SSPRR Run Room

Playing with Toy Trains

Power for 3 Rail Toy Trains - Page 1 of 2

Transformers reduce 115 volt ac current to power these toy trains at 5 to 25 volts ac.


Hazardous Electrical Symbol Shock and Fire Hazards with Toy Train Transformer Power
The 110 V from the wall plug to the attachment inside a transformer can kill a person or a pet.
(Have a bad cord replaced. Unplug cord before opening transformer. Transformer repairs should be made by an experienced technician.)
Overheating due to faulty wiring or contact rollers inside a transformer with a bad interior circuit breaker can burn down your house or building.
(How to Test the transformer circuit protection.)
On the secondary (5-20V) side of the transformer, loose connections and arc faults can burn down your house or building.  See safe and hazardous examples.
(Use correct size wire, make all connections tight, and keep wiring neat.)

Transformer Examples

The following transformers can be easily combined in one layout.
Photos of MTH Z4000, Lionel Postwar ZW and Z, MTH Z750 Brick,
and Lionel 1025 and 4851.
All must be phased when tied together on one layout.

MTH Z4000 is a Favorite Modern Transformer (March 2, 2012)
Tracks 1 & 2: 0-22V, 165VA each    Aux. 10: 10V, 1.5A     Aux. 14: 14V, 1.5A

Z4000 Front

The MTH TIU Remote #50-1002 (not pictured) also communicates with the Z4000 Transmitter
See Operating Instructions .

Z4000 Back

Z4000 Label

The Lionel Postwar ZW is a Classic that is still a Favorite Today.
Parts are readily available.  Repair information is abundant.
See Lionel Postwar Instructions 1953 or Lionel Postwar Instructions 1963.

This ZW is rated 5-20 Vac - 275 watts, has 4 variable voltage taps, and 2 of the variable voltage taps have direction and whistle activation.  For bell activation, add a sound button.

ZW Front

ZW Top

The top four U (common) terminals are tied to an internal bar.  The paint on plug indicates correct phasing.

ZW Terminals

The carbon rollers pick up the varying voltage.

ZW Front Open

The Whistle Rectifier Disc can be Replaced with a Stud Mounted Diode.  See Article
Zener diodes 50w 12v look similar, are larger, and work better for some on modern engines.

ZW Back Open

The Lionel Postwar Z is a Workhorse for Powering Large Layouts.
Parts are readily available.  Repair information is abundant.
The Z is rated 5-25 Vac - 250 watts and has 4 variable voltage taps

Z Transformer

The Replacement Red and Green Lens Covers are Either not Deep Enough or Bulbs are too Large.

Z Top

The top four U (common) terminals are tied to an internal bar.

Z Back

Plumbing Washers were Used in Place of Unavailable Part.
The other side's washers were stuck inside the cover.

Z Inside Top Front


Z Open Left Side

The back Control Rods with Gears at Bottom Control the A and B Roller Contact Arms
that Connect to Rollers Sweeping the Bottom of Secondary Coil.

Z Open Back

This Z has Just Been Serviced

Z Open Right Side


Power for 3 Rail Toy Trains Continued on Page 2

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