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Until now I've always left the Default #1 setting on all of my engines due to the fact my layout is so small and I only ran one engine at a time.  However, now I'm going to assign 'unique' ID numbers to each of my engines to enable me to run two trains simultaneously on two independent loops using one Legacy CAB-1L & BASE-1L system.

My initial inclination is to assign the same one or two digit number to each matching engine consist.  However, the main reason I'm asking (before I start assigning numbers) is because occasionally in the past - on some of my brand new TMCC equipped AA matching engines (eg. B+O F3 AA set, 6-14565) - for some reason Lionel assigned #1 to the lead powered unit and #2 to the trailing unpowered unit?  However, I've never understood the need for this - at least in my case, given my small layout and the fact I don't foresee me ever trying to make up a 'Train' consisting of multiple different engines.

Anyway, any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.  Thanks.


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The reason they assign different TMCC addresses is you can do things like run the trailing unit backwards.  Also, if you configure them in an MU (lash-up), the couplers operate correctly.  If you put two locomotives with the same ID together and fire the rear coupler, both engines will uncoupler.  Obviously, if you're coupling up to some cars, that's not what you want.  Another plus is things like crew-talk will only come from the lead engine and not from all the engines.


     I have found that you can use the same engine number for both AA units as Lionel designed them to run back to back so the front coupler on the dummy A unit will always work as the rear couples so you can use the same engine ID and save your train numbers as you only have nine. I also programmed my TMCC Pennsy Sharks where both engines are powered using the same ID the rear engine always starts in reverse and its coupler always works as the rear coupler.



   I should add that on AA sets Lionel uses non operating couplers on the rear of each A unit. In your title you mention a AB set. I have never owned a TMCC or a Legacy AB set but would imagine the B unit has a operating coupler on one end and a non operating coupler on the other.



   I did not know that the super base B unit had one operating electro coupler. It is just my opinion but I would think that no B unit with the exception of AB sets have a operating coupler. Dummy couples are the way to go on any B unit that is a separate sale item as the non operating couplers are cheaper as well as closer coupling. In fact on my TMCC ABA Alco FA engines I replaced the dummy couplers on the B unit with non operating couples from a E unit as they were even shorter which allowed for real close ABA coupling set. By having a operating coupler on the super base B units you are forced to set up your lash up as a train not a engine in Legacy or TMCC. 


Since it's a separate sale item, I suspect they assumed it could be run in and A-B configuration.  Actually, I'm waiting for the parts to remove that coupler and replace it with the dummy couplers so that the spacing between units will be about an inch less.  It looks stupid with one side gap close and the the other gap in two zip codes.  The customer doesn't want to run it separately and would like the smaller gap.


    I agree get rid of the operating coupler on the B unit. I went back to the 2019 V2 catalog don’t understand Lionel’s thinking here as all the F B units have one operating one non operating coupler. Where else would you put a B unit other than between two A units especially since Lionel is now doing two powered A units. If anyone is running them as a AB instead of a ABBA or a ABA please let us know.


Thanks Guys for the comments.

JohnB - Firstly, just a point of clarification though regarding assigning ID numbers with the newer CAB-1L and BASE-1L models , you can now use any number from 1 through 98.

Secondly, to both John and GRJ regarding your comments about operating and non-operating couplers.  I own the recently released Legacy equipped Canadian Pacific FA-2 AA set (1933510) and the matching unpowered FB-2 Superbass unit (1933519) and page 38 of the Owner's Manual is quite interesting as it relates to Operating in Command Control mode using Same-Engine-ID Addressing.  Briefly, it states in part - when operating this way...

- "Turn the COUPLER switch OFF on your middle engine. This way the Front and Rear buttons on your remote will operate only the couplers on leading and trailing engines."

- "Set CREW switch(es) OFF so that speech comes from your head-end locomotive (only)."

Consequently Lionel has added more switches (under the roof hatch) on each of these engines which you can set to your liking.  Interesting.


     Thanks I did not know that the new Legacy B units have switches to disable the operating couplers that does eliminate the issue GRJ mentioned. I do still think Lionel would be smart to eliminate the operating couplers on the B units especially now that both A units are powered. In other words who will take off a powered A to use a B unit as the trailing unit? They would save a few bucks on the B units and reduce the price also allow closer coupling. The only B units that need a operating coupler is the B unit in a AB set like the new E7 City of LA UP set. 


