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I was just looking at the track in the 2013 MTH S Gauge catalog (will we see a '14 edition?)....  & wonder how the track is powered.  I did not see any special "powered" sections.  Is power fed thru clips where sections are joined?  I want to set up a circle under the Christmas tree on a 4 x 4 platform.  As full a circle as possible, with perhaps a half straight on each of the four sides.  How would I power that?  Thanks!

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Radio Ron,

 

MTH does list a part number 35-1017 for track feeder wires, but I didn't see a picture and I'm not sure if they are available yet.

 

I have some spare slip on connectors that fit the track terminals.  These are from SHS, but should be the same for MTH.  If you need some, contact me at my email and I'd be happy to send you a few. 

 

Alternately, a .110 female spade terminal connector will slip on, but the track terminal is quite thin so it's a little loose fit.  You'd have to squeeze the connectors a bit with pliers to get it to stay on.  You can find these on eBay or at a good electrical supply.

 

One picture shows the connector on the track terminal and the other is a comparison between SHS's part and the the female connector.  I did not take the last photo, but if someone recognizes it as theirs, I hope you won't mind using it here because it shows very clearly how the wires are connected.

 

Mike A.

 

 

 

 

 

SHS Track with female .110 connector

 

SHS Track terminal connectors

 

track_wiring

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Images (3)
  • track_wiring
  • SHS Track terminal connectors
  • SHS Track with female .110 connector
Last edited by Mikeaa

According to SHS, the original SHS track uses a code 131 rail size that was chosen,  "because it corresponds to a size of rail used on real railroads, yet still allows operation of AF and AF-compatible wheels."  So it's supposed to be compatible, but there may have been some variety in flange sizes.  I haven't gotten any of the MTH track to compare, but it should be the same rail size.  Hopefully, someone who runs AF on SHS/MTH track now will chime in to give some first hand experience.

 

Mike A.

Last edited by Mikeaa

I've had no problem with Gilbert Flyer on SHS track.  If there is any bumping, it's not noticeable.

 

The rail height on Lionel's S FasTrack is the same as SHS/MTH.  SHS on left, Lionel on right:

Track 031812 08r

S-Trax and FasTrack are more or less compatible, a modification can be made to join them together.  Info here.

 

And MTH made no mechanical or dimensional changes to SHS's S-Trax.  MTH on left, SHS on right:

Track 061414 01

Rusty

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Images (2)
  • Track  031812 08r
  • Track 061414 01
@Mikeaa posted:

According to SHS, the original SHS track uses a code 131 rail size that was chosen,  "because it corresponds to a size of rail used on real railroads, yet still allows operation of AF and AF-compatible wheels."  So it's supposed to be compatible, but there may have been some variety in flange sizes.  I haven't gotten any of the MTH track to compare, but it should be the same rail size. Hopefully, someone who runs AF on SHS/MTH track now will chime in to give some first hand experience.



Mike A.

SHS & MTH rail is the same.  See attached .pdf

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

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@Tom Stoltz posted:
@Mikeaa posted:

According to SHS, the original SHS track uses a code 131 rail size that was chosen,  "because it corresponds to a size of rail used on real railroads, yet still allows operation of AF and AF-compatible wheels."  So it's supposed to be compatible, but there may have been some variety in flange sizes.  I haven't gotten any of the MTH track to compare, but it should be the same rail size. Hopefully, someone who runs AF on SHS/MTH track now will chime in to give some first hand experience.



Mike A.

SHS & MTH rail is the same.  See attached .pdf

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

Hey Tom,

A lot has happened since I made that statement about 6 years ago!  I got my MTH flex-track and it is identical to SHS.  The only difference was in less packaging materials - a whole case of 24 pieces of MTH flex track takes up less space than a box of just 6 SHS.  Since then Fox Valley has also come out with Flex Track which has the same rail size as MTH/SHS.

Mike A.

@gunny posted:

Tom,

I know the actual track is identical I was speaking of the terminal feed connectors. They do not fit on either brand of track. The old S-Helper fit fine.

Gunny

Sorry Gunny, not aimed at you but rather the misconceptions about the rail height.

I just use jumpers with small alligator clips, but then the only time I drag out the track is for my Christmas loop.

Rusty

Me too, Rusty, only for the Xmas layout... when I do one.  I've been soldering to the underside of the rails through the square holes at the end.  The ones without a tie.

Tom Stoltz

in Maine

SHS Track with female .110 connector

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