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I just noticed the MTH sign in the window of the MTH train store building (30-90049) on my layout is not lighting up or even blinking as it's supposed to, although the other building lights work fine.

I’ve searched the Forum and online, but don’t find anything about the building or the problem I'm having.

Do any of you have any ideas how to get the neon MTH window sign lighting up again (and blinking)?

Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to provide.


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  • MTH Train Store Building 30-90049
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They are high voltage EL (Electro-Luminescent) meaning there is a small inverter circuit board in the building creating that high voltage and limited current to light the sign.

Obviously, they can fail, so it's best if you take good pictures of your failed board- to compare to the replacement options at MTH parts and sales.


Again, we need to figure out both the shape and size of the board, but also the plugs for the sign.

See, there are different ones like this L shaped one


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Last edited by Vernon Barry

Thanks, Vernon, as usual you've been very helpful and I appreciate the guidance here.  I can recall seeing a board but don't remember the shape, so I'll get some pics today and post them.

And you were absolutely right - the CW80 problem was a short in the lighting wiring of one of the city buildings.  It was tough to reach, as you can see from the attached pic and not without some collateral damage to the street lamps.  But I'm happy to have gotten the problem fixed, so lights and transformer work beautifully.  Thank you again for insisting the problem had to be a short, it kept me going down the right path.

By the city buildings, I mean the ones in the elevated area in the top half of the pic.  Naturally all the wiring was hidden at the very back of the buildings -- on the next layout, I'll find a way to make wiring more accessible.


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  • 2014-08-07_001

Paul, thanks very much for the compliment.

I've never posted to photo fun but am thinking that might be a good idea henceforth.  In the meantime, here are 3 pics to give a panoramic view of the layout, which fills a 22x16 media room.

I have a Flickr site with a ton of layout photos, including some I should probably have posted to Photo Fun, but they may be more than you want to see -- just in case, here's the link:

Apologies for not having taken the time to put them in some better order, now it's pretty much random.

Bob (pics below, don't see how to insert them here before end of post)


Sorry to bore you with the layout pics, but I couldn't figure out how to insert them after my response above and before yours.

As to you question, I think you're referring to the building with the upward-pointed end walls...that's an Lionel Electrical Substation kit (6-12931). I might be mistaken, but I think it's out of production now, but readily available on eBay.

I've always liked the building, but also thought it needed more mass. Forum member Matthew Jones used 3 kits to make a gorgeous warehouse, pics at

Hope this helps. 

2018-07-02_011_Left side2018-07-02_013_Center2018-07-02_014_Right side


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OK, I finally got the pic of the board in the MTH Store Building's Window Display that Vernon suggested posting to help identify it, with hopes of getting a replacement so it lights up and blinks again.

Sorry for the blurry photo -- I thought I'd held my hand steady, but the low lighting probably lengthened the exposure.  Let me know if another pic is needed to read the labels on the board.

Thanks,MTH Store Window Blinking LightIMG_1047


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  • MTH Store Window Blinking LightIMG_1047: Circuit board in MTH Train Store Building

Vernon -- Thank you very much for identifying the board and for the link to MTH PartsAndSales.  I'll need to pull the board out to see if direct soldering is needed, but if so I don't think that should be a problem.   I will order a replacement board and hope installation is straightforward.  Again, I can't tell you how much I really appreciate your diagnosis and finding the part and the source.

Paul -- Thank you for the kind words about the city area on my layout.  It came together nicely but I have to confess I wasn't able to plan it all out ahead of time -- rather it was trial and error.  The only downside is that I didn't allow for easy access to the building lighting, and since the city is in the corner of the room, it was a real challenge getting in there to find the short that Vernon correctly identified at the beginning of the troubleshooting.  It was only along the way that I discovered the MTH building's window sign wasn't working, but with his expert help, I may be able to bring it back up.  Your compliment has led me to try taking some closer-up pics and if they come out, I'll be glad to post them.

Best regards to both you and Vernon,

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