I recently picked up a 16" loop of Bachmann EZ-Streets track and a pack of the 3" straights (or perhaps 4") at my LHS. This was a complete impulse purchase but I thought it'd be fun to try out my Lionel Crew Car or my Lionel Christmas Hand Car on it.
Today I decided to open them up and play a bit, here is what I learned...
1) The curve tracks have wiring connectivity for the outside loop, but not the inside loop.
2) the short straights (3" or 4" I can't remember off hand how long they are) have no real place for wiring connections:
I ended up jury-rigging the wiring as you can see in this picture. I also cut some of the side of the track off so the wire could feed through it and the track would still lay flush with the platform. Of course if I were permanently setting this up somewhere I wouldn't have cut anything.
3) I didn't realize there were "transition" tracks which you are supposed to purchase and place between the curves and the straights, another rookie move on my part. Note in this picture the size of the gap changes between the straight track and the curved track. It turned out to not be a big deal for me though since both my crew car and hand car worked fine without them, but I thought I'd mention it here. I really wanted to have either just a small circle or small oval, so I'd hate to have to purchase more pieces and make this larger, but again, it turned out to be a non-issue for me, although it looks a little "off" if you look closely.
4) I had to remove the front and back wheels (are these called trucks?) from my Lionel Crew Car to make the tight curve, but my handcar went around without any issue.
Overall a fun little project and I think it will be nice to be able to squeeze this in the middle of some of my other layouts, the more action the better. I did read a few threads on the forum here where folks were wondering how to wire these as well as I saw a few notes where people were wishing there were switches for these. I'm pretty sure if they made switches I'd go out and build a couple loops on my long workbench and put a bunch of long straights along the wall, something like this...
Anyway, a fun day here while hanging out inside due to my seasonal allergies, I hope maybe you all find this slightly interesting.
Best regards to all...Rich Murnane