Lionel offers two different uncoupling tracks. The basic uncoupling track (FasTrack No. 6-12020 and O-27 No. 6-65149) features an electromagnet in the center rail. The operating tracks (Fastrack 6-12054, O-27 6-65530) also feature four additional accessory activation rails for use on operating cars like the barrel loader, milk car, horse cars, etc.
Both of these are built to operate off of your track power. But like other accessories, your couplers and operating cars will work better off of a fixed 14 V AC power supply than from the variable track power. Converting these track sections to use a fixed voltage power supply is easy.
Converting the Uncoupling Track
The electromagnet in the center of the uncoupling track is activated by pressing a button which completes a circuit between the inside rail and the magnet. To modify the track, simply disconnect the red wire from the center rail connection and connect it to the AC Hot terminal (or bus wire) from your accessory transformer. Keep the accessory and track transformers in phase and your uncoupling track will operate reliably on 14 V AC, eliminating the loud “clunk” from uncoupling at full track power. This will also reduce chances of the magnet from overheating if activated too long.
Converting the Operating Track
The same procedure holds for the operating track. Remove the red wire from the center rail and attach to the AC Hot accessory connection. With the activation rails operating at 14 V, cars will function at a realistic and reliable speed.
You can also find instructions for these conversions in the manuals that come with these tracks. To see this in action with our FasTrack sections, just watch this video: