I’ve advocated voltmeters on train layouts before, but I realized something, after checking out a new-to-me Lionel KW transformer: It’s very easy for a vintage transformer to deliver more voltage than you intend, and through no fault of its own. The “problem” is that transformers step the voltage down on a percentage basis. In the […]
Ives-branded track clips for Lionel O27 track are relatively common, and although they are often mistaken for pre-1933 items, they were actually manufactured for several decades after the Ives brand name disappeared from the marketplace, and by Lionel, not its erstwhile rival Ives. The reason was for trademark protection.
An article on Slashdot asked this weekend whether video games were a good investment. The answer is generally no. Collectibles in general are not–they follow a boom and bust cycle. I’ve seen it happen in my own lifetime.
I saw something sad in the papers this week: Macy’s is closing its downtown St. Louis store, the former flagship Famous-Barr (or Famous and Barr, if you’re old enough) store. And that means this past Christmas was the last Christmas for the American Flyer storefront Christmas layout.
I missed this bit of collecting wisdom from Rob O’Hara when he first posted it last month, but Rob describes his concept of mini-collections to keep his hobbies from taking over his life.
There’s been entirely too much seriousness this week. It’s Friday, time to unwind with some trains. In light of that, I picked up some dilapidated postwar American Flyer wheels at the local train store this afternoon to fix up some stuff from my junk box. The wheels were covered in milky white goo/powder/gunk/residue/stuff–whatever you want […]
The Marx 1590 is the best O27 switch ever made. It’s durable, works well with all makes of trains (just put a track pin in the center rail where the switch pivots so that Lionel trains can pass), and can run off accessory power without modification. The only downside is that it (allegedly) can’t be […]
When you’re dealing with vintage toy train track, sometimes the insulators on the track will be damaged or missing. This will cause a short circuit and keep the train from running. But there’s a cheap and easy repair using material from an unlikely source: 2-liter soda bottles.
Frequently the trucks (the wheel/coupler assembly that sits under train cars) come unattached. Lionel trains from the 1970s and first half of the 1980s are especially prone to this, though other makes of trains aren’t immune either. And sometimes you just want to change the trucks–some Lionel and Marx O27 cars are just the right […]
If you want a train for under your Christmas tree but don’t have a lot of money to spend, here’s how to find one and what to ask for. Find a store that deals in used Lionel trains, or find a local hobbyist. Search Craigslist or your newspaper classifieds for an ad stating, “I buy […]