Hi, TinMan here… This sale is for what we call TinMan’s favorite 11″ Generation II track. While only 2 pieces are shown the sale is for 20 pieces . The 11″ size is really nice especially for custom layouts. Saves a lot of 1/2 tracks. The idea for the TinMan grade of track came to me while looking at real railroad tracks that are frequently used. I noticed that the tops of the rails were brite and shiny steel probably due to the friction of the wheels running over the track. The sides and bottoms of the rails were black. Why??? Well the same reason our model train tracks get that way. In our efforts (same as the Big Boys trains) to keep our trains running smoothly we make sure all parts, bearings contact points etc, are properly lubricated with either oil, grease or some kind of snake oil. What is the result? it drips down on the track, eventually running down the sides of the track and wala, we have stained track. That issue plus the problem that the sides, and ties, of our tracks, seem like they are the first places to rust, gave me the inspiration for “TinMan’s favorite. WE have now discovered some new methods of cleaning and polishing the tracks, while very time-consuming results in a really nice track.
We do our normal reconditioning, ie checking pins, tube and tie tightness, polishing the tops etc, and then we assemble the tracks in long lengths and paint them with just normal Rustoleum rust preventive flat black enamel. After painting both the tops and bottoms, we then remove the paint from the very tops of the 3 rails and the inside of the outer tubes, where the wheels normally make contact. We then remove all the old style pins and replace them with our new Stainless Steel pins. Why? because we discovered cases where the old style steel pins were rusting inside the rails! Not acceptable. You will notice the lack of groves in our pins. How come? The original Lionel pins when installed at the factory, had a machine that pinched the tubes exactly where those groves were. We do not have that kind of equipment (nor anyone else) so our theory, why waste contact area of the pins with groves that would do nothing. We also made these pins slightly longer so when installed with our pin installation jig the pins would go into virgin areas of the tube that never had a pin.
We have invested in some top quality metal polishing equipment, that is designed to enhance the not only the appearance but also the smoothness of the rails. The differences this new equipment makes is really remarkable. This new equipment gives our tracks a final once over polishing with special attention to not only the tops, but the insides of the outside rails. This is a process, this really smooths the tops out to absolute like new condition. So we now call it we ‘TinMan’s favorite, Gen II. Which not only looks cool, but with a very minimum of care (directions included with track as to how to store) will be ready for your great great grandchildren to run trains on. Think of it, your great-great grandchildren could very easily be using these tracks, to show their kids what it was like when wheels actually went round and round on steel rails to make a train go! As a service to our customers we solder a pair of wires for power taps on 1 out of every 10 pieces of track free of charge. This is pretty important, because the painting makes the normal “lock-on” not work very well. We then seal the solder joint to stop any possibility of corrosion as a result of the soldering. So our original idea was to make our tracks work like new. Now with all the advancements, and the Stainless Steel pins, we can honestly say that our tracks are frankly not as good as new, they are better than new! There just is no substitute for the top quality tracks that were made many years ago. In todays economy, it just is not feasible to make this kind of quality tracks. This is another example of so many things that were built to last for generations. Pretty unusual today.
We are getting more and more efficient with this process so we are able to keep the cost of these tracks quite reasonable. Recently the addition of a lot more labor going into the reconditioning process has indeed finally forced us into raising our prices slightly. Is it really worth all this effort? Well you have told us countless times yes it is worth it. Even if we are out of pace with the throw away society, we are really proud of what we do.
Like all our tinman items, shipping is free. No tax, and no handling charges