New guy needs advice

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by brentg, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. brentg

    brentg New Member

    I tried the search feature here but could not find anything.
    I have a Lionel train that is O gauge, the track is O gauge also and is very old and rusty and the train does not run well on it., The train and cars and rail track switches have been in boxes and are in new condition, my question is if I get some new track (Fast track) or (Real track) will it work with the switches that i have or will i have to buy new rail switches.


  2. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    if you get fast track, you got to use fast track switches. the realtrack is not lionel, its MTH, but your engine and rail cars will run on that track,

    you can get new track that is the same as you have now, but i would go with fast track, even tho its more $$$. and you can buy "transition track" that lets you go from fast track to the old tube O-27.

    if your going to get fasttrack or somthing like that, your better off with there switches, wont cost that much more.
  3. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    you can clean the track you got to,
  4. brentg

    brentg New Member

    Thanks Ozzy,
    So what your saying is I can use the transition piece to adapt from fast track to the 3 rail O scale track but not the O scale switches ? My idea was to do a oval on a 4x8 and use a switch on each end to park the extra cars in the middle, real low key nothin fancy. As far as cleaning I have maybe have 4 30" pieces that I be able to salvage.

    Thanks again

  5. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Brent, the adapter for your switches should work just fine with the transition pieces, but since the diameter is different, you may not be able to match everything up quite right. Fastrack is nice, but it's expensive, and the switches are really expensive (like $60 apiece the last time I checked).

    I have a circle of Fastrack that I'll use under the Christmas tree this year, but I went with the old-style tubular track on my layout. I've got an 8x8 layout with six switches on it, and I wouldn't have been able to afford to do it with Fastrack.

    You can try cleaning up your old track with a Scotchbrite pad and some white vinegar (clean the pins up too) but if that doesn't get your train running better, you'll probably need some new track. I'd go with tubular just because of the cost. You can always add ties to tubular track to make it look more realistic if you want.
  6. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    fasttrack 10" straght is 2.72, there curves are 2.75, you can get there 30" straght for under 9.95 i think, i just ordered 40 feet of fast track. the switchies are 22.50 each, (yes they do have some thats 60.00 but for all that you said you need them for the 22.50 ones will work.

    this is where i got my stuff


    after you spend 200.00 with them, you get anything after that cheaper yet,

    out of 20 sites i looked at, this was the cheapest i found,

    im replacing my tubular track with fast track, trans just wont stay on the track with it, i have 150 feet of tubular im changing to fast track

  7. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    That's cheaper than it was when I last checked, but it's still cheaper to use the existing switches, and the more of the old track that's salvagable, the cheaper the project gets. At the same site, O-31 curves and straights are $1.69 and the 40-inch long straights are $4.89. O-27s are $1.09 each (I know you can get those for less than that--I've seen them as low as 89 cents). O-42 and O-54 curves in O27 profile are $1.89 (that's a fabulous price) and O-42s are $2.20 in O31 profile. O42 is as big as you can do on a 4x8 table.

    But if we assume the existing switches are O-31 profile, it takes 12 O-42s to get around the table ($26.40) plus a couple of long straights (9.78). Completing the siding will take two O-31 curves (3.38) and a couple of straights (3.38) that will have to be cut to fit, making the total cost of the project $42.94 before shipping. If the existing switches are O27, it'll be even less expensive.

    If you're having problems with derailing, wider-diameter track solves that (which would explain why Fastrack helps, since it's O-36). My layout is all O27-profile track but I used O-34, O-42, and O-54 curves on it. It's been trouble-free. People have been using tubular track since Marklin invented it in 1891, so there's nothing inherently wrong with it.
  8. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    i started out with my old 0-27 track, cleaned it up, , would not stay togeather, , (pins) was just old, worn out, so then i bought all NEW 0-27 track, alittle better, but not much, still lots of derails, and track not hooking togeather like it should. have yet to have a 0-27 switch not derail every time the train gets to them, new or older used ones, i tried 4 pair.

    i went to fast track for the switchs, and the "snap locking they have" but yes the 0-36 fast track curves help to.

  9. BonoboWannabe

    BonoboWannabe New Member

    I use needlenose pliers to re-shape the female ends of tubular track. If you make them slightly vertically oval, they will grip the pins a lot better. I find you have to re-do that every so often when I work with tubular. Naval jelly takes rust off like nobody's business, but wear protective gloves, read diretions etc, if you use it.

    I personally use a wire wheel brush in an electric drill. I hold it at about a 45 degree angle on the track, with the track on the ground. Rmember to unplug your transformer when you do this though(A minor mistake a made one time - pretty sparklies though) ;)
  10. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Some O-27 switches are better than others. I haven't had any problems with mine. I have mostly old Marx O-27 and O-34 switches, but I also have a couple pairs each of Sakai and Lionel 1121 switches. With (mostly) wide-diameter track and good switches, I can run trains for hours without derailments.

    My track is a mixture of postwar Marx, postwar and modern Lionel, and K-Line, all O-27.
  11. brentg

    brentg New Member

    Thanks for all the ideas , I tried the scotchbrite idea and after a lot of elbow grease they work, I ended up with a 40x80 oval with a switch at each end of the oval,the train runs great on the track, the track cleaned up better than i thought, the only thing i need to get the little wood timbers to put under the track and then secure it, the train is union pacific passenger train with 2 engines 1 dummy and 8 cars also there is about 20 different boxcars , there is not enough room or track to set it all up but my little 2 yr son loves watching the train go around, thanks for the help, i hope lurk around and learn much from all.


  12. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I'm glad you got it working, Brent!

    If you're wanting extra ties, one option is to watch for a sale at Hobby Lobby if you have one nearby. Often they have their craft wood on sale at deep discount, and then you can cut your own ties and make it look exactly how you want.
  13. Gil Finn

    Gil Finn Active Member

    Clean the wheels and oil the injine sparingly.
  14. brentg

    brentg New Member

    Just wanted to update, I put down some green felt material i found at hobby lobby and made some timbers from some balsa wood stock and secured the track down and it works great , my 2 yr old will sit with me and watch the train go by and say "all aboard" :)
    He loves Thomas the tank engine so we are getting the o scale one for xmas.
    Thanks again for all your suggestions and we now can have hours of enjoyment with our little one. :)


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