O gauge Lionel or Mth ?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by lawnchoker, Dec 5, 2002.

  1. lawnchoker

    lawnchoker New Member

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    Hello all, I have decided on O gauge trains, have a 7yr old son who has shown an interest in trains & i think this will be a great hobby for both of us. Ive done alot of reading on mth & lionel, going to start with a starter set, but confused on which manufacture to buy, if i buy one can you use the other ones engine? which is better tmcc or dcs, any advise wood be of great help thanks :confused:
  2. pcentral

    pcentral Member

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    Hi Lawnchoker,
    Welcome to the gauge first of all. Second, you have chosen a great scale. There are good reasons to chose either MTH or Lionel. The biggest difference between the two is compatibility of the control and sound systems. Just about every company that offers engines with "control" uses the TMCC system. The exception being MTH, who has their own DCS system. I think DCS has more features but it may not work with the next version that comes out. Whereas TMCC works with all command controlled engines made. Track is the other thing to consider. If you go with MTH, they have their RailTrax line that comes in starter sets. This has molded in roadbed and snaps together. Once again, this is great if you only use their stuff. But if want to add Lionel accessories such as the milkcar, culvert loaders/unloaders, cattle/horse corrals etc. that use track as part of the setup, RealTrax won't work. Lionel starter sets come with O27 tinplate track. This is nice to start with and some people build layouts with it, but not all engines will run on it. Some engines require O gauge track, this is a little taller than O27. Most people upgrade their track after getting started, so don't worry too much about this. It all is basically your preference, I would start with Lionel and go from there. All the rolling stock is compatible with each other so there is no problems there. Enjoy and if you have more questions just ask. Steve
  3. lawnchoker

    lawnchoker New Member

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    Thanks for the info steve, i did not know that all the other engine manufactures used tmcc control, sounds like lionel is more compatible now im leaning towards them, question can i run only dcc locos or can you use both old & new with tmcc. thanks Jeff
  4. pcentral

    pcentral Member

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    Hi Jeff,
    Always glad to help. Since TMCC uses a constant 16 volts to the track, old non-TMCC equipped engines won't run on it. At least not while you are using TMCC. I have heard about guys using a switch of some sort to switch from TMCC to regular power to run your old stuff on the same tracks. O Gauge Railroading magazine has a online forum at www.ogaugerr.com I'm sure there is someone there who has done this and can tell you how. Just don't forget about this forum. I spend more time here than there because I like this group more (it's friendlier here and people don't force there opinion on you).As always keep asking questions and we'll keep answering the best we can.Steve
  5. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

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    Hi Jeff and welcome to the gauge, 0 gauge, thats a great scale if you have the room for it, what with all the new 0n3/on30 loco's that are being brought out now. If I had a bigger room, I would change to 0n30 myself.
    Cheers and good luck
    Shamus[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  6. lawnchoker

    lawnchoker New Member

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    thanks steve for the info i see what you mean on that site will still be reading here though, so many people here with great advice, thanks for the wellcome shamus jsut last night was looking at s scale, i have got 3/4 of my basement to use and maybe could get more track layout with s, the company i found was american models dont much about them but there headquarters is only 5 miles from my house so i think i will give them a visit their steam locos seem to have great looking details anybody know if their products are of good quality? thanks again Jeff
  7. pcentral

    pcentral Member

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    Hi Jeff,
    It's me again and in case your curious I operate G, O, S, and N guage and have a little bit of Standard, HO and Z gauge. American Models has some great stuff. S-Helper Service is another company making some very nice S gauge equipment that rivals anything in HO. I just got aUP woodside box car that looks alot like Bachmanns On30 stuff. Also, Lionel is still making a limited amount of American Flyer trains each year. This is a great time to be in S gauge as there is more things being made than ever before. The only thing is no one is really doing much with sound or control systems such as with O gauge. S gauge track can be a headache and I don't know off hand what is the best track on the market today. I will see my friend tomorrow and ask him (he is a huge collector?operator of S gauge) and let you know.