Mixing 0 and 027 Lionel track - successfully?

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Mixing 0 and 027 Lionel track - successfully?
Posted by Thumper26 on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 3:12 PM

I have an existing layout with Lionel's "0" gauge track and am expanding it.  I have an opportunity to obtain some very good condition 027 track, but am hesitant at how successfully I will be able to "mix and match" it with the 0 gauge track.  My plans would require inserting some of the 027 track among the 0 track, as well as having some just 027 track runs.  Has anyone been successful in mixing the 0 and 027 track on the same layout?  Or, I can replace the 0 gauge track and go all Fastrack, but it will take me quite a while to save that kind of money, especially because of my switches!

Thanks in advance for any help!

Tags: O , O-27
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Posted by cnw1995 on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 3:35 PM
I've successfully mixed and matched 031 and 027 track., without using formal transition pieces which also exist. The latter is 'lower' so I've had to crimp the 031 track. It also introduces a slight grade unless shimmed.

Doug Murphy 'We few, we happy few, we band of brothers...' Henry V.

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Posted by lionelsoni on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 5:23 PM

If you do shim the O27 track, it's useful to know that the difference in height is supposed to be exactly 1/4 inch.  Here is a summary of all the differences in dimensions, in inches:

Radius:  12.5 vs. 14.142
Straight-section length:  8.839 vs. 10
Tie length:  ~2 vs. 2 1/4
Tie width:  1/2 vs. 19/32
Height:  7/16 vs. 11/16
Track pin diameter:  3/32 vs. 7/64

Bob Nelson

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Posted by Thumper26 on Tuesday, August 18, 2009 5:40 PM

Thanks for that great info  lionelsoni, it is VERY helpful!

Is there an acceptable material for shimming 027 track other than something like conventional 1/4" lath?  Do most people shim the entire length of the 027 track or just shim the ties?  I'm beginning to think I should maybe scrap adding 027 track and try and hunt down as good a deal as I can find on 0 gauge track.  I have already ruled out converting to Fastrack because of cost - I don't know what I was thinking! Shock

Thumper26

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Posted by phillyreading on Wednesday, August 19, 2009 10:08 AM

 The way that I have used 027 & O gauge track together is to use a section of Gargraves track in between with adapter pins, still need to shim the track.

This is just a price check in my area but Fastrac costs $30.00 for the add-on pack(4 curves[036] & 4 straights) at Target last Christmas, so you would have to spend over $60.00 just to make a small loop with Fastrac and buy the hook-up wires($5.00). Another thing I have noticed about Fastrac is that it gets dirty very quick, and I am only running a K-Line Interurban set of passenger cars on it(no smoke fluid).

Lee F.

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Posted by tcripe on Friday, August 21, 2009 8:27 AM

 Conceptually, there's another way to mix the two - use 031 for mainlines and 027 for passing tracks, sidings, and yards to simulate lighter rail or rail at different heights.

Terry

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Posted by printer65 on Saturday, August 12, 2017 3:08 PM

[quote user="Thumper26"]

I have an existing

Thumper26

I have an existing layout with Lionel's "0" gauge track and am expanding it.  I have an opportunity to obtain some very good condition 027 track, but am hesitant at how successfully I will be able to "mix and match" it with the 0 gauge track.  My plans would require inserting some of the 027 track among the 0 track, as well as having some just 027 track runs.  Has anyone been successful in mixing the 0 and 027 track on the same layout?  Or, I can replace the 0 gauge track and go all Fastrack, but it will take me quite a while to save that kind of money, especially because of my switches!

Thanks in advance for any help!

 

layout with Lionel's "0" gauge track and am expanding it.  I have an opportunity to obtain some very good condition 027 track, but am hesitant at how successfully I will be able to "mix and match" it with the 0 gauge track.  My plans would require inserting some of the 027 track among the 0 track, as well as having some just 027 track runs.  Has anyone been successful in mixing the 0 and 027 track on the same layout?  Or, I can replace the 0 gauge track and go all Fastrack, but it will take me quite a while to save that kind of money, especially because of my switches!

Thanks in advance for any help!

 

Running Lionel O27 & Lionel 0 gauge track together?

How do you make both the same height?

 

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Posted by printer65 on Saturday, August 12, 2017 3:09 PM
Running Lionel O27 & Lionel 0 gauge track together can you do it? what about the height?
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Posted by teledoc on Saturday, August 12, 2017 9:19 PM

Re-read Lionelsoni's reply above.  Track height of 027 is 7/16" high, 0 track is 11/16" high, so shimming is necessary to have smooth transition.  The track pins are different diameter, so, getting good solid electrical connection (continuity) is Paramount, and preferably to get adapter pins of 0 on one end, 027 the other end, to get them to fit tightly.  Otherwise the electrical connection will be POOR.

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Posted by printer65 on Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:37 PM
where do you find the adapter pins to go from 0 gauge to 027? I want to use for switches. How much $$?
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Posted by printer65 on Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:38 PM
where do you find the adapter pins to go from 0 gauge to 027? I want to use for switches. How much $$? where do you find the adapter pins to go from 0 gauge to 027? I want to use for switches. How much $$?
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Posted by ADCX Rob on Thursday, August 17, 2017 3:58 PM

Although this part is offered, it will be quite a bump at the transition point due to a design flaw.

