Q: O scale (?) and DC or AC current?

Hello
I have old British clockwork Hornby trains, (I think that's scale O). The clock works are weak, and I was thinking of buying an electric engine
and then altering it by rigging up a battery pack to it to allow it to run on the non-electric tracks I have.
I saw a Thomas tank engine that is very similar in size and shape to both my original engines, but I don't know how to find out if it uses DC current or AC current. I'm not sure the guy in the hobby store was that well informed, and of course after I mess with it then I won't be able to take it back.
So, how do I tell? The box doesn't say anything like that directly, or the voltage either, but I assume that the description is telling me if I knew the right terms to look for.
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Thomas locomotives have been made in HO, O, and G gauges. The spacing between the rails is (in the US) 16.5mm, 1.25", and 1.75", respectively. The commercial Thomas locos in HO were 0-12 VDC, in O were 0-16 VAC, and in G were 0-18 VDC. The best way to tell at a store or flea market is to look for a center 3rd rail current pick-up. If an HO or O gauge loco have the pickup, they are probably AC. All G is DC or live steam. Geezer
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Malcolm:
Even if it is AC, it will probably be a series-wound universal motor, so DC batteries will still operate it. You will have to finagle a reversing switch in to reverse only the windings but not the brush connections, or vice versa.
Cordially yours: Gerard P. President, the still-boxed Sparta Railroad
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snipped-for-privacy@gannon.edu wrote: : Malcolm:
: Even if it is AC, it will probably be a series-wound universal motor, : so DC : batteries will still operate it. You will have to finagle a reversing : switch in : to reverse only the windings but not the brush connections, or vice : versa.
Well, what do you know, nothing like this ever occured to me, but now, thanks to you and google, I've read up on the topic.
When you mention "a reversing : switch in : to reverse only the windings" I am assuming you mean that if I want to be able to put the train in reverse (as well as forward) I would need to put in this extra switch. Is that what you meant?
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