Fast Tracks Turnouts

Discussion in 'N Scale' started by UP_Phill, Feb 7, 2008.

  1. UP_Phill

    UP_Phill TrainBoard Supporter

    Just completed my first turnout using the Fast Tracks assembly fixture and point tool. This is a #8 (20" outside rad, 15" inside) with ME c55 rail. What do you think? I also can't believe how smooth this turnout is. Rolling stock glide effortlessly over it!

    Here's the Assy Fixture.


    Two pics of the completed turnout.


  2. sandro schaer

    sandro schaer TrainBoard Member

    very nice ! i considered fasttracks as well. but since i don't know how to join me code 55 with peco code 55 i did not yet buy these jigs.
  3. Rob de Rebel

    Rob de Rebel Permanently dispatched

    Why would you "mix" scale looking track, with Non scale looking track? It would look like an abomination anyway. You'd be better off mixing it with Atlas's code 55 line, at least the appearance is almost identical.

    Prototrack Alaska
  4. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    That's really nice, Phill. How long did it take to build?

    But I think I may have to look at one close up to give an honest comment. A R/H unit would be nice... ;)
  5. UP_Phill

    UP_Phill TrainBoard Supporter

    Took me about 2hrs. I'm pretty sure that will come down as I build more. I do intend on getting a #8 straight in a couple of months.

    Btw, it is a R/H unit.:tb-tongue::tb-wink:
  6. zztop

    zztop TrainBoard Member

    I've built quite a few of the straight #8's and with practice they can be built in around 30 - 45 minutes. I would like to try my hand at some curved ones soon. Yours look nice.
  7. ctxm

    ctxm TrainBoard Member

  8. UP_Phill

    UP_Phill TrainBoard Supporter

  9. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    30-45 minutes? I'll buy it, from what I've seen and heard. With experience, time starts coming down. I can strip, mill, and install a decoder in a LL-GP-20 in about the same time, after doing quite a few of them. The biggest amount of time? Cleaning up the millings!

    A sweet racket? I think that's a gross overstatement, dave (ctxm). I've heard nothing but good responses from users who have bought them and use them. I traded with a TB member for two No. 10s, and they are sweet running, not a sweet racket. If I were building anew, and needed another 90 turnouts, I'd buy some jigs.
  10. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter


    Are you aware that Sandro lives in Europe, so Peco track might be considered prototypical? Or at least a little more prototypical than us USA guys might consider it to be?
  11. UP_Phill

    UP_Phill TrainBoard Supporter

    I'd just like to add something else to this thread. Imho I think the Fast Tracks method of building turnouts is extremely easy and cost effective. I would not have attempted building this curved T/O using just a paper template. The jig is extremely accurate and if you also combine it with the Point Form tool, you can't go wrong.

    They are expensive, that's a given, but factor in the expense of manufacturing computer milled aluminum assembly jigs in quantity and I think you'll see that the cost is quite reasonable.

    Btw, trying to source curved n-scale turnouts other than Peco is like extracting blood from stone.
  12. jhn_plsn

    jhn_plsn TrainBoard Supporter

    I have heard many good things about these units. Thanks for sharing your results with us. I have not looked into these yet but it seems everyone uses code 55. Is it possible to use larger rail?
    I have almost all Peco and am not totaly happy with them. I don't apreciate spending more only to have to add shims or modify in some way. A little filling mabey but not add shims.
  13. Rob de Rebel

    Rob de Rebel Permanently dispatched

    Hi Pete,
    Might be proto in Europe, but mixing US spacing with Euro spacing still looks terrible.
  14. DRGW4EVR

    DRGW4EVR TrainBoard Member

    I think Fast Tracks has a sweet "business" going and challenge somebody who thinks they have a better mousetrap to bring it to the market for sale at a better price point with better results. That argument could be made for all sorts of things in our hobby.
    If there is a better way, with the same ease of assembly as a fast tracks jig, please share.
    I am in no way affiliated with Fast Tracks, just appreciate what they've done for our hobby.
  15. UP_Phill

    UP_Phill TrainBoard Supporter

    The N scale Fast Tracks jigs are designed for ME c40 and c55, not Peco or Atlas c80. As to whether you could connect Peco c55 to ME c55 is an unkown in my book as I have never attempted it. As Rob said above, the wider Peco tie spacing would look terrible when matched up to US prototype.
  16. zztop

    zztop TrainBoard Member

    If anyone is interested in the FastTrack jigs or supplies etc you can save 10% by going through my partner site with FastTracks and by entering in the discount code of 865 in the shipping portion of the order process.
  17. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    Not sure I understand, Rob, but that's nothing new for me. Isn't the tie spacing, except for a few critical points, pretty much determined by the builder? I think Sandro was more concerned with the Peco scheme, which embeds a code 80 rail deeply into the tie structure. I believe there's a second "bottom" at the C55 level, so it's like an inverted double "T." The cross-sections are also a bit different.

    I considered using my existing Peco switches with Atlas C55 for a while when I was building the new layout. You are absolutely correct--they looked horrible! Your word was "terrible" but it's worse than that. So I donated them all to a museum, and went with Atlas C55 switches. I'll say it again--I would have gone with Fast Track templates for a lot of switches if they were available in 2002.

    I know woulda-shoulda means nothing, but these templates aren't that pricey nor time-consuming to use. I have no affiliation with the mfg.

    So, maybe Sandro can clear up his problem in a little more detail?
  18. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    A right-hand turnout! :)

    Yes, I'm under the impression the time taken lessens with familiarity, but 2 hours is a good effort for first outings. Congrats!
    I'm certain Jason has a #6 and #8 straight here in Sydney. Maybe a swap for the time you require if he's up for it?

    In the meantime, get back to work! :D
  19. UP_Phill

    UP_Phill TrainBoard Supporter

    Helps with 2 monitors. One for work and one for the web. I have no idea as to which one gets viewed the most! :wink2:
  20. UP_Phill

    UP_Phill TrainBoard Supporter

    Food for thought....thanks.

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