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What kind of track?

  • Make the Lionel Fast track work

    Votes: 3 17.6%
  • MTH premiere

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • other

    Votes: 14 82.4%

  • Total voters
    17
  • Poll closed .
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Discussion Starter #1
I need to buy new O Gauge track. My current Lionel fast track isn't conducting properly. I have a Conrail engine model 6840. Any help would be appreciated. I put this track up in December and take it down in January for my kids.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Fast track fix

I have not tried this trick. I'm going to Home Depot right now to get the Voltmeter. Thanks very much!
 

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Welcome.
I did not vote.
I never had fast track.
Looks like that 6840 needs a larger curve.
 

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I once had 100s of feet of FasTrack in a up and down carpet layout. The ends inevitable wear and some metal connectors break. I found the longer 3' straight improved connectivity. But there could still be problems. The ends can be slightly refurbished as I think the video suggests. Another method is to jam the ends together with paper binder clips. You want the smallest ones you can find that hold it. I also used zip ties threaded down through the screw holes and across to the other piece. Trimming ends with nippers. Nice thing about FasTrack is it's readily available ... Pretty affordable and theres a large secondary market. Many claim the switches are solid soldiers. But eventually not satisfied with any of that I sold it all off and went with a mix of atlas, gargraves and Ross ... Each of these has its own issues and I think are more oriented towards the permanent layout. But that's just a feeling.
 

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You don't even really need the meter, though it's good to have one. You can just do that procedure in the area that runs slow, or do the whole layout, it's not that big.
 

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You don't even really need the meter, though it's good to have one. You can just do that procedure in the area that runs slow, or do the whole layout, it's not that big.
Good to have a multi meter anyway, as it comes in handy for other things.
 

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Sure. I was just saying that for this process it's not necessary to make a special trip to get a meter. But yeah, a meter is good to have around.
 

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Sure. I was just saying that for this process it's not necessary to make a special trip to get a meter. But yeah, a meter is good to have around.
Sorry.
I totally missed your " though it's good to have one" :eek:
 

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Sure. I was just saying that for this process it's not necessary to make a special trip to get a meter. But yeah, a meter is good to have around.
NOTE: poor inter-track connections may not show up as low voltages on a meter if there isn't a load on the track. The poor connection adds resistance between tracks but a meter draws virtually no current so the voltage doesn't sag low.

If you haven't purchased a meter at HD, you can save a couple bucks by getting the basic Harbor Freight model.

All these cheap meters are good enough for simple track/transformer diagnostics. And they mostly all use the same chip so accuracy is the same (and pretty good). Every so often HD has a coupon for a free meter. I pick one up for free every time that have it.

About the only negative is the probes' leads are not terrible robust. I've had one break (wire separation) and they're not repairable. When that happens, I get new leads as pictured. They're very nice and cost effective. And the little ad-on alligator clips are handy to add to the probes.

Or you could just buy it all from AliExpress and wait 3+ weeks for it to show up on your door step.

Meter.png
 

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I voted other and recommend plain jane tubular. I ditched Fastract for the same reasons, and that was after the pin adjustments and even jumpering each section under the roadbed. Plus I think it's too noisy, but it looks nice. I've been using Menards tubular track for the past couple of years with success.
 

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Although I voted 'other', it looks like you are on a carpet and it's seasonal -- and so I can't really come up with another better alternative that's easier to maintain definitively. The atlas I have which I like, looks better (more like real train track) and is vastly quieter -- it has these kind of snap in ends, that quasi lock pieces together, etc... But it uses rail joiners (which turn out to absolutely suck) -- and the plastic rail easily becomes disconnected from the rail, often at the ends. Given all that, I say possibly pass ... you'll be chucking that in the trash just about as fast as the fastrack I'd say after a season or two. (once again, this differs for the folks that are fixing to the top of plywood for the long hall). Next I have some gargraves and ross straights, and a lot ross curves. These use a joiner pin which I think is a more solid and less troublesome connection, and the rails are wood. But these brands are really not in my mind designed to put out, used, broken down -- again and again. The ross which looks to my eye the best and smells something of pine tar -- is very light stuff. it was definitely meant to be nailed down I think. The gargraves is very similar but with a slightly different design -- and what I gather is cheaper... So if you experimented with something else, I'd be tempted to go there. I bought all my ross and all my gragraves used -- except some switches so my memory on pricing is vague.
 

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I'm voting for good old tubular track with track clips slid over the ties on adjoining track sections.

Tubular breaks down and packs up compact for storage. The clips hold sections tight together for a temp display that's not "nailed down".

Time tested now for 100 years.:cool:
 

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... it looks like you are on a carpet and it's seasonal -- and so I can't really come up with another better alternative that's easier to maintain definitively.
I second that opinion. My thoughts: Any track that's assembled and disassembled repeatedly will suffer from poor connections and need maintenance. The fast track's built in ballast looks the best until you get into permanent layouts with scale looking track that's hand ballasted. On carpet, Fastrack's wider footprint will resist "tilting" better than the narrower tubular or rail tie tracks when a heavy engine is on a curve. And the carpet should minimize Fastrack's propensity to be noisy.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
track is fixed

I want to thank everyone for their suggestions. They were all very helpful. I bought a meter on amazon for $10 and it took me about 30 minutes to go through the track and find several sections that needed adjustment. I used a small pair of pliers and it works perfectly now. Thanks again.:)
 
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