I was wondering why I see so many layouts with the older tubular track. Is there a reason for this? Does the fast track not work well on layouts? Do the trains run better on tubular track. I see some new layouts with tubular tracks and I’m confused. Is it just a preference?
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Its all about preference.
Why tubular track?
In my case I had stock from previous layouts
sounds good more like real train IMO
works good with Magna traction
still readily available as are switches
many turn radius available
many switches available
pretty easy to cut to size if needed
draw backs are (some)
cut hands I my case even with gloves
Not a real or prototype look again IMO
and probably others
that said all track systems have good and bad points
Works well an easy to fix.
I just built a new layout using tubular track. I have built layouts with gargraves, Ross, superO and a few more.
I used O gauge tubular because I wanted to be build which will be most likely my last layout. When I started building permanent layouts in 1969 with my brother it was tubular that we used. My brother who passed away 4+ years ago was my best friend and In honor of him I decided to build this layout with tubular.
Its great track, looks good and I dressed it up by using foam roadbed and rubber ties. Not only does it look good but it does help to quiet the sound of the trains running.
My Grandfather used tubular, my Dad used tubular and so when I built my first home 4x8 layout back in 1974 that's what I used. Of course back in the stone ages tubular was just about the only thing out their being regularly produced; other than perhaps Gargraves. Super O was out there but not easily attainable at that time. If it had been my layout would have been Super O ; I love that track. Anyway, as I expanded I continued using tubular because it was what I was used to and it was oh so forgiving when constructing and expanding a layout. It gives you a lot of leeway. My layout is now 8x20 and it's all tubular gussied up with cork roadbed, rubber ties from Moondog Express and hard ballasting. It was a lot of fun putting it all together.
Personal preference. I think FastTrack is ugly. It is also more complicated, providing more ways things can go wrong.
My big, permanent (Hirail) layout uses Atlas, but all my temporary and all my smaller display layouts use tubular.
The reason you see so many layouts with "O" gauge tubular track is because it works. People have used it for years. Personally, I love it. Menards, has a wide variety of curves and straight sections. Someday, hopefully they will produce a wide a variety of switches to go with their tubular track.
Steve, where did you get the ties? Your track bed looks great.
Dave, excellent tribute to your brother.
Merlin, in developing my plans I agonized over which track to use. So, for all the reasons listed already that is what I’m moving forward with. Plus, it can take such a beating and you can modify and cut track that you need to fit.
Thanks to Steve and OKHiker for posting photos of their excellent layouts. I always enjoy the photos and video posted here. Someone a while back posted that they run trains for fun and not frustration. The tubular track is a rugged and reliable track system that will give years, or really, decades of smooth, and frustration free, operation. I have built layouts with it since 1966. It never let me down. It saddens me that Lionel, who originated it to begin with, no longer makes it. We are fortunate that Menards makes it new for now. I plan to stock up on the 30 inch straight sections now that the holidays are over with.