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Anyone use there O gauge tubular track? Are they any good? I thinking of getting some 0-96 curve track, there site claims it takes 16 pieces of tubular track to make a circle, has any done it? Lionel fast track says it requires 32 pieces of .096 circle track to make a complete circle.  Whats says? 

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GTP posted:

Anyone use there O gauge tubular track? Are they any good? I thinking of getting some 0-96 curve track, there site claims it takes 16 pieces of tubular track to make a circle, has any done it? Lionel fast track says it requires 32 pieces of .096 circle track to make a complete circle.  Whats says? 

I've seen some O96 track pieces at my local Menard's.  As they're fairly lengthy dudes (somewhere around 18" long), I wouldn't be surprised at all that they only require 16 pieces for a full circle.

About three years ago I purchased some Menards "O" gauge tubular track.  It's appearance did not come up to what I had been used to from Lionel and K-Line.  In that purchase were 30" straights.  That was a mistake on my part.  They were too long to be useful for my purpose and cutting them was not the problem, but the rigidness was.  I cut them in a jig and once cut they lost some of their rigidity.  

So I had two full cases of 30" straights that I had not opened and tried selling them.  They went to the buyer and he complained so loudly that I had to refund his money and pay for shipping back to me.  I did not want to risk a blemish on my Ebay rating.  His argument was that the track would ruin his locomotives.  Anyway, I only use Williams or Lionel tubular track nowadays.  

Well I went and looked at the tracks at Menards, decided to purchase what i needed for a 0-96 circular track , can't beat the price and a rebate to boot. Thanks for all the replies. By the way I purchased the 24 track case on line was less than buying individual 16 tracks at the store. I'll have a few extra 0-96 track.  Dave

Bill DeBrooke posted:

It is my understanding that the school system has decided that 'Pi' 3.1416....to infinity and beyond is much to complicated to remember so the new 'Pi' is '3'.  I could be wrong but that is what I was told.  I am not sure your locomotive will be able to make the leap across the gap that will be left in the circle.

So then, the earth's dimensions will be affected by the change in Pi.....   lol   Would that make getting from here to there quicker then ?

Dan Padova posted:
Bill DeBrooke posted:

It is my understanding that the school system has decided that 'Pi' 3.1416....to infinity and beyond is much to complicated to remember so the new 'Pi' is '3'.  I could be wrong but that is what I was told.  I am not sure your locomotive will be able to make the leap across the gap that will be left in the circle.

So then, the earth's dimensions will be affected by the change in Pi.....   lol   Would that make getting from here to there quicker then ?

It could mean the next time we try to go to the moon we'll end up on Mercury.

Dan Padova posted:

About three years ago I purchased some Menards "O" gauge tubular track.  It's appearance did not come up to what I had been used to from Lionel and K-Line.  In that purchase were 30" straights.  That was a mistake on my part.  They were too long to be useful for my purpose and cutting them was not the problem, but the rigidness was.  I cut them in a jig and once cut they lost some of their rigidity.  

So I had two full cases of 30" straights that I had not opened and tried selling them.  They went to the buyer and he complained so loudly that I had to refund his money and pay for shipping back to me.  I did not want to risk a blemish on my Ebay rating.  His argument was that the track would ruin his locomotives.  Anyway, I only use Williams or Lionel tubular track nowadays.  

As Cabinet Bob said above, the Menards track of the last couple of years has been improved.  I can vouch for that based on my own experience of Menards track in 2017.  It has constantly been in service with no issues.  So, its not really accurate to reply based on the three-year old track.

Last edited by RadioRon
RadioRon posted:
Dan Padova posted:

About three years ago I purchased some Menards "O" gauge tubular track.  It's appearance did not come up to what I had been used to from Lionel and K-Line.  In that purchase were 30" straights.  That was a mistake on my part.  They were too long to be useful for my purpose and cutting them was not the problem, but the rigidness was.  I cut them in a jig and once cut they lost some of their rigidity.  

