I know I’m being stupid but how do they work? I can’t see how to slip them between two Fastrack sections to disconnect the current. Any advice appreciated. Thanks.
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Thanks Gunny. So how do I separate Fastrack sections?
You don't! All joking aside, when Lionel sunsetted the Gilbert style track they purchased from K-Line it was replaced with FasTrack. The thinking must have been everyone would be using FlyerChief or Legacy with FasTrack so no track isolation would be required.
The easiest way is to pull off the railjoiners, it might require a sheet of paper between the sections to keep the rail ends from touching. The other way is to cut through the rails with a Dremel a few inches from the end of the rails. Doing this then introduces the problem of how to supply power on both sides of the gaps. Either buy more terminal track sections or get really good at soldering feeder wires to rails. There is no provision for power connections under the track as there is on the similar appearing SHS /MTH track. Since the turnouts are not power routing like the original Gilbert turnouts there will be a lot of gaps needed for multi transformer conventional operations and for isolated sidings. I will avoid mentioning the gaps needed for reverse loops.
Thanks Tom. Unfortunately I’m running American Model locomotives as well as AF Flyer Chief.
I guess I can screw down the track sections a millimeter apart?
AlastairL-C, correct. Also, as Rusty says, FVM rail is .138 so it is compatible with FasTrack. However FVM only makes flex track and #5 turnouts, no sectional track.
SHS and MTH sectional track are also compatible and it can be connected to FasTrack with some minor plastic surgery. The appearance is different because the rail webs are blackened and the roadbed is a more realistic multi color. The advantage of SHS/MTH is each section has metal tabs underneath that accept 1/8" slide on connectors for track power. All things considered I would stay with the FasTrack because it is the most complete modern S gauge sectional track system available in quantity. Also, unlike its O gauge cousin, S gauge Fastrack does not make noise with its solid rail.
The other way is to cut through the rails with a Dremel a few inches from the end of the rails. Doing this then introduces the problem of how to supply power on both sides of the gaps. Either buy more terminal track sections or get really good at soldering feeder wires to rails.
I agree, Tom. The nice thing about cutting the rail in the middle of a section is the rails are held in place by the 'spikes' in the roadbed. I don't see getting power to both sides as any different than any other method of using 'insulated rail joiners'. I solder wires to the underside of the rail for power.
I think I’ve figured out how to avoid the need for insulators. I got the idea from what AmFlyer mentioned about Flyer Chiefs.
What I want to do is exchange a train on the main line with one on a siding, where one is AF Flyer Chief and one is American Models. If I idle the AM train with power from the transformer still to the track, I can move the AFFC out onto the main line using the remote and idle it. I can then put the AM into forward using the transformer and into the siding. Then I can idle it and start up the AFFC with the remote.
Let us know how it works out for you. I would be a bit nervous about keeping a constant 15V to 18V on the AM engine for a long period even with it in neutral. In theory its ok, but one minor jostling and it will take off full speed.
The easiest but not the most elegant alternative is to buy some 6-49858 transition track pieces and use Gilbert turnouts. The power routing feature allows only the selected section to be powered with no rail gaps required.
I’m usually at no more than 10V.
I tried letting the AM train idle with about 10V on the track for half an hour. It didn’t budge.
10V is much better. In my experience the Flyerchief engine will not be happy at 10V in command mode. As a minimum the couplers will not fire. In conventional transformer control mode the FlyerChief will run well at low voltages.
Well, my brilliant solution turned out to be not so brilliant after all. The American Flyer Flyer Chief engine makes a tweedle noise when on powered track even when the remote is turned off. Not wanting to hear that when running the American Motors train, I’m back to separately powered lines and the need to insulate. I’ll try screwing the track sections down one millimeter apart.
Sorry, I knew that and completely forgot to mention it. The "hey, I'm here" sound is annoying.