I set up a small layout for Christmas with 3 ovals using the new Fastrack switches. I noticed that some of the track joins seemed a little off. I spoke to a Lionel representative who said in 2016 they would be offering 3 sectional straight tracks. I believe one of the dimensions was 1 3/8 and another may have been 1 3/4. I was also told the R27 switches are on the water.
To me this at least shows that Lionel saw a problem and a need and was still willing to invest in S scale to fix it.