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LEGO's train tracks (the actual rail part) were made from some kind of metal alloy that does not seem to oxidize, and seems to have good electrical charateristics (low resistance).

Any ideas what this might be?

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Just to put it out there, I have some old LEGO 9V train tracks that appear to have small oxidation spots on them. It makes the train run a bit unreliably, which does not exactly please my 6-year-old nephew. –  dgw Nov 2 '11 at 3:14
    
Ooh, what colour are the spots? If it's steel, they should be rust-coloured. –  mikl Nov 7 '11 at 14:05
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2 Answers 2

I'm not sure about LEGO, but Märklin, a company that specialized in building train models used simple stainless steel since 1982, chances are that LEGO did the same:

  • Stainless steel is relatively cheap
  • It doesn't oxidize (as the name implies)
  • The electrical charateristics aren't good, but you don't need a very good (and expensive) material like copper for something "small" like toy train tracks (Märklin shows that it works)
  • Märklin builT the electric "H0" trains since 1935, such an experienced company might have been a inspiring example when choosing a material

Like starblue said, nickel-siver might also be possible. Another indication of this speculation is the German Wikipedia entry wich says:

Die Schienenprofile von Modelleisenbahnen [...] bestehen mitunter aus Neusilber [...]

Translated: "the rail profile of model railways [...] sometimes consist of nickel-silver [...]"

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Both sound plausible – good finds :) –  mikl Oct 28 '11 at 14:26
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Maybe nickel silver, which would be a suitable material. But I only found a somewhat indirect claim on the german site 1000steine.

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