I am not an expert in these matters by any means, but would advise extreme
caution with the electrics. Hornby-Dublo ran off 12 volts DC while Marklin
used 16 volts AC. Prior to WW II Trix used 14 volts AC, after the war they
changed to 12 volts DC and became Trix Twin. This signified that it was,
possible to run two trains on the same track independently of one another;
one collecting current from the centre rail and the left hand one, the
second using the centre and right hand rail. Not sure about either JEP or
SMCF, but without wishing to discourage you I hope this semi-cautionary
advice is helpful.
wrote in message
I am thinking of starting a layout with 3 rail locos etc from Marklin , Trix
, Hornby Dublo ,JEP and SMCF
Can they all run on the same track and what would be the best transformer ?
Many thanks for any guidance you may give and any books worth consulting.
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As another poster stated Marklin is AC as was older Trix.
I don't know too much how their motors were wound but Hornby Dublo
with permanent magnet motors will not work on AC from a transformer
without being rectified to DC and the easiest way to achieve for
someone new will just be to a get a normal DC output controller and
use that if they want to run Hornby Dublo and swap for an ac supply to
If he is tempted to get an original Hornby one he should consider that
due to their age a safety check of 50+ years old wiring and insulation
on the mains side may be advisable.
One possible solution is to run with AC on the track and install a
rectifier inside any loco that requires DC. Th only problem being that
it is not possible to reverse without a switch on the loco.
How did the AC systems cope with that anyway, perhaps they didn't??
Modern Marklin does that. They're basically 3-rail AC versions of
modern 2-rail Trix.
IMO, there's no reason to go 3-rail AC these days, unless you want to
run a collection of historically interesting antiques.
Although, for some reason, most American O-gauge modellers use it.
It's a triumph of Lionel Marketing. Even scale manufacturers make and
sell 3-rail coarse scale versions which outsell the 2-rail by about
three or four to one.
Well Yes, but without being too disrespectful to the OP if he is not
familiar with the different systems as they built then doing
modifications like that may be a bit awkward for someone fairly new to
What you state though is basically what a DCC system does and that
would solve the reversing problem.
Again though modifying old style locomotives both DC and AC to run on
a Digital Command system is not always easy and can tax the skills of
experienced modelers, and it is easy to damage a DCC chip beyond
repair which can turn out expensive.
I don't think anyone was suggesting a DCC system.
I was proposing a very simple way of making a DC loco run on an AC system.
Adding a diode, or bridge rectifier, inside a loco should not tax anyone
What may be a little more difficult is emulating the relay system that
the AC locos use to go in reverse. However, a manual switch would be
very simple though.
Thinking about the problem; another solution would be to modify the
controller so that it was switchable between AC or DC output.
Either add a rectifier and reversing switch to an AC controller that can
be bypassed, or add a switch to bypass the rectifier on a DC controller.
The first solution would probably be better as it would still retain the
system for reversing the AC locos that you would have to add to a DC
On Sat, 23 Sep 2017 14:09:09 -0500, Christopher A. Lee
Your mention of wiring for 2 rail may be the reason for your post to
be queried, The OP only wants 3 rail so both controllers need to be
able to be switched to supply that.
OTOH a degree of keeping the two running rails isolated from each
other could be useful if the OP has any Trix twin locos and wants to
avail himself of the ability to control two locos independently on the
same track that system offered by having one loco connected between
the center rail and left running rail and the other by center rail and
right running rail.
if he does that then rolling stock with all metal wheels and axles
such as older Hornbt Dublo will have to be taken off the track when
trix stock is running.
You sound like a teacher who because he had an aptitude to learn
French became a teacher of French and cannot understand why not all
his pupils find the task easy.
So not so simple a task then , and faffing around with a switch
mounted on the loco without tipping it off the track is going to
become a right PIA , now you or I may be able to overcome that by
using a reed switch or two worked by a magnet on a stick, but its
still a bit of a faff.
Your suggestion is yours , my suggestion is mine .
Both would achieve the same end.
The OP if he was experienced in electronic work may well have not
asked questions about what to you and me would be a relatively
straight forward task.
As it is he asked for advice and literature,
in the context of model railways it will be easier to find out how to
convert locos to DCC than to learn basic electronics and then start
conversions using electronic assemblies he may not be familiar with..
Besides he may well have reason for collecting these old time models
and that is to keep them as original as possible.
As I and others suggested up thread the easiest way would be to
purchase a DC controller and an AC controller and switch between them
as appropriate either by swapping the feeds or as someone has
suggested using a switch .
If the OP is still reading that should be a double pole double throw
switch commonly called DPDT, you would wire you track to the common
contacts and each controller to the switching ones.
to run the old locos concerned you will need three railtrack from one
of the original manufacturers such as Hornby Dublo or Marklin M track
or if you intend buying new make sure it has a large code such as
100. Peco and its contact strip may do for most but some of the older
stuff may need more depth than that , Wolf mentioned Marklin but not
range,you would need the K track which is fractionally deeper than
code 100, if it had a number it would be 108. the C track is
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