Model Train Help Blog Model railroads and model trains Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:01:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Which Transformer to Buy? What Wattage? Thu, 16 Nov 2017 23:01:36 +0000 Jim asks readers:

“I’m building a medium sized o-guage layout for a single vintage 1954 Lionel train set.  The layout size is a multi-level 6 x 9′ with a few accessories including automatic switch tracks.  I am looking to upgrade from my old, small transformer but don’t want to spend any more money required to run this size layout.  Any suggestions or recommendations on a transformer that will meet my needs but not break the bank?  What size wattage is enough?  Should I buy a new transformer or a used one?  I’m new to all this.  Thank you.”

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Which DCC System Do You Prefer? Tue, 14 Nov 2017 00:06:04 +0000 Ed is new the hobby and would like to hear opinions on the various DCC systems:

“Hi, I’m just getting into the hobby. My question is witch dcc system is a better buy? I’m just going to be using it at home for my own use (no club) by myself. My layout will be a 12 by 12 someday. I’m caught between NCE power cap  or digitrax system. I’m not real computer smart at 65. I need something easy to program and easy too run any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance Ed”

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Repair of Lionel ZW Transformer Tue, 14 Nov 2017 00:02:37 +0000 Drew has this question for Lionel enthusiasts:

“I have a VERY old Lionel ZW transformer (purchased in 1955 – yes, people really do get that old). Many years ago I had it repaired due to the fact that the circuit breaker was constantly tripping. The repair person fixed the problem by just removing the circuit breaker. I want to restore the transformer to original so does anyone know a source of Lionel parts in the USA (aside from Ebay). Thanks very much.”

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22 Inch Radius Curve – Inside or Outside Curve? Fri, 10 Nov 2017 22:32:02 +0000 Timothy asks readers:

“Is the 22 inch radius inside middle or outside of HO track?”

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Why Do Some Lash-Up Engines Face Backwards? Thu, 09 Nov 2017 01:36:23 +0000 As a follow-up to Steven’s earlier question, club member David G asks readers this question:

“I have seen a locomotive hooked up backwards when there are 2 or 3 or even more of them lashed-up together – why would that be?  Is this for mechanical or maybe operational reasons? I wondered if it just makes it easier to link them that way rather than turning the loco around while it’s in the yard?

My other question is – when the engines are lashed-up, are all the locomotives always operating to full power… or could a locomotive sometimes be in tow?”

locomotive lash up

Use the COMMENTS link below if you know the answer, or want to see what others have to say.

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Long Lash-Up Engines Thu, 09 Nov 2017 01:27:15 +0000 Steven has ambitious plans for his O gauge set-up and asks:

“I want to put seven diesels mth or lionel engine in a row to pull 250 freight cars. How big would the transformers I would need to be to pull 250 freight cars?”

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Rating The Quality Of The Various Brands Of Locomotives Thu, 09 Nov 2017 01:18:31 +0000 locomotiveDavid sent in a request to find out if any readers have a way of rating the various manufacturers for the quality and reliability of the locomotives they produce. If you have any suggestions for David, then please submit them using the COMMENTS link below this posting.

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How To Reduce Track Noise Wed, 08 Nov 2017 01:03:14 +0000 Norman has a problem common to many layouts:

“I ran a vintage Lionel (California Zepher) around my room above the door and windows. When running the train, the noise from the wheels on the track is very loud. What can I put under the tracks on top of the plywood to reduce the noise?”

If you would like to assist Norman with a suggestion, then please use the COMMENTS link below his posting to add your thoughts. And, if you want to submit a question to the Blog Moderator for possible publication (10,000 readers weekly), use one of the ASK A QUESTION links on this site.

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POLL RESULTS: Do you run run Prototypical trains? Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:51:57 +0000 The results of the latest poll are in. Here’s how you voted when asked Do you run run Prototypical trains?

  • I run whatever I want as long as it looks good. I’m not against having a mix of modern & older cars. Anything goes. (62%)
  • Generally I try to stay prototypical, but with a few exceptions. (28%)
  • Yes, only prototypical. (5%)
  • What’s Prototypical? (6%)
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Power to Track but Locos Don’t Move Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:49:52 +0000 Gabriel seeks advice to solve his problem:

“After many years I’m back to model railways. My HO track is powered but the locos will not move. Please help.Thanks.”

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IR Switches, LED Lights and Resistors Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:46:45 +0000 HO enthusiast Don has sent in two questions for readers:

1. “IR switches have three wires coming out, think that the center one would be positive and the other two would positive out too one side or the other,  is this a momentary or a constant supply ? And, should there be a resistor on the IR switch?”

2. “I have a number of led bulbs, and a number of small led fixtures, information is connect a resistor to the bulbs, is that to each bulb  or a number of them in a group or collection of them.  Is there a + and – to each bulb?”



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How Good is Bullfrog Snot for Model Trains? Sat, 04 Nov 2017 23:12:06 +0000 Craig asks readers:

“Can anyone tell me if Bullfrog Snot is really any good ,and does it do anything to the engine that it is put on?”

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