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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I'm new here but not exactly new to model trains. About 35 years or so ago, when I was just a kid, my father had a few Lionel trains and accessories that I loved to get out, assemble and run. Even if I got in trouble for doing it, I couldn't resist. LOL Sadly, he no longer has any of them. So, I figured I would try my hand at getting my own set and building from there. However, one thing I noticed is a lot of the stuff is different now. :( So, I hope I'm on the right track (no pun intended, but that was funny LOL) with what I have purchased (or waiting for the end of auction to get) thus far:

  • A Lionel O-gauge Hogwarts Express ready to run set (but this is NOT the LionChief version, it is the earlier version with a transformer) with the 40" x 60" Fastrack
  • A Lionel O-gauge Deluxe Train Tack Pack for Fastrack (5 foot by 10 foot pattern)
  • A 1972 era O-gauge Lionel Golden State Arrow Train Set (this has an engine and some cars that my father had when I was a kid - Couldn't resist getting it)
  • 27 pieces of Lionel O-27 Gauge (NON-Fastrack, brown trusses?) track
(pics of all are below)

Ok, with that being said, here is my thought process. When I used my father's set, I had to connect the transformer to the track via a Lock-On connector. There wasn't just a plugin to the track for power like the Fastrack system. So, I went back and forth about the LionChief system (seems like the only type you can get now) because if I wanted to get another set from a non-Lionel company (I've only known Lionel), then I don't think it would be compatible with the LionChief system. That would kind of be limiting my expansion capabilities, right?

So, that is why I got the Hogwarts Express set that has the transformer and Fastrack. This way I have a transformer to use on any train and not just a LionChief one.

I hope this makes sense so far and is correct in my assumptions.

I read that you can also pair the new Fastrack track with the older metal track I listed above. It is my understanding there are even Fastrack connectors that will allow you to do this without modification. I figured if I can get the older/original track for cheaper, it would allow me to expand until I could replace it all with the more expensive Fastrack.

So, my general idea is I'm thinking I can setup the Deluxe Train Pack (Fastrack) as my main track and then I'd like to elevate another track to go over the main track at some point. I figure maybe I can use the old/original track (non-Fastrack) for that. So, maybe the Hogwarts train can run on one and the Golden State Arrow can run on the other.

Thoughts? Am I nuts and should have gone with the LionChief setup? I just figured a "conventional" setup would work in case I wanted to get something other than a Lionel setup or engine later on.

Sorry for the huge post. I'm only familiar with what my father had in the late 70's/early 80's, so these new remote controls/legendary stuff/main controls/etc. is confusing to me. I understand, sort of, what it does (LionChief/LionChief Plus), but it seems to limit you to only using that type for the future. Am I wrong? Is it better to have/use a transformer than the new remote controls of the LionChief?

Thanks for listening and any feedback,
Mat G.

PS Here are some pics at what I ordered or am hoping to win:

The Hogwarts Express non-LionChief version:
545462


CW-80 Transformer that comes in the above kit:
545463


The Golden State Arrow set original box:
545464


Golden State Arrow set without track: (my dad had this engine, caboose, mail car, coal hopper and car carrier. I used to put my Hot Wheels on it. LOL)
545465


The Deluxe Fastrack setup I purchased for the "lower" track I described above
545466


The 27 pc O27 O-gauge older style track I will run above or next to the above Fastrack setup. May use it with other Fastrack pieces I'm getting with other kits.
545467
 

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Hello, welcome to the site.
First thing........You ask too many questions !
Ha Ha Ha only kidding.
You might have been better off buying O track instead of the o/27.
The difference is that some trains won't run on the o/27 and the O is a bit taller and beefier.
545471



I have no Fastrack , never did.
I run mainly all old school trains from the late 40's, 50's and 60's.

So all your questions about the new fancy stuff will/should be answered by others.
I just wanted to add about the difference in the O and o/27 track.

Hang on someone should add something worthwhile. :)
 
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Discussion Starter #6
John - That is awesome. :) Love that cool setup. I could only hope to have a setup like that at some point. How do you mean to "move up to command". Is that something where you can control all of the trains using one controller or transformer or something? :) I like the dementor car. I was looking at adding that onto my set I'm getting.
 

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John - That is awesome. :) Love that cool setup. I could only hope to have a setup like that at some point. How do you mean to "move up to command". Is that something where you can control all of the trains using one controller or transformer or something? :) I like the dementor car. I was looking at adding that onto my set I'm getting.
That is not Johns layout.
We are all waiting for John to continue building his.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Big Ed - Thanks for the info on the different track size. I heard and read there are differences, but never saw visually the difference. Sorry for the questions. I'm bad about that. LOL Well, the O27 track is on ebay. If someone outbids me, I'll just let it go. If I end up winning, I will keep it separate in case I ever need to use it. Thanks for the diagram. :) I thought I read something that the brown trusses (are they called trusses? LOL) were O27 and the black ones were just the O. My father had all of the black ones, so I've never seen any other type.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
LOL at Big Ed. No, I'm not from NJ. I drove there once, does that count? LOL I appreciate the help. I still have a ton of reading to do here and videos to watch on YouTube LOL
 

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Big Ed - Thanks for the info on the different track size. I heard and read there are differences, but never saw visually the difference. Sorry for the questions. I'm bad about that. LOL Well, the O27 track is on ebay. If someone outbids me, I'll just let it go. If I end up winning, I will keep it separate in case I ever need to use it. Thanks for the diagram. :) I thought I read something that the brown trusses (are they called trusses? LOL) were O27 and the black ones were just the O. My father had all of the black ones, so I've never seen any other type.
I have o/27 on my table. It is mainly the o/27 switches that give some trains a problem. You can mate the O to o/27 but you have to shim the o/27 up a little.
Yes the ties are different colors, and the O tube rail sits higher and is a stronger tube.
You know that they make different sized curves? Some trains will only run on the larger curves. So unless you have the larger curves watch what Locomotives you buy.
I was only kidding about all the questions, here we welcome them. :)
545477
 

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LOL at Big Ed. No, I'm not from NJ. I drove there once, does that count? LOL I appreciate the help. I still have a ton of reading to do here and videos to watch on YouTube LOL
You realize we are referring to Roseanne Roseannadanna's famous line from Saturday Night Live: "Dear Mr. Feder, you sure ask a lot of questions for somebody from New Jersey!"? You'll have to look her up on Google if you don't know who that is.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok, so now I'm almost sorry at what I purchased. What I mean by that is I bought the deluxe track pack but in FasTrack. It seems like things cost more for the FasTrack stuff. Meaning, instead of a switch or lock-on to run an accessory (say a signal), it looks like I have to buy a special section of FasTrack that has the switch in it and then buy a special modular plug with wires to connect the accessory. :-/

I have more O track (black ties, not O27) on the way. I like some of the cooler older accessories I can get off eBay. Again, reminds me of my dad's setup. But now I'm sorry I bought the FasTrack setup. I'm wondering if it is worth trying to send it back and purchase the same setup in normal O gauge track, but it is $100 more. :-/ Or should I just keep the FasTrack setup, use it for one train set and then buy the extra O-gauge track from like eBay to create a second layout for the second train set?

What would you guys do? I guess I could always buy a few O-gauge to FasTrack adapters and then I could use both sets of track together. Then again, I'm wondering if it would be better to run two completely different tracks/setups. Hmmm...sometimes I hate decisions. LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I just posted up a question about Lionel Command in the beginner section if anyone can help me out. :) It is titled Command confusion.

thanks!
 
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