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hello,
we live in South Texas and I'm starting to build a HO/DC railroad. A very high humidity is very
commen in this region. Can it harm locomotives, trucks or other electric parts like transformer etc?

And if so, how to protect the models from damage, how to store?
best greets
Klaus
 

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Humidity isn't too serious a problem, some surface corrosion of the Zinc alloys (such as Mazak) typically used in model train constuction may be evident if these are not painted. One of my Kader (Bachmann) models spent a week under a roof leak so was well soaked, and still no problems about 20 years on.

Storage, I'd think about some dehumidifying silica gel to keep the RH down in the packaging.
 

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This is a very good question.

I am in Sydney, Australia. Although it has been fairly humid here in the last few years, Sydney is normally a dry climate even when temperatures stay up in the late 30's degrees centigrade throughout summer.

Something I have noticed is that some of my more recently purchased coaches seem to be 'bowing' upwards in the middle. I don't recall buying them like that as I check them.

This is still very much an investigation in progress, but I am not 100% convinced that some plastics stand up terribly well in our climes. It is interest to note that all the 'old' stuff from the 1970's and 1980's (Lima, Hornby, Airfix) all seems to be OK. It's almost like plastics changed after that to be less 'climate tolerant'.

Another aspect of this which may have something to do with it is box packaging. Some manufacturers pack models very tightly (eg some Hornby). I'm not convinced that long term storage in this condition doesn't have an effect. Personally, I think the best packaging every used for coaches and wagons was the 'tray and cover' used by Airfix and subsequently, by Dapol because it never applied any strain to the models held within them.

All the obvious usuals apply too: don't store/expose to extremes of temperatures, never expose to direct sunlight and store with silica gel.
 

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I've had all of my stuff stored in boxes in a barn for the past 18 years whilst I renovated a French Chateau. Now that we have moved house and that I'm getting ready to build my next layout, I found that the wheels on some loco's have problems. One Triang has rust, a couple more Bachmann have corrosion and a couple of Hornby's have what looks like the chrome bubbling. All of this is on the tyres where they contact the railhead.
They are all steam loco's by the way.
So, I have to say that damp can be a problem. Maybe a dehumidifier would be the solution.

As for deformed carriages, I remember that used to happen to Triang stock way back in the 50's.
 

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...Something I have noticed is that some of my more recently purchased coaches seem to be 'bowing' upwards in the middle. I don't recall buying them like that as I check them.

This is still very much an investigation in progress, but I am not 100% convinced that some plastics stand up terribly well in our climes. It is interest to note that all the 'old' stuff from the 1970's and 1980's (Lima, Hornby, Airfix) all seems to be OK. It's almost like plastics changed after that to be less 'climate tolerant'...
It wouldn't much surprise me, former colleagues dealing with polymers were forever having to qualify new formulations for production of injection moulded components, because they had received notice that supply of polytetracorbynawfulamide was being discontinued, as one of the precursors had been shown to cause spontaneous brain explosions in rats fed 2 kg of the stuff per week...

...I found that the wheels on some loco's have problems. One Triang has rust, a couple more Bachmann have corrosion and a couple of Hornby's have what looks like the chrome bubbling. All of this is on the tyres where they contact the railhead. They are all steam loco's by the way...
Had the Bachmann and Hornby locos been run quite extensively previous to going into storage? Both of these brands current products have plated tyres, and it does wear through with use, see below. (The Triang could have sintered iron wheels or possibly steel tyres, now these will rust, but it polishes off.)

My oldest Bachmann models of current production type (not the old split chassis models, which were worn out pretty rapidly!) are the WD 2-8-0's, and after 23 years of regular operation, now have some of the loco tyres showing a streak of copper plating from railhead contact, no operational deficit resulting.

Likewise my oldest Hornby, 8F 2-8-0's and a Q1, now 20 years old, some of the tyre plating has worn through to the brass by railhead contact, (the tyres are presumably made from brass) no operational deficit resulting. On these, while doing routine oiling of the rods I have observed in the past few years the plating 'curling off' in tiny flakes
 

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They would have had quite a bit of running time over the years. I had a large layout, circa 70' for each loop, so they would have covered a good few miles I guess.
For the worst affected loco's, they will just become a feature on the loco shed as my new stuff is DCC.
 
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