I've got a 1033 Lionel 90 watt transformer that I use for lights/accessories. Its been working great for several months. Last weekend, however, after running my trains for several hours I noticed that this transformer was overheating; So much so, in fact, that at one point I went to touch it and it was so hot that the red handle was starting to melt. I replaced the unit with a type V 150 watt transformer for the 1950's and that helped. But I let the type V run for several hours and, though it did not overheat, the lights began to flicker on occasion as if there was something going on over time.
Questions: 1.) Was I running too many watts off of this transformer -- the 1033? 2.) Are these transformers supposed to have shut off circuits when they overheat? If not can you install one? Are they all this dangerous? My obvious concern is, if I fell asleep in my train room or forgot to turn off the transformer, couldn't it cause a fire? I like the look and performance of these old classics, but I'm concerned about safety.