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Newbie with basic power questions

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    April 2003
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Newbie with basic power questions
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 12:24 PM
Santa brought my 7 yr old son a great Lionel starter set. We have added a good amount of expansion track (Fastreck) and a couple of cars. It's a great setup for him at this point. I would like to add another basic set, so we can run 2 trains at a time, possibly a smaller loop inside a larger one. No problems there. If we decide to start combining the sets, can we run both trains on the same transformer (Model CW-80)? If more power is needed, is there a way to use the 2 transformers in combination?


I have searched Lionels site and several others, most suggest larger power supplies as you expand. I'd like to avoid more elaborate power supplies at this point if the basic transformers can do the job.

I would also like to find good sources (internet or print) so we can learn more together.


Thanks in advance for your help.
  • Member since
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Posted by lionelsoni on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 2:02 PM
Take a look at the topic "Need Help With a track problem", http://www.trains.com/community/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=10272 for a suggestion of how to set up a simple block system that will allow you to control two trains separately on a single layout.

Bob Nelson

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  • From: The ROMAN Empire State
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Posted by brianel027 on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 2:50 PM
Check your local library and see if they have nay books relating to Lionel trains. I know libraries in towns I've lived in have had them, including the Greenberg Repair Guide. The company that publishes Classic Toy Trains also has some good books, including a couple of useful hint kind of books. There's a fellow, Allan Miller, who wrote a book on getting started too that I've seen at Borders. None of the books mentioned are over $20 except the repair guide, and that's not much over.
Also check out: www.thortrains.net
That site has lots of basic beginner info and may prove very useful.
Many guys use a series of smaller transformers on their layouts in place of one large one. That way you can devote one transformer to a certain purpose and have more precise voltage. It also puts less strain on any one transformer, allowing the transformer to work better. The smaller 40-60 watt transformers are usually bargain priced at train shows. I use the Lionel 1033-type and swear by it. If you get to looking for new power, don't rule out MRC. They've introduced some new transformers recently that have been getting good reviews. They also make one that has walk around controlers attached via a telephone-type cord... if you're not using TMCC, this is a nice idea especially on a smaller layout.
brianel, Agent 027

brianel, Agent 027

"Praise the Lord. I may not have everything I desire, but the Lord has come through for what I need."

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Posted by Roger Bielen on Tuesday, December 30, 2003 6:20 PM
The problem you would have trying to run 2 trains on the CW-80 is that it only has one variable control, at least the older model I have for my granddaughters. With the one speed control you would not be able to control the individual engines and unless they are equal one may take-off like a rocket while the other creeps along.

Roger B.
  • Member since
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 31, 2003 10:59 AM
Thanks for the replies and help. I know you guys get tired of the same questions over and over, but your help is much appreciated.

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