Someone on in my club donated a bunch of MTH Realtrax track and switches for the tinplate layout. I seem to be having an issue running my MTH 260E through the Realtrax O31 switches. Does it work or am I doing something wrong?

Scott Smith

Original Post

A lot of early tinplate will not run through modern switches. The gears on the drivers hit the rail guides etc. 


Steve "Papa" Eastman

Yorba Linda, CA

Left Coast, Home of the lunatics

Although I no longer use RealTrax (using FasTrack w/O36 switches on my tinplate layout), it seems to me that an MTH 260E should be able to operate through O31 switches. I have several 260Es, and back some years ago when I was using RealTrax, I seem to recall that I did operate those engines through O31 switches.


Should handle 0-31 according to the MTH product manual.

MTH 260E manual

Maybe the problem is the MTH Realtrax 0-31 turnout?  Remember some of the MTH Realtrax turnouts had issues w/ alignment near the frog that could be fixed w/ a thin piece of styrene or sometime the track's plastic guide/base needed a slight filing down if the wheels would ride high.

You can have a steam train ...If you'd just lay down your tracks.


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If they weren’t free and this wasn’t for your nonprofit layout, I would tell you to only use Merkur with tinplate. Keystone has an option for you. No guarantee that you will get it to work. Running on O31, doesn’t necessarily mean operating through switches. 

I ripped up all my old switches and use a minimum O72 switches even on O31 loops. For tinplate, I switched to Merkur for O gauge and Ross for standard gauge.


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