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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at the trains that are battery operated like Polar Express and Hogwarts. They come with plastic tracks. Are these compatible with brass rail? Do the cars interchange with G scale model railroading or is the scale the only similarity?
 

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Looking at the trains that are battery operated like Polar Express and Hogwarts. They come with plastic tracks. Are these compatible with brass rail? Do the cars interchange with G scale model railroading or is the scale the only similarity?
No idea what you mean by compatible with brass rail. You can probably tie them together and run over the joint.
The cars may interchange, but the scale is dubious. The hogwarts set is a model of a british train but it is tiny - Accucraft make accurate models of british coaches which are much more attractive. The same applies to the Polar Express. They are toys, but no reason you shouldn't play with them.


Lionel made some scale trains in "g scale" so they know that the track is the same gauge - 45mm. However, these trains are caricatures for kiddies.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply Pete. I was just wondering if trains made for plastic track will run on brass track. I'm not real worried about the details of the cars at this point, just thinking of running something indoors until the snow melts. These are rather cheap on Ebay.
 

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sdkid;

Far as I know, the Lionel large scale battery equipment will happily run on the brass #1 gauge track. I don't think the plastic track that comes with the sets will join with code 332 brass track very well. Perhaps it could be encouraged to stay joined with the "universal coupler" (a bread twist tie).

Have fun,
David Meashey
 

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The local train club here in Sierra Vista used plastic track on their outdoor layout. All the equipment was R/C battery power. Used plastic track to discourage theft of brass rails. And plastic cheaper to replace when the havalina (sort of a wild pig) wandered through
 

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Instead of toys that are not really compatible with our 'scale' trains, I suggest you start with an economical loco like the HLW Mack

http://www.h-l-w.com/mighty-mack.html
and get a few cars and run it. They will stay on the track and your fun meter will peg out.
 

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I agree with John that the Hartland Mack is the way to go. I tweaked mine just a little and it has served faithfully for more than 15 years.
 

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A question is, wheels: how well will plastic wheels designed to run on (relatively) soft plastic track hold up against wearing on metal rails?
 

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And speaking of Hartland's Mack, here's a bit about the real deal, and their other locomotives,
Mack Trucks produced its first locomotive in May, 1921. It was a 33-ton chain-drive four wheel steeple cab locomotive powered by two 40-horsepower AC gasoline engines mounted fore and aft of the cab.
Mack “No.1” was designed by company engineers as a working prototype switchyard locomotive. It underwent long-term evaluation shunting freight cars around Plant 5’s sidings and the company’s shipping and storage center located the Allentown-Reading main line. A specially designed and centrally mounted transmission allowed for single or dual engine operation.
Valuable experience gained from Mack “No.1” ultimately resulted in the production model BR.
https://www.bigmacktrucks.com/topic/33657-mack-rail-–-the-locomotives/



I agree with John that the Hartland Mack is the way to go. I tweaked mine just a little and it has served faithfully for more than 15 years.
 

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Lionel & Mack switcher

The Lionel PRR G scale steam locomotive was a pretty good locomotive. The Mack switchers are excellent. There is an interesting paperback book "History of Mack Rail Motor Cars and Locomotives" published in September 1959 and reprinted in 1971 by the Leigh Valley Chapter, National Railway Historical Society, Inc. which at that time was in Allentown, Penna. There there are three copies of this book on sale on Ebay this evening. Neat little book in my opinion.

Al Guckes
 
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