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"and I already have more trains than room to store them, and I hardly ever sell anything because I like what I already have, a lot."


I haven't read all the posts on this particular thread as of yet, but Arnold, your post resonated loud and clear in my non-selling ears. I see others divesting themselves of their "stuff", but honestly, I like everything I have!! A kindred spirit indeed!


The HO guy's are into switching and spotting cars. They use index cards to see what cars that have to go to what industries. Never understood the system. It can be adopted to O. There is also a "Time Saver Layout" that is a switching game that can be adopted to O and incorporated into your layout. Have Fun.

Jim D.

Some Operating Accessories provide more train operating actions than others.  Here a few examples.

The Lionel 3482 Milk car and platform is very popular with all and especially kids. The Lionel 3482 Milk platform is so popular with the kids that visit my layout I have two Milk platforms installed. It lets them hand load up the car by hand with milk cans and then discharge them to the platform over and over.  Of course, the empty Milk car can go for train ride before being hand loaded again, a limited action.

By contrast the Lionel 3656 cattle car and platform cattle pen allow the cattle car to discharge the cattle to the cattle pen.  Then the cattle pen can allow the cattle to loaded back into a cattle car.  The fact that both the cattle car and the cattle pen can both load and unload cattle make them the better accessory for train operations.  Trains, with each having a cattle car, can allow a cattle car to be unloaded to the pen and go on its way.  Then another train, with a loaded cattle car can go the cattle pen and unload their cattle.  Thus, the cattle pen and cattle cars can give several train actions at the cattle pen.

Another interesting accessory operation can involve two operating accessories and a dumper car.  I have a Lionel 6-12774 Log Loader Building that has been automated to dump logs remotely.  The building is at the mountain that is a source of logs for the log loader building.  The log loader building dumps logs to a Lionel 9303 Log Dumping car, or a Lionel 16664 Coal Dumping car, both of which are capable of dumping logs on the log platform of a Lionel 464 Lumber Mill.  The older Lionel 3451 Log Dumping car is too low to be used to discharge logs to my Lionel 464 Lumber Mill log feeding platform.  The Log Dumping car is transported to the Lumber Mill.  The Lionel 9003 Log Dumping car dumps logs on to the 464 Lumber Mill log platfrom.  Lastly the Lumber Mill saws the logs into Lumber and is discharged to the Log platfrom.

Log Loader discharges logs to log car, Log car transported to Lumber Mill by Train

Log Car discharges Logs to 464 Lumber Mill Platform

Lumber Mill saws Logs to Lumber



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Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

Another accessory is the Lionel 362 Barrel Loader and the companion Lionel Barrel 3556 Unloading Car.  This car uses a vibrator motor to transport wooden barrels up and off the car.  The barrels can also discharged into a Lionel black plastic tray used for logs or on to a platform you can make.

What makes this car and accessory combination more fun is the fact one can load barrels on to the car and then unload the car back onto the barrel loader ramp.  The use of a second barrel unloading car on a second different train makes for lots of realist operation.  Train operations can happen between loading and unloading for more interesting, realistic railroading.

Picture shows Lionel Barrel 3556 Unloading car discharging Barrels to the Lionel 362 Barrel Loader

The Lionel Barrel Loader 362 is a long vibrating ramp that will load the barrels into the Lionel Barrel 3556 Unloading Car.



Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

Here's a way of changing your layout from a continuous loop to a point to point without severely altering your track. 

First option,  obtain 2 bumpers and attach them back to back on the straightest section of track.  Hooray!! You just turned your layout into a point to point and now you have a reason to use the direction button.

Second option,  use the 2 above bumpers and attach them to one track (back to back again) next to a passing siding.  CONGRATULATIONS,   you have just made an interchange where you can drop off a car on the siding and pick it up by a different road engine on the opposite side. You also have a situation where you can have a run through agreement between the 2 roads for continuous running.


Get a good sized piece of cardstock or thin plywood or such and paint both sides a light sky blue.  Attach some sort of footing so it will stand upright on its own.  Cut out a profile of your track work at the bottom and then place it on your layout in between the 2 bumpers.

HOORAY,   you've just created an "end of the line " or a scenic divider as what the 2 rail boys call it.

Now your train has a reason to turn around and head back to where it came from.

Another way to add action and operations to a loop layout is to install a 2 trains on 1 track relayed system.   This can be done on initial construction or after the layout is installed.  It is easy to do on installed tubular track by cutting track at track pins, with a Dremel with cut off saw blade.  This can be done to intall outside rails for trigger section and middle rails to cut power to the train.  A 12 volt AC relay is then intalled to cut power on and off on the rails to stop a train and let get ahead of the trailing train and never let it catch the front train.

The link below shows how to build a 2 trains on 1 track system on page1, post 8d.

My layout is made for switching and operation and has 31 switches and 18 uncoupling and operating track section and can operate 3 separate track diagrams and 3 or 5 trains at once.  The layout has dozens of operating accessories including a homemade turntable with pit.  A Table of Contents is on page 1, post 1.



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Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

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