Large Scale Central

Running in low temperatures

Hi all,

What are the experiences running the GRR at around freezing level?


I ran my previous RR in the winter a few times. Used a hoe to clear the track, and ran. Battery time was down, and I had to de-ice the switches, but it worked.

Now, to build that 1:20 rotary…

Would the engines be much more sluggish i.e. higher current draw?
We don’t get that much snow in town here, but I remember that in HOm I had to have the train room at about 18ºC to get normal running. Of course the tolerances are sloppier in the BIG stuff, just wondered how much diff that would make.


Hj I have not noticed any difference even below freezing .
I have not measured any amperage , normally don’t .
ICE covered rail was a problem getting track power feed .
But many times have I ran trains in cold weather , plowed snow , of course my hands get cold .
Must admit though LGB is what I have ran in the extreme weather . Switches / turnouts usually frozen in position so did not move them .
Usually I will bring them inside the house and place on towels to melt the snow and ice from them and dry them well …then return them to the garage , oh yes they all live [Stored] in a un-heated , not A/c garage , so when ever I run them …they are already at outside tempreture .
Enjoy them outside in all weather , like the real ones .

Dennis, :wink:

And here I thought that electricians would as a matter of course pay attention to current draw under varying conditions.
Ah well, there goes another of my bubbles.

Now on the ME track, does it weather as dark as the pre-weathered stuff??

I have a #6 ME turnout ready to be mounted on ties, I also have some Code250 NS rail for a few more turnouts.Frankly I’ve never noticed how dark your rail is, any chance of a close up pix??



Sorry to let you down in regards to an electrican checking his model trains amperage at home .
Emailed you two pictures , please ley me know if you can see the rail clear enough ?

Maybe this picture showing the rail will work ?

or this one ?


Thank you Sir! Looks very realistic.

Now comes my next question, what the h… do you guys have in the air in your neighbourhood?? :-))



What do you mean Hj ?
Was there something in the photo’s ?
Home here is behind a lumber co and saw mill …always sawdust in the air and covering everything ?
Of course when I operate my shay …with sawdust in the air and the sound of the saw cutting logs , not very far away , really adds to the atmosphere of the shay .

Or maybe something related to all the coal fired power plants [where I work ] or the high humidity here in the Ohio River Valley ?

Being a warm weather sissy from W. Texas I have a policy that when thr temp is below 50° it is modeling time.


I was wondering if there’s some specific pollutant that interacts with the NickelSilver to tarnish it like that.

I was hoping that my brass rail would turn a nice dark colour but it hasn’t happened, yet. It has been out there for 2+ years.
Which means I’ll have to paint the stuff; being as I’m not so keen on the “Golden Look”, but too cheap to go with all NS. :wink:



Hj are you going to be running under cat wire outside on your layout ? Are you going to have it strung , but not use the cat wire for power ?
Outside cat wire overhead …hmmmm that would be interesting in a ice storm ? Or even in a snow storm ?
Cat would be so beautiful to behold outside though .

That’s the plan, eventually. Not powered but for the looks. What needs to be done is figuring out how to string “dog-proof cat”. :wink:

I believe I mentioned this once: using banjo strings would be a consideration, using open tuning and with properly “trained” dogs there are possibilities. Mind you, it wouldn’t sound like Swiss Mountain music.



Dog proof cat is possible . I can tell you that for a fact dogs that are around electric fence wire will NOT get close to string on wood stakes or anything that looks like electric fence wire . So you could string it , electrify it , like the electric fence wire , so no harm comes to the animals , but once or twice gotten , they will not touch it for nothing . Have you not seen large bulls and cows standing somewhat near a little bitty electric fence wire , one strand , and they do not touch it …of course you could train people as well …I do not touch the electric fence wire anymore and have not for many many years …something you could consider maybe for the dogs .

Dennis, I am in the process of transferring a few essential items to the “cruise the net” machine. Like this

, which was missing in my previous post. Once added it gives a whole new perspective.

hj, after plowing snow (in freezing weather ;^) ), my trains ran woderfully, except as dennis previously mentioned, if ice is encountered on the rails…other than that, no noticiable difference in running characteristics when compared to ‘warm’ weather operation…


That’s good to know.

So how you’re doing anyway? Lots of work?

Take care!