Good morning,

I don't have a permanent layout, as I don't have the room. But I love model trains so much, that I decided that I don't not have the room!

I setup/teardown on weekends. I am not particularly reckless or hurried when I do so, nevertheless I have lost center pins on (3) pieces of 30 inch straight FasTrack pieces. 

Seems to be the exact same brake on all three pieces, attached. 

How do I remedy this please?

Thank you


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Original Post

I've never seen that happen before. I've used FasTrack for over ten years. There must be a defect in the casting. Are these new? An option is to unbend the tabs on the bottom of the track for the center rail and remove the rail to the point you can get the pin out. Then you can use an ordinary tubular track pin in place of the broken FasTrack pin. If they are relatively new, I would ask for an exchange / replacement. You can also call Lionel directly.


The pins are now available through Lionels Parts Dept, "Replacement parts". Type in "Fastrack Pin" and they'll pop up. If your bending the pins slightly to get a positive contact, don't. I have discovered that using a small pair of needle nose pliers squeeze and the rail itself at the base next to the road bed slightly. This will put that positive contact on the pin being inserted. 

When pulling the track pieces apart, ensure your hands are on the ground, and pull steadily increasing the force as necessary. Only go side to side to break the contacts on the bottom of the track. If you use too much side to side, you'll break the center pin and open up the center area of the rails causing a connection problem next time you put the track together.


I don't know what the process is now, but I have heard that at one point the pins were easy to break, then they changed the manufacturing.  I'm guessing, based on the size and shape, they could well be stamped from sheet stock at this point.

The procedure is pretty simple, you have to pull up the track in question enough to get the broken pin out and the new pin in.  That involves bending the tabs straight along most of the rail as you can't get much angle without putting a crease in the rail.

For a 30" piece of track, you only have to lift the first 8-10 inches a bit, you don't have to take the entire rail loose.  I've put them on straights and curves, I bend about half the tabs as a rule.  You only need less than 1/4" of lift to get the pins in/out.

I always take Fastrack apart with a knife, usually a utility blade or my jacknife. Open a slight crack from the edge and then go between the rails and open the gap with a twisting motion. You can do this without lifting and pulling sideways that comes with doing it with your hands that contributes to poor fit the next time. I have never broken a pin on any of the versions of track. 


Located in the real Upstate NY

OP-I have a bunch send me your addy and I will send you some. Not hard to install.If you are going to be constantly setting up and taking down I would use O gauge tubular. Even if you get the pins to stop breaking you're going to start having continuity problems as the joints loosen. Nick

No such thing as over kill-do it RIGHT.                                                                                                                             

Thank you so much Nick, my address is in my profile, that is very generous, much appreciated. Please let me know if you want me to paypal you any postage money.

I don't if this is a 'smoking gun' but here is a photo of the broken pieces.


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