So I had two full cases of 30" straights that I had not opened and tried selling them.  They went to the buyer and he complained so loudly that I had to refund his money and pay for shipping back to me.  I did not want to risk a blemish on my Ebay rating.  His argument was that the track would ruin his locomotives.  Anyway, I only use Williams or Lionel tubular track nowadays.  

As Cabinate Bob said above, the Menards track of the last couple of years has been improved.  I can vouch for that based on my own experience of Menards track in 2017.  It has constantly been in service with no issues.  So, its not really accurate to reply based on the three-year old track.

That's a good thing.  Especially since their track is not too expensive.

I've got to be honest, Menards track, as mentioned by others, just does not measure up to the quality of Lionel track. I purchased four O36 curved track sections a few years ago and was really disappointed. The finish on the rails appeared to be a rough galvanizing and the joined sections would not stay connected. Track pins were all loose and the rail sections all needed cleaning before they could be used. There was a coating of oil on everything.

EricaAnn posted:

I've got to be honest, Menards track, as mentioned by others, just does not measure up to the quality of Lionel track. I purchased four O36 curved track sections a few years ago and was really disappointed. The finish on the rails appeared to be a rough galvanizing and the joined sections would not stay connected. Track pins were all loose and the rail sections all needed cleaning before they could be used. There was a coating of oil on everything.

Exactly what I found when I made a track purchase from Menards three years ago.  I can understand the oily film on the track as it's being shipped from overseas and can be in storage for awhile.  But as you mentioned, the rough galvanized finish is a bit disconcerting.  I've used Lionel, K-Line and the newest purchase I made was Williams O tubular track and all three have the nice tinned smooth finish, which also makes soldering to it much easier, if you go that route.   

Who, if anybody, has run modern, current, engines on 0-27 sized track? Like Marx O-34 and l think some wider sizes than Marx....K-line?  I have that and Scaletrax.  I looked at Menards and think they are making what l consider clunky and conspicuous, that is, like the old Lionel non-0-27 size, which l don't like (ties and height) and don't own a piece of, although l might use it in a tunnel.  What  I have not seen is O-27 style at Menards?  This has allowed me to procrastinate on the layout.....no track l like.

  Surface finish, and solder are good points. Build quality contrast kinda needs to be stated so we can try to make build observations based in when and what is being produced. (3 years ago, 0-36 for me, great fit....perfect really)

  I've mentioned in other threads the finish was closer to PW Marx track which was never as shiney as Lionel new. But for me, so far, most of that Marx hasn't even thought about rusting; looking far brighter and less pitted/ rust spotted than most of my Lionel track of the same era. Lionel track doesn't all exactly match either. There are much less shiney finishes on early Lionel O. 

  I haven't tried to solder to mine; just slapped a single lock on in place on the small loop. The track does appear galvanized or pickled, etc..  Im not sure it was even oil coated. Maybe a waxy preservative ?(a thin "Cosmoline") for shipping and long term storage.

 Treated metals often need the treatment ground away to take solder. GarGraves is the same way. Any other blacked or chemically treated rail might not take solder; gotta grind it till its clean/raw. It's all part of soldering, brazing and welding to maybe have to prep a surface/clean it. I did wipe mine clean with wd-40 or alcohol (& old t-shirt). 

 These finishes & coatings are great for metal imo.  In industrial settings the protective coating is a sign of quality. Common place in military specs. and firearm, tool, and engine part production...Still a pita to clean, I guess, but you know the metal is going to be fresh. WD40 is great for removing these light cozmoline or oil coatings. (it's not actually a lube. the metal will just be cleaned) Other solvents will usually cut it for a wipe too. A heat gun/hair dryer and you can usually melt thick/hardened cosmoline right off.(it dries hard eventually). 

 Being more exposed to the packaging style, I saw it as reassuring; cleaned as par without recall something "anybody" would do without thought or concerns.

Only time will tell how good the track is as a whole.

colorado hirailer posted:

Who, if anybody, has run modern, current, engines on 0-27 sized track? Like Marx O-34 and l think some wider sizes than Marx....K-line?  I have that and Scaletrax.  I looked at Menards and think they are making what l consider clunky and conspicuous, that is, like the old Lionel non-0-27 size, which l don't like (ties and height) and don't own a piece of, although l might use it in a tunnel.  What  I have not seen is O-27 style at Menards?  

