I am ready to begin building a long awaited layout. I have considered all the track options but would like some opinions. I have heard great things about Lionel Prewar T-Rail track and am considering using it for the layout, although I do know it may be hard and expensive to locate. Would this be worth doing or should I just use Lionel O-Gauge track which I already own? What makes T-Rail better than O-Gauge? At this point I am thinking I want to stay old school and use the old Lionel track systems. Thanks for any help!

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Tinplate Art posted:

With all the modern quality choices like Ross and Gargraves, and also Lionel, Atlas and MTH, it would be easier and less expensive to go with one of those options.

Very true, but it won't be as cool!

As I mentioned in a reply to a similar topic, you can see a couple T-rail layouts in the "Friend's Layouts" section of www.Warrenvillerailroad.com

Lionelski posted:
Tinplate Art posted:

With all the modern quality choices like Ross and Gargraves, and also Lionel, Atlas and MTH, it would be easier and less expensive to go with one of those options.

Very true, but it won't be as cool!

As I mentioned in a reply to a similar topic, you can see a couple T-rail layouts in the "Friend's Layouts" section of www.Warrenvillerailroad.com

I do like it, but those ties are sure far apart. GG/Ross - better effect (but only if you paint it), better availability. 

I'd just go with Gargraves/Ross or Atlas if you like that option better.  I'll bet it'll be a PITA to round up enough Lionel T-Rail for a decent layout, especially switches.

C450D4C3-799E-492E-B5BC-A3632E4A6FF170C44CE7-D779-4DBA-8278-FC06E978D7BC50401FB0-045B-44ED-8C7E-9C176D1CC420At one time I looked into Lionel T Rail trackage, however price and availability led me to Atlas O, Ross Custom, and Gargraves. It’s actually die-Cast track, and at its age, very easy to break, difficult to hook together, and not near as reliable on allowing the electric current to evenly flow via the track. It’s nice looking, needs to be on homasote with cork roadbed to be tolerable for noise. I used Ross pre-curved circles, 096, 0108, 0120...They mixed well with Atlas O....072-081-090-099. It’s your choice, your money, your time. Sherman Leonard in Nashville Tennessee has a large T-Rail layout and there’s another fellow in Nashville also. I will place a picture in a few minutes. Happy Railroading...

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Sherman Leonard lives in the Nashville Tennessee area and built the layout I posted earlier back in 1970-thru-1990....it resides in a 66 foot long trailer behind his lovely home. He built his layout in this mobile home so that the layout could be moved easily. He is a member of the TCA and a great person to buy parts from. Good luck in finding the track for your layout.

 

Other than the cool factor, I can't think of much reason to use T rail. Atlas track and MTH scaletrax as far as I know is T, and they come in a lot of different radii and lengths and is more realistic to boot (and Atlas is Nickel-Silver, which doesn't oxidize, though it also won't work with magne traction).  Ross and Gargraves are not T shaped, but they look decent and don't cost a ton of money, either, and give you a lot of flexibility.

That old T rail track is scarce and is going to cost you a lot of money. Obviously, if your goal is to run pre war equipment on original track, if you like the 'cool' factor of running on stuff 80 years + old, that is cool, but from an operating or budget perspective doesn't make much sense at all to me. 

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Wow, you would have a really long drive, or a short flight, but, the trip to York, the largest TCA Meet this time of year, October, would answer all your questions. You could meet the manufacturers and many hobbyist with great ideas on building your dream layout.  On the other hand there are probably many hobbyist in the Phoenix area....Good luck.

Dwayne B posted:

Larry.......Thank you for invite to come visit but I live in Flagstaff Arizona close to the Grand Canyon. I have never been to York but want to try and make it someday.......I have heard wonderful things about the show.

Made my one and only trip to York last year with some buddies. What a blast.

Steve

Steve "Papa" Eastman

Yorba Linda, CA

Left Coast, Home of the lunatics

Dwayne B posted:

I am ready to begin building a long awaited layout. I have considered all the track options but would like some opinions. I have heard great things about Lionel Prewar T-Rail track and am considering using it for the layout, although I do know it may be hard and expensive to locate. Would this be worth doing or should I just use Lionel O-Gauge track which I already own? What makes T-Rail better than O-Gauge? At this point I am thinking I want to stay old school and use the old Lionel track systems. Thanks for any help!

I also considered T-Rail before I started my layout 10 years ago.  An OGR forum member was kind enough to send me a few samples of the track so I could look it over first hand.  For the price of shipping it back to him, it was well worth it. (Maybe you can borrow a few pieces from someone as well) I decided to go with Ross track and switches.  Not one regret.  As others have stated, the cost is extremely high.  Figure $20 per straight and little less for curves.  Switches can run up to 200 each.  There is only radius for the curves which limits track configurations.  It will difficult to find enough good track for the layout as the ties are die-cast and are frequently broken.  A lot of sellers don't always have all the fish plates to bolt the track together.  After I looked at it first hand, the track looked old and I decided it was not worth the hunt or the expense to gather all that I would need. 

If you really have a desire to use T-Rail, I would suggest a simple loop on your layout which would limit your cost. You can then build the rest of your layout with a more modern track.  Good luck with your decision.

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