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Local HO Train Clubs

Tim writes:

“I am looking for HO train clubs in my area which is Redlands, California 92373. I live 60 miles east of Los Angeles and 50 miles west of Palm Springs California. Can anyone advise me please?”

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18 Inch Curved Track Spacing

Darryl asks:

“How much space should I allow between parallel tracks on straights, but especially on my 18-inch curves in HO?”

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HO and OO Compatibility

Maria asks:

“Is it feasible to connect an OO gauge turnout to an HO track made by the same manufacturer?”

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Track Confusion

Stephen asks:

“I need a little help how do i figured out what flex 2.87″ is in inches, 2.9″ in inches, 4.71 in inches I’ve tried and tried no luck. I don’t want to keep cutting different links.”

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Athearn Yardmaster 1045 SW1500 NASA Set

A reader asks:

“Which box car, gondola and tank car were included in Athearn Yardmaster 1045 SW1500 NASA set from approximately year 2000?”

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Buzzing and Nothing else

Allen writes:

“Hi! I am not necessarily new to model trains, I’ve used them for years. I recently have just got back into it, but when I’ve put my set back together, I’ve found that all I am getting is a buzzing sound, and nothing else. I’ve tested my old models and brand new ones, different track pieces for power sourcing, new controllers, but good lord nothing at all is working. All I am getting a buzzing sound, and when I press “stop” on my DCC controller, the models inch maybe less than a centimeter forward. Help!!”

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LED Light Circuit

Bob writes:

“I am retired and come into OO model railways late , learning as I go . I saw a post showing how to wire LED’s on a 3v system doing away with need for resisters etc . All went well and has been working great, until now. One circuit with street lighting on has gone out apart from 1st light on circuit. I thought maybe the second light had blown, but tested it with battery and its fine ,I have also checked the feed to 2nd light but my tester shows power there. Is there a simple way to test circuit without disconnecting every light and starting again. Any tips would be welcome”

Add your thought below if you can advise Bob.

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Lionel 282 Crane Operating Help

Dan asks:

“Have a 282 crane that I have refurbished. When I try the hoist , the crane rotation starts at the same time. Could this be a clutch problem?”

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Kato Engine Speeds

Othmar asks:

I run five kato engines on a 25 car consists. It is impossible to match the five Kato engine regarding speed ie each engine runs different speed and causes them to uncouple very annoying. Does anybody has a suggestion how to resolve this?

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Identify Old Marklin Trains

Gerhard sent in this question, but to get an accurate response from readers he really needs to add a photo in the comments section below:

Gerhard writes:

“I have recently aquired some pieces of a Marklin set with rails and all. It seems to be quite an old set with many locomotives and wagons. Where can I determine how old this set is and get some more technical info on it as I do not have a power supply for it. It is a beautiful set, specially some of the loco s. It has a central track power take off system.”

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Post War Lionel With Sound

Dick asks:

“My post war Lionel has sounds (limited amount), coming from the tender. I’d like to get more sounds from the unit.  What do I do, buy a new setup, can I add cars with sounds.  I don’t know enough to ask the correct questions!”

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Lionel 282 Crane Motor

Dan writes:

“I have a motor question. Coming off the motor coil, how many bare copper wires should there be exposed. If two, I have one, can’t find the other. Do they come off the winding at top or bottom. Pretty confused. Thanks for any advice to anyone who can help”

Add your comments to Dan’s O scale question below.

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Can Smoke Damage Track

Gene writes:

“Our RR Club has HO and O scale members operating in the same room in our building. The problem is since the O scalers have started using smoke with their engines we have been having more dirty track with the HO members. Is there such thing that smoke can cause dirty track?”

Add your thoughts below.

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Old Marklin and Lima Trains

Gerhard writes:

“I would like to say thank you very much for the information you have sent so far, it helps a lot. I am a pensioner and am very passionate about electric model trains. My setup is a Lima product. I recently acquired a lot of pieces of Marklin locos and wagons and rails. How can I determine how old these pieces are? Although it is not adaptable with my own set maybe I can do something with it.”

A note to Gerald – you can submit a photo of the models in question which might assist readers.

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Arduino and Track Rails

Molly models HO and asks:

“The Arduino requires wires be attached from it to the track. What methods can do this? Can I solder the wires to the track? I’m using a Hornby Select for DCC controller but aside from rotating the wires I have no how I could use it. Thank you for any help with this.”

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Bus Wiring – DCC Main Bus

John models OO and writes:

“Greetings from the UK everyone. I have a garden room that is purpose built at 17’ x 11’ and building my dream layout. My question related to main bus wiring. I’ve connected my controller to the track at the nearest point and then daisy chained clockwise around the room. I’m running four tracks all the way around so have simply ‘linked’ wire every 5’ or so to the adjacent tracks to provide power to them. I’ve done this all the way around right back to with 3’ of the first connection by the controller. I’ve used 32/02 cables as the main bus and 7/02 as the short link soldered to the track discreetly. Locomotives run fine one on each track even one on each track at the same time. However, the end of the main bus wire returning, should l connect it back into the controller or just leave it hanging underneath with insulated terminals crimped on. Thanks for reading.”

Please add your comments below.

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GEA with 4-8-2 & 2-8-4 Wheel Arrangement

William models N scale and writes:

“I recently viewed a 1990 Steam Festival that took place on the South African Railway. I feel in love with the class GEA & GEAM with 4-8-2 & 2-8-4 wheel arrangement. Any suggestions where I may be able to find and purchase an N scale operating model of this locomotive. Thanks for your suggestions.”

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Surge Protection?

Tim models HO and asks:

“I will be converting my layout from DC to DCC and will purchase the NCE Power Cab starter set after reading favorable reviews online and in this blog. I read on one website that it is important to make sure to have surge protection to protect from shorts and recommended purchasing a CP6 surge protector. Is this necessary? My layout is L shaped (8′ x 5′) and is 3 concentric loops connected with turnouts. The wires to my turnouts are not connected to any device as of yet. I currently run my layout with the basic Bachmann controller that came in my train starter kit with the 2 wires from the controller connected to one section of track.”

You are welcome to comment below.

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