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Looking for Fast Track opinions

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  • mark2playz
    Hi, After reading the MTL turnout/tie spacing thread, my interest was piqued by the Fast Track system. After investigating their site, I still have a few
    Message 1 of 5 , Mar 15, 2011
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      Hi,
      After reading the MTL turnout/tie spacing thread, my interest was piqued by the Fast Track system. After investigating their site, I still have a few questions.
      How long does it take to build a Fast Track turnout? I'm assuming longer than their 6 minute video. How long to do a foot of straight track?
      How hard is it to interface to other manufacturers' rails? I'm doing a z bend track module so I need to interface to the Marklin 8592. I'm also thinking I'd want to also to use the MTL flex track.
      How easy is it to form and install Fast Track to form small bends and curves that can't be formed with the FT jigs (such as one might do with flex track)?
      Of course, I'd be interested in reading any first-hand experiences.

      Mark
    • Larry Card
      I just built five of them for a planned Nn3 module. I have never hand-laid track before. The hardest part of the whole build was sawing through the point
      Message 2 of 5 , Mar 16, 2011
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        I just built five of them for a planned Nn3 module.
        I have never hand-laid track before. The hardest part of the whole build was sawing through the point rails to isolate the frog after everything was soldered in place. I used an X-acto razor saw to do this job and it worked fine, it was just kind of tight to get it in there. The first one took me about four hours to do, that is including putting the meter to it and figuring out why everything was shorted together and then figuring out where to cut the point rails (that's what was causing the short). After the second one I ordered the fixture to file the bottoms off of the stock rails where the point rails contact. When that came in I built the other three turnouts in about four hours or so. The more you do the easier it gets, they look fantastic, and even the very first one operates flawlessly. Kind of pricey, which is the hurdle I had to get over to take the plunge, but once in the FastTrack system is well worth the money when you consider how good they look and how great they work. As an added bonus, the more you build the cheaper they get per unit. This is definitely the way to go if you need a large number of turnouts.
        For my next trick I'll get the dual gauge fixtures and build a few of those. That should be fun.
        I don't know about the track, all I built was turnouts. If you use code 55 rail you should be able to interface with Marklin or MT track pretty easily.
        V/R
        Larry P. Card
        Franklinton NC
        _________
        ./__________\.
        (]]]___o___[[[)
        |\_o______o_/|
        |__|..........|__|


        > After reading the MTL turnout/tie spacing thread, my interest was piqued by the Fast Track system. After investigating their site, I still have a few questions.
        > How long does it take to build a Fast Track turnout? I'm assuming longer than their 6 minute video. How long to do a foot of straight track?
        > How hard is it to interface to other manufacturers' rails? I'm doing a z bend track module so I need to interface to the Marklin 8592. I'm also thinking I'd want to also to use the MTL flex track.
        > How easy is it to form and install Fast Track to form small bends and curves that can't be formed with the FT jigs (such as one might do with flex track)?
        > Of course, I'd be interested in reading any first-hand experiences.


