Lionel transformer pinouts

When wiring a Lionel layout with multiple transformers, it helps to know the pinouts, or what posts output what voltages. Lionel published a few lists over the years but none were complete. Here is my list of 33 different Lionel transformer pinouts.

When you use multiple transformers, first you need to phase them. Once you phase them, you wire them consistently. The legends on the transformer don’t always match the internal wiring.

The common post goes to the outer rail, and you can connect the commons on all of your transformers together. Then you can run the hot post from each transformer to the center rail of the track you want to use it to control. Ideally, use a dedicated transformer for accessories that gives a useful fixed voltage with some combination of the common post and another post.

Without further ado, here’s my list of 33 Lionel transformer pinouts.

transformercommontrack 1track 2accessories
1010rightleftN/AN/A
1014rightleftN/AN/A
1015rightleftN/AN/A
1016rightleftN/AN/A
1025rightleftN/AN/A
1026rightleftN/AN/A
1032AUN/AA-C
1033AUN/AA-C
1034AUN/AA-C
1041AUN/AN/A
1042AUN/AN/A
1043rightleftN/AN/A
1044AUN/AA-C
1053rightleftN/AN/A
1063rightleftN/AN/A
4045rightleftN/AN/A
4050rightleftN/AN/A
4090UAN/AB-C
AAUN/AA-C
KWUABC-D
LWAUN/AA-B
QAUN/AA-C
RACFA-D
RWAUN/AB-D
SWUADB or C-U
TWAUN/AD-A
VUADB or C-U
VWUADB or C-U
ZUADB or C-U
ZWUADB or C-U
SAUN/AA-C
4150rightleftN/AN/A
CW-80UAN/AB-U

What about Marx transformers? Here’s the general rule for those. You can use Marx and Lionel transformers together and that can be a good thing, since Marx transformers are usually really cheap.

3 thoughts on “Lionel transformer pinouts

  • March 6, 2017 at 8:10 am
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    when you have multiple transformers and you wire your transformers to phase them, i assume you keep them connected all the time or it is just to phase them to mark the plugs.

    Reply
    • March 6, 2017 at 8:40 am
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      I do both. I have three transformers semi-permanently set up on my layout. They’re all phased and marked. I phased my spare to match the ones on my layout and marked it. As I acquired other transformers, I phased it to my spare and marked it. If I ever need to add or swap out a transformer, I can grab whichever one I want off the shelf and have it up and running in a couple of minutes.

      Not everyone has the luxury of having a bunch of spare transformers, but if you find a bargain at a show or somewhere, you might as well pick it up and phase it.

      Reply
      • March 9, 2017 at 6:27 am
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        THANKS FOR YOUR HELP. I THINK BIGGER WIRE IS BETTER. 12 AND 14 GAUGE ARE BETTER EVEN THOUGH SOME RAILROADERS USE 16 GAUGE. I HAVE ACQUIRED ZW TRANSFORMERS AND I REBUILD THEM. I PUT NEW COPPER CARBON ROLLERS IN THEM WHICH LAST LONGER THAN THE CARBON ONES. I INSTALL STUD DIODES TO REPLACE THE RECTIFIERS. AND I INSTALL THERMAL SEALED CIRCUIT BREAKERS. THE TRANSFORMERS WORK BETTER THAN NEW. POST WAR LIONEL TRANSFORMERS I THINK ARE BETTER. THE NEW TRANSFORMERS, SO I HEAR, HAVE A LOT OF ISSUES. THE OLD ONES DIDN’T LAST FOR 60 YEARS FOR NOTHING. THANKS AGAIN, AL

        Reply

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