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LARNE CABIN

Running on Rusted Rail!

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This is probably a silly question, but I am relatively new to railway modelling, and although I believe I have a talent for buildings, scenery etc., I know very little about electrics, running etc., just the basics.

I am standing on the bridge looking down into Larne Harbour Station. I can see the silver thread of the running line into Platform 1 (used many times each day), and the slightly less silvery, but nonetheless used line into Platform 2 (used a number of times each day). I can also see the rusted track of the hardly used sidings.

927916562_LarneHarbour1984.jpg.9476cdccb1724f64d4ab5fac9f8c7e10.jpg

As I am trying to create as realistic a model of Larne Harbour Station as possible (see my post in Irish Model Layouts) , my question is if I heavily rust the rail on the sidings will I still have power and be able to run a loco over the rusted rail, as I would like to be able to shunt Brown Vans etc?

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Unless using battery power, the rail tops need to be shiny or you won’t get power to the loco. You could chemically blacken the track and that might work. Best compromise is to leave the siding ends rusty but keep where the loco will go as clean as you can.

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Even in real life, rusty track is an issue.

 

On little used sections, such as the loop at Ballybrophy, they may schedule the odd train to run over it, in order to 'clean' the track top, so that train detection will still operate reliably.

Running a train on really rusty track, especially in very dry weather, can result in the connection between the wheels and rails being intermittent, at best...

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How about running over the rail tops with a pencil, I think graphite is a good conductor. If you are shunting those lines they shouldn't really be rusty.

Edited by NIR
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Spray paint the rails with a mat rust colour before ballasting, while the paint is wet rub down the top of rails with the edge of a block of MDF- a-la BaseboardDave technique. If the paint dries wrap some wetted wet-n-dry fine sand paper around the MDF block and rub down.

Graphite as well as being a conductor is also a lubricant- one may have traction problems with this one, but sure if it doesn't work, out with the eraser!

Eoin

 

Edited by murrayec
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I rusted the inner and outer edges of all the rail on my layout. I used a Woodland Scenics rusty rail track painter to do the job. Just wipe the tops of the rails as you go. I don't have any issues with conductivity. 

 

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