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Model Railroads/running accessories


setting up layout for grandchildren. has coal elevator,log ramp, coal ramp and sawmill. do i need seperate transformers for each. i have one 80 watt to run the train. what other transformers would i need. i know very little about the power setup

Hello William,

Thank you being patient with answering your questions.
I just finished a Lionel layout for a client here in Vermont.
Here's what we need to review on your questions. Providing
the accessories are in good working order; they should work
fine with the accessory posts on the Lionel CW-80 transformer.

Here's the way you will need to check them first before installing
them. If you have a voltage meter that reads 100 volts or less, use
it to check the voltage coming out of the accessory side of the transformer.

Knowing that is okay, make a test lead of wires from each operating accessory
and touch the terminals with the wires momentarily. if the item responds properly,
move to the next item. Some of the older accessories need to be cleaned and  lubricated
properly for reliable operation.  If they've been in storage for a prolonged period of
time, they need to be serviced.

After the completion of testing them, they can be installed on the layout. I would use
a mometary switch to operate them. Wire leads should be fresh wire. Use stranded 18 gauge
wire sold at a hobby shop or your local home center store. Bring a sample to show them at
the store for the correct size. Color coding is a good idea (red for + and black for -).

Have fun with the train layout. I hope your grandchildren enjoy the trains as much as you do.
We need to encourage the next generation to play with toy trains.

Good luck with your project.


John Schaub

Model Railroads

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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.

Manchester Chamber of Commerce. Rutland Railway Association.

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

Past/Present Clients
Sorry, I can not reveal their names. I will tell you that my clients range from 5 year olds to 75 year olds. My layout commissions are in private homes, hobby shops, hotel lobbies, libraries, museums and historical societies.

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