I just purchased a lionel wintwr wonderland express set for my 2 boys. I never had one as a kid and so now boys do.  I was telling my father in law about it, and he ran to the basement and came out with a crate of o gauge trains.  There are 2 locomotives and about 20 cars.  He got really excited and nostalgic.  

What I would like to know is, can it run on my 40x60 fast track oval? What would be needed to run the trains ie new track a certain universal remote?  Do i need different track to start?

I set both  engines on the track and the lights come on.  15757391794018769689749371780691

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What a great find and both locomotives appear to be in great shape.  The 681 was made between 1950 and 1953.  The 208 was made in 1958-1959.  Both of these locomotives are, probably, older than you.  Before you do anything, they should be cleaned and oiled.  Old grease can be like cement and has to be scraped off and old oil will be a sludge.  Both locomotives come apart easily with no special tools and plenty of parts are still available, although you shouldn't need any.  You can clean the metal parts with a solvent such as naptha.  Do not get any solvent on the plastic parts or the motors.  You will some grease for the gears and a light oil for axles and bearings.  Since you are new to this, see if there is a hobby shop nearby, I'm pretty sure they can help you.

Merry Christmas

Dan

I do not have a transformer as the set was plug and play.  I think I am going to have to get the units running after seeing the joy my father in law and kids had today going through all the trains.  A second question I have is will a lionel transformer plug into my track in place of the power supply if i were to buy one?  I feel like I may have stumbled onto an expensive xmas of family fun.

I would also be concerned about how much voltage you put into the tracks; I think your wall unit puts out 18 constant; to run these old locos I think you will need a transformer to vary the voltage and thus speed; there are many Lionel CW80s on the bay; if you go for a CW80, the ones produced after 2006 do not have the issues the earlier ones did.  However, there are many older ZW transformers available on the bay; if you have a local Lionel dealer, that would be a good place to get help.  The fellas on this forum will have a wealth of knowledge on transformers.

RickM46

And now it starts.

Wrex posted:

I do not have a transformer as the set was plug and play.  I think I am going to have to get the units running after seeing the joy my father in law and kids had today going through all the trains.  A second question I have is will a lionel transformer plug into my track in place of the power supply if i were to buy one?  I feel like I may have stumbled onto an expensive xmas of family fun.

It's a slippery slope but the ride is a lot of fun. My trip down the same slope started when my In-laws found some old tin-plate cars that belonged to my father-in-law.

If you want one transformer that can run both old and new then buy something newer. I have a MTH Z-1000 for my Christmas layout. The older x-fmrs don't have adequate short circuit protection for modern electronics. When you want to run the new train just set the transformer to 18V and off you go.

Please share pix as you get the old trains running.

Three Rails Are Better Than None 

Yep, pick up a CW 80 or spring for a nice refurbished postwar Lionel ZW and never look back on needing a different transformer.  The CW 80's are nice looking with a mix of postwar style with modern electronics.  But if you ever get the urge for a 2343 Santa F3 with its twin pulmor motors, it will be overwhelmed.  With prices as low as they are these days on ZW's, I usually just recommend folks get one of those from a reputable dealer thats been gone thru to replace the cord and other internal items that are best to be updated such as the circuit breaker ect.     Mike the Aspie

Silly NT's...I have Asperger's Syndrome! 

Edited to add: Gabe just came in from (where else?) running trains and strongly suggests you use an old toothbrush and Goo Gone, or your cleaner of choice, to clean the worm gear on that 681. Old grease and grit will tear that gear up and, while you can replace it, it’s better to scrub, blow dry (air compressor or cold air from a hair dryer) and fresh grease.

You have good advice so far. I’d add that since it’ll be your first disassembly, take lots of pictures so you remember what goes where. Work on a big, smooth, light-colored surface (you’re going to drop stuff anyway, but don’t panic; most tiny parts are replaceable, but you can find most stuff on the floor by turning out the lights and having a kid shine a flashlight across the flooring.)

Did anybody clean wheels in the 1950s? Also, did anyone ever check brushes or clean brush wells? Yeah, that’s what we thought too. If the brushes are worn, a couple of bucks will replace them. While you’re there, ask for the right kind of oil. We boomer kids were good about greasing stuff and not good about how much or where. Dan isn’t kidding about the cement-like grease. Toothpicks are soft enough not to scratch and small enough to get into nooks and crannies. Pipe cleaners aka very small chenille stems are good for smoke units and brush wells.

Don’t clean anything with steel wool. It comes apart, whether you realize it or not, and it’s really hard to get rid of.

Most of all, enjoy. 

Trackwise you should be ok. I tested my Lionel 2020 (The O27 set version on the S2 681) with my short section of display fastrack and did not see any issues.  An easy solution, if you have the space, would be to have a separate loop of track for your postwar trains and power that with a postwar transformer.

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