Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Lionel FasTrack Figure-8 Track Pack
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on April 29, 2012
We started with a basic set that had an oval. At some point, the oval got boring so we added the figure 8. I don't know why, but it is fun to watch a train go around on a figure 8. The Fastrack criss cross track works well and trains do not derail when going across it. You get 4 curves, 4 five inch straights and the 90 degrees criss cross track. You can buy these separately for about the same cost so you are not really saving much in buying the track pack.

Around the same time that we bought the figure 8 track, we moved from having our set on the living room floor to putting it on a 4' x 8' plywood table in the basement. From there, we started adding switches to create an oval around the figure 8. To me, within the constraints of a 4 x 8 layout, a figure 8 embedded in an oval is about as good as it gets in terms of having an interesting layout.

My recommendation is to start with the figure 8 and then, as your finances allow, buy some switches and track to connect the sides of the figure 8 into an oval. There are two challenges with this. First, switches cost around $40 each. Second, the gap to close the side of the track by the switches is an odd length of 30.91 inches. What worked for me was to close each side of the loop with (2) 10 inch tracks + (1) 5 inch track + (3) 1.375 inch tracks + (1) 1.75 inch track. This leaves a gap of about 1/32" but there is enough flex in the track to make this work.

One last recommendation which has nothing to do with the figure 8 - to make your set more fun consider adding some 1:43 scale cars, fire engines, buses, trucks, etc. Just search Amazon for 1:43 diecast. This scale is about the same as O-gauge and you can find some fun items at a reasonable price.
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on February 3, 2013
if you need to extend your basic track, this is the easy way. Matches perfectly with my existing Lionel track. Seems very expensive, but all train gear is; looking around Amazon's deal was good and shipping is always fast.
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on December 16, 2014
I ordered the Thomas train set and this kit to make the figure 8. But I can't. Turns out they don't have enough parts to do it and I have to spend more money. They sell this set claiming your stock Lionel train set will have the parts to add this on. It doesn't, so now I have to order 2 more 10 inch straight tracks to actually set it all up. nice job. So $200 doesn't get you a running train set.

update: They should do a better job of letting you know what you need to complete the figure 8. They say you use this kit and what came with your train set. But if you have a basic oval train set up (like the Thomas train set I bought) it only has 2 10inch straight tracks. To complete the figure 8 you need 4 of them. Without having the train set, ordered everything at once, did not know it would be 2 tracks short. They are nice enough that online they sell the extra tracks you need but in a 4 pack. So you go from 2 short to 2 extra. Called a local hobby store they sell the track individually, $5.49 a piece. So now my figure 8 track is complete. With all the right parts it went together very easily and the train runs great on it. Even got the Thomas diorama set up so the train goes in and out of the tunnel.

So basically the tracks work great and are easy to assemble.
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on August 13, 2015
This is a nice addition to my beginner set. the reason I'm knocking off two starts is that the middle 4-way piece causes derailing fairly often. It's not completely even, and the trains seem to bounce a tad when going through over it. It doesn't matter if it's fast or a medium speed, I get derails at random times on that piece.
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on January 16, 2015
Great addition to my Christmas village layout but expensive. I love this new Lionel track but geez it is expensive. One time investment so I bit the bullet and I'm glad I did. It does make the layout longer so pay attention to the size you will end up. I have it on a standard 4 x 8 plywood and it works out great. My Christmas village is a Manger scene in one of the circles and a Dept 56 village in the other. Minus one star because of the cost.
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on January 14, 2015
Works great. Makes the oval track into a crazy 8 which adds to the fun of the train. It's a gray color track that matches the track that comes with the train. Amazon highlighted the red pieces to show exactly which pieces this set includes. The green pieces are the original track. First one arrived in a ripped box - maybe got caught in a conveyor belt. Amazon was great and had the new replacement at my door within days. Amazing.
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on January 14, 2016
What they don't tell you is if you have a train with the standard power source AC adapter, you will need a CW-80 or GW-180 transformer to run enough power to the track so the train doesn't constantly die on the tracks. THe basic track sets that come with say the Polar Express O-gauge train just don't draw enough power...
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on January 25, 2016
nice idea but mine did not work...the 90 crossover piece causes the train to stop. I contacted Lionel and after much back and forth they want me to ship the piece at my expense to them where they will test it and repair or replace it. I finally just ordered another piece as it seemed easier and am awaiting it now. If the piece worked I would rate this set highly.
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on March 2, 2016
At first your thinking you get all the track toake an eight. Then you take a closer look and see what your really getting. I read one review to late it said I could buy each piece and pay less. Oh well the kid loved it.
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on January 3, 2015
Track came as advertised. We did a figure eight and my son loved it. We bought other track and were able to extend the figure eight, but then had to take it all down for Christmas. We'll get it up and running again, soon.
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