Another question from a Lionel newby

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by Russ Bellinis, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I figure that when I give the Lionel set to my grandson in a few years, I need to give a second set to his brother. I was at my local hobby shop this morning looking at the possibilities. I saw a bunch of Lionel trains sets with Fast Track, MTH "Real Track" looks like a much better product, hoowever. It uses solid rail instead of the tinplate stampings that Lionel uses. I didn't see any MTH starter sets. Does MTH make entry level starter for children like Lionel does?
  2. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I don't have any firsthand experience with the MTH Realtrack, but I understand it doesn't hold together as nicely as the Lionel Fastrack. MTH does make starter sets, but they don't make as many as Lionel does.

    If you decided you wanted to go with a different type of track, Fastrack is so popular right now you would have no problem selling it off.
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I've been running on fastrack for a couple of years and I don't notice the rails anymore.
    It is expensive, and you could get a much bigger layout in one of the "traditional" style tracks; but if it comes with the set...
    None of the roadbed tracks seem to be compatible with each other.
  4. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    These sets would be put together for the kids to run them on the floor, and then when done the track would be taken apart, picked up and put in a bin. The trains put on shelves, or in an underbed plastic storage bin with a lid. I still have a few years to decide what to get them. I'm just wondering which is the better product for little guys to use? I did notice a Northwest logging theme freight set by Lionel. I think they would have a lot of fun loading and unloading the log cars.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    The one problem I have, personally, myself, is taking the Fasttrack apart. If I can get it lifted up where I can twist it, it separates, but I can't do it flat on the table if it's still in a full oval.
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    The MTH track I have (came with a trolley set that I added a few pieces to) does not stay together very well after a few putting togethers and taking aparts. The Fastrack appears to have solved that problem.

    I could be wrong, but it seems to me Fastrack is actually cheaper than the MTH, and is certainly more widely available - especially the slower selling larger radius curves, swtiches, and specialty pieces.

    these are just my thoughts and experiences, make your own choices
  7. Greg Elems

    Greg Elems Member

    MTH does sell starter sets. Two sets that come to mind are the Harley Davidson Railking and Virginia and Truckee Railking sets. Both include track transformer besides cars and engines. The MTH track that I have has been used in floor layouts and consequently takes fair amount of abuse, i.e. stepped on and apart to change the layout. It has held up good so far IMHO. Also the rail is solid nickel silver with the shape of real rail but doesn’t work with Lionel's magna traction. The Lionel Fastrack has had fewer choices than Realtrack as far as switches and uncoupling tracks are concerned. Another choice to consider is the new Atlas Industrial Rail sets which will be available early next yr. They plan on having track with road bed like MTH and Lionel but their track will mate with their regular 3-Rail track line and have transition pieces to mate with other styles of track.

  8. 3railguy

    3railguy Member

    I have both Fastrack and Realtrax. Fastrack is the way to go in my opinion.

    MTH Realtrax is not for kids as it is often difficult to snap together and the copper conductor tabs easily bend out of alignment causing dead spots. The nickle silver solid rail is nice but it doesn't work with magnetraction should one get a magnetraction engine.

    Lionel Fastrack on the other hand pushes together easily and firmly. It has excellent electrical continuity and no contacts to bend out of whack. The switch tracks also work very well.

    Lionel starter sets start at around $150 and the better ones such as the Polar Express start at around $250. MTH sets start at around $250 but I think they include Proto Sounds 2 if I'm not mistaken.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Thanks for all of the input, guys. I think I will go with the Lionel Fastrack and Lionel starter set, unless something better has come out when they get ready for electric trains.
  10. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    If it wasn't already stated, keep in mind the track types are not interchangable if the boys want to make a big lay out
  11. Brian R.

    Brian R. Member

    Fastrac is the way to go. Great conductivity. Yes it is expensive, but for a starter set it is worth it. If they plan on creating a larger layout, gargraves track is the way to go because it has flex track.

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