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First off, I have no grasp whatsoever of what goes into 3D design, CAD design, or 3D printing so please bear with me if this is a silly question…

Apparently, the only way to get hold of a tell tale activator for FastTrack is to purchase a new bobbing car of some form that includes the modified activator. Lionel does not sell the FastTrack activators separately and that means those of us who want to install tell tale activators on FastTrack either have to buy a new car we don't need to want, or modify an activator made for tubular track (which may or may not work on FastTrack).

So the question is, is it feasible, reasonable for someone to make a design for 3D printing for a FastTrack tell tale activator? My guess is, it would only have to be the activator and base, since one could use their existing posts and tell tale arms. I'm also asking because I think the FastTrack activator has metal plate or rod, which obviously might make a 3D printed repro more difficult (hard to tell looking at the poorly xeroxed and scanned instruction sheet on the Lionel site). And, would doing so violate any patents?

With all that said, if it can be done, and the design winds up in the OGR catalog, I'd happily pay for it (and then send it to my brother to punch out on his 3D printer!)

Thanks for any info!


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Ok I’ll be the one to ask. What is a tell Tale Activator?

The tell tale goes back to the early days of railroading when the brakemen rode on top of the cars to hand crank the brakes. The tell tale hung over the tracks to warn of an approaching low bridge, tunnel or signal mast. In the case of Lionel, the tell tale activator pushes up the spring lever of a bobbing reindeer or bobbing giraffe car as it goes over it, causing the bobbing (reindeer/giraffe) to duck below the tell tale. Lionel made tell tale assemblies for years to fit on tubular track, but have only made one or two cars to my knowledge with a tell tale for FastTrack. You can see it on the Lionel site here.

Last edited by redrockbill

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