Skip to main content

Hey all! I've finally got all of the track down and wired on my new layout. Everything has been working pretty well but I'm having some issues with my the O60 switches in my outer loop.

When my engine approaches them, I'm getting weird behavior. The most prevalent is it seems like the switch isn't fully engaged and the engine will go straight, instead of through the curve. The other times, the front truck will go through the curve, then it fires and the rear truck goes ends up on the switch track.

It almost seems as if it's triggering anti-derailing and switching when the engine comes up on it or after it's started through it.

Here are a couple videos:

Has anyone had these issues and knows what to look for? I'm really hoping to get the kinks out by Thanksgiving when we have guests over.


Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

1. Is the switch (or the adjacent track) fastened down to the table so tightly that it's distorting the base, and causing the mechanism inside to hang up?  This can easily happen with a forced fit.  Fastrack does not take kindly to being forced.  Either the geometry is right, or it isn't, you can't "cheat" by bending it!

2. Non-conducting switch: I've definitely encountered issues where power was not being conducted through the switch to the other side.  It's as if Lionel deliberately built an "insulated block" feature into their switches.  I didn't want an insulated block on that part of my layout, so I solved this by adding jumper wires to the far side.

3. Pickup rollers: I'm not familiar with the RDC(?) you're running.  But many MTH steam locos (even the expensive ones!) only have two pick-up rollers, which is just asking for the loco to stall.  Are both rollers picking up power?  Can you measure continuity between the rollers??  Also: if they were operated on a track system with a blackened center rail, are the rollers free from the black gunk??

Hope this helps!

Highly suggest you follow the standard multi point "bulletproofing" modifications and inspection on any fastrack switch before installing.

As seen here

and here

Your problem could be caused by either the folded tab electrical connections causing intermittent ground connection and that can cause spurious anti-derailing triggering. The other known thing is the metal back plate can press up into the terminal area and make contact to the terminal solder joints and cause a similar problem of the weight of the crossing engine pressing down on the switch into the table.

Folded tabs- recommend soldering all of these type of connections

Last edited by Vernon Barry

Thanks for the insights guys!

@Ted S: these are all good points. I tried to take the screws out and got the same result. I do think I need to add some jumper wires between some pieces just to make sure I'm not getting a flicker.

@Vernon Barry thank you for this! I actually took both switches apart and put electrical tape over the contacts you highlighted. When I took the bottoms off of them, the steel piece looked warped like a piece of plywood at the bottom of a stack at Lowes.  Your fix was able to solve the track jumping on one of the switches but the other is still having an issue.

I noticed something interesting. The switch isn't firing until the engine is halfway through the switch. The front truck (both of the Railking Budd car and an older conventional Lionel Alco) are actually riding up on the switch and jumping into the cross over. Once the front wheels go across, the switch fires.

The crazy thing is when I had these on another version of this layout I had no issues with them.

Here are some pics and videos of what I'm seeing.


Images (3)
  • PXL_20221124_031918408
  • PXL_20221124_031922046
  • PXL_20221124_031927153
Videos (1)

Add Reply


OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
800-980-OGRR (6477)

Link copied to your clipboard.