KW and ZW Transformers

This process includes many features which makes it unnecessary to replace these great transformers with very expensive new ones.

The refurbishing service for these transformers includes:

  • New rollers which are impregnated with copper which make a better connection and last a lot longer.
  • Clean all contact points on the exposed coils and adjust contact arms to insure good connections.
  • New 3 wire cord, with molded 3 prong plug. The odd (ground pin) is grounded to the lower plates on the transformers. Inside the ZW, and KW units the actual transformers are mounted on plates that are bolted to the bottom plate. Should a short develop internally, it is possible the short circuit could be as low as 20 volts or as high as 120 volts. The grounding of the bottom plate effectively shorts any problems to the electrical ground in your house. Should the short be a major 120v problem, it will blow the home circuit breaker.  This system also makes phasing of the transformers much easier, because you cannot plug the transformers in backwards.
  • Replacement of the original disk rectifier with a modern 50 amp bridge rectifier. It is this replacement that allows us to add the bells are ringing feature. This feature allows you to turn on or off the newly designed Bells feature in many of the new engines.
  • Change out the old very slow circuit breaker with a state-of-the-art Buss circuit breaker. This new circuit breaker resolves the issue of “why can’t I use my original KW or ZW transformer with new modern dcs circuits”.
  • A final system check and a report card sheet that will show you exactly what to expect from your transformer idling and under load.


ZW transformers:  Assuming no external bakelite parts need replacing $90 with shipping

KW transformers: With no external plastic parts replacements $70 with shipping back

External parts can be quite expensive ($5 to $20) depending on rarity.

Yes we can do other Lionel transformers, best to call for price quote.


O22, O42 and or O72 switches

Lionel or K line American made switches: Most all of these switches were originally made to withstand thousands of cycles without need of adjustment or repairs. But like all purely mechanical devices, sooner or later they all need attention. Most of the problems they have are due to the electrical portions of the switches.  The repair of these switches is very time consuming. No matter how good we get with them it seems it still takes us an average of 45 minutes per switch.  Plus we also replace the lantern bulbs with a top hat Led with associated circuitry. They are cleaned thoroughly and the lantern turning parts are lubed. No other chemicals or oils are used, except for cleaning, and them they are removed.  You will then get a full 2-year warranty on any switch we recondition.

Chinese made O gauge switches:   Most all the time we can recondition these without too many problems   Some however have issues where the copper traces molded into the switches are worn through. These switches we need to have those circuits eliminated. We then need to provide a specially designed controller for them. Our suggestion if the switch that has this issue is a normal O31 switch, it is not worth doing. The O72’s however are.

Costs: $24 per switch including shipping

O27 remote control switches:

90+% of all the O27 switches made, were designed to operate using center rail power. With even a brand-new switch this was a bad idea. What the issue is the switches operate most efficiently if you can have a constant accessory power of 14 to 20 volts. The original design can cut that voltage down to as little as 5 or 6 volts, especially if you slow a train down to go thru the switch.

Our fix: Rewire the switches and add wiring to the switch to all accessory power to run the switches. This plus just normal adjustments and proper lubrication, makes these switches operate lightning fast! The only problem is that when a switch is operated via the no d-rail feature, the solenoids are constantly energized causing the switch to buzz and sooner or later burn up the switch.

The Solution!  About 20 years ago, a really smart fellow named Rob Nelson saw the opportunity to rewire the switches for accessory power. When he saw the problems that created, he said really! Need to fix that. He came up with a revolutionary idea of having the switch operated with what is known as a cd system. In those days that required a very large capacitor, diode and light bulb that was installed as a capacitor charging resistor. All these items he would mount under the table.

Sooo we took his expertise and added new modern parts which are much smaller and way more efficient and mounted them into a switch controller that will control 2 switches. We also added giant sized never burn out LED’s that show the direction the switches are set at. Here it is:

We include this specially designed controller as part of the recondition process.

$40 per switch pair including the new controller.

Fastrack MTH, or other plastic O gauge Switches

Sorry my friends, we do not work on these. These switches were made as cheaply as possible and do not lend to reasonable repair costs.

For other switches please contact us before shipping to: