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I recently switched from a conventional toggle/block system using tubular track to using fastrack. I was able to isolate six different blocks without any problems when using tubular track and fiber pins. Now that I’m using fastrack,  I’m using the same toggle switch setup, but getting continuity through the blocks, even with the center connecting wire removed. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Thank you for your reply Rob. I’m already using the Lionel block sections with the rails pre-cut and the center wire on the bottom removed. The toggle switch to the block that’s bordered by the two Lionel block pre-cut sections is in the off position but I’m still getting current through the block. In other words, I’m not able to isolate the block even though the power connection is switched off.

With a continuity tester, you could hook up one clip to the center rail on one end of the block section and the other clip on the opposite end of the center rail to see if there is continuity in the rail. (Do this when the block section of track is not installed on the layout) If so, perhaps a small blade screwdriver or knife blade placed in the break in the rail to pry the center rails a little farther apart may help. When re-installing the block section of Fastrack, you could leave the screwdriver or knife blade in the break in the rail until the block section of fastrack was installed and then remove the screwdriver or blade. Perhaps when installing the block sections to other sections of fastrack on either end, the center rail is moving slightly to the point when each side of the center rail is making contact where there is supposed to be a break.

@ADCX Rob posted:

So, the pins are all still connected & touching? That would be the issue. You can buy the Lionel sections with the center rail cuts or make your own.

Theses have the switches in the roadbed, but the cuts I made are shown.

Great idea, I would go one step further , with an LED. that will burn green when energized and dark when off. If you have a few set up makes a quick look easier.

Thanks for all of your input, especially the continuity testing. Every one of the 8 new block segments tested positive on the center rail for continuity with the wire removed. Needless to say it doesn’t speak well for quality control of the product. Im curious if others have had problems with Lionel’s block segments or if this was just a bad run? I’m returning all today along with the wrong radius switch that was sent me and a claim for the terminal track that was left out of the shipment. 2 hours of troubleshooting….. but at least I learned something.
To answer an earlier question, I’m building a two line layout with manual switches connecting the inner to the outer loops. The inner loop will have two cross lines with switches at the end of each line connected to the inner loop. I wish I had the software to show the layout but a picture will have to do. Total of 6 blocks with (I think) at least 8 Lionel block sections. Each loop has its own circuit breaker and is being powered by the two sides of a KW transformer. Each block will be able to be isolated by a toggle switch. See pictures for circuit box that I built. I’m running a combination of 2 post war and two modern era trains (Legacy H10 and LC + 2.0 Mikado) on the layout, obviously up to two at a time. More questions to come on my layout, placement of fastrack blocks around switches, and eventually adding Deck 3 to the layout. All suggestions welcomed.IMG_0670imageimage


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Hey Chris,

Just to be sure, you removed the individual 5" block sections, and tested them ?

Are the breaks in the loops where those 8 pieces were?   I only ask, as something is odd.  The track section are very simple.  The center rail is connected only when the jumper wire is in place.

One last test:  you can carefully pry up the tabs underneath that hold the center rail in place. That way you can lift the rail and see if there's anything that is 'connecting' the two center rail sections.

Last edited by EscapeRocks
@Chris Payne posted:

Every one of the 8 new block segments tested positive on the center rail for continuity with the wire removed...

@EscapeRocks posted:
Just to be sure, you removed the individual 5" block sections, and tested them ?

Yes, tested off the layout? That is crazy that every one is bad, you should be able to see the breach in each one w/o too much difficulty.

Thanks for your suggestion. Yes I believe you are correct, except for sidings. The gaps shown in my picture were somewhat random spots where I needed additional track, not necessarily block placement. I’m also wanting to run the outside loop and any associated blocks off the A circuit of my KW transformer and the inner loop and blocks off the B side. I’m thinking that I’ll need a block section between the turnout sections of the switches to be able to isolate the loops, but would appreciate any suggestions regarding how to do this and which rails other than the center rail need the current interrupted.

@Chris Payne posted:

Legacy Station confirmed that all 8 pieces and most of their recent  lot of Fastrack 5” block sections purchased from Lionel were faulty.

Wow, how hard can it be to follow the instruction... DON'T connect these two rail sections together! Maybe they would have worked better if the factory was told to be sure there was continuity.

Last edited by ADCX Rob

I encountered the same problem with Fastrack 5" insulated sections while building a floor layout for Christmas of '22.  It was really frustrating!  I'm still not sure HOW the electricity was getting from one side of of the track section to the other.  To work around the problem, I just ended up cutting a slot in the center rail of an adjacent track section.  So much for "user-friendly!"

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