Tuesday, February 11, 2014

2011 to 2013 - Trying out Fast Tracks

For some time I had been admiring the code 55 Micro Engineering track and turnouts that I would see at local train shows on the Silicon Valley Freemo N layouts.  The profile of the ties seemed to much more closely match the North American prototype and I really liked how wheels went through the turnouts so smoothly without the bumps that I normally associated with the Peco turnouts that I had been using.

In 2011 when I was laying track on my AsiaNrail modules I needed a couple of cross overs in code 55 rail. I thought that this would be a good opportunity to try out some Micro Engineering turnouts for myself so I ordered some custom made cross overs from an ebay seller who uses the Fast Tracks system to build them.  The track standard for AsiaNrail is Peco code 55 but I was able to adapt the Mico Engineering rail to the Peco rail.

This photo from the Tokyo In N Scale post 3 Types of Track shows the blending of the Micro Engineering / Fast Tracks turnouts with the Peco track on the AsiaNrail modules.

The AsiaNrail modules have been to a couple of shows now I am happy with the way the turnouts have work out.  The only issue that has come up was that one of the points came loose from the throw bar tie and I had to re-solder it.  Also the throw bard tie is rather delicate near where the hole is to connect it to the turnout machine linkage.  Looking closely at the photo above it can be seen where I had to re-enforce this spot.

Then In early 2013 I finally purchased a #6 turnout building set from Fast Tracks.  So far I have built just a few turnouts but they seem real nice. I learned that code 80 rail can be used in the same fixtures as the code 55 and have also built a couple of code 80 turnouts that way.  I plan to use code Atlas code 80 track in the staging yards and and code 55 in the visible areas of the layout.

The next thing I want to do is to set up a sort of test fixture where each turnout can be temporarily connected to sections of track and manual turnout control for testing prior to installation.

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