I'm new to using an all large fastrack layout (12 x 8) plywood table top layout.

I've noticed as I assemble the track, I'm starting on the inside track plan first, that as I snap it together every now an then a section separates as I wiggle a new section on.  I'm going to screw down the track, using one 1  or 2 screws per section.  Also some sections just won't lock together correctly, no matter how hard I try.


Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.  Thanks.

Original Post

Oh, I forgot - you have a mix of new and used track from different manufacturing runs - when they don't snap together or they are too loose - just use another piece with that track - it is easier that way - if it is too tight and that is the only track that you have on hand turn one piece around and try the opposite end - when they are too loose a completed loop will keep them together or you can use a mini-binder clip underneath to hold them together

I agree with Carl (Moonman).  

Actually, gravity does a pretty good job of holding things down.  It's the side-to-side shifting and inadvertent separation of track pieces your track fasteners are guarding against.  So, one screw per section should be plenty.  Run the screw in to contact, then back it off 1/4-1/2 turn.  You'll minimize noise transfer, keep everything together, track won't walk away over night ().

Gravity....a real downer.


Last edited by dkdkrd

Yes, as Carl says, I VERY carefully draw the screws down until they just touch the roadbed without distorting it.

To ensure electrical connectivity I use Lionel's recommended tip of bending the center-rail tabs inward slightly as shown in this pic:


CAREFULLY bent in the direction of the screwdriver tip. The tabs are cast metal and will break. I also lightly crimp the [hollow] outside rail ends so they have a friction-fit with the mating [adjoining] rail tabs.


Images (1)

You might want to consider putting some homasote, or similar sound insulation between the track and the plywood.  Screwing the track directly to the plywood, especially with a lot of screws, will be extremely noisy.  I couldn’t get homasote where I live so I used 2x4 ceiling tiles.  I only use a few screws at key points such as curves and couple along straight sections.  I use 1 1/2” #4 screws.  Get Phillips or Robertson (square), they are much easier to drive than a slotted screw.  You won’t find these in the big box stores, so use the references Carl gave you.  I also leave the screws a little loose so there is about 1/16” vertical play in the track.  If you tighten them it just transmits the noise to the plywood.


Screw choices.  Bottom to top  #2, #4, middle, both flat head, and pan head, through #6 drywall screw.  2nd From the bottom, is an Atlas track screw.   #2 and #4 probably would require pre-drilling, soft screws that easily distort. IMO. 

Last edited by Mike CT

Thanks for all the great tips.  This helps, I have 100's of gargaraves screws in 2 lengths  that I can use that are pan head.

Agree with Danr. Use Homasote to quiet track. However. I would strongly suggest soldering wires between tracks, especially if you are using DCS or Legacy. The Fastrak joints create lot of resistance.

Joe Gozzo



I've not purchased any of these yet, but has anybody else ordered the screws Lionel has shown in the last (2, I believe) catalogs?  They can not be ordered from dealers, but supposedly available by ordering from Lionel customer service (phone or on-line).

Part 1925001, look to be black, Phillips head, doesn't specify length.  I think they are flat head, but it's hard to tell 100%  for sure from the angle of the pic in the catalog.  They have an area with no threads below the head, maybe as much as half the length (shoulder screw? - maybe that helps lessen the transfer of mechanical vibration(sound)). 

I will probably order a few packs someday to check them out, but haven't yet.  $10 for 100, so not horribly priced(IMO).  (then again, I'm a firm believer in gravity working fairly well, like dkdkrd, so I won't be using any for carpet centrals )


Last edited by Dave45681

I glued sound board/wall sheathing(Homasote is not available any where near me in Texas) on top of my plywood and used #4 x 3/4 flat head Philips sheet metal screws.  These screws only penetrate the sound board.   I do not screw them into the plywood to reduce the noise and it does work well.  

My table top is Homasote with blue green colored indoor outdoor carpet over the homasote. First of all the combination of both does a good job of reducing the sound and second the indoor outdoor carpeting holds the Fast Track in place so no screws are necessary. I have had my layout since 1980. I have a two train layout. The inner loop is Super O track and the outer loop Fast Track with 048 curves. So far I am able to operate any diesel up to those advertised for 054 curved track on the 048 curves including the really nicely detailed Sunset Models / 3rd Rail diesels such as the Burlington E5s. I have their Santa Fe E1s on order which should arrive in about 1 year.

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653

Link copied to your clipboard.