Trains.com

ZW Whistle switch + Lionel Polar Express #25 0-8-0 Whistle Tender

3684 views
4 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    July 2010
  • From: Hotchkiss, Colorado
  • 294 posts
ZW Whistle switch + Lionel Polar Express #25 0-8-0 Whistle Tender
Posted by steve24944 on Sunday, November 3, 2013 4:11 PM

I have a Lionel #25 Polar Express 0-8-0 with whistle tender.  My track power is a good old Lionel ZW.   The whistle on the Polar Express Tender only works when the whistle switch on my ZW is pushed about 3/4 the way.  If I push the whistle switch all the way the whistle on the Polar Express Tender will not sound.    With my old Lionel 243W Whistle Tender the whistle blows with the whistle switch pushed all the way forward.  does not matter which side of the ZW  I am using,  The A throttle or the D throttle, same results.

Is this normal ?  Old school ZW with a modern circuit board whistle ?

Steve

  • Member since
    July 2003
  • 1,786 posts
Posted by cwburfle on Sunday, November 3, 2013 6:31 PM

There is nothing wrong with your trains or your transformer. The postwar ZW doesn't operate most modern era whistling tenders. The easiest solution is to connect an external Modern era Lionel whistle control button.

  • Member since
    December 2001
  • From: Austin, TX
  • 10,096 posts
Posted by lionelsoni on Sunday, November 3, 2013 6:52 PM

The problem is that postwar whistle controllers put out half-wave DC when you first move the handle, to operate the whistle relay, then shunt the copper-oxide rectifier with a resistor to restore most of the AC voltage and less DC, since the relay doesn't need as much to stay operated.  Modern trains typically don't draw as much current as postwar ones; so the second step tends to contain less of a DC component, too little for the modern whistle to respond to.  One simple fix would be simply not to move the controller all the way to the second stage.

Bob Nelson

  • Member since
    July 2010
  • From: Hotchkiss, Colorado
  • 294 posts
Posted by steve24944 on Sunday, November 3, 2013 7:19 PM

Bob - Thanks for the reply.   That explanation makes sense.  The whistle on the Polar Express sounds when the whistle control switch is in the 1/2 way position, but not in the full position.

So  ...... It is what it is.

Steve

  • Member since
    September 2004
  • 194 posts
Posted by riverrailfan on Sunday, November 3, 2013 10:46 PM

Same thing happens with my ZW. My modern locos slow to a crawl and my older locs speed up when operating the whistle control.

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

FREE EMAIL NEWSLETTER

Get the Classic Toy Trains newsletter delivered to your inbox twice a month