Wow!

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by JoeGrapes, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. JoeGrapes

    JoeGrapes Member

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    Well, I'm new to model railroading. I mean I had a Lionel as a kid and HO later on but now I want a winter hobby. I belong to a car chat just like this becouse in the summer I have a muscle car that I play with. Anyway, I've found that chat to vary helpful amd I hope I've helped other people with my experiance. I'm sure this chat will do the same for me and as I get more experiance, I hope to do the same for others. But, I can't believe there are that many problems with the new stuff out there. The first thing I bought was a Lionel CW 80 transformer I got new on E-Bay that I paid $44.99 for. I thought I got a good price. Man, did I make a mistake? I'm looking at bidding on a Lionel 6-28028 2-6-6-6 Alleghany that looks just great. I've seen a real one in person and am still ah struck. With all I've read about Lionel I'm shocked there're still in business. They can't be that bad. I don't want to start out gun shy. I'm an eternal optimist. Tell me something good! :)
  2. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    I have a CW80 that I got from eBay as well. Going by the price you paid, I would guess from the same guy. (He parts out train kits, right?) I haven't had any problems with mine thus far.

    One thing to remember, you'll hear far more about the bad than the good. That's pretty true about everything and doesn't just apply to the model train world. There were several posts from people during the Christmas season asking for help because of problems with new Lionel sets. For those 3 or 4 people, there were probably a thousand others that bought train sets and never posted because their units worked perfectly right out of the box. Bad news travels far more quickly than good news.

    The biggest plus for me is that a lot of the new Lionel sets have gone back to diecast bodies for the eingines and moved away from the plastic models that took over in a majority of the starter sets for several decades.
  3. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

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    The CW-80 is one of the poorest transformer that Lionel has ever made IMO. hamr The two local hobby shopes around here have about a 60% return on them. :cry: Also they are not compatable with MTH enignes, either PS1 or PS2, as they are not a pure sin wave trasnformer. :(

    I would be careful of buying engines on E-bay. I have seen many people buy someone elses problems. If the seller shorts out the engine, he may just sell it and now it becomes your problem.

    Also I dougnt that the CW-80 has enought power to run an Alleghany. I have a MTH Alleghany that I sometimes run down at our museum on a 75 watt MTH transformer. The engine runs but I can't put any passanger cars behind it. At Home I use a ZW at 275 watts. :thumb: :thumb:
  4. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    275 Watts!! :eek:
    I want one.... ;)
  5. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

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    The 275 watt post war ZW has been around since 1950.

    The new Z4000 buy MTH has 400 whats and the new ZW by Lionel has two 180 what bricks powering it. :D
  6. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    Dang..... I don't think I even need that much power.
    But I want it. ;)
  7. JoeGrapes

    JoeGrapes Member

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    Well thanks Spankybird, you helped get my new year off to a good start,lol I have both the 2007 Lionel and MTH books and no where in there do they say "you can't run this on that" so I thought, you know. Now, before I get in this any deeper are you saying I either need to get a more powerful transformer or just a smaller engine. If I keep this transformer what can I run with it? I will be running on about 70 feet of track with about a 3% up grade.
  8. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

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    3% on an O Gauge? I've heard not more than 1.5 - 2% for O but if it works for you.....
    How many trains do you plan to run and how many powered accessories? That will tell you more than anything how much juice you need.
  9. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

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    3% grade in O gauge is OK if you have an engine with traction tires. You most likely could even push a 4% grade, but you will be limited to how many cars you can pull up that hill. Most RR, even the real ones like to stay below 2%.BTW, we have the ZW and KW (150 watts) on our large layout, 10' x 20' and a second ZW on our circus layout which is 5' x 8'.

    These power all the switches, house lights, accos., two trolley lines and the main lines.

    :thumb:

    In the past 15 years, MTH has made many scale, very fine detailed O gauge trains, which of course woke up the Lion and they also step up the bar. This has been the best time for us in the hobby :D
  10. JoeGrapes

    JoeGrapes Member

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    The layout will be running around a finished basement room. That's why the steep grade. The highest part will allow people to walk under and the lowest part will be at eye level. I picked 3% going up because the grades of the trestle sets that Lionel sells are based on 5%. At least that's what the Lionel book says. And you can buy the flexable foam grades in either 2% and 4%. It will be a single track layout with one train running and maybe two 072 switches for a bypass to park not running cars on. All the curves will be 072 and will be part of the grade. That's why I'm keeping 3% as a max. There will be no powered accessories other than the RailSounds of the engine, which I really want.
  11. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Joe,

    I started iin the hobby over 35 years ago like most kids, but it was MTH that got me back into the hobby about 8 years ago. Thier scale diesels, freight and passenger cars got me hooked bigtime, and when Lionel came back in 1999-2000 with their TMCC engines I got into their stuff again too.

    I have a MTH Z4000 transformer (about 360w)- it runs my Lionel diesels just fine. There are a few exceptions, but most of the stuff from Lionel, MTH, Weaver, K-Line, Atlas and Williams is compatible within the realm of 3-rail O gauge- it all works and runs together for the most part.

    The CW-80 will work for starters, but at some point you will need more power. There are plenty of cheap rebuilt postwar transformers in the 80-130w range that you could pick up easily that will work well (if not better).

    Geno
  12. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

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    Wooohoooo muscle car! Whatcha got Joe?
  13. JoeGrapes

    JoeGrapes Member

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    Thanks for the input Geno. I'm starting to rethink what I want and what is realistic. I just came from a local hobby shop and I really like the scale engines. They look so much better but with the bigger size I think I'll stick with something in the Hudson or Berkshire range with TMCC for the speed control to keep a constant speed up and down the grades. But ya, I'm sure I'll have to upgrade the transformer at some point. Oh 65Gasser, I have a '70 440 4 speed Cuda. With a name like 65Gasser, I like you already,lol
  14. 65GASSER

    65GASSER Member

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    AHHH!!! A '70 Cuda!!! I missed out on a Plum Crazy '70 cuda a few years back. Was a 318 column shift car but still sad about it. I found a guy that has a feild full of Mopar muscle though so all hope may not be lost! I have a few projects going, all chevy for the minute. Sorry I hijacked your thread! Had to know though!!! :wave:
  15. Geno

    Geno Member

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    Joe,

    The newest Allegheny (Lionel 2006 vol. 1) is scale and has Odyssey speed control as well. Your other choices are very nice as well. Since you're looking at scale equipment, it may be worth your while to consider running more realistic- looking track like Gargraves or Atlas. Both are not much more in price than Lionel O, and have more curve sizes. Either way, the 072 curves are always a good idea- your trains will lok muck better on them, especially the big steamers.

    '70 Cuda with a 440? NICE :). Got a '72 Firebird with a RAIII- maybe not as fast as yours, but I think I could tag along. I was thinking of upgrading mine with all of the new stuff (18's, Tremec, MPFI, etc) but decided to build a layout instead- it would be cheaper in the long run, plus I can still keep my license. :)

    Geno