Someone asked me recently for a cost comparison of MTH Realtrax vs. Lionel Fastrack. Both are similar O gauge track systems with plastic roadbed. MTH’s system has been on the market a few years longer, but Lionel’s is more popular, in spite of being more expensive.
Let’s figure out just how much more expensive it is.
In the 1950s, Lionel started putting magnets in the axles of some of its trains to increase their pulling power and help the trains stay on the track as they highballed around tight O27 and O31 curves. They called this feature Magne-Traction.
In time Magne-Traction was replaced with rubber traction tires, but needless to say, if your locomotive has Magne-Traction, you probably want it to work. Here’s how to make sure it works.
If one person uses a password, another will. That’s a popular hacking theory. If that’s true, then chances are if one person asks a question, another will. So here are three short questions (one completely unrelated to the others) I found in my logs over the weekend, and their answers.
I saw a question about a Fastrack layout getting hot at a track joint. That’s a conductivity issue causing voltage drop, which in turn causes the heat. While not likely to be dangerous, it’s a sign of inefficiency and can lead to other problems, such as the train slowing down at some parts of the layout. Poor conductivity also causes motors to run hotter than they should, which can eventually damage the armature.
I can think of two fixes, none of them especially expensive or time-consuming. And although this question was about Lionel Fastrack, it can happen with other makes of track too, and even other scales.
Read More »Fixing track that gets hot at the track joints
How do you make a Lionel train whistle? Well, you need a whistling tender and a transformer with a whistle button or handle. If it’s all wired correctly, pushing the button or handle while the electric train is moving will make it whistle.
And if it doesn’t, let’s try to figure out why.
How Lionel Fastrack compares to traditional tubular track and competing O gauge track is a common question. I own both, so I can probably make a comparison. Here is my Lionel Fastrack review.
For the most part, it’s not bad. But it’s not perfect. For some people, the drawbacks are easy enough to overlook. For others, they could be showstoppers. You’ll have to decide for yourself.
I don’t normally do this, but then again, I’ve never had these kinds of statistics at my disposal either. So I’m going to take a minute to look back at the most popular posts of 2010, and pontificate a little about what I think each one might mean.
I really only have good statistics since October, so it’s a little unfair, but incomplete stats are better than none. I see some interesting patterns in what people ended up reading, some of it surprising, some less so.
We’ll take it from the top, rather than like a DJ.