Skip to main content

Follow up:

Received my 1033 today. Even in person it looks to be in excellent shape. Quickly tested its output and both the variable and fixed power posts have current. Installed the handles like I'm used to seeing (black handle to the right).


Love the compact size. Going to work great for a workbench/small oval setting.

Thanks again for all the input!

If my collection of PW items continues and I get serious about a permanent place for a layout, I may return to this thread for more input, or resurrect an old thread on the subject in question. You have been warned.



Images (1)
  • 1033_071820_25

I think you will be happy with the 1033. As nice as the LW is, it has one big disadvantage, and that is that the low end is 8 volts. Many engines, especially from the O27 line, are already doing 60 mph at 8 volts. The 1033 can be wired to output either 0-11 volts or 5-16 volts, and having that low range available is really nice sometimes.

1033 is fine for single motored engines. Not up the task of moving the dual motored F3s and Trainmasters. LW is better and ZW is the best. Lots of places to get ZWs for about twice the price of an LW. Choo Choo has them almost continuously.

Nice thing about a 1033 is it starts at zero in B-U mode. Tames those Williams engines if you decide to try those out.



@scale rail posted:

I like the looks and that it lights up to show you it's "on". I use it on my work bench. DonIMG_0091

This is a Lionel LW and my fav for a small single train layout with some lights and a couple accessories. 125 WATTS. Yes, dial lights. Forward/Reverse button, Whistle/Horn button. The one shown in the pic has a repro control handle, original handle was black.

My Dad up-graded to this transformer from the one that was to come with my original set, mid 1950's

Last edited by Lionelski
@laming posted:

 Thanks for more input, y'all.

LW's currently on the Bay start at $69 and up to $99. Shipping is anywhere from $15 to an absurd $39.50. Hard to get seriously interested in one at those prices. If I opt for a LW, it looks like it will be a waiting game for one that I'm more comfortable with the price and that blasted shipping..............................................


After trying to sell a real nice, boxed, LW at a local show for several months for $45, I finally let it go for $30, and was happy to get that. I was tired of lugging it to each show.

Thanks, all, for additional input. My 1033 came with no Lionel box or instructions, so thanks for telling me about the B-U posts = 0-11v! I need to make a note of that in my train notes txt file for future reference.

Twin-motors and me:

Not a problem. I don't have any interest in the larger near-O scale stuff. (i.e. Lionel F3's, Trainmasters, NW2, GP7/9, etc.) My interest is only in the traditional-sized postwar products that Lionel, Marx, and others, produced.

As for  knuckle equipped equipment (Lionel, K-Line Classic, etc) , whatever I purchase will need to blend-in the 6464-sized boxcars, for I will NOT be using "scale" sized rolling stock at all. Zero. Nada. None. 6464 size will be the largest boxcars I will be using.

In fact, the "Hi-rail" approach is what did-in my 3-rail experiment. As long as I was using traditional sized trains, that center rail was part of the accepted scene. Once I started going toward Hi-rail with scale sized engines and cars... well... I learned I was trying to make 3-rail into something it cannot be for me. (i.e. A substitute for scale 2 rail trains.) Seeing scale trains on 3-rail track is when the center rail stuck out like a sore thumb to my eyes, and I lost my 3-rail mojo.

For many, Hi-rail ("scale") is exactly what they need to do in order to find their 3-rail nirvana, others are fine with a mix of traditional or scale. My mental "givens n' druthers" rebelled against either approach when I started trying to incorporate the Hi-rail concept into my 3-rail preferences.


I may end up with an LW eventually, simply because. However IF I ever have a permanent 3-rail layout, my preferred control system will pretty much have to have the capability of wireless walk-around. I'm already spoiled to wireless walk-around in HO with my NCE DCC system. I cannot conceive operating an around the walls 3-rail layout with the stationary control panel approach in my modest 20' x 16' layout building that's currently housing my HO layout. I only want "traditional" in the size of the equipment... not the scenery, structures, and other such layout aspects, or for sure to be the only way of controlling them.

All fer now!


I'm a ZW guy all the way. Have been since they age of 2 when I had a ZW to run the Lionel trains around the Christmas tree. 

The ZW is part of my psyche and in my heart and soul. Just can't settle for less.

I think of the Z4000 as the ZW on steroids, so I'm now a Z4000 guy too.

Another transformer I love the looks of is the American Flyer 30B with it's dead man's throttle. To me it looks like something that might control a real locomotive. Arnold

Follow up:

* Found online scans of all the pages of Lionel's "manual" for the 1033. (The internet is amazing.) Downloaded and filed.

* Took my 1033 out to the workbench in my layout building and hooked it to a short stretch of straight track sections and presto: That Lionel durability came through some 60 or so years after manufacture! Throttle rheostat works great. Direction lever works great. Testing the whistle circuit will have to wait until I have a whistle equipped engine, though.

* Ended up having to purchase a batch of Marx track to get what I wanted, but that's fine.

SO... when the track arrives, as soon as practical my little 999 will be purring around an oval or figure 8 shortly thereafter. Now I have a decent little pack and track on the way, I'm all set to start watching for my first Lionel engine to purchase in a long time. Sort of leaning toward one of the Baldwin boiler Hudsons, but it could be a set of cast or stamp frame FA's... it will depend on what turns up in a condition, and a price, that I can't pass up. Obviously, I would like for either a Hudson or FA to have a whistle/horn, though, anxious to check the whistle circuit on my little yeoman 1033.

All fer now!


Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.