Lionel RTR 0-8-0 Improvements

I have always liked the Lionel RTR 0-8-0. My LHS had a conventional (no LC) PRR Flyer 0-8-0 laying around for a while and eventually I brought it home.

The engine is a very smooth and very good running little engine at 8-10 volts. I do not like to run it faster than that. However, the whistle and puffer smoke are very poor performers unless the engine is running at warp speed. Even at warp speed, it still is pretty lame! I also wonder if there is a resistor on the whistle and smoke. Anyone know?

Anyone out there "soup up" one of these? I'm thinking fan smoke, better sound and/or improvements to the air whistle. A working back up light would also be a plus.

I'm curious to learn what some have done with these engines.

Original Post

Well, the whistle in most of the modern units can be "souped up" by removing a resistor that limits it's volume.  Remove this resistor and replace it with a plain wire.

The smoke can be enhanced by dropping the value of the resistor, I think many of the starter sets have a 30 ohm resistor, try a 20 or 22 ohm 3W wirewould in place of it.  Fan driven smoke would be a larger change.   The only way I can see of adding the backup light easily is to drive it from the motor with a tether from the locomotive.  An LED and resistor will light in only one polarity, so connecting it to the motor will light it in only one direction.  If it lights going forward, swap the leads to the motor voltage.

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I have a Berkshire from about 2007 that was a terrible smoker. I replaced the 30 ohm resistor with a 27 ohm resistor and replaced the batting. It smokes so much better!!! It was fairly easy, although you need a pretty good solder gun. I only had a cheap Walmart one and it did not get hot enough. Here is a short video of my son enjoying it!

Corey West

Aircraft for work, trains for fun.

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