Can't comment on outdoor railways as I've no experience with same.
As for rail, _always_ nickel-silver if you use electrical power. In
doors, out doors wherever.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway
While you can run outside with any scale keep in mind that the track
must be clean and free of even the very smallest bits of leaves, sticks and
other crud. HOn3 locomotives are small and light so clean track and wheels
are a must even if the locomotive is a smooth reliable runner. The flanges
are also smaller than HO so a tiny piece of anything on the track can derail
light HOn3 locomotives and cars.
Nickel Silver rail is much better. Its oxidation conducts electricity
and stays much cleaner than brass. I would think Nickel silver is the only
option in HOn3 anyway. I've never seen HOn3 brass turnouts or flex track and
I don't recall seeing any brass code 70 or 55 or 40 rail to hand lay your
track. Of course I might not have been paying attention as I have always
stayed away from brass track.
I would if at all possible try to have a layout inside even if it was
very small. Outside may work if your willing to accept the potential for
problems. You might try a small loop with a couple of turnouts outside.
Build it this summer. Let it go through the winter and the weather ( maybe a
Hurricane or three) to see how it holds up and how much work it takes to
keep it operational. Bruce
Ditto to what others have said about use of nickel silver and the special
need for clean rails and wheels for the very small, light HOn3 locos. I'd
add two things:
o Consider adding rail wiping pick-up shoes to your locos/tenders to improve
rail contact. I found this made a big improvement with HOn3 indoors,
especially on older brass locos.
o My experience with G gauge out doors in Virginia is that rail oxidation is
much less of a problem than Mother Nature's Crud. Rain drops collect soot
and dust in the air and deposit it on the rail. Rain and dew moisture drips
off of any overhead leaves and brings with it an adherent black crud from
the surface of the leaves that collects on the rail heads between runs. And
then there are birds who - well you know what happens. And spiders who
leave webs, slugs who leave slime, etc. etc. It is much worse than basement
Plan on building some sort of track cleaning device to run over the track
before each use with some sort of all-purpose cleaner (I use 409) on a
mildly abrasive pad, and supplement that with a car in a train with the old
Masonite square with two nails glued on top "floating" in two matching holes
in the car's center sill.
Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.