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  • O gauge track?

    Hi O gaugers, Is Lionel tubular track good for a shelf track very close to the ceiling. It's going through two bedrooms. It's probably a 20 - 40ft. run. I found some Lionel tubular track on fleabay real cheap, but I wanted to make sure it would work before I bought it. Or is there a better cheap track that you guys can recommend?

    Thanks for the help,
    Cody





    Modelling the modern day Central Pennsylvania "shortline" Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad

    from Bellefonte, PA to Pleasant Gap, PA.

  • #2
    Hi, I work at a Lionel museum and wouldn't recommend that you use it. It is plated as the metal under the plating is not high enough quality to conduct reliaby. It also dosen't stay hooked together well and wobbles when the train is running on it. These last two problems can be fixed by permently screwing it down of course but there is no fix for the first problem. The Lionel fast track has none of those problems and even comes pre-drilled and counter sunk if you want to screw it down. The price is about the same.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi mike, I was looking on fleabay for some fasttrack, but there's not much there that is a low price. How is Gargraves track? I wouldn't get the phantom line because the track isn't visible.

      Or is there any real cheap track out there that is reliable and will hold up for a while?

      Thanks,
      Cody





      Modelling the modern day Central Pennsylvania "shortline" Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad

      from Bellefonte, PA to Pleasant Gap, PA.

      Comment


      • #4
        Gargraves is nice track. Remember, you get what you pay for usually. If it's real cheap there is probably a good reason for it.

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:


          Originally posted by Tyson Rayles


          Gargraves is nice track. Remember, you get what you pay for usually. If it's real cheap there is probably a good reason for it.


          Can the Gargraves phantom line flex track be combined with the normal Gargraves flex track? What size of transformer do I need? It's gonna be about an 86 ft. run of track in a continuous loop.

          EDIT: Is there any other accessories I may need for the track? (railjoiners, something to cut it, etc.?)

          Thanks,
          Cody





          Modelling the modern day Central Pennsylvania "shortline" Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad

          from Bellefonte, PA to Pleasant Gap, PA.

          Comment


          • #6
            "Can the Gargraves phantom line flex track be combined with the normal Gargraves flex track?"

            Have no idea I've never seen the phantom line. You need to make sure you have a AC transformer NOT DC like you use for two rail. If you are just running one train with a half dozen cars or so any AC transformer that is a cut about the cheapest one should work, just make sure you run enough feeder wires (we run feeders every 6 feet as they are heavy locos and draw more amps then the two rail stuff we are used to). Tubular track doesn't use rail joiners they use pins, three of em'. You can cut the track with a razor saw, cut-off disc on a Dremel, even a fine tooth hacksaw blade. I would drill a hole thru the ties where you want to fasten the track down and use screws to hold it in place being as you can't see em' anyway. Just make sure the screw heads don't stick up high enough to catch somethin'.

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:


              Originally posted by Tyson Rayles


              "Can the Gargraves phantom line flex track be combined with the normal Gargraves flex track?"

              Have no idea I've never seen the phantom line. You need to make sure you have a AC transformer NOT DC like you use for two rail. If you are just running one train with a half dozen cars or so any AC transformer that is a cut about the cheapest one should work, just make sure you run enough feeder wires (we run feeders every 6 feet as they are heavy locos and draw more amps then the two rail stuff we are used to). Tubular track doesn't use rail joiners they use pins, three of em'. You can cut the track with a razor saw, cut-off disc on a Dremel, even a fine tooth hacksaw blade. I would drill a hole thru the ties where you want to fasten the track down and use screws to hold it in place being as you can't see em' anyway. Just make sure the screw heads don't stick up high enough to catch somethin'.


              Hi Mike,

              I was looking at this transformer here: http://www.trainz.com/p-288599-lione...mer-lnbox.aspx

              I think I am definitely going with Gargraves, but how do I connect the pieces together? Is it pins like lionel or rail joiners or sumfin?

