Fast Track to O27?

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Fast Track to O27?
Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 18, 2005 5:54 AM
Hello,
I just purchased my son his 1st electric train. I started him with a Lionel Thomas set and it comes with a 36" oval made up of Fast Track. Due to space contraints it seems the only way to expand the basic oval is to expand inward.
My question is can I add an O27 oval inside of the O36 ? It seems the track hieght is different by a 1/4 inch and also the pins dont match. Is there an adapter that exists to connect O27 and Fast Track together ? I know I can shim the track itself to make up for the height, but the electrical connecting pins is where it seems the problems arise. Any shortcuts or tips are much appreciated !
Thanks in advance !
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Posted by spankybird on Monday, July 18, 2005 6:19 AM
I believe Lionel sells an adoptor piece that goes from fastrack to either O or O27 track.

I am a person with a very active inner child. This is why my wife loves me so. Willoughby, Ohio - the home of the CP & E RR. OTTS Founder www.spankybird.shutterfly.com 

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Posted by Anonymous on Monday, July 18, 2005 2:03 PM
Ok thank you,
I found something @ henningsscalemodels.com ...its called a "Fast Track to O transition piece" ($5.99) mod# 12040. I would still have to shim the 1/4 inch difference right ? If my math is correct, I will be able to put an O27 oval inside the O36 Fastrack oval.
With the help of a switch or two...this should be possible ?
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Posted by lionelsoni on Monday, July 18, 2005 4:39 PM
The "transistion" piece (as Lionel calls it) probably is meant to mate with O31 track and so will still leave you with the problem of mating to O27, which has smaller pins. Lionel supplied transition pins with the bascule bridges; but they don't seem to have any cataloged now.

However, it would not be a big deal to reform the ends of the O27 rails to fit the O31 pins. I would stretch the end of the O27 rail apart, put in a loose O31 pin, then crimp the rail web back together with a long-nosed plier. Then remove the pin and crimp it again just a tiny bit higher on the web, to get a snug fit.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by spankybird on Monday, July 18, 2005 5:07 PM
For the price of 027 track (really cheap now), maybe you would be better off just to use all tube track. When you check the cost of switches, it may offset the cost of replacing the fastrack with 027. I use all 027 on my layout. The K-line O27 switches are only $25.00 each. How much is the Fastrack switches [?] This may justify the 027 track.

I am a person with a very active inner child. This is why my wife loves me so. Willoughby, Ohio - the home of the CP & E RR. OTTS Founder www.spankybird.shutterfly.com 

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Posted by jimhaleyscomet on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 5:23 PM
Cork base under the 027 will usually do a good job of shiming up the 027. I second the opinion you might want to go all 027. It is so much cheaper for really high quality K-line switches (The lionel 027 switches do the have the separate power option so urgently needed). I run a loop of 027 inside of K-line's 031 track and that works fine. I do not even bother to connect the two kinds of track. I just do all my swithches on the inside 027 loop and the outer loop makes for a double mainline. While a little harder to work with, you can not beat 027 for affordable flexibility.

Jim H
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Posted by brianel027 on Wednesday, July 20, 2005 7:20 PM
I'll echo the sentiments expressed by Spankybird, and to a lesser degree by Jim H.

I've advised a number of people to either ditch the FasTrack or save it for the holiday layout, and several have taken my advice and thanked me. FasTrack "might" be the wave of the future, but it is expensive when compare to 027, and far more limiting in layout designs in a small space. See my piece on the CoilCouplers site:

http://www.coilcouplers.com/hirail/steam.html

027 Track is available in larger curves, is easily made to look more realistic and (aside from immediate floor set up), is as easy to work with as FasTrack when building a layout. I can't imagine how any ease or time is saved with FasTrack if you take Clyde's suggestion for quieting FasTrack.... see his piece on the Hi-Rail news page of the Coil Couplers site.

I've heard rumor that Lionel may be introducing some tighter radius curves (let's hope so - it should have been done in the first place!!) in FasTrack, which may solve your problems Pumabmx - we'll have to wait for the next Lionel catalog issue to see.

brianel, Agent 027

"Praise the Lord. I may not have everything I desire, but the Lord has come through for what I need."

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Posted by Anonymous on Thursday, July 21, 2005 7:43 AM
Great stuff guys !
Thanx for the info. Every little bit helps.
The price and the tight turns of O27 is what is drawing me to utilize it in my sons layout. The table were are using is plywood and is 3.5ft X 7ft. So 42" inches is as big a circle we can go. If Lionel doesnt have plans of making O27 fastrack in the near future we may indeed end up with ALL O27.
But for now Im willing to shim and crimp if necessary to make it work. He just turned 5 and doesnt even bother with his wooden Thomas stuff anymore. So I think he is officially hooked on electric.
1) Is there a material out there that will dampen some of the noise ? Cork ?
2) Is a 3.5 X 7 table big enough to incorporate an elevated track ? Grade ?


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Posted by brianel027 on Thursday, July 21, 2005 8:56 AM
Pumabmx, as an afterthought, check out this website:

www.thortrains.net

This is without question one of the very best websites to go to for questions that you have. Despite the limitations of FasTrack, he has quite a few layouts shown with FasTrack that fit in small spaces. Check it out - it'll be worth you time!

brianel, Agent 027

"Praise the Lord. I may not have everything I desire, but the Lord has come through for what I need."

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