Originally Posted by jonnyspeed:

What is bothersome to me is that the new turnouts still aren't listed. Does anyone know what the ETA is for them?

Probably because they likely haven't been put on the production schedule yet.

 

Remember: Objects on the shipping schedule appear closer than they actually are (usually...)

 

Rusty

Very true Rusty. I just wonder why the engines had an ETA on the day the catalog came out, but the turnouts did not. IMHO, expanding the Fastrack line should be priority#1 for Lionel. You can't lure new blood in if there is no track to build a layout with. Hopefully there will be a volume 2 catalog this year with many new track pieces. They really need 3-5 different sized turnouts as well as curves, crossings, etc...

 

I am encouraged that they are shipping product faster these days. I hope the days of waiting years for product is behind us.

-Jonathan

 

No disagreement with you there, jonny. 

 

I have few reasons to be critical of SHS (in case you haven't noticed...), but track is where SHS really dropped the ball.   Rather than announcing a #5 turnout, they probably could have developed the turnouts to match their other two radiuses and gotten them out long before the Sanda Kan Shuffle crippled them.

 

Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't see a lot of scale guys wanting to use S-Trax on their permanent or even modular layouts.

 

The good thing is it looks like  FasTrack and S-Trax can be joined together with a very small modification and the geometrys will be the same.

 

If Lionel expands the S FasTrack relatively quickly, they will probably clean SHS's clock, track-wise.

 

Rusty

Rusty, 

 

I've always liked the SHS S-trax, I really wish it was more available.  Also, I've now had the opportunity to get some serious run time on a fastrack loop and I would say that it is a good choice, given that it is readily available and very inexpensive compared to S-Trax. I can still remember when O scale fastrack was first introduced and how it was derided by many scale enthusiasts.  To this day I am amazed at just how popular it is and how many, myself included, scale modelers have some.  Granted, they do not use it on their primary layout, but you simply cannot beat it for its usefullness and how "fast" you can get set up and have trains running on it.  In O scale you can have curves all the way out to 072 & 084, remote turnouts that match curves up to 072, 1/2 sections, long sections and some pretty nice looking intgrated road crossing sections.  If Lionel brings something similar to S, I would say that it is a very solid bet that Lionel will probably dominate this segment of the market in the next couple of years.

 

 

 

"Moreover, experience proves that there is virtually no limit to the amount of cars, track, equipment, etc., the scale model railroader will buy once you have planted the "system" idea in his head. The more he has, the more he still wants." A.C. Gilbert Co. - 1947

Originally Posted by A Lambert:

S-Trac is far better than the FasTrack pictures look. Give Don a chanc, This may be one of his (new) offerings from his new builder,Besides the scale guys like to man=ke thier own turnouts.

True, many scale guys do build their own TO's. Unfortunatley, as nice as they are, handlaid turnouts are not very usefull when you want to quickly set up something temporarily for the holidays or if you are a nut like me, take a train with you and run it in your Hotel room when you travel for your job.  You can make a basic loop,  a carpet empire or permanent set-up and its works well and gets you running FAST! I can lay out and wire an entire trackplan in the time it takes me to build one turnout. This is what makes S-Trax and Fastrack so popular with all types of modelers.  

 

 

 

"Moreover, experience proves that there is virtually no limit to the amount of cars, track, equipment, etc., the scale model railroader will buy once you have planted the "system" idea in his head. The more he has, the more he still wants." A.C. Gilbert Co. - 1947

Originally Posted by A Lambert:

S-Trac is far better than the FasTrack pictures look. Give Don a chanc, This may be one of his (new) offerings from his new builder,Besides the scale guys like to man=ke thier own turnouts.

It will be interesting to see how SHS responds to FasTrack.  They may rethink their approach and make turnouts for their larger curves (I hope.)  If not, I'll probably adapt the FasTrack turnouts if they match SHS's curves.

 

I've got a modest selection of S-Trax and I like to throw down a loop or two myself occasionally to exercise my HiRal/Flyer stuff. (They don't run real good on my layout's code 100...)

 

And, speaking as a "scale guy," I don't cherish the thought of making turnouts.  I wasn't even fond of using the Old Pullman turnouts kits when they were available, but they fit the scheme of things back then. 

 

Give me an assembled turnout any day.

 

Rusty

Hats off to Don for creating the S-track system in the first place! It is arguably the best looking roadbed track in any scale. However, I don't know why SHS stopped at just one turnout. I am sure there were business decisions behind that and I would never pretend to know what was going on at the time.

 

From a customer point of view it is hard to make the decision to go with S-Trax right now unless you already have a bunch. Price, availability, single turnout, no crossings make it a tough call for someone like me planning a new layout. My hunch is that by the time SHS is back online ready to make track again sometime next year that Lionel will have at least announced quite a few more pieces in the Fastrack line. I wish S-Trax was available and had multiple turnouts and crossings, but it isn't. Lionel has at least said they are committed to a full line of Fastrack and right now that's the best someone in my position can ask for. So unless some miracle happens it looks like it will be Fastrack for me.

 

Now, if Lionel sees fit to offer scale wheel steam, then this is a moot point and I will go code 100.

-Jonathan

 

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