I don't think Menards' O gauge track is any more "clunky & conspicuous" than what was offered by Lionel.  It is O gauge tubular track.   We are lucky they decided to offer O Gauge tubular as Lionel has backed away from its production as a new product.  Given Menards' investment in O, there is little chance they will complicate their mix with 027 track.  If you prefer 027, plenty of it remains available, new & used (& switches), to fill your needs.  Good luck in your track decision and Happy Holidays!   

 

Last edited by RadioRon
Dan Padova posted:
EricaAnn posted:

I've got to be honest, Menards track, as mentioned by others, just does not measure up to the quality of Lionel track.  I purchased four O36 curved track sections a few years ago and was really disappointed. The finish on the rails appeared to be a rough galvanizing and the joined sections would not stay connected.  Track pins were all loose and the rail sections all needed cleaning before they could be used.

Exactly what I found when I made a track purchase from Menards three years ago.   I can understand the oily film on the track as it's being shipped from overseas and can be in storage for awhile.  But as you mentioned, the rough galvanized finish is a bit disconcerting.  

One more go around:  As Cabinet Bob & I mentioned above...   anyone commenting based on Menards track bought three+ years ago is not speaking to the Menards track produced since 2016.  In that time, it has been improved.  I can vouch for that based on my own experience of Menards track in 2017.  It has constantly been in service with no issues.  It is inaccurate to reply based on the three-year old track.

Last edited by RadioRon
mlavender480 posted:

A question regarding Menards track: does it tend to “bank” in curves like newer Lionel tubular?  I have both O31 & O42 & they both do it.  Not a problem if it’s screwed down to a board, but on a floor layout, it’s rather annoying.  Thanks!

Mike, I have had my Menards track in service for about a year.  I don't believe I have noticed any banking in the curves.  Perhaps some other Menards track owners can chime in with their thoughts.   

"Banking" is kinda vague.

  Upon bending a rail into a curve a twist can develop here and there( a ramp/grade if it happen just "wrong"(vs just right) It is from the metal working pulling/stretching, bending, drawing/pinching. Sometimes its the setting, sometimes the sheet variances.

  It's hopefully worked out to flat when fitted to ties, but tweaking tube track to get a good flat plane is old school basics. Everyone delivered twisty track at times.

  Tweak till flat, hold tight and flat while push-tighteninghe tie tabs slighty. (Mine was flat)  

If its comming apart from centrifugal pressure that's common in track too. And as if screws wouldnt work, or the cat stole your screwdrivers. ...Try a modern track clip....a zip tie .

Old school, once any brand track is assembled you should close the loose tube over the opposing rails pins and crimp the new rail onto the pin notches. Screwing it down, sitting on some carpets, track tie clips, or zip strips etc keep you from needing to crimp.  I didnt crimp nor fasten them beyound a push and haven't had gaps open.  But I'm only running 4 driver steam and 5 pretty light cars. 

I do run um "too fast"

When I mentioned Menards track to the owner at my local hobby shop he snorted and said it was junk. He had a 30 inch(I believe) straight which he just gave to me. The pins were loose, the rails felt "weird" even after cleaning. Still, I tightened the pins and rails to the best of my ability, used a needle nose plier-I need a crimping tool. Anyway, I put it on my main line that runs my PW B&O 400 with a Conventional classic 2550, 7 freight cars of various makes and a lighted chessie system caboose. The consist runs fine and there's been no noticeable drop in power or continuity when it runs over the Menards. Have run other PW and modern era engines(from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 90s, 2010s) on it as well without issue.

The ONLY engine that disagrees with the Menards tubular is my prewar 254e. When it hits the Menards track, it slows down and the contact rollers begin to spark- big time. They spark a bit on the Lionel/K-line tubular but nothing like when they run on the Menards. Needless to say, I don't run that engine on Menards track. 

That said, considering the majority of my engines run swimmingly on that piece, I've considered ordering a couple more. Goes without saying but long straights just make things run so much more smoothly.

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