 

It really should be offset, like the GarGraves adapter pins.

You can make your own by starting with three "O" pins, and grind one end(to the half way point) of each 3/4 of the way around to match the diameter of the O-27 track pins/openings.

If you instead grind them to the center like the above Lionel pins, there will be a significant "bump" at the transition.

For an example of this "offset" method, look closely at the GarGraves "O" & O-27 adapter pins:

And actually, forcing the O pins into O-27 at the transitions works quite well, and the bump is reduced to the slight difference in sheet metal gauge used to form the rails.

All of this assumes that you realize you will need to shim your O-27 track ties up slightly to match the track height of "O".

Rob

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Friday, August 18, 2017 11:07 AM

I guess I'm the one to be 'negative Nelly' about this but IMHO none of this is worth it. O27 is an inferior track. Pass on the O27 and stick with O. 

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Saturday, August 19, 2017 10:54 AM

BigAl 956
...O27 is an inferior track...

Different, yes, but not inferior.

Rob

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Posted by rtraincollector on Saturday, August 19, 2017 8:48 PM

I use to just make the opening on the O-27 track a little bigger to handle the O gauge pins. I would use two 1/2 popsicle stick to put under the O-27 track where they met. 

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Monday, August 21, 2017 10:58 AM

O27 is made of a thinner metal and is more likely to bend and distort out of spec. The O27 turn diameter is too small for many equipment choices, and the switches have numeros flaws that make them unsuitable. An O27 layout will have more derailments and will overall perform much more poorly than the same layout built with O. Anyone considering building a layout with tubular track would be best served to ignore any offer of O27 and build thier layout with O.

 

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Posted by lionelsoni on Monday, August 21, 2017 11:40 AM

On the other hand, O27 rails and ties are closer to being in scale; and the track has been made in O34, O42, O54, and O72 diameters.  I enjoy the challenge of adapting for O27, trains that were not intended for it.  As with everything about toy trains, chacun a son gout!

Bob Nelson

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Monday, August 21, 2017 2:24 PM

BigAl 956
O27 is made of a thinner metal and is more likely to bend and distort out of spec. The O27 turn diameter is too small for many equipment choices, and the switches have numeros flaws that make them unsuitable. An O27 layout will have more derailments and will overall perform much more poorly than the same layout built with O...

Big Al, you've got to get out more. O-27 has come a long way since 1969, since that's about where it seems your comments are stuck.

You simply cannot make blanket statements about construction & performance and call O-27 "inferior" to "O" as there are other criteria to consider, where some aspects, including those mentioned by Bob, can make O-27 more desireable than "O". I would say that my O-27 switches work as well & in some regards better than my 022  & 711 switches, and are more accommodating for larger engines & rolling stock than the 022 easily.

I would encourage anyone who has a line on O-27 trackage NOT to discount it, but to strongly consider it for layout building, based on personal experience & observation.

Rob

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Posted by NNJRailfan on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 2:29 PM

I've used both O and O27 track on my layout, but I got the O27 tracks for free.  I used Midwest Product's N scale sheets to raise the O27 track to about the height of the O track.  A piece or two of thin styrene sheet or wooden craft sticks can fill any remaining gap if necessary.

It was a challenge to jam the O pins into the O27 track but it can be done if you are careful not to warp the rails; if you have extra O pins you can grind them down a bit as previously advised.

I agree that O27 curves are just too tight; don't bother trying to run anything with three axles per truck or #-6-# or higher steamers on it.

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Posted by BigAl 956 on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 2:43 PM

Made a deliberate move to retire most of my O27 about 20 years ago and have never looked back. I can operate my layout for hours without a derailment.

For a trolley line or a yard track I guess O27 is acceptable, but as for it being closer to scale height, true, but if you want realistic appearance you should not be using tubular track anyway. :)

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Posted by lionelsoni on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 4:52 PM

I run a Rail King Big Boy, a 773 Hudson, a 2321 Train Master, 15-inch 2500-type streamliners and Superliners, and 16-wheel depressed center flatcars, all on O27 curves ;-)

Bob Nelson

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Posted by ADCX Rob on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 9:58 PM

A reliable O-27 layout for continuous running:

Rob

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Posted by Boyd on Thursday, August 24, 2017 1:18 AM

"O" gauge Lionel tubular looks like 027 tubular that took too many steroids at the gym and got out of proportion. I have several full circles of K-Line 027 profile 072 curve track. It's now hard to find. I like it because it's shorter in height, which gives me more to work with when a layout has multiple level. I can't stand small 027 circles and made a point to use nothing smaller than 042 curve tracks on the last layout I built. I had probably $500-$750 into Fastrak in the yard I built around 2006 and I pulled it all up and sold it 18 months ago. Then I bought a bunch of Gargraves 202 non phantom all stainless flex track. 

Modeling the "Fargo Area Rapid Transit" in O scale 3 rail.

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