TW Transformer


40 in stock

SKU: 207 Category:


Recently we were fortunate to purchase over 300 transformers, and are in the process, of checking, refurbishing, and in some cases modifying to make them more appropriate to modern times.
This sale is for an original Lionel TW Transformer. So…….Why would you want this old timer instead of a new modern version?  Simple answer. The heart of any 3 rail transformer, is and has been the method of controlling the speed of the engines. For almost 100 years, Lionel (and some other companies) was to install a heavy duty internal transformer whose output coils were made of heavy pure copper wire. The way they worked, was to install a contact arm that would travel across these coils which would adjust the output voltage to the tracks. This method was incredibly innovative considering how new electricity was to folks back then.  Not only was it ingenious, but has proven to preform magnificently for all these years. Since then, the new modern approach is to build circuits inside the transformers to control the output voltage. How is that done? With solid state electronics. In some cases they used a glorified light dimmer circuit. So what’s the problem? All of these new innovations require an internal converter from the normal AC to DC to make the electronics work. DC powered stuff does not like AC in any way shape or form. The failure rate on these in some cases is horrible. Ssos why did they not just keep with the tried and true system? Simple answer, It is way to expensive to build these heavy duty Copper transformers today. The parts cost plus the problem, that the old style were all hand built.
Ok, so what do we do with these old timers. Truthfully not much except these things.
  • Change the Original Circuit breaker. The original breaker was designed to protect only the transformer itself, not anything after the outputs. They were very heavy duty and very slow to kick in. We replace these with a modern breaker that reacts much quicker.
  •  Change most all the power cords.
  • Modify how the outputs worked. The original design did give you accessory outputs, but often did not work using outside rail grounds. Back when having a common ground was not important. With modern accessories it is.  We fix that.
  • Clean  the internal copper coils and adjust the contacts.
  • We thoroughly check the outputs, not just for voltage, but under 2 different  resistive loads.
  • install a sticker on the side which outlines how to wire to your layout after our modifications. see px, This sticker is to be used instead of the factory original directions.
Currently most of the manufactured equipment is from China, well guess what they have never even seen an O gauge layout.
As with all of our transformers they come with a no BS 2 year warranty.