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Which tracks to buy to expand a 2011-2012 train layout?
Hi all. I am hoping for some advice regarding train tracks. My son is 4 years old and on the autism spectrum. He is really amazing with LEGO and can build MOCs and advanced sets with very little help - for example, he built the Haunted House by himself. I had to open the bags, apply some stickers and help him align the columns with the front door overhang, but otherwise he rocked through it at a rapid pace. I have gone backwards in the forum looking for the info I need and read reviews, but need some clarity. Thanks to this forum for a rapid extensive LEGO re-education this past year (though my bank account regrets it!)
OK so, 'Santa' is bringing the yellow Cargo train and red passenger train this Holiday. This morning, and of course after the sale, he explained that he really wants a train set with a turntable. I understand from my research he will need to build this himself but to be compatible I have read conflicting reviews about what types of extra track he will need. I will need to provide switch tracks or crossing points at the very least. I have already bought 2 additional train stations while on deal last month for extra straight track and such. Thanks to the forum, I have learned about and also use Bricklink if I need to to obtain pieces. Also, at 2 he already built an impressive Duplo train set, we aren't looking for that.
So thank you, LEGO friends for any help you can offer.
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If you are looking for points (switches) you can always check eBay or Bricklink. If you are in the US I have a small pile of them (new) that I could sell you a few of.
There is no RC/PF style cross piece. As @kylejohnson11 wrote above you could use the 9V cross piece. Another interesting piece is the #7996 double crossover, but they are out of production and can be spendy.
I did not know #7996 existed... My pocket book was happier 5 minutes ago. :)
One issue that I see is that you can't have both directions be straight at the same time, or both be turned, but I can't imagine why you'd want to do that.
The switches are interesting, though - you have to run the trains in opposite directions else they both end up crossing onto the same track.
So I'd recommend a station of some sort, as my son (6) loves getting the people (and other assorted animals etc) on and off the train.
1: Make each of the 4 switches individually controllable (ideal)
2: Provide center indent on the controls that position each track in the "go straight" position.
It is nice having the switchover in such a compact piece, it just didn't offer the controlability I wanted.
As for 7996, its design seems quite flawed to me so I don't really regret missing out on it.
I have found so many great MOCS and ideas for layouts, buildings, and custom track ideas at Eurobrick Train Tech forum. I would recommend scouring through the pages there as you will certainly find some inspiration for you and your son. Happy building!!
To answer OP's question, I'd get another #7939 Yellow Cargo Train, because more is better, more cars, more track, more switches. Plus, you can cannibalize the Power Functions in one of the yellows to run a Maersk (or New Horizon :), and turn the disabled yellow into a non-powered "B" unit to run with the other.
Another piece of advice is to grab a few #8878 battery boxes. They are overpriced at $50, but if you get a TRU sale they can be cheaper ($33 each if you hit a 3 for 2 sale). You also need the #8887 transformer to charge them. Once I bit the bullet for them, I'm glad I did because a) they hold a charge for a really long time, and b) it's easier to plug them in than it is to rip the cheaper #88000 AAA battery boxes out of trains to replace the batteries.