Replacing old Lionel DC transformers

For a while in the 1970s and 1980s, Lionel used DC power in its least expensive O27 electric train sets. They stopped this practice in the mid 1980s, but there are still plenty of those sets kicking around in basements or attics and on the secondary market. They tend to be very inexpensive, especially compared to new sets on the market today.

Here’s how to figure out what you have, and track down a suitable replacement. AC and DC power supplies are not interchangeable, and you can seriously damage your train if you use the wrong kind.

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

Here are some train-related questions I’ve received┬áthat I really don’t think I ever answered adequately elsewhere. Hopefully this will help. Read more

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 two caveats. Read more

How to get that dusty old train running again

It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving. The time of year when nostalgia runs high and ancient toy trains come out of the basement or the attic and get set up again until sometime after the new year.

Well, hopefully they make it that long. Here are some tips for getting old Lionel, American Flyer, Marx, and similar electric trains running again.

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