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Garth
        If you purchase the point tool in addition to a switch jig I expect your first switch to take most of an evening and then after doing a few it will take less
        Message 3 of 5 , Mar 16, 2011
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          If you purchase the point tool in addition to a switch jig I expect your first switch to take most of an evening and then after doing a few it will take less time. For me a straight switch takes me about 90 minutes to build and to the do fine adjustments to get it working well. The biggest challenge is getting rail to match the flex and Marklin track pieces you are interfacing with and then to order your jig for that size of rail.You can get a jig for straight track and if you only solder one rail to the ties then you can do curves and gauge the other curved rail using roller gauge or other track gauge to place and solder the second rail in place. you would have to use code 55 to match the Micro Trains flex and you might have to pad up a bit to match top of rail across a joint. The rail joiner gets the bottom web at the same height but different sized rails will create a bump at the joint because they have different heights.
          cheerz Garth
          --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "mark2playz" <mark.markham@...> wrote:
          >
          > Hi,
          > After reading the MTL turnout/tie spacing thread, my interest was piqued by the Fast Track system. After investigating their site, I still have a few questions.
          > How long does it take to build a Fast Track turnout? I'm assuming longer than their 6 minute video. How long to do a foot of straight track?
          > How hard is it to interface to other manufacturers' rails? I'm doing a z bend track module so I need to interface to the Marklin 8592. I'm also thinking I'd want to also to use the MTL flex track.
          > How easy is it to form and install Fast Track to form small bends and curves that can't be formed with the FT jigs (such as one might do with flex track)?
          > Of course, I'd be interested in reading any first-hand experiences.
          >
          > Mark
          >
        • Garth
          I have built the dual gauge ones for Nn3 and only code 40 works code 55 does not work. On this one I cut my gaps as I went rather saw through at the end and
          Message 4 of 5 , Mar 17, 2011
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            I have built the dual gauge ones for Nn3 and only code 40 works code 55 does not work. On this one I cut my gaps as I went rather saw through at the end and found that worked better. You can see some samples at http://www.nn3.ca With dual gauge jigs you have a lot of of options as to what you build. Enjoy. cheerz Garth
            --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, Larry Card <lpcard@...> wrote:
            >
            >
            > I just built five of them for a planned Nn3 module.
            > I have never hand-laid track before. The hardest part of the whole build was sawing through the point rails to isolate the frog after everything was soldered in place. I used an X-acto razor saw to do this job and it worked fine, it was just kind of tight to get it in there. The first one took me about four hours to do, that is including putting the meter to it and figuring out why everything was shorted together and then figuring out where to cut the point rails (that's what was causing the short). After the second one I ordered the fixture to file the bottoms off of the stock rails where the point rails contact. When that came in I built the other three turnouts in about four hours or so. The more you do the easier it gets, they look fantastic, and even the very first one operates flawlessly. Kind of pricey, which is the hurdle I had to get over to take the plunge, but once in the FastTrack system is well worth the money when you consider how good they look and how great they work. As an added bonus, the more you build the cheaper they get per unit. This is definitely the way to go if you need a large number of turnouts.
            > For my next trick I'll get the dual gauge fixtures and build a few of those. That should be fun.
            > I don't know about the track, all I built was turnouts. If you use code 55 rail you should be able to interface with Marklin or MT track pretty easily.
            > V/R
            > Larry P. Card
            > Franklinton NC
            > _________
            > ./__________\.
            > (]]]___o___[[[)
            > |\_o______o_/|
            > |__|..........|__|
            >
            >
            > > After reading the MTL turnout/tie spacing thread, my interest was piqued by the Fast Track system. After investigating their site, I still have a few questions.
            > > How long does it take to build a Fast Track turnout? I'm assuming longer than their 6 minute video. How long to do a foot of straight track?
            > > How hard is it to interface to other manufacturers' rails? I'm doing a z bend track module so I need to interface to the Marklin 8592. I'm also thinking I'd want to also to use the MTL flex track.
            > > How easy is it to form and install Fast Track to form small bends and curves that can't be formed with the FT jigs (such as one might do with flex track)?
            > > Of course, I'd be interested in reading any first-hand experiences.
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • mark2playz
            Garth, Larry, Thanks for the comments. The last time I looked into hand-laid track, I would have needed some very small spikes! The Fast Track is a much more
            Message 5 of 5 , Mar 17, 2011
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              Garth, Larry,
              Thanks for the comments. The last time I looked into hand-laid track, I would have needed some very small spikes! The Fast Track is a much more attractive solution.
              The build times you have mentioned were about what I expected. I had expected I'd spend a Saturday on the first turnout.
              Garth from your track work page (nice job BTW) I would have expected some track height differences. It had been suggested to me elsewhere to use a file to level the track transition and I'm pleased to hear that shimming track will also work. If I understand your data it would seem that the Fast Track would need to be built-up for the Marklin to match the code 55 track.
              The Fast Track looks like a good choice. While I will probably get started with one of the kits and build a test track, I think I'll hold off until my next module, where I think I'll be able to take advantage of the system's features.

              Thankz
              Mark

              --- In z_scale@yahoogroups.com, "Garth" <garth.a.hamilton@...> wrote:
              >
              > I have built the dual gauge ones for Nn3 and only code 40 works code 55 does not work. On this one I cut my gaps as I went rather saw through at the end and found that worked better. You can see some samples at http://www.nn3.ca With dual gauge jigs you have a lot of of options as to what you build. Enjoy. cheerz Garth
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