CAPPilot - Are you sure that IDs for TMCC engines can only go up to 9?  Or are you talking about Multiple Unit consists (ie. making up 'Trains') with several different engines hooked up together?

The reason I say this is because I've just re-read Lionel's TMCC Booklet "The complete guide to command control" which came out around the late 1990s when TMCC was first released and on page 7 it states...

"Every Command-equipped locomotive comes factory-programmed as 'Engine #1'.  You may wish to assign a new ID#, using any number from 1 through 99.  To make it easy, use part of the locomotive cab number.  For example, name your Lionel F3 no. 2343 '23' or '43.'  We use 23 in our example."

Note: The only caveat to this is that with the subsequent release of Legacy-equipped engines the Owner's Manual that came with my CAB-1L/BASE-1L set states in part "You may wish to assign a new ID#, using any number from 1 through 98 (do not use engine 99, as this is the universal ID# that all Legacy-equipped locomotives will respond to." 

@PH1975 posted:

JohnB - "The only B units that need an operating coupler is the B unit in a AB set like the new E7 City of LA UP set."

or the Postwar Celebration Series TMCC equipped Wabash F3 AB Freight Set (6-31711) released in 2003.


    Is that not what I just said?  However if they don’t have a operating coupler on the B unit you could always upgrade it. I don’t know what were the details on the Postwar Celebration Series were.

The Train numbers for TMCC are from 1 to 9, TMCC ID's are 1 to 99.  For Legacy, the Train numbers go to 99.


    Are you sure Legacy train numbers can go to 99? I recently was setting up a train using the CAB2 and entered Train# 61 which did not work then remembered Train numbers were 1 to 9 only. I can not remember if these were Legacy or TMCC engines but recently the only TMCC engines I have run were my TMCC Sharks where I use the engine # not a train # so they must have been Legacy engines. We did upgrade our Legacy system since at my club and have not tried using double digit train numbers since. I will give it a try this weekend. Was the expanded train number range included in a Legacy upgrade?



JohnB - I was just quoting you and your reference to your new E7 and providing an earlier example of when Lionel included an electro-coupler on the rear of a B unit.   That was all.  Sorry if it caused you some consternation. 

Have a great day and Stay Well!

PS - Thank goodness we've got something to talk about during these difficult COVID-19 times. 

JohnB - Incidentally, I know your question was directed to GRJ but FWIW I just came across a section in my CAB-1L & BASE-1L Owner's Manual pertaining to Building Trains ("lash-ups") which states the following...

During train configuration, train addresses must be entered as two digits, using a leading zero for train addresses 01-09 (or 01-99 for LEGACY locomotives). 

Hope that is of assistance to you.

@JohnB posted:

 I also programmed my TMCC Pennsy Sharks where both engines are powered using the same ID the rear engine always starts in reverse and its coupler always works as the rear coupler.

@CAPPilot posted:

I have these in a lash-up.  I will try them as a single engine. Thanks for the advice as it will save a train number.

I reprogrammed my TMCC PRR Sharks with a single engine number and the engines work well together.  My only complaint is the whistle/bell in the trailing A-unit still work, instead of being silenced as in a lash-up.  Anyway, it did free up another TMCC Train Number so I'm happy.

All my other TMCC lash-ups have what would have been the lead engine of a powered A/dummy A set* in both the lead and trailing positions.  I need to use a Train Number for those.

*I bought two Lionel powered A/dummy A sets, put the powered As together as my running AA consist and store the 2 dummy As.  Back then it was the only way to get two powered A units, both with sound.


    Glad it worked out for you, I kind of like the horn and bell coming from both units. I do not use crew talk much but when I shut down the engines I can’t make out a word they are saying 

    I purchased the Legacy PRR E8 AA set that had the powered and non powered units. I thought of buy another set in order to have a powered AA set but in that case you would have to do a lash up as both engines would start in forward. I had a post when Lionel started doing AA sets with both engines being powered that they offer owners of previous issued sets powered and un powered a chance to purchase a powered trailing frame that had Legacy no sounds but would start in reverse so you could take the shell off of your non powered unit and put it on the powered frame. I thought a selling price of $200 to $300 would be OK to get a dual powered Legacy AA set. After all the list price of the powered/non powered set was $1000 (which is list for the dual powered units E AA sets). Did not get much support from the forum.

   Oh well I am still happy with the E8s the way they are. Thanks for the update on your sharks.


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