go one extra mile and have out of use rusty track which I experimented on with the current Leek station build. Needless to say this was just part of a photo shoot documenting construction since the rusty track will need to run trains on.

    [​IMG]
     
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