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As I am completing the wiring of my 027 door layout, I am beginning to wonder if I am undersized on my accessory power. My layout is a single track powered by a dedicated LW (no accessories draw from it), and my operating accessories and lights are powered from a Type R (100 watt version).

For lighted accessories I have:                                                                                  4) MTH gooseneck street lamps                     3) Lionel 70 yard lamps.                                  1) Lionel blinking billboard.                            1) Lionel microwave tower                             1) Marx switch tower                                       1) Lionel 156 station platform                                  1) Lionel diner with smoke

For operating accessories I have:                      1) Lionel 397 coal loader                                 1) Lionel 464 sawmill                                            1) Lionel 356 operating freight station             1) Lionel WLLC radio station

The original plan was to run all lighted accessories off of one variable output from the R transformer, and run all operating accessories off of the second variable output from the R. The LW would stick to handling the train and the operating sections of track. My turnouts are manual, so no need for power there.

So far I have only hooked up two of the MTH street lamps, the blinking billboard and the blinking microwave tower to one variable and they already suck power from the variable and illuminate with the dial set to off (without the billboard blinker the other three will turn off when the dial is set to zero as intended).

Will I be okay with my current Type R or should I just trade in both the LW and R for a refurbished ZW?



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Last edited by OldSoul91
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I actually got those off of Amazon and they made power distribution so easy on this layout. Here is the link:

Joinfworld 8 Position Terminal Block 25A 600V Dual Row Screw Terminal Strip Dual Row with Cover and 8 Position Pre-Insulated Terminal Jumper Block - 4Sets

They come in the 25A version and 35A version, I have both and will probably add more. I cut the bus bars in half to provide my split hot side and ground sides for each terminal block.

Good to know Ken! Yes, I prefer the LW and the R since they are both refurbished and look really nice, and a ZW is out of the budget at the moment. If I can make these two work, I will keep them. I haven’t tapped into the constant (accessory) pinouts on either transformer, so I think that is the next plan of action to try out. Which post combination do you prefer for your accessories?

Since you won't be running all of the operating accessories at the same time, I think you'll be OK.  Another option is to add a few small transformers (like 1015, 1025, etc.) - these can be found at shows for $5-10.  Easy to replace the cord if needed.  These can be convenient when you need to vary the voltage for different accessories.

Thanks for the info on the terminal strips.  They look nice and the price is very reasonable.

Last edited by Mallard4468

That is an another great suggestion Mallard4468 on using the smaller starter set-type “brick” transformers to power the accessory circuits, especially since they are overlooked and so cheap. I have my eye on a couple of 1073s since they have a similar look to my other transformers and have the built in circuit breaker. And I am glad to help with the suggestion of the terminal blocks, they are really well made and are working well with my power loads. I still have two more that I will install since I am quickly using up my existing ports.

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