Large Scale Central

B'Mann Track - pass the test of time?

Have any of you used Bachmann brass track - long enough to make a comparison with LGB, USA,PIKO, etc.?

Survived a winter? Heat? Ties held up?

So far after a spring, summer & Fall it has held up great. I’m buying more.

I didn’t like it, I used 3 feet inside a storage building sandwiched between USA and Aristo track. The locomotive stall on the Bachmann section no matter how much the track is cleaned normally near the joint with Aristo track. However if someone can explain this and find a solution for me I would try it.

If its at the joint with other track, it could be dielectric corrosion. Corrosion caused when moisture gets between 2 dissimilar metals. Did you use the so called conductive grease at that joints? Are the Aristo and Bachmann rails touching each other?

No to the conductivity grease, is that good or bad?
Yes the rails are touching, joint is good and tight.

Yep, then that’s probably what it is. If there was something between the rail ends, so they don’t touch, then you would not get dielectric corrosion. If that is what is happening.

Interesting since both are advertised as Brass. I also have USA Trains track touching Aristo Brass and Aristo Brass touching Aristo Stainless Steel but the Bachmann/Aristo joint is the only troublesome one.

Well, its just a guess on my part.

Brass is a generic term for an alloy (usually containing copper and tin). But depending on the mix of those 2 metals, and/or whatever other metals used, different brasses could have different properties. Since you say its seams to always be near the joint with the Aristo track, that would be a likely scenario.

Disclaimer: I am not a metallurgist, nor do I play one on TV.

That’s interesting. I hadn’t thought of that differing formulaes for brass would have an affect on one-another. I have noticed that LGB brass track is easier to cut and solder to than Aristo brass track.

For what it’s worth;

I have a couple of sections of Stainless Steel track that are noticeably gray compared to the rest and they don’t conduct like the rest either. Slowing trains drew notice to them.

Reverse engineering, some supplier gave himself a raise using cheaper ingredients.


I do not use track pickup so I have no idea how well that works. I’m just going by the overall quality of the track for my large and very heavy K-36 that runs on battery and the track holds up great. Its a very heavy, strong track.

Disclaimer: I am not a metallurgist, nor do I play one on TV.

But I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express last nite…(

Brass is copper and zinc. Bronze is copper and tin. There are of course differing alloys. Red brass used for threaded plumbing pipe has more copper. Some basses have additional ingredients. Brass also can be soft or hard even with the same chemical composition. It can be hardened by working it by hammering, bending or rolling or softened by annealing with heat.

Our rails are probably extruded like toothpaste from a tube. Then they are probably rolled to straighten them which would harden them a bit. I suspect they are all made the same way though the details of the process probably differ. The ratio of copper and zinc in the alloy probably varies a little and the hardness varies a bit too. I would expect them to play well together.

They could have a coating of some sort leftover from manufacturing that would prevent good conductivity I suppose.

Eric, I stand corrected. I told yunz that I am not a metallurgist.

CL - What are you using for joiners? Could that be the conductivity issue?

Aristo on one rail, Bachmann on the other I believe.

Thanks. I’m not familiar with the Bachman joiners. Do they use screws like Aristo? If not, maybe rail clamps at this joint might fix it. The dissimilar joiners may not be making good electrical contact.

Metallurgy is where science meets witchcraft. Lazarus Long, ca. 2342

Steve, that’s alchemy, isn’t it?

I also had a piece of SS that “ran slow” and it was not shiny on the surface but gray.