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I have an HO layout that used Code 100 rail. In a new layout that I am considering, I would salvage as much code 100 rail from my current layout as I can to use in the On30 layout.

I know that many people feel that even in O Scale, Code 100 is too big. It works out that Code 100 in O scale would be close to equaling 65 pound rail in real life. I believe that the Durango and Silverton has been somewhat recently re-railed with 60 pound rail. Although the rail size was lighter when this trackage was first laid. I guess that in the end, because it is my railroad I can use whatever I like as a rail size. Code 83 would likely be better; however, ,017 is pretty much at the limits of my being able to detect! Then, the fact that it has been painted makes the difference even harder to detect. I like the money savings re-using my Code 100 provides.
 

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Code 100 for On30 should work just fine especially if it's painted. You could mix in some Code 83, or even Code 70, on sidings and spurs. I would suggest handlaying your track to really get that narrow gauge look. Commercial track, unfortunately, often looks too, well, commercial.
 

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The narrow gauge rails might be quite acceptable from an engineering standpoint because the typical axle loadings are modest to light. They use 2-8-2 variants which, with outside trucks, distribute the load nicely of those smaller steamers. Even so, I would bet that the D$S would much rather have 80 or 90 pound rails if asked. More mass per supporting cm to distribute the riding forces, such as dynamic augment, and those rails would last that much longer while costing about the same to place.

I think Code 100 HO rails look very realistic when used by On30 rolling stock. It would be about 80 pound rail, so that's perfectly reasonable.
 

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Here's a handy chart:
Rail Sizes – Scale vs. Code Size

Rail
Weight
(lbs./yd)
O
Scale
S
Scale
HO
Scale
N
Scale
152​
172​
125​
100​
55​
132​
148​
83​
40​
100​
125​
100​
70​
90​
83​
75​
100​
55​
65​
70​
55​
83​
40​
55​
40​
35​
70​
25​
55​
40​
12​
40​
 
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