              EDIT: The phantom line is gargraves track with a black center rail versus the original gargraves track that has all silver rails. I just wasn't sure if they would mix well, although I can't see why they wouldn't.

              Thanks,
              Cody





              Modelling the modern day Central Pennsylvania "shortline" Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad

              from Bellefonte, PA to Pleasant Gap, PA.

              Comment


              • #8
                Does your loco have one or two motors in it? Does it weight more than 5 lbs.? If not that transformer should handle it with enough feeders, two motors and under 5 lbs. maybe. Gargraves uses pins also but they may not mix with Lionel pins. If the only difference between phantom and regular is the black center rail then they should mix with no problem. I have never seen Gargraves track without a black center rail so that was what threw me. Our layout at the museum (which has the black center rail) was built before I started there so I never knew what kind of Gargraves track it was.

                Comment


                • #9
                  quote:


                  Originally posted by Tyson Rayles


                  Does your loco have one or two motors in it? Does it weight more than 5 lbs.? If not that transformer should handle it with enough feeders, two motors and under 5 lbs. maybe. Gargraves uses pins also but they may not mix with Lionel pins. If the only difference between phantom and regular is the black center rail then they should mix with no problem. I have never seen Gargraves track without a black center rail so that was what threw me. Our layout at the museum (which has the black center rail) was built before I started there so I never knew what kind of Gargraves track it was.


                  The engine has 2 vertical mount motors (weaver U25B). I'd say it weighs five or more pounds. I think it has sound, so I want to be able to run a sound-equipped engine if I would ever buy any or if this one does. Would that transformer run it? As of right now, I only have one freight car, I'll expand the fleet as time and money allows.

                  Thanks,
                  Cody





                  Modelling the modern day Central Pennsylvania "shortline" Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad

                  from Bellefonte, PA to Pleasant Gap, PA.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You would be pushing it with a twin engine loco and 86 feet of track and that much weight. I would go with a bigger transformer myself, not worth the risk of damaging the loco.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      quote:


                      Originally posted by Tyson Rayles


                      You would be pushing it with a twin engine loco and 86 feet of track and that much weight. I would go with a bigger transformer myself, not worth the risk of damaging the loco.


                      How many watts of a transformer do you think I would need?

                      Thanks,
                      Cody





                      Modelling the modern day Central Pennsylvania "shortline" Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad

                      from Bellefonte, PA to Pleasant Gap, PA.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You only need to be concerned with the length of your track when choosing a transformer if you aren't going to run feeders as Mike suggested. 14 gauge copper feeders will get the power to where it's needed. I see someone selling a Weaver U25B in a train set with an 80W transformer. At 20VAC, that rating gives you about 2 Amps per motor, which I hope will do the job. If current O tinplate is drawing more than 60W per engine, I'd start to worry about the shells melting under full load - remember the E-Z Bake oven only used 100W.
                        James

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:


                          Originally posted by jbvb


                          You only need to be concerned with the length of your track when choosing a transformer if you aren't going to run feeders as Mike suggested. 14 gauge copper feeders will get the power to where it's needed. I see someone selling a Weaver U25B in a train set with an 80W transformer. At 20VAC, that rating gives you about 2 Amps per motor, which I hope will do the job. If current O tinplate is drawing more than 60W per engine, I'd start to worry about the shells melting under full load - remember the E-Z Bake oven only used 100W.


                          So, the 80w transformer will work just fine as long as I run feeder wires every 3ft. and put a fuse block in between the transformer and track?

                          Thanks,
                          Cody





                          Modelling the modern day Central Pennsylvania "shortline" Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad

                          from Bellefonte, PA to Pleasant Gap, PA.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The train sets that sell those engines with a 80 watt are hoping you are going the 4 x 8 route. That said with enough feeder wires (do not put a fuse block in line as it can increase the resistance and you already have one in the transformer) you will probably be alright as long as you don't run the train for long periods of time. At the museum we have 6 loops from around 60 feet up to 125 feet and each has a 180 watt power supply run thru a ZW trottle, 11 years of running 3 to 12 hours a day and no failures yet.

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