Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Straco Track: the mystery clears (slightly)

Bandai track with
fiberboard ties
Straco(?) track with
plastic ties
For some time I've been posting on these three inexpensive (OK, cheap) Japanese toy trains I've acquired, and what the connection between them is. In my last post, I talked about the two different types of track that these sets came with. There was an early fiberboard-tie version stamped with Bandai's logo, and a later version where the ties were plastic.

Now these sets came to me through various means. As a child I owned the set with the Santa Fe diesel and two Santa Fe cars (a box car and a refrigerator car). From that set just a few pieces of track survived.

The Straco Express, the most detailed set of the three, I picked up at a toy train meet over a year ago. It had some, but not all, of it's track with it, including the terminal section (that's the piece that has the connectors for the wires running from the power pack).

The other set, which I'm pretty sure is Bandai, I obtained recently through an eBay auction -- primarily to complete my circle of track. It also had a piece of terminal track.

Front to back: Straco Express, childhood Bandai(?) set, Bandai set via eBay

And its those two pieces of terminal track that helped me unwrap the puzzle a little. The eBay set's terminal track was missing one of the posts, while the Straco's was intact. And they were different types. The Straco's terminal track had plastic ties, while the other piece had fiberboard ties.

So I know now that the plastic track goes with the Straco Express, which means that the Bandai fiberboard track belongs to the two earlier sets (I'm assuming that the Straco Express was made after the other two -- it seems newer).

As always, if you happen to know something about these trains -- or know someone who might -- please leave a comment. I'd really like to know more about these toys!



  1. Anonymous8:27 AM

    I just acquired a complete mint Straco Express and track. The only problem With it is one of the wires going into the battery box is broken where it enters the box. Is this an easy fix or should it be left alone. I don't want to damage the connector board in the box(it is riveted into the box). Thanks.

  2. Anon. - good question. I think the best thing is to leave it alone. If you want to run the train, I recommend getting an inexpensive H0 transformer. You can get a Bachmann transformer power pack for around $10 on eBay (that's where I found mine). The advantage is that you have a steady, reliable current for the trains -- much better than with a battery pack.