Vote here for S/H track,I have LGB track and points and Aristo track with no problems,little work needed to do before laying it but already covered by previous posts,make sure of good connections,tight rail joiners and conductive grease ,I normally buy from shops as not a great lover of Ebay as can`t examine what I`m buying and normally buy a packet of new joiners just in case of a dodgy one or need of a cut,a wash off in soapy water normally cleans it up enough.As for the running surface a rub along with a wet n dry covered sponge sanding block does the trick,I brought 3 for a pound in a local DIY over the weekend.I run analogue with no problems. Rio
Definitely worth the hassle. I've got a fair amount of used track on my line, including two LGB R3 points that I picked up at G-Rail a few years back for £20 each.
A guy was pondering over them on the KGR stand for about 10 minutes before handing them back saying that he couldn't be bothered with the hassle of putting them right if there was any problem.
At that time R3 points were about £65 each new (and around £35 - £40 used on average) so at £20 I thought they were well worth a punt and and nabbed em.
They had no fish-plates and the chairs had broken off the end sleepers on one, so technically no means of keeping the rail in place. I just popped rail clamps on them; stuck them on the line; wired up the point motors and away we went . They've been down for around 5 years now with no problems at all.
Also got some used Aristocraft track bought from Steve Warrington when he opened his first shop (8 - 10 years ago?). Still going strong.
Oh I think it would be if one wanted a better curve without the cash to pay for it.
As for second hand track, all of mine is now on it's third line some of my LGB the fourth so I guess you could say it is all second hand in that it has been on different railways that I have built at Hertford, Luton, Hemel Hempstead and now the nits.
Most of my rails are second-hand, cleaned from time to time with wet-and-dry 1500 grit paper, used wet, wiped off with old socks (essential!). Current preferences are PIKO and LGB track, LGB points (picked up an R5 from evilbay for £60), with Aristo points second choice, not quite so keen on their track. Joining is too fiddly for my aged fingers. The Sparesman (local trader, no connection except as a customer and mate) usually has some decent track available at a fair price. All my rails are joined with Massoth-type connectors. Currently arguing with self as to whether the screws should be inside or outside. Compromise where track is only visible from one side - screws at the back. And some track is re-radiused R-1, with rails shortened to suit if need be. Hardly difficult.
About 90% is second-hand. I didn't specifically want 10% new - it just happened to be cheap (roughly same price as used). Most has been sourced from eBay or this forum, there being no handy retailers here on the edge of nowhere. I have no particular allegiance brand-wise - currently have LGB, PIKO, Aristo-craft, USA Trains, AMS, Trainline 45 and even Tenmille G (on sidings where a few strokes with a file has resolved the rail-height difference). Most trackwork in brass, but I have a few Aristo 10' diameter stainless steel points and curves. I am a bit of a heathen when it comes to sleeper spacing and have happily mixed Euro with USA. Most joints have rail joiners, but now with a rail-clamp over to be on the safe side conductivity wise. Hopefully that will also help with the expansion gaps that developed between track pieces when the weather was hot. I have an LGB Schoema rail-cleaner, plus a couple of under-wagon jobs, but also use the Poundland spongy sanding blocks for stubborn areas. If anyone needs to dismantle points etc for servicing a soak in a solution of white wine vinegar and salt removes tarnish, BUT be warned it removes zinc from the brass surface leaving a surfeit of copper and the rail will take on a pinkish hue until it weathers. I had a large quantity of surplus R1s of various makes and re-radiused (?) to whatever was required as well as conversion to straights. Had a few issues with feeds (jumpers) on point-work (new and s/h and all makes) and have replaced whenever necessary. Rail-end joints on points are strictly rail-clamps only now, to allow removal without disturbing surrounding track. I've built up a reserve of spare track for possible future use - probably over 300ft, plus 20 or so points and crossovers.
Generally S/H LGB track is fine. The sleeper or ties are made from a durable plastic. Some other track on the market may break down after years due to regrind plastic but most are OK. The rails can get loose in the sleeper 'rail chairs' but not necessarily a problem when joined. I have also seen rail worn way down on sharp curves etc. As others have already said, the rail connectors can be missing or loose and give electrical continuity problems and points can have continuity and mechanical/wear issues.
As a lengthy side note, some time ago I bought 2 S/H boxes of 120cm straight track from a German store dealer. It was listed on eBay as VGC and picture perfect but half the lengths of track had several huge 8mm holes in the sleepers from carelessly being ripped up. The dealer was arrogant only offering me a small discount and insisting that I was a problem customer then blocked me. Recently I encountered the same with a brand new LGB set with the locomotive having the front headlight busted off. After reading his 'this has never happened before' reply and blaming the shipping company I had a closer look with a magnifying glass and the break had evidence of being re-glued which obviously had broken before it was shipped then again after being glued being much weaker. Some dealers seem to think Australians are a dumping ground for all their broken carp because it won't be returned because of shipping costs. So far this has happened half a dozen times or so and they all give me narcissistic abuse for their own shameful acts. It's only a small percentage of all my purchases though and still better than paying a local retailer.