How to Design a Lionel Fastrack


Fastrack, the newest track from Lionel, is easy to set up, yet has a more realistic look with a track that comes attached to a ballast roadbed. It comes as three-rail track to run large O Scale trains,1:48, but with tight enough curves in its track to fit limited spaces. The three rails allows trains to run on alternating current that makes wiring easy. The sectional track also allows you to piece together a basic layout in a very short time.

  • Decide the type or railroad you wish to model. If you’re looking to build a starter set for a child showing an interest in the hobby, you can build a Fastrak layout on a standard 4x8 table. If you’re hoping to build a model railroad empire, you’ll need the basement – all of it, if you can.

  • Determine the minimum radius of your curves for the space you’re using. Fastrack’s tightest curved track, 036, comes with a diameter of 36 inches, or a radius of 18 inches. That’s a very tight curve, and makes trains and particularly locomotives look toy like.

  • Increase the radius of the curve to improve the realism of the layout. Fastrack curves come in diameter increments of 12 inches. A half circle of 048 curved track will fit barely fit within four feet. Some locomotives will only fit on curves from 060 or 072 track.

  • Design a fairly good-looking operations layout by using what model railroaders call a dog-bone, if space allows, with two loops at either end of a relatively narrow straightaway. This allows you continuous running of a train, coupled with interesting operations on sidings and yards tucked along the mainline between the loops.

  • Discard loops altogether if space it too limited, and instead build a shelf railroad using a switching layout. A switching layout provides the interest of switching cars to small yards and industrial sidings without needing the space for a mainline.

  • Leave room to grow. Start with a small layout, such as a shelf layout, but provide an outlet for future expansion, such as adding that mainline. A small layout is easier to transport for that time you can move into a house with a big basement.


  • Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How to Register With Fastrack

    Fastrack is an electronic toll collection (ETC) system in use in California that enables vehicles to pay tolls without having to stop...

  • How to Build Train Table

    The first mass-produced model train was made by Marklin in 1891 and since that time the hobby has grown to include millions...

  • How to Clean a Lionel O Gauge Track

    Cleaning Lionel O-gauge track should be a regular part of your model-train maintenance routine. Even the best Lionel engines will sputter and...

  • How to Wire a Switch on a O Gauge Train Set

    If you are building an O gauge model railroad layout and are installing electric track switches, wiring them takes only a few...

  • How to Repair Lionel Train Tracks

    Lionel toy trains run on O gauge and O27 gauge three-rail track, and today's hobbyists can chose between traditional O gauge and...

  • How to Wire an Old Lionel Train Set

    Hobbyists and model railroad fans have been collecting and "playing" with Lionel trains since 1900. All electric train layouts require attachment to...

  • Lionel Transformers Instructions

    Lionel transformer operation is simplified for children over 8 years of age to enjoy. The makers of Lionel trains recommend that an...

  • Lionel O Scale Model Train Layout Ideas

    Creating your own miniature O-scale landscape with Lionel trains remains a great hobby, even in our electronic age. Lionel trains, renowned for...

  • Planning Track for Model Train Village

    Tips for designing train lines for your model village. Learn how to Lay out the track plan for a model train layout...

Related Searches

Check It Out

How to Build and Grow a Salad Garden On Your Balcony

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!