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I have used FasTrack for a very long time. I have very little issues with it unlike most people. Sure it is loud, but the look of it and it's function has been just what I was looking for. If I was to switch to another track system, which of these would you use. Gargraves, Atlas, Scaltrax, Realtrax, or Ross?

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My experience with fastrack has been dead spots, slowdowns on curves, and the noise.   I’m in the process of moving to Menards track.   I am keeping the fastrack switches but the majority will be Menards.   I have low end engines.  I can run them slower now than With fastrack.  I used to have to go like heck to make the curve.   By the way, standard response will be gargraves with Ross switches. Thanks 

Last edited by chinatrain99

My last layout had a 1/2" homasote layer on top of 3/4" plywood with Ross sectional track and switches along with some of the long Gargraves straights and uncoupling/unloading tracks.  I also used the Ross roadbed which helped quite a bit with both appearance and, due to its foam construction, noise. 

While my train room was filled with the noise of trains running on steel rails, I didn't have the "rolling thunder" or "kettledrum" noise problem some people encounter.  The homasote-foam roadbed definitely made a difference compared to plain old Lionel track.  While I can't prove it scientifically, I think the ballasting helped a bit with reducing the noise, too.

Here's a view of the Ross track inserted into a piece of Ross roadbed that I spray-painted gray.

Ross track and spraypainted roadbed

Here's a photo to show how the track and roadbed looked during ballasting.  (The blue tape was used to protect the rails during the mess of gluing the ballast into place.

Mainline curves - rear of layout - north end - 01

Here's a video I shot in 2015 while resting my cell phone on top of an MTH Pennsy signal bridge.  I think the track noise was minimal; more or less you hear the sound of the wheels on steel track, the click-clack of the wheels over track section joints and the MTH locomotive sounds.

I hope this info is helpful.


Images (2)
  • Ross track and spraypainted roadbed
  • Mainline curves - rear of layout - north end - 01

I have been wanting to switch from FasTrack to Atlas-O, but am dissuaded by the hassle and cost of Atlas-O (wiring and ballasting).  The deciding factor I always come down to is the command control switches with integrated switch machine.  I don't have to run power or control wires, everything is through the rails.  I like easy!

But I like the looks of Atlas-O, and flextrack and numbered turnouts are great.  Lionel should add #4 turnouts to FasTrack, IMO.

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