MTH z-500, Adequate for 4x8 loop?

I picked up a brand new Z-500 today for a steal. I'm wondering if it will be adequate to run a 4x8 loop. I'll be running a MTH Railking E8 (PS3) pulling 3 lighted passenger cars. I might also have 1 or 2 MTH lighted buildings hooked to the track.  Thanks in advance for responses.

Original Post

The Z500 puts out less than 3 amps at 18 volts. That should be enough for the passenger train, assuming the passenger cars are MTH and not postwar with more power-hungry bulbs.

Adding anything else may put you right at the ragged edge, to even over the edge.



DCS Ambassador & author of The DCS Companion series of books

Train-Ca-Teers - All For O and O For All!


The physical size of the layout is not the factor you need to consider when selecting a transformer.

You could use that transformer on a large layout if you provided enough power feeds to the distant track sections and the only thing that transformer was powering was a single train with few lights and a modest locomotive drawing less than 2 amps at peak.

Remember, the size of the transformer is affected by the power draw. Even a 4-by-8 layout can overload a transformer if the equipment is drawing too much energy.

Jim R. 

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