At the risk of sounding disputatious, if they're not doing it, then the will
can't be very serious. As for Peco, I thought the track was made overseas.
If you mean they are going to make the Collett goods loco in Britain, we'll
see. As long as they keep very quiet, produce only tiny quantities, and
stick to making it in an old barn, they might get away with it.
As long as they operate at the craft end of the market, they are classed as
"heritage" and "revival" operations, and that will be OK. Once they get
above 10 or so employees, they are classed as "industrial manufacturing" and
can look forward to a visit from some local authority chaps.
They give you livery variations and artistic licence in the shape of the
models compared to the prototypes. What more do you want?
At the risk of generating a whole load of angst, I was under the
impression that Peco rail was definitely not the best on the market. I
base this on comments and discussions concerning the appalling state of
the 45mm and 32mm track work that was only a year or two back installed
at Cheddar Models factory and which deteriorated so rapidly that it was
not worth recovering a month or so back, when the business closed and
the Cheddar Steam Club were offered it for free.
Our small group are ground clearing and about to construct a rather
large out door run of 45mm track work at the preserved Nene Valley
Railway depot to compliment our existing 'in the coach' 44ft OO gauge
layout, so are exploring the track work possibilities. It seems that the
Peco rail down at Cheddar which was mainly used to run the live steam
locos suffered from the sleepers becoming very brittle indeed and very
rapidly breaking up. The rail bed was on resin bonded play over solid
steel framing and there was little perceptible movement in the track
supports, other than common expansion which was allowed for in the
design of the layout.
Cost is a huge factor in large areas of 45mm track work. LGB is very
I suspect that the problem with the G-gauge track is that the sleepering
appears to be fairly ordinary plastic whilst the smaller scale stuff uses
something more akin to rigid engineering plastic. The discharges (oil,
steam and water) from live steam operation will all have an impact of the
plastic used for the 45mm gauge stuff.
Certainly my OO-scale railway which uses Peco finescale code 75 track has
had much of the trackwork in situ for seven or eight years without any
problems at all and requires minimal cleaning.
It sounds like one should paint the sleepers before putting them outside.
I have Peco track from 1966 that is still usable/reusable and Graham Farish from
1964 that refuses to go away and die!
Peco turnouts must be made of a different material as their lifespan seems to be
Peco pointwork appears to use the same sleepering base as their G-gauge
track, so that *might* explain why, but even so the stresses to which
(electrified) points are subjected to would have an effect on their
I wondered if it was the action of sunlight and weathering which caused
the plastic to break up. The nickel steel rail itself was in fine
condition and the problem seemed to be confined to the plastic chairs
and sleepers which became extremely brittle.
Our NVR layout has been running Peco OO-Gauge inside for years without
problems. It's open to the public every weekend and during all of the
summer steam gala functions is operating daily non stop. Over the
average year the whole layout infrastructure gets a hell of a hammering.
Points need regular replacement due to surface wear. Rakes of 40 or so
mineral wagons or long passenger rakes hauled by a huge variety of locos
is not uncommon.
Are you running your OO-scale railway outdoors? I have been tempted to
have a go at this for ages, but have been put off by the fact that we
have a damn great oak tree inside our boundary that covers half the
garden and which is protected under a TPO. It's very tempting though to
have a run out of the workshop and around the garden.
Try Tenmille track - it is as bullet-proof as the chunkier LGB stuff,
but nearer Peco in price (IIRC). Had experience of it in 32 & 45mm,
with live steam, on outdoor, indoor & exhibition layouts, and it has
been more than up to the job.
I'm not aware of the same type of situation with Peco 7mm scale track. I know
one or two people who use this track on outdoor layouts and they don't seem to
suffer this problem, with their tracks being down for several years with no
noticeable deterioration. I wonder if the situation at Cheddar had anything to
do with a lot of live steam running.
I use Hornby flexible and semi-flexible OO track, so I can't tell you
what happens to Peco from my experience! However, I will say that Peco
insulating fishplates are bloody awful: I've recently had to replace a
couple that have been down for just a year and a half (barely two
summers), and as soon as I started fiddling with the track they
disintegrated into lots of tiny tiny bits.
OO in the garden http://www.yddraiggoch.demon.co.uk/railway/railway.html
I don't know if it would work for you but I use the standard metal
connectors everywhere then if I need an insulating gap I make a cut (care of
Mr Dremel) then "plug the gap" with a bit of milliput moulded to match the
rail profile ...
The insulating fishplates are not UV hardened. Think mu PVC
versus old srtyle PVC double glazing.
I'd go with cutting an insulating slot and then filling with
milliput (from experience I know milliput will cope with
pretty arduous conditions, sea air, sea spray etc) or
araldite per Chris's post. Long term per your garden oo
just so long as it ain't a metal filled epoxy then it'd be a
contender for experiment.
Nick Coe (UK)
Available - Will work for money :-)
It sounds as if you should ask Peco the question "Is your track suitable for
use outdoors? If yes, are there any precautions we need to take?" is called
for. Keep question and response if you go ahead, just in case.
I have to agree with comment about there being no desire to manufacture
anything in the UK and I mean nationally and not just model railways.
It is the lack of committment to manufacturing that has been the the
biggest disappointment with the Government and in 1997 I had expected
and hoped for a good deal more. Unfortunately the situation is getting
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