Lionel 0-72 Switch problems

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Lionel 0-72 Switch problems

  • I would appreciate some advice on my problems with Lionel 0-72 switches. My Pride and Joy Postwar Lionel 1946 2020 S-2 Steam Turbine and other Engines swivel, bounce and derail when passing over the switch from the opposite direction of the turnout. I've heard that many others have similar problems with this Switch. Is this switch flawed? If so, how could Lionel sell such a product? Are there any other name brand 0-72 switches that are compatible with regular Lionel tubular track. All I want is to smoothly run my trains through these switches. If I have to buy another brand name for smooth operation, could someone please give me some leads on other 0-72 switches compatible with Lionel regular 0 track. Thank you very much.
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  • I have a 1946 loco's as well, a 671 and 2020.  They run great over my 022 switches. Then again, I do not have 072 track or switches, but they are pretty similar, just different radius.  My trains never derail on my switches, unless I am goinig like 100 mph over the switches.  Check the connections to the track.  Look for obstructions.  Cannot think whats wrong, only happens with the 2020??  Is this a postwar 072 switch or newer??  Thanks.

  • D&H Dave
    I would appreciate some advice on my problems with Lionel 0-72 switches...


    Which models/vintage?

    For replacements, the Lionel - Formerly - K-Line 21399 & 21400 are excellent O-72 switches:





  •  Dave,

    I had the exact same issues with the modern Lionel switches I recently purchased, #6-5166 & 65. The pre war/post war 072 or #711 do not have these issues. I had all these issues; the switch points are too high or too wide and do not sit flush against the opposing rail causing the wheel to catch on in causing derailment, or the grooves along the guiderails are not deep enough causing the flange to hit the bottom plate causing the bouncing through the switch or the frogs is higher that the outside rails causing the engine tp slide across it as the rollers come in contact with it. Mine had all or at least two of these.

    Some guys file the points until they are flush. Some even deepen the grooves along the guiderails with a Dremel-type tool and still some re-mill the frog to get it even with the outside rails.

    I did none of these. Instead, I got rid of the Lionel switches and switched to the K-line 072 switches pictured above and found myself post war 711 switches. The trains run as smooth as silk through the K-line switches. I cannot even tell they are going through a switch, it sounds just like any other piece of track. I took a loss on all of the Lionel switches but the satisfaction of running trains without these issues was worth it.

    By the way, the post war 022 switches do not have the same issues and nor do any of the modern 022 switches I own.

    I do not know how much Lionel knows about them but I did e-mail them my experience.

    Just my two cents.



  • I have had trouble with derailing on my modern era Lionel 072 switches also. You would think that Lionel would set up a test loop with their 072 switches and run trains through them for hours on end to get a count of how many incidents there are. That would certianly show them that they had trouble with this product. My SD-80 mac will not negotiate these switches at all, period, in the devirging position. I has replaced some of mine with Ross Custom Switches using the special O gauge adaptor pins and they work well. In fact, I went to near zero number of derailments per operating session.


  • Had the same problem with the Turbine and a MTH 2-8-8-2. I took the switch apart and bent the pionts down a little and that solved that problem. But for the price of them I shouldn't have too. It was about 2 weeks of cursing a biting my fist till I figure it out.

  • Deleted.

  • Rob, I have had the same problems with my 072 switches and am planning on replacing all 13 with K-Line switches. I wanted to know are the K-Line switches compatible with the SC-2 as I run them from the handheld(legacy). Also i have articulating locomotives, Lionel Big Boy #4014,Lionel Challenger #3967, and the Sante Fe 2-10-10-2. Will these switches be alright with these locomotives? Thanks. KBM Lines

  • The K-Line/Lionel SuperSnap switches will work fine with the SC-1 & SC-2 in the TMCC environment. 

    These will be built once again by RMT/AristoCraft:



    But for quite a price, as you can see.


  • While I don't have that particular switch, I did have the Lionel 6-23010 series 031 switches that repalced the pw 022's. The new Lionel switches didn't work with my Williams engines, and after that they decided how they were going to work, so I had to sell the switches.

    I am taking a guess that the new Lionel 072 switches are of the same super extremely low quality! Lion poop!

    Ross Custom switches or Gargraves switches work great with Lionel and K-Line tubular track, but need adapter pins.

    Lee F.

    Interested in southest Pennsylvania railroads; Reading & Northern, Reading Company, Reading Lines, Philadelphia & Reading.
  • I have had a few problems here and there with the new 0-72's but nothing major, I use a file and dremel and they work great. I like these switches, I am all Lionel O gauge with O22 and O72 switches.

    If any of you want to get rid of your 072's. Please contact me. I will be happy to give them a home.



  • Mark, can you show us how you got the "new" Lionel O72 switch to work properly?

  • Well there really is nothing to show. Just run your engine or car by hand through the switch. When you see it derail, look at the area where its derailing. Its usually the switch points are not flush with the rest of the rails. I lightly file them down. Also, some cars or engine derail on the plastic near the frog. I sometime file the plastic lightly, making little grooves, so the car wheels dont "ride up"

    They take a little tinkering, but arent bad. What kind of problems are you havin?