I'm a older really new guy (& boy do I need help).

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by raybanduchi, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. raybanduchi

    raybanduchi New Member

    Okay here goes, mid-50's I got a Lionel-O gauge-I guess, three rails. I've seen a lot o'talk and have no idea, but I learn fast.

    1. O gauge real?
    2