Standard O Track or FASTtrack?

Gornza Nov 9, 2009

  1. Gornza

    Gornza TrainBoard Member

    28
    0
    9
    I am seeing alot of Fasttrack being sold on Ebay and other sites. I'd like to know what advantages it has over regular 3 rail track? Thanks.....
     
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    63,789
    11,310
    652
    As I noted in your lubrication topic, personal preference? There has never been a problem with the old three high rail style track. So perhaps it's simply the way newer stuff looks?

    Myself, I'd stick with the old track, simply for nostalgia of my youth. If you go to a local Lionel club, TCA or TTOS affiliated, you might find someone with a box full, for just a few dollars. O and O-27 track can often be found used in batches. It usually needs some cleaning, but can be a quick way to expand.

    Used O-72 is usually sold in a full circle, and you'll definitely pay a higher price than the other two tinplate sizes.

    One thing about newer Lionel, it's often rather pricey.

    Boxcab E50
     
  3. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    3,386
    49
    45
    Oh boy do I agree with that. I want to add a Fastrack siding to my Christmas layout this year and I just can’t believe what it is going for. I wish I would have done it years ago.
     
  4. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

    8,935
    3,407
    134
    The track I like to work with, I consider the best on the market, Atlas O Scale track. It's rugged, solid and very authentic in appearance.

    I just had to toss that in here...just in case?
     
  5. SleeperN06

    SleeperN06 TrainBoard Member

    3,386
    49
    45
    Originally I thought the Fastrack would be somewhat of an investment, but now that it’s starting to rust, I don’t feel the same way. The only reason I got it in the first place was that most of it came in a set.

    If I decide to replace it because of the rust, I will go to Atlas nickel silver rail. From what I’ve seen it’s in the same price range and it has “flex track”.

    There are no deals on eBay. The only good purchases I ever got was if someone was sleeping and I managed to jump in when nobody was looking.
     
  6. Gornza

    Gornza TrainBoard Member

    28
    0
    9
    Thanks BOXCAB. Hey question, I want to attach a layout to a piece of plywood (first time I ever did this), this is with standard 3 rail o gauge. What type of nails do I use? I just want to go into 1/2 inch plywood? Is nails the right way to go over glue? Thanks
     
  7. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    4,491
    1,570
    76
    I'll add my agreement with BarstowRick, about Atlas track!
    It's some great stuff. Although, I have had problems with the O-72 turnouts.

    I've also got a fair amount of Lionel FastTrack. Which came with the Harry Potter and Thomas train sets. I've added some extra track as well.

    Have a railroad club train show coming up on Dec 12/13, in which I'll be setting up and running my 3 rail stuff. Will be using both my Atlas and Lionel Fast Track. Last time I ran the standard Lionel tubular track, it kept coming apart on me. Just didn't hold together worth a darn. Will not be using it again, unless I absolutely have to!

    As for mounting the Fast Track, I'd suggest using small flathead Phillips screws, that fit into the mounting holes ion the track. Easier to remove, I think, if you need, or want to make changes.

    I don't have anything permanently mounted myself, since I just don't have the space to build anything! Temporary set up on the floor sometimes is all. Not even the room for an N Scale layout!

    My opinions only. As always, YMMV.
     
  8. Gornza

    Gornza TrainBoard Member

    28
    0
    9
    Ok, but attaching old fashioned O gauge to plywood, what screws would you use? Do the screws have a part number so I can go to like home depot and pick them up? Or hobby store?
     
  9. Keith

    Keith TrainBoard Supporter

    4,491
    1,570
    76
    I think a 5/8 inch long pan head screw should be long enough. Need something to grab the plywood, but short enough to not pass all the way through the board!

    You can get them in bulk from either Home Depot/Lowes. Much cheaper than going to your local LHS.

    I'd suggest bringing a small section of track along. So you can check screw sizes/lengths
    before you buy. This way, you'll have the right screw(s) the first time! And save yourself the hassles of a return trip to get the correct screw!

    I'd also highly suggest the following book, as it has lots of good information available.
    I've got a copy, and have seen plenty of good info.

    http://www.kalmbachstore.com/10-8365.html

    Should provide much more, and better information!
    I'm going by past experience, and a rather foggy memory!
    As always, YMMV.
     
  10. TWP

    TWP New Member

    4
    0
    8
    Fastrack is very loud when mounted on plywood. I had to put pipe insulation underneath the track and not screw it down to quiet it down. I don't know if the same problem exists with the older open rail . Maybe someone can comment on that.
     
  11. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

    1,702
    58
    30
    I'd like to second the suggestion that there are no deals on e-bay!!
    When I switched from tubular to Realtrax (which I like, but it's just because I have a large carpet Christmas layout), I way overbought thinking I was basically getting the stuff half price!! and I ws getting turnouts!! again 1/2 price!!! the thing is, all the curves and turnouts were O31. Fast forward a few years and I am going to redo the layout with O42, O54, O72 and O81. The only turnouts I will need are a pair of O72 Wyes.

    To make a long story short, I think you will end up spending less, if you design what you want, then look for a good price on what you need. When designing ty to make your curves as wide as you can, you may want that longer car next year.... Anyway, if I'd done it that way, I could buy a nice low end loco and a premier passenger set with the savings... I can't go back, but if you save the money, I win vicariously.
     
  12. Lee Willis

    Lee Willis New Member

    9
    0
    7
    I'm new here but I have about 350 feet of Fastrack. So . . .

