NEWBIE - Linoel Train Questions

Hello, I inherited an O-gauge train set and wish to put it to use for Christmas. While I have been able to make it run, I want to be sure I am not doing
anything to damage it, as the train is ~1950.
I have a few questions for anyone who can point me in the right direction: The transformer is a trainmaster type-r 100 watt. It has posts A-B-C (upper)and D-E-F (lower). Is there somewhere I can get the instructions for this? I find it does not have a reverse button, can it be added?
The track is somewhat mixed as some aged better than others. Due to an accident many years ago most of the track is newer 1980+. How do I tell if it is "O" or O27 (is that zero 27 or Oh-27?)? Does it matter/can they be mixed? On Ebay I see track selling for more than I can buy it from my local Train store. Am I missing something by getting it from them?
There is some residue on the cars. My guess is 50 years of life. It is not dust, nor oily. It is like a fine film. Is there something to wash these with that will not damage the cars themselves. The engines are Lionel 2023 (Four total 2 Yellow/Gray 2 Silver) My local dealer will do a routine maintenance on the engines. Should I let them or after all this time am I better off not having them open the engines up?
These seem simple questions, is there a website, book, or something I can look into to find these types of answers?
Finally, if there are any "for gosh sakes don't..." please stop me now.
Thank you in advance, and please post to the group. -- Yet another newbie
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
kefaa wrote: ---These seem simple questions, is there a website, book, or something I can look into to find these types of answers? ---- ------------------------------------------------
Here are some sites with information:
Thor's All Gauge Page (Outstanding!): http://www.thortrains.com /
Toy Trains Info: http://www.toytrains.info /
Chris Coleman's Toy Trains FAQ: http://www.spikesys.com/Modelrr/faq1.html
My Favorite Sites Page has links to more helpful and informative sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links-pg2#toy-trains
Good luck with your endeavor!
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Resources: Links to over 700 helpful sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links Bookstore: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore.html
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

"Greenberg's Repair and Operating Manual for Lionel trains 1945-1969", available from www.kalmback.com has a schematic of the type R, and the general instructions for Lionel transformers. It does not list the output voltages for the type R. The following is something I derived while repairing an R in my collection: Fixed Voltages: B-D = 6v A-B = 8v D-E = 10v * A-D = 14v B-E = 16v A-E = 24v Variable Voltages: A-C = 14-24v A-F = 14-24v B-C = 6-16v B-F = 6-16v D-C = 0-10v * D-F = 0-10v * (* - These connections have no overload protection) Your 2023's are O-27 locomotives, for which 16 volts is the design full speed (as opposed to O locos, where 20 volts is the design maximum) so you should run your trains on the B-C or B-F outputs from the transformer.

Yes. Just buy a normally closed (or push-to-open) push button rated for about 5 amps from Radio Shack and wire it in series in either wire from the transformer to the track. You may do better buying a Lionel No. 167C Whistle Controller which is designed to be used with the type R (and similar) transformers. It has a reverse button to interrupt current to the train to operate the reverser, and a whistle button with the appropriate circuitry to supply low voltage DC to the train to activate the whistle (or on your 2023's the horn). You should be able to find this on eBay or at any dealer who sells used Lionel.

Its' "Oh". Put together 8 matching sections into a circle. If the circle's diameter (from outside rail to opposite outside rail) is 27", it's O-27; if the diameter is 31", it's O. You can also tell by the ties. If they are about 1/8" tall, it's O-27; if they are about 1/4" tall, it's O.

Not only are the heights different, but the diameter of the rail heads are different, requiring different size connecting pins. Because of these physical differences, the track should not be mixed.

Track from your local train store should be just fine. If you but old/used track, clean it thoroughly. I use a 5" fine wire wheel on my bench grinder to clean old track. I use a rat-tail file to clean any corrosion from inside the end of the rail heads to assure good connections. And it is best to discard all old track connecting pins that aren't clean and shiny, and replace them with new ones.

The film may be the residue from being in a house with a cigarette smoker. I have cleaned many cars with dilute mild dishwashing detergent. I use a worn out old toothbrush whose bristle have gotten too soft to clean your gums, but is just gentle enough for old trains. Disassemble each car to remove the trucks and any metal or electrical parts. I wet the plastic body, do a quick once over with the detergent and toothbrush, and then rinse thoroughly. Be watchful - 99% of the time the paint and lettering are not affected, but I have had the lettering start to erode on a caboose and PFE ice car. Stop and rinse and dry quickly if you see and sign of harm to the lettering. I dry by blotting on a soft towel and then air dry. I clean metal parts with an old toothbrush and kerosene or light oil. When done, I try for a very light oil film on the metal parts, just as you would do with a rifle.

These are very nice loco's. They have a reputation as being among the best runners ever made by Lionel. The yellow/gray ones are from 1950. In 1951, the 2023 was silver with gray roof, and in 1952 through 1954 they were all silver and renumbered 2033.

The locos should be properly services to prevent damage and wear from use. If your dealer is an authorized Lionel service station, or can show you that he is an experienced repairman, you should do fine.

Kalmbach has a couple other more basic guides in the "Greenberg" series - check their web site.

Go for it. Through the mid 1950's, Lionel made very high quality products. I've almost never found a train from that era that could not be refurbished to run just like new. Gary Q

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.