Top critical review
MUST HAVE 4x half straights and lots of track for this to be used at all!!
on January 30, 2018
For Christmas this year, Santa finally brought our train crazy son his first "big boy" o gauge electric lionel train (the Pennsylvania Flyer with bluetooth). He was thrilled beyond reason and has had so much fun with it, but quickly wanted to expand the layout from the oval you can make with the included track. I bought one set of additional straights and one set of additional curves and this crossover piece, hoping to make a figure 8. Unfortunately I didn't realize until it arrived that you cannot make a figure 8 with this piece unless you have 4 of the half size straights in addition to enough of the curves. My son was SO upset (he's autistic and easily frustrated by such things) when we were unable to make a figure 8 with this. I quickly ordered 4 of the half length straights and now we have a figure eight (of sorts) that he thinks is pretty cool. The only problem is that even though the pieces all seem to be connected and the train is moving around the track fine, the electrical connection is spotty and the train sounds are clipped and sound shorted. This is frustrating for him too. I don't know if this piece has anything to do with that problem, but we've never had this issue until we added this cross over and the 4 half straights (see pics). Maybe someone who knows more about these things can weigh in.
In summary, this is a cool piece to add to a layout but MAKE SURE you have all the additional pieces you need BEFORE you buy it or you will be frustrated and disappointed like we were. Additionally, I feel like Lionel is really taking advantage when it comes to the pricing on these tracks. They're ridiculously expensive!