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Author Topic: Fastrack Manual 36 Switch Change?  (Read 498 times)

ken mills

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Fastrack Manual 36 Switch Change?
« on: January 25, 2021, 04:49:48 pm »
Is anyone here aware that Lionel changed the manual switches and had any problems with the new ones?

We purchased a new train set for my grandson for Christmas along with the necessary track for the Hollywood Layout, I also purchased an older train set from someone locally with a fastrack expansion that included 2 manual switches, which actually saved Christmas Day.

Playing Santa became very difficult when after everything was put together the train kept derailing at either of the two manual switches, it appeared on both of the switches the part of the track that moves did not fit snuggly up against the outer rail, thus allowing the locomotive to ride up then derail. We thought it was possibly the locomotive so we placed the older locomotive on the track, the results were the same. Derail

I remembered the older expansion set also included 2 manual switches. It was during the replacement that I noticed a big difference in the two. The older switch had a full metal plate on the bottom and the portion of the switch that moved, fit snuggly against the outer rail of the track. The newer switch did not have a metal cover, only a small plastic cover over the moving linkage.

With the older switches in place, both locomotives ran perfectly. Not a single derail in all of Santa's testing..... Santa was a happy camper having purchased the older set

Currently on the Lionel website, the parts diagram for the switch still shows the metal plate. The dealer we purchased them from thought it was a mfg error as he had never seen any without the metal plate. The SKU or part number of the switches are identical.

In addition to the missing metal plate, we noted the indention into the rack the moving portion of the switch is suppose to nest in, was not as pronounced as in the older switches. This keeps the moving portion of the switch from resting against the outer track and causing the derailment of the train.

If it is a common problem, we are going to seek out some older switches now as to allow for expansion in the future.   

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Re: Fastrack Manual 36 Switch Change?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2021, 06:13:40 am »
Ken Mills
Hello & Welcome to the Forum!

The modern manual switch/turnout blues.
This seems to be a problem across the board not just with Lionel Fast Track, but other scales too.
The problem of the plastic frog and not fully adjusted slide rails.
Here is where a set of jewelers file's come into play.  the frog needs to be filed down, it raises the wheel as  the train passes over it and if the slide rail isn't sitting tight, right off she goes.  With judicious filing & a little bit of bending  you'll be able roll through your switches without derailing.
FYI... I only use antique/vintage O gauge all metal manual switches. Other scales/gauges also operated with manual switches.
A bicycle brake handle & cable can be used to operate a manual switch that is difficult to reach.

Happy Rails.
Railroad Crossings: Mother Natures way of thinning the gene pool.


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