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Could someone please explain the difference between Code 250 and 332 rail, and, are there any advantages and/or disadvantages between to the two.
 

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Put a decimal point in front of the number and that is the number of inches the rail is tall... "code 250" is 1/4 inch tall.

The taller the rail the stronger it probably is (all other things being kept equal), but it might not be "scale" for what you want it to represent.
 

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Due to being shorter in height, the code 250 may have issues with any wheels with 'deep' flanges. Smaller than code 250 is definately an issue with flanges.
 

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The critical distance relative to flange depth is the distance from the railhead to the top of the spikes (or molded spike/bolt/whatever detail) that holds the rail to the tie. So long as this is greater than your deepest flange, you'll be fine. Note that a taller rail does not necessarily mean the distance is proportionally greater.

Samples:

Distance from railhead to top of spikes
Aristo (code 332) - .190"
LGB (code 332) - .182"
AMS (code 250) - .178"

There's only .004" difference between the code 250 AMS and code 332 LGB track. Incidentally, the deepest flange I've encountered is .161". Most are less than .125".

Later,

K
 

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code 332 is more prototypical is you are modeling in 7/8 scale using about 90 lb rail; but 250 would be better in 7/8 scale as most industrial rail is smaller than that (the majority of themes).
In the small scales like 1:20.3 and smaller, code 250 would be more realistic (or even smaller)
The main advantage of the larger rail is to get the wheel high enough up so that ballast or debris has less chance of causing the flanges to strike. The 250 would be easier to bend as well. Not really sure why 332 is sold, as there's more material used. The irony is it's usually cheaper to purchase (i.e., aristo)
 

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Code 332 rail scales to 4.5" in 7/8 scale, which is the equivalent of 60-pound rail. (90-pound rail is around 5.5" tall.) A good chart showing rail sizes relative to weight can be found by clicking here. This reference is for S scale, so pay no attention to the equivalent rail codes they mention. To figure out the prototype size of the rail you're using, multiply the rail size by the scale (i.e., .332 x 13.7) to give you the inches the rail scales out to. Then just look on the chart to find rail that matches that size. There is some overlap in sizes vs. weights, as things like the web thickness, base width, etc. varied from one mill to the next.

Later,

K
 

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Posted By East Broad Top on 04/23/2008 11:21 AM
Code 332 rail scales to 4.5" in 7/8 scale, which is the equivalent of 60-pound rail. (90-pound rail is around 5.5" tall.) A good chart showing rail sizes relative to weight can be found by clicking here. This reference is for S scale, so pay no attention to the equivalent rail codes they mention. To figure out the prototype size of the rail you're using, multiply the rail size by the scale (i.e., .332 x 13.7) to give you the inches the rail scales out to. Then just look on the chart to find rail that matches that size. There is some overlap in sizes vs. weights, as things like the web thickness, base width, etc. varied from one mill to the next.
Later,
K




What about 136lb rail with 1/4" loss? MOW uses this when blending in new milled rail into older rail that has been worn down. I guess that makes transition rail from 250 to 332 realistic...
A joking aside that's a great resource for modelers. Most modern mainlines are 136 or greater.
 
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