With the decision to expand the O-Gauge portion of my layout comes the need for more track. I don't know what rock I've been living under, but I am just now aware of the fact that Lionel has stopped producing traditional tubular track. 

Has anyone had any recent experience with the track sold by Menard's? I've seen a few unfavorable reviews here from a few years ago, but didn't know if they've done anything to improve the product. The price sure is right, but if that's as far as it goes, I'll continue hunting for Lionel 40-inch straights. 



Image result for train collectors association emblem

  TCA 90-30847

  NJ HiRailers Associate Member

Original Post

About four years ago, I purchased Menards tubular track.  It is quite different from Lionel and K-Line tubular.  At least that was my experience then.  

The galvanizing was rough and the track ties were not spaced the same as traditional tubular track on some of their offerings.

It is difficult to solder to.  

I've heard differently about the newer track from Menards.  But have no actual experience with it.

I've purchased a bit of tubular Made by Williams by Bachmann, which was originally K-Line.  It is alot nicer than the Menards track. 

Dan Padova


"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill


044DD46F-F3DB-45A0-AE34-9F6D40E04411I’ve used Menards track on my current layout except for Lionel UCS tracks and Lionel and K-Line switches. I haven’t had any problems with it. I don’t know about soldering, as I don’t solder my power feeds, using spade terminals stuck in the bottom. I’m very happy with it, especially since Menards is closer than any train store carrying Lionel. DF5BBE28-E67A-4F2A-B04C-1DEEC1C84CCEI did paint the sides, add wood ties and ballast.


Photos (2)

The Menards by my house has been fully stocked with track, 31 36 42 54 72 96 plus long and short straights. The finish is very comparable to Lionel and no longer has that galvanized appearance. The fit on the new track seem pretty good also. When I am driving past I pop in to see what they have and always gravitate towards the track since I use tubular. I do remember the first run of track left something to be desired but they seem to have worked out the kinks. 

I bought a four long straights last month and found the gauge of the metal on the ties was thinner than those of the O-36 curves bought a few years ago,after the launch era issues happened (which cleared up). The big issue was the isolator pads for the center rail let some shorts happen. Some loose pin and ties complaints, but rare.

I paid under $20 and had it on a whim in under an hour. (leftovers go upstairs seasonally, you can go up & look year round)  Ordering, I had a 036-circle in hand in under 48hrs by cheapest delivery option (7pm order)

The new ties (long track) are still the traditional shape, but metal gauge was equal to say, O-27 ties; lighter than traditional O. (rails remain thick and about as robust as traditional O) 

E.g..... You could step on the thick tie stuff by either brand, stand on it if you aren't a heavyweight that is 😁... and it's possible the long track is the only one with light gauge ties and curves/short straights are still heavy gauge ties.

  Step on thin tie M track weighing 135 pounds and  your O height becomes close to 0-27 height fast (convenient for me as I used O-27 switches and homespun transition rails from 2" of 027. (I have a small grade going vs shiming 0-27 turnouts to O height)... my dog weighs 135 and got a.spot a little but the rails flexed and didn't bend. The tie just hung until I bent it sides back down.....just like 0-27 except 0-27 rails would bend too.  (Still thicker than Marx tie metal too)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


Add Reply

Likes (0)
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653