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Reply to "A Three-Train/Three-Loop Lionel FasTrack Layout on Two 4x8s, O36 Minimum"

Comparing the older and newer versions of the layout design, the major change that enables other positive changes, is the connection on the LEFT inside loop that makes a return loop.   In the newer version, the connection goes through and uses a portion of the RIGHT inner loop. 

Earlier, I resisted this alignment, as it requires that a perimeter running train interfere with a train on the inner RIGHT loop in order to run the return loop connection around the LEFT inner loop.  That is a negative aspect:  running the return loop connection involves the outside perimeter AND BOTH the RIGHT and LEFT inner loops.

So why make the reverse loop connection in this "all-consuming" alignment?  The first advantage is that the RIGHT inner loop is longer (better with a slightly longer run).  And second, the added length allows the cross-overs to be constructed with much smoother O72 curves and the O72 'Y', a big plus.  And third, the revised RIGHT inner loop now has better opportunities for spur alignments, including even a small yard.   Fourth, I was able to make the FasTrack section joints at a closer tolerance - important as FasTrack has zero flexibility with compression due to its rigid plastic roadbed, and joints can be stretched only a small amount.  I started the new version with a complete restart from zero, to make sure I had all the joints and alignments as perfect as possible.

So its a tradeoff: a convoluted return loop run involving (and perhaps stopping) trains on both inner loops  VS  the advantages just mentioned.  Which way do you think is a better way to make the reverse loop connection?

Last edited by Ken-Oscale
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