    First, I agree there are rarely bargains on e-bay. When I buy there, it's because I can't find a needed part or car anywhere else, and for that, I am occasionally glad e-bay is there.

    Fasttrack is expensive, but not unduly. First, the quality is excellent -- I have never had a piece that I had not abused go bad. And when one considers that it contains the roadbed, etc., and is thus much faster to complete something with a good-looking roadbed, I think it is reasonably priced.

    As to noise, I screw every piece down to solid 3/4 plywood, because heavy locos can actually shift a curve by 1/8th inch each time they move around it otherwise. This does make it noisy, but - - - I caulk each edge well, then screw it down. Then after the caulk dries (next day) I fill the underside of each with Great Stuff -- and the caulk keeps the Great Stuff from puffing out from underneath the track roadbed. (I drill 3/16 holes in each piece, insert the small filler straw, and squirt just a bit-- it took a bit of experimentation to learn how much but it is easy and fast). You cannot use the screw mounting holes for this you have to drill your own holes -- inspect it closely and you will see why). Thus filled, the track is much quieter.

    I pulled up a couple of pieces exerimentally to see how completely I fill the undersides and often they were not completely filled -- but even filling them 60% of so seems to stops them resonanting like drums and amplifying the road noise.
     
  13. timhar47

    timhar47 TrainBoard Member

    236
    0
    16
    Hello - Regarding the screws - ATLAS O had a really nice packet in their line-up of O gauge. They are black, phillips, and about 3/4" or so. Very good for attaching most any track. 4x8 Homasote (Home Depot) is nicer - if you use nails you can push em in with pliers, and remove with pliers.
    Track - I have had Atlas,Fastrack, Realtrax, Super Snap (I changed my dumb mind a lot in the past), Anway - Atlas - nice, but now very pricey, I didnt like the rail joiners, they start to loosen with repeated changes. MTH is difficult to squeeze together, but the later generation of trackage is pretty good. Fastrack is nice, but to my situation now - way outta my price range, unless you plan to not have any switches. Tubular the new stuff again seems difficult to put together if you have any problems with your hands, but the old stuff is probably better, and its nostalgic. I also like KLine Super Snap - it had ties, went together easy, the switches, which are the only parts still being made, are spoken of as excellent in other forums. I have just sold the last of my MTH Realtrax, and am on a quest to gain Super Snap and/or older O Tubular track. Again - like others say - this is just my lengthy thoughts and experiences
     
  14. timhar47

    timhar47 TrainBoard Member

    236
    0
    16
    Deals on EBAY - none right now - its a Sellers MArket, takes about until late Feb or so normally to cool back down from the holiday train-time buying. I sold an Oval of Fastrack, that happened to include an uncoupling track for $71 just before 12/25. Took the price of the Lionel set I bought down from $214 to $143 - made it a bargain for me.
     
  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    63,789
    11,310
    652
    This is what I used to do, when actively doing Lionel. Tightening down just enough so the screw head gently touched the tie. So the track had just a tiny bit of movement for expansion and contraction.

    Boxcab E50
     
  16. Big D

    Big D TrainBoard Member

    71
    4
    10
    I agree, there are no deals on ebay. As of right now, I use Lionel tubular track from the fifties. The holes are slopped out and messy, so now I use finishing nails as pins! The old tinplate track also seems to fall apart, at least all of the stuff that i use on my layout. I suppose that it might not work so well after my dad, his dad, and his uncle used and abused much of the equipment. Anyway, I would highly recommend using fast track. It has a much better system of electrical contacts, and the roadbed looks really nice. To soften the noise, I would recommend putting some sort of styrafoam based product on the layout table top, that should cut the noise down quite a bit. The only problem that I know of for fast track is that to have a big layout, you need a big wallet. The purchase should definately be worth the investment.
     
  17. rralph

    rralph New Member

    1
    0
    7
    I just built a table for the garage using plywood and 2 x 4s covering it with indoor/outdoor carpet. Cold here in Texas this winter so it will not lay flat till I restretch in two months, but the standard O guage does not slip around too bad and the sound is quiet. My mentor says no nails or screws to lessen the noise.
    New guy.
     
  18. Lee Willis

    Lee Willis New Member

    9
    0
    7
    I have about 350 feet of Fastrack. I love it. The only reason I would not use it is if I simply wanted the "retro" look of the original.

    Its advantages are that you can put down a completed roadbed (bed, track, ties, ballast) quickly. It is high quality dependable - goes together well ever time, maintains mechanical and electrical connectivity, stable and smooth.

    Biggest advantage though is the switches (I have 17). They are just flawless - dependable and the remote control ones have a built in de-railing feature and great indicator lights.

    Disadvantage is that the hollow cast plastic road bed resonates and amplifies noise. You can mitigate this a lot and make it quiet via any of several means. I finish the edges of mine with caulk and when that dries fill the underside with Great stuff. That stops the soundboard resonating you get with the plastic and quites them down.

    A claimed disadvantage is that, if you are into serious modeling, Fasttrrack does not look as good as, say, using something like Atlas and then doing your ballast yourself, etc. I have had good results weathering rails, ties, and ballast and adding vegetation to where this is not an issue at least for me.

    Some one mentioned "no nails or screws" -- no on my layout. Every piece is screwed down with a #6 inch wood screw. A normal O guage loco moving at a scale 60 mph can shift a loose curve up to 1/4 inch sideways on every turn, a heavy one can move it farther. Don't want your layout walking about on you.
     

Share This Page