Circuit Breaker Kit


180 in stock


This kit was originally designed to answer the concerns for folks who either have or are thinking about purchasing some of the new engines with DC solid state circuitry. The theory is that a derailment which will create a short circuit, can potentially damage the guts of the solid-state parts. For several years we have been replacing the original auto reset circuit breakers originally installed by Lionel in their transformers with a much faster more reliable unit.  Even with these changes the reaction time to a derailment was still too slow. Why? Because the transformers circuit breakers are designed to protect the whole transformer, not the outputs of the transformer, and must be heavy enough to work with a full normal load of the transformer. For example a zw can operate up to 4 trains at once and the total current there is quite a lot.  Our kit uses much lighter circuit breakers which only handle a maximum of 2 different trains, with separate breaker for each train.

We never realized how popular this new item was and sold out in just a few weeks.

This new item did open some discussion regarding how it works. Several people commented that it would be better if the breakers would have a manual reset vs an auto reset. This would enable “engineer” to locate the problem of the short circuit, correct it, then reset the breaker. Another comment was that even if someone did not have one of the new engines, the grandchildren frequently would operate the trains, and if the trains stopped due to a derailment the kids would just walk away from the layout. The circuit breaker in the transformer can take quite some time to blow, and will then rest and take another delay before it would open.

The solution! Went back to the drawing board, contacted several manufactures of circuit breakers. Got quite an education. Finally we came up with a new design that has a manual reset button for each circuit breaker. Lota testing went into these guys, had to be powerful enough to run the biggest of trains, yet open instantly when hit with a problem. We ended up having a breaker designed to meet our specific needs. Testing of our new units yielded excellent results. Strong enough to run the biggest trains, but still opens super-fast.

The way it works is when the kit senses a short circuit, it will open a breaker and turn on the red led, over the input and output of the problem circuit.

The breaker itself will reset in a few seconds, but will not allow power to flow, and keep the red LED on until you push the side button (red in this px). When you do this current to the track is restored assuming the problem was taken care of.