Scale vs. Sound

Hello, all. Instead of discussing the look of scale model trains I wanted to get some thoughts from ng members as to which scale(s) comes closer to
producing the clackety-clack sound of actual railroad cars going over the tracks (I grew up with that sound). It seems that S-gauge or larger is better at this than the smaller scales. I think Gilbert AF (on original Gilbert post-WWII track) and Lionel capture this particularly well. Thanks for your time and comment. Sincerely, from someone who really appreciates railroad sounds (especially steam locomotive whistles),
John Wood (Code 5550) e-mail: snipped-for-privacy@itd.nrl.navy.mil Naval Research Laboratory 4555 Overlook Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20375-5337
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J. B. Wood wrote:

In my experience, wheels and substructure have more to do with the sound of the railroad than the scale. If the track is acoustically isolated from the substructure, then one can hear the click of metal wheels quite nicely from "scale distances" (a foot or two, or 100 to 200ft in HO scale.) On one layout, I filed li'l notches in the rail head every 39 scale feet. Nice!
HTH
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Hello, Wolf. That would appear to make sense. You must appreciate the sound as well to take the trouble of notching your track! And I suppose one could argue that the closer the scale factor comes to full size the more the sound should resemble the real thing. A scale factor of 1/64 or 1/48 has always been "just the right size" for me but there's always that layout real estate consideration (spouses always have input here). Sincerely,
John Wood (Code 5550) e-mail: snipped-for-privacy@itd.nrl.navy.mil Naval Research Laboratory 4555 Overlook Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20375-5337
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J. B. Wood wrote:

Yeah, the clickety clack and the locomotive's whistle. "Blues in the night...." Sigh.
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Does North America still use staggered rail joints? If one is modelling a system that uses parallel rail joints, then one would only have to notch one of the rails to get an appropriate sound. Regards, Bill.
wrote:

sound
quite
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Yes.
-- Cheers
Roger T.
Home of the Great Eastern Railway http://www.highspeedplus.com/~rogertra /
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Roger T. wrote:

And no. Depends on the railroad. Eg, C&O used parallel joints IIRC. On the Huron Central here, there seems to be no plan at all: the joints just fall where they fall. Here and there shorter pieces of rail have been spliced in. One such piece right next to a grade crossing is about 6ft long! I suspect the original "plan" was to have no joints within the crossing. As for level and gauge: not good at all. In 2003-04, HCRy had a derailment every other month. Then some accounting genius must have used his fingers and toes to figure it was cheaper to actually maintain the track... Well, it is a branchline, after all. :-)
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