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Model Railroads/lionel 80 watt controller


QUESTION: Just got my first trains. I have the older track not the fasttrack. How do i hook the transformer to the track since it requires a lockon piece. It is the 80 watt not the 40 the set came with

ANSWER: First of all, congratulations on your first set of trains!!!
Since you're operating on Lionel tubular track, I presume.
You will need the older style Lionel lock-on specific for
tubular track. The 80 watt transformer will work fine with that
system. Not having the transformer in front of me, the wire leads
off the 80Watt are typically spliced with the raw wire exposed. Place
the wire with the white line on it's side and place that on the lock-on
that goes to the middle rail (hot-lead). Black wire goes to the outside rail (ground)
You should have power and ready to roll. Send picture if you can to verify what the
wires and ends look like.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have been running the train with the wire(white line)hooked to the outside rail with the 40watt controller. Have i possibly caused any damage to the train or controller. Also the steam engine tender with the horn does not work with train on track. With just the tender the horn will blow when i push the button. Whats wrong? Thanks so much for your help

Wiring might be crossed. Try reversing the wires on the transformer. And make sure you're of track power for your + lead and - lead.
Make sure the track is clean. It should shine. The pick-up wheels on the locomotive and tender might be dirty. They need to be clean
for reliable operation.

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John Schaub


I can answer the following questions: Almost anything about the hobby, except complex electrical questions. Anything about table construction, model kit building, layout scenery, weathering and painting, adding lighting to structures and scenery. I cannot answer questions about the value or appraisal of an item through an e-mail question. The only true method to valuation is having the item in front of me. I will not answer any questions about complex wiring for signals, DCC, or switch motor installations.


Model railroader since childhood. And that's quite a few years ago. My experience includes: Planning, Design, Benchwork Construction, Trackwork, Conceptualizing the placement of the basic scenic shell and future structure placement. Developing a "vision" of what the layout' them will be. Historical research. Model builder. Painter, Detailer and Weathering. Scenery Artisan, Model train room decorator. Freight car builder. Engine detailer. Turned my passion for model railroading to a full time career in 1998. I now design, build and construct model railroads. Focusing my skills on planning and design, model kit building services, scenery and structure installations, painting, weathering and detailing.

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Classic Toy Trains, January 2013

Self-taught Model Railroader turned professional consultant New York Institute of Technology, Communication Arts Degree C.W. Post College, Computer Graphics-Desktop Publishing Certificate Program Molloy College, MacIntosh Computer Studies-Certificate Program

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