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I have an older 12V LEGO train (several actually) but of course the rubber tires wore out long ago.

The trains still run quite well (I even used them as a motor parts in some Technic designs), but the pieces for the tracks have become very brittle, meaning that re-designing tracks has become a nightmare.

Just uncoupling the dark-gray underside from the light-gray rails is not just painful to watch but often leaves you with more pieces than you intended, particularly the small pinch-like top sections of the dark-gray parts splinter, as well as where they fit in the light-gray rails.

Similar things happen with the larger change-direction sections and cross-section parts, so it's imho mostly due the design click-on system that is failing.

What would you suggest on handling such pieces? Can these parts still be replaced?

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While I can't speak of the handling of these parts, the possibility of receiving official replacement parts from TLG is surely zero. That leaves us only the second-hand market, which fortunately offers genuine LEGO replacement pieces, sometimes even in brand new condition. Note though, that even though the brittleness problem might stem from lots of play or improper storage (for example being stored assembled), if it is a property of the material being used for these parts, then other pieces made the same time of the same material will exhibit the same problems.

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  • Thanks, those are very valid comments. I always try to store the track parts in disassembled fashion precisely because of the wear-out effect of the clips. But time hasn't been kind to the plastic types of those ages. I used bricklink before but it can be quite expensive. They only improper use I remember perhaps was trying to build the ramped and elevated tracks that featured in many of those adds. – StarShine Dec 26 '20 at 16:40

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