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C&L Finescale...famed for producing trackage for EM and P4 as well as OO

http://www.finescale.org.uk/show_page.php?...1535d9320651b#g

produce their rail in steel as well as N/Silver.

true, steel rail WILL rust in damp condiditons.....I would question whether it's wise to have a model railway in'damp' environment...unless deliberately building outdoors?

However, nickel silver rail also has a 'corrosion' issue..or rather, a tarnishing issue....which is about the same thing, I think.

I prefer steel..if track building.....some say steel rail allows for better adhesion? I have little evidence to support or deny this....since my layouts tend to be of the shunterupper type......I don't get much joy out of going large.

There may also be issues regarding soldering........some say N/S is easier to solder with?

Currently, N/S is cheaper as a raw material than steel, so I believe.

N/S curves easier than steel...steel retains its shape better.......and I do wonder whether all the makers get their rail from the same factory?

SMP also offered phosphor-bronze rail.....doubtless excellent for electrical conductivity, plus it's ready-weathered.

However, if the OP is looking at some cheapo flex track, which may be steel, well, ,.....................it wont be a bad deal.......

One trick the US modellers used [whether on steel or N/S I never ascertained] was to coat the rail in Wahl Clipper oil...applied sparingly of course........amongst other things they reckoned it kept wheels and railheads cleaner.....
 

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steel track in a dampish atmosphere shouldn't be a worry.....most of it will be under a coat of paint..if not, don't worry...the top surface will stay clean with use, especially if a wee drop of machine oil is smeared on now and then.......and if used infrequently, then track cleaning is the way of things...but N/Silver has the same issues...lack of use means time for the track rubber?
 

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as a non-engineer.......the above perhaps explains why the ring-field motors, and other 'pancake'-style motors were so popular with makers in the past?

less efficiency losses?

On the basis that motorcar makers were not eedyuts.....the spiral bevel gears of a final drive [rear axle, or transaxle] must be efficient at transmitting power?
Therefore,surely not beyond the wit of model engineers to produce a spiral bevel gearbox?

another one.....Rivarossi, with their ancient steam locos, used a very hefty motor....and an equally hefty worm gear.....the diameter of which was considerably larger than those used by the more common makers.....was there a secret advantage in using such a large diameter worm? [with, I believe, a matching concave pinion..or is it worm, with pinion on motor shaft??]

what are the losses from belt , or chain drive?

{to turn drive through 90 degrees?]
 

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I agree...with modern communications, we would save all that heart-ache of personal modelling developement, all that 'trial-and-error'?

All of which quite often leads to disillusionment and abandonment...
 
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