Menard's O Gauge Track

I have a simple 8x11 loop, it has been trouble free since installation two years ago.  On install cause I was(still) a newbie, I didn’t check continuity of sections ahead of time.  So, I had a short to find before trouble free operation(see photo)  I also used track pliers and a square bar to insure good connection.  The track works great.




Photos (2)

I have some.  Not enough ties on long straights, and some fit/QC issues on other pieces.  On the positive side, it's readily available at a reasonable price.  

If someone wants tubular track and is not in a hurry, I'd suggest looking for it at a meet.  Because so many people have switched to other types of track, demand has fallen way off.  Great deals can be had on good used tubular track - it's almost impossible for sellers to give it away.  And new tubular track is a bargain - vendors who still have it just want to unload it.  There's no reason to pay an inflated ebay price, and the cost of shipping track is ridiculous.

I agree with the positive comments about Menards track.  And another added bonus they make a really WIDE radius curve (96 inch diameter) that I have recently begun to use.  Large locos really like the extra wide radius!  I scrapped a bunch of old Lionel track to get extra ties to add to it for strength and looks.  Runs great and looks even better.


Hey FoderBoder.....yes, I've used 54" curve from Menards. The track is pretty good but as others have mentioned above there was (are?) issues with the center rail shorting out because of holes punched through the paper insulator (I don't think its fiber).  I even contacted Menards and told them about the issue I encountered. They said they would check into it and monitor the quality control.

As a result I would remove the center rail and install my own cardboard insulators before putting the track into service.

You should also know the track joints don't seat as tightly together as Lionel track does. But the rails are galvanized and won't rust.

Hope this helps!


A DCS Operator

Hey James.....I wasn't complaining just posting my experiences with the track. All I had to do was develop a routine when I used the track; to tighten the ends with a pair of diagonal cutters and replace the center rail insulators. No biggy.

And the track works fine with DCS and signal issues what so ever. I feel bad for sharing my experiences !


A DCS Operator

Don't feel bad. Without complaints they might think they are doing ok when they were not.  Somewhere this stuff is going to sold again privately too, so it shouldn't necessarily be forgotten either.

  Just note the date. Important because I know  I held off until I had heard different. And the issue WAS right at the product launch /expansion and stopped popping up pretty quickly. 

I have gotten Lionel track with shorts in the 60s-70s; it happens.

  The plating quality seems to be the only legit thing some folk really have to nit pick over anymore imo.    The galvanized plating (or whatever) does seem a bit gritty in comparison to traditional Lionel plating.  

It is like a Marx-Lionel hybrid. Lionel O ties and heavy duty rail/ Marx plating and long blunt pins.

  I'll point out my childhood Marx 0-27 track has less rust blemish than the Lionel 0-27 of the same age. Except that Marx is thinner metal, it's good track.

  I ordered at a Menard's store as an excuse to stop & check out the seasonal leftovers upstairs (at nearly all).  Under $50 and 3 days later a circle of track was at my door.  No issues for 3+ years now. I don't even recall pushing it closed at gap. (that one is not screwed down)  Menard's track will be my go to unless I manage to land a crapload of used GG cheap or something.

  I hope they copy the prewar Marx switch concept without the guide rails so fat driver engines can run on something new again too. Very smooth and no power losses.  You could have one roller on a 2rail conversion with only one wheel side as common, and not have issues I bet.

Lionel tie clips didn't reach between two sections. The ties would have to be moved to accept them.... if they fit right and ties will stay...?.

 I imagine some odd accessory might also need a tie moved or maybe even replaced with a Lionel as well ???

That's about as critical as I can get on their track, no complaint.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


Hey Adriatic....yep.....I totally agree; which is why I contacted Menards as soon as I saw what was happening. They were VERY good about it too. Immediately volunteered to perform QC.

Wow......O gauge switches based on a Marx design would be sweet! I do recall the opposite issue....where you couldn't run Marx engines across Lionel 027 switches because the gear teeth on the drive wheels came all the way out to the wheel's edge. The gear teeth would climb up on top of the switches guide rails; lifting the wheel completely of the rail and derail.

Plus.....I can't begin to tell you how many Lionel O gauge 072 switches I've had to rework because MTH, Lionel and Williams engines would either derail or short out over the switches. OOPS! There I go again !


A DCS Operator

  Lionel had a couple fat wheels too I guess. I recall one of my childhood trains could only run on plain track, I think it was a fat fwheel but  I don't recal the number. I think it had shoes vs rollers too.

  The expectation of a certain look are the main reason we don't see one today IMO (outside of ETS in Europe) Though I think the point style did appear prototypically hear or there. (As did 3r (at very least as a rack system)) 


"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


Foderboder posted:

Anyone used track from Menard's and have an opinion on its quality, or know which company manufactures it?  Heck of a lot cheaper than lionel track, even anything on Ebay.  Thank you. 

This question arises here at least once a month...   If you do a search for "Menards track," you will see the many past threads in which many people continue to provide outdated comments about their three & four- year-old Menards track, & then others like me continually jumping in to say we have been using it for a year or two & have nothing but glowing remarks.   


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