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I used Fastrack on my American Flyer layout. Before Lionel offered shorter sections of track, I cut sections to fit. I didn’t encounter any problems reinserting the rail joiners or unevenness of height. You might want to practice on a sacrificial piece of track beforehand, but otherwise, you should have no problem. Good luck!

Thank you for your response- -it's reassuring to know that in case I select FasTrack for use with my planned layout..

One of the nice features of FasTrack is Lionel makes so many custom length pieces it is possible to build most track plans without cutting track. The exception would most likely be to get other than full and half length curve segments. Also since S FasTrack uses solid .138 rail it is as close to a scale rail as is possible and still run high rail equipment. With the solid rail it is quiet, unlike its O gauge relative which by all reports is not quiet.

FasTrack offers 27"R turnouts that are a direct substitution for a 27"R piece of curve track. Same goes for the 20"R turnouts. That is nice for building sectional track layouts without requiring any track sections to be cut to length. The only other sectional track with wide radius curves is American Models. Nice track but their wide radius turnout is not a drop in substitution for a 27"R curve piece. It will require custom track cutting.

FasTrack  is optimized for use with either the FlyerChief or Legacy control systems. By that I mean the turnouts are not power routing and there are custom connectors to facilitate "plug and play" with FlyerChief power supplies. If you plan reverse loops there is no provision for them. They will require cutting gaps in the rails and using a reverse loop controller.

I am not pushing FasTrack, in fact I did not use it for my layout. It is however a very nice and complete S gauge sectional track system.

Last edited by AmFlyer
@AmFlyer posted:

One of the nice features of FasTrack is Lionel makes so many custom length pieces it is possible to build most track plans without cutting track. The exception would most likely be to get other than full and half length curve segments. Also since S FasTrack uses solid .138 rail it is as close to a scale rail as is possible and still run high rail equipment. With the solid rail it is quiet, unlike its O gauge relative which by all reports is not quiet.



After simulating via SCARM multiple track configurations using both American Models track and FasTrack, I fully concur with your statement regarding how the large number of lengths the latter product offers facilitates track building with minimal, if any, track cutting.

In an earlier post I speculated about the possible incompatibility of FasTrack remote control turnouts and uncoupling sections incorporated in a DCC-type layout. Lionel tech support informed me that this would not be a problem. I suppose, though, that it would behoove me to buy one of each item to verify this claim before purchasing all FasTrack sections needed for my planned permanent layout.

You also eliminated my final FasTrack concern- -its potential noisiness. Mounting all track on at least a one-inch-thick layer of extruded-foam insulation board [resting on an open-grid benchwork] would certainly help damp out any residual noise.

Chuck, who frequently posts here has a layout built with FasTrack and operates engines with DCC. I am concerned extruded foam will amplify rather than reduce noise. That is certainly my experience and what the O gaugers report. Homasote is a far better choice. If not that just get a roll of thin cork sheet and cut it to fit under the track. I bought actual cork roadbed for under my track.

@Bob G (WNY) posted:

Mounting all track on at least a one-inch-thick layer of extruded-foam insulation board [resting on an open-grid benchwork] would certainly help damp out any residual noise.

Bob, I believe extruded Styrofoam has about the same sound deadening qualities as plywood -- meaning it is terrible.  Expanded Styrofoam would be much better with Homasote 440 being around the best.  Somewhere on this forum is a lengthy experiment with different kinds of roadbed and noise.  I have also read on this forum, at least for 0 gauge, FasTrack is much noisier that SHS/MTH S-Trax.

I have no trouble cutting S-Trax and like Brio wooden track, all these systems are much more forgiving than a CAD program would have you think.  +/- an inch is usually close enough.

Good luck and have fun,

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

@Tom Stoltz posted:

Bob, I believe extruded Styrofoam has about the same sound deadening qualities as plywood -- meaning it is terrible.  Expanded Styrofoam would be much better with Homasote 440 being around the best.

Thanks, Tom [and others] for raising a red flag about how extruded foam magnifies, rather than dampens, the sound of trains running on FasTrack; I certainly won't use that material. I also appreciate the link you provided to the earlier Forum discussion on track noise- -lots of information and opinions there to unpack. Classic Toy Trains magazine also broached the subject: http://cs.trains.com/ctt/f/95/t/78190.aspx. One suggestion cited therein that appears plausible is the use of thick, dense carpet padding over a solid base [type and thickness of the latter material TBD].

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