All posts tagged lionel train

Fixing Lionel locomotives that run erratically and have flickering lights

If you have a Lionel train whose lights flicker and (possibly) runs erratically, I have an easy fix.

Homemade toy train track

I found a 1944 Popular Mechanics article on making your own Lionel train track. During World War II, toy production all but stopped, so short of buying from stores like Madison Hardware that sold old stock, making your own was all you could do. Even Madison Hardware had to resort to creativity, building a machine […]

Frequent questions about setting up toy trains and trains and Christmas trees

Here are some train-related questions I’ve been seeing from Google searches that I really don’t think I ever answered adequately elsewhere. I don’t know where they’ve been landing before today, but hopefully this will help.

Transformers for vintage trains

A common question is whether transformers for vintage American Flyer, Lionel, and Marx are interchangeable, and what to do if a transformer won’t work. The simple answer is, yes, a train from one of those makes will run on a transformer from any of the others. They all ran on 0-24 volts AC. There are […]

How to make Bachmann Plasticville buildings stay together without glue

A frequent complaint I see about the Plasticville buildings that people have been using with Lionel and American Flyer trains for more than a half century is that they don’t stay together well. This especially seems to be a problem with the modern reissues. Maybe the old molds are starting to wear out after all […]

Fixing old Lionel tubular track

It’s that time of year again. Time to get that old Lionel (or Marx or American Flyer) train running before the winter holidays sneak up. More often than not, that means fixing up the track.

Lionel at Target

On Sunday, I went to Target largely because I had a coupon, but I also wanted to get a gift for my son.

I had heard Target was selling Lionel trains, and I’d seen a picture of the endcap, which included a Lionel teddy bear in addition to the trains. I wanted one.

How to become a millionaire in 10 years (safely)

I saw a blog post today called How to become a millionaire in 10 years. The majority of commenters dismissed it outright.

I don’t like that attitude. The plan makes some assumptions that aren’t always true. But having the plan is an important first step. What’s impossible now might not be impossible in a few years, so it makes sense to do what you can now.

Repainting rusty patio furniture

We have a metal chair and table we keep on the front porch. My mother in law gave them to us a year or two ago. They were a bit rusty but usable. But they’ve started looking a little too rusty lately, so this week I repainted them.

I spent $6 and about an hour doing it. They don’t quite look new, but they look a lot better than $6 would indicate.

Make something! Fix something!

Clive Thompson: I’m sitting on the floor of my apartment, surrounded by electronic parts… It’ll look awesome when it’s done. If it ever gets done — I keep botching the soldering. A well-soldered joint is supposed to look like a small, shiny volcano. My attempts look like mashed insects, and they crack when I try to assemble the device.

Why am I so inept? I used to do projects like this all the time when I was a kid. But in high school, I was carefully diverted from shop class when the administration decided I was college-bound. I stopped working with my hands and have barely touched a tool since.

I can relate a little too well.