I have been working on the layout plan below and am ordering the bench work. Thanks for all the great suggestions on planning a layout. The bridges on the top and bottom (diagonal) are lift out bridges. This should help in getting access to the middle of the layout. Plan is for the table to be about 38 inches high. 36 inches plus rolling casters. I have room to walk around the layout, if necessary.

I have been reading all the great information and advice on the forum, which has helped tremendously. Before I dive in totally, I need some assistance on the next steps.

The questions I now have relate to power, wiring and/or operation. All of the trains, will either be Lionel chief plus/2.0 plus or legacy. The one exception may be the little loop that will be a trolley or my first train as a kid that will operate on a 027 loop. I have a separate transformer for that loop. 

I apologize if I have used some of the terms etc. incorrectly – I am totally new to the concept of command control but love the idea of making it easy to run. I also don’t recall that much from 9th grade electricity shop class. Haha.

In terms of power, plan is to use a new ZWL. I also have a KW transformer, which I will use for the small loop. Plan is to install Legacy base etc. and LCS Wi-Fi.

The first questions relate to the ZWL and how to set up. I figured out I need to set the transformer to command. The problem I am having is determining whether to use 1 or 4 channels and/or the assignment of tracks or trains with the legacy remote. From what I read, it seems that 4 channels would be the right choice. Channels A and D for two power bus loops set at 18v. Channels B and C for accessories set at 12v and 14v. Is this right? Where I get really confused is looking at the manual and on line vide when they mention the next choice being about assigning track or engines with Legacy. Any suggestions?

For power to the track, I will use 2 bus loops. The outer bus loop will cover the 2 outside tracks. The other bus will be for the reversing loops and spurs. Plan is to connect to a terminal strip and then to each loop every 6-8 feet? One terminal strip for Channel A and one for Channel D. Right?

Next questions concerns control of the accessories, through the Lionel acs 2 set to accessory control. Not sure if I understand the instructions and/or how to use. I know I need to power the asc2 from an external source – the instructions say separate accessory transformer. I plan to use separate acs2 for each voltage setting, using Channel B and C. Is this right or do I need a separate transformer for this purpose and can I connect the hot wire from either channel to the asc2 for power purposes?

The other question relates to the ground for the accessories. Is the proper way to do it is run a wire from the hot on the transformer to the asc2 (see above) and a ground bus wire around the track from the transformer, connecting the hot wire from the asc2 to each individual accessory and the ground from the accessory bus?

If I can get past theses step, I will likely install a BCP2 to isolate the spurs.

Thanks in advance…



Photos (1)
Original Post

I am sure others will respond to your questions. I am certain you will be happy with the choice of the ZW-L and the LCS. Below are three wiring diagrams from my layout that show how the BPC-2 and ASC-2 are connected for track and accessories. Sometimes an actual diagram helps.





Photos (3)

I am no expert but I have two ZW-L's running the layout. It has 8 power districts so channels A through D of both transformers supply power to the track. It is set to Command in 4 channel mode. On the Cab 2 I select Track 1 through 8 to power up the track power districts. The maximum output  voltage of each channel is as set by the individual handle positions. All power for accessories is supplied by separate power supplies. Since the Cab 2 knob controls the track voltage conventional engines can be operated with it.


Thanks for the info on your layout. I guess I can do a similar set up, but just using 2 power districts (A and D) because the size of my layout isn’t that big.  I will use B and C for accessories. The other alternative is to use a KW (I have one that works from my childhood layout) for the accessories or buy a more modern accessory transformer.  


With the ZWL, you have to turn up the voltage every time you turn the transformer on? I think that's true and why I am sticking with the ZWC where B and C go immediately up to the voltage on the handle and A and D have to be spun up. Much more friendly for accessories or Legacy run with B and C.


That is correct, each time the ZW-L is turned on all four channels must be independently brought up to the set voltage by rotating the knob on the Cab-2 (or sliding the speed bar on an iPhone.) Since all the channels of my ZW-L's supply track power districts that is what I want, others may find it an inconvenience. My preference is to use separate power supplies for turnouts, accessories and lighting.


Thanks for the additional information. I had thought that once you set the handles on the zwl they remained when you turned everything on/off. 

A friend mentioned a you tube series - Sean’s trains - that has a good explanation of wiring of all of the Lionel Lcs modules. 

Add Reply

Likes (0)
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653