Got a Lionel Train Set for Xmas...Now What?

We got a Lionel Penn Flyer train set for Christmas.
Well after setting the 40 x 60 oval up and running the train set for a
few hours, it is apparent that we will need to expand the track (Fastrack) to make it more interesting.
What would you suggest?
Thanks
TMT
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That depends on how much you want to expand the oval. Fastrack (IMHO) is only slightly better than the old Lionel track and much more expensive. For a small layout with a couple of turnouts (4X8) Realtrax from MTH railking.com makes much more sense. For a larger layout Atlas track is better.
Too_Many_Tools wrote:

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You can gather numerous ideas from a good book such as "The Lionel FasTrack Book"...
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
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There is some novelty to a "figure-8" layout (a 90 degree crossing, a half circle of track, and maybe a few more straights added to what you have) but it is still basically a round-and-round layout that will soon become boring. I suggest instead you get a pair of switches, a half circle of curved track, some more straight track, and a basic sectional track layout book. I strongly recommend you not be too quick to attach the track permanently to a piece of plywood. A good portion of the pleasure of a toy train is in the child creating his/her own layout, seeing what works and what doesn't, and what provides more fun. The Fastrack will hold the track joints together better than the old Lionel tubular track, and the plastic roadbed will help keep the carpet lint out of the mechanisms, two of the bigger problems with the old track systems. When the kids have exhausted these possibilities, then maybe add a little track to make the layout THEY like best from their experiences, and consider moving on to a layout board, some accessories, and scenery. But make these additions a family project. Your biggest jobs should be to resolve the problems that interfere with their fun, and to use these opportunities to teach them carpentry, geometry, electricity, transportation, etc. etc. Have fun, Geezer
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