Skip to main content

I have a Lionel F3 8970/71 set from 1979 that I picked up at an auction, it runs great.  How do I add sounds? I see Lionel has a commander board but how hard is it to wire up?  Are there better options for a sound board?  I service all my trains but never messed with newer electronics.

Last edited by BYIENGST
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Vintage RailSounds (without TMCC), c. mid-1990's would do the trick for your vintage F3's, and will operate in conventional (transformer-controlled) mode only; just like them.  How about a 'B' unit to go with them?

I know of one possibility, a ATSF B-unit with RailSounds II (6-18122).  I have one so I have some experience with this.  Unfortunately it's not PRR, but it is an F3 and it will do conventional RailSounds.

Three options:

1.) Find a 6-18122 and paint it (or have it painted) in matching PRR livery.

2.) Find a 6-18122 and transplant the innards to a PRR F3-B from the 70's or earlier if you can find one.  This is only slightly complicated, primarily because one of the fans on the roof of the 6-18122 is the volume control.

3.) Assemble your own version of this in your dummy F3-A, instead of a separate B-unit.  The schematic and exploded diagram for the 6-18122 is available here to get you started (see pages S32:2-4 and S32:2-5):

Parts from the 6-18122 are largely also available at  See:;CFTOKEN=48233349

Any of these would be an interesting project.


Last edited by Mellow Hudson Mike

Add Reply

This forum is sponsored by Lionel, LLC
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.