Hi All - I am building a new layout that will be 12X10 and an around the room style.  I actually like to throw my switches manually but in looking at O-48 Fastrack switches it looks like you can only get remote/command for $90-$120 a pop.  Did Lionel ever make manual only O-48 or remote only O-48 switches? I just don't want to spend that much on 10 switches to throw them manually anyway.  Any direction or feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks. 

Original Post

Toss the Fastrack and go to some other brand?

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

Fireball RR posted:

Thank you Ricko, appreciate the quick response. 

Paul - What do you think? I'm open to any ideas around sectional track, no flextrack please

Well, MTH Real Trax switches can be hand thrown.  Although they only come as electric switches, they cost less than FasTrack switches, and you can easily hand throw them - just don't hook the switching mechanism up to electricity!

I believe they are available for all of their curve sizes (except the largest): O-31, O-42, O-54, O-60, and O-72.  The largest being O-82 curved track, but once again, no switch in that size.  Seems like an O-72 wye switch is also available, if memory serves.

A fair amount of guys (including myself) like Real Trax.  But a lot of others don't, and prefer FasTrack.  FasTrack apparently handles frequent assembly and disassembly much better than Real Trax.  However, if you're building a 10' x 12' layout, doesn't sound like you will be taking the track apart on a regular basis.  In that case, MTH Real Trax should be just fine.

Real Trax has a few other minor quirks and annoyances, but they can be easily overcome once you know how.  Much more info. available on MTH Real Trax with the "search" feature on this forum.

Hope this helps. 

Paul  

Ship Rock Island ROCKET FREIGHT

 

2 Rails?  3 Rails?  Doesn't matter, I can't count that high in either case.

I love the smell of fresh-brewed creosote first thing in the morning.

If the government knew how much fun O-gauge railroading was, they'd outlaw it!

Common sense is my second best trait.  Nonsense is my first, of course. 

Of course, one can simply disconnect the wires to the remote turnout switch, from beneath the turnout itself, to have a manual turnout.   I am doing this myself, switching the points manually.

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Fastrack remote switches do indeed switch manually. You just poke the appropriate point rail with the old switchman's index finger and: wa la, the points flip. If you want really smooth action remove the tiny DC switch motor and the points then move with a Nice smooth snap-action.

Lew

 

Operator of the Plywood Empire Route in the Beautiful Berkshires

Growing old is so much more fun than the only alternative.

Thank you all for your feedback over the last couple of days.  I think I'm going to have to bite the bullet and buy the O-48 switches a little at a time, spending big bucks to throw them manually.  With the track plan I am considering the O-48 switches work so perfectly space wise and reduce the amount for other Fastrack sections needed. The goal would be to run O-42 MTH Modern diesels which should look good on that size radius and yesterday looking at how @RickO ballasted his Fastrack so beautifully sealed the deal.    

I realize that I haven't seen your track plan, but I found O48 harder to work with because of its geometry. It was harder to mix other curves with, ( for an easement, for example) because it takes 12 to make a circle. It will be fine if this is the only layout in your plans with no expansion in the future. For what it's worth, all my MTH 4 axle diesels had no problem with O36 switches on 2 previous layouts. I have five, from a GP9 to GP40s, all Premier or RK Scale. MTH rates them for O42 because they don't make O36. You could save a couple bucks (in reference to your original question) if they might work for you in some of your plan, such as a siding where it wouldn't be used as much. I am just offering this as information, and look forward to seeing your progress.

John

Located in the real Upstate NY

Attached is what I'm working with at this point but open to any and all suggestions.

Goals:

1. Easy reach to all portions of the layout

2. Ability to switch inside the layout with four axle loco like MTH GP38-2 while large six axle modern diesel circles the layout slowly

3. Lift out for easy access to the room (Just purchased Lionel Extended Truss Bridge)

4. Prob use 50' boxcars, small 8000 gallon tank cars and 2 bay covered hoppers to maximize space on sidings

5. Been reading Lance Mindheim books from the HO playbook and like the idea of scenic spaces on the layout along with maximizing car spots at industries

6. Want to learn to scratchbuild/kitbash modern structures

I started designing this layout as HO scale but feel I can accomplish the switching layout goal with O gauge and have a lot more fun.  I have no desire to cut flextrack, lay cork and ballast HO track which led me back to O gauge and Fastrack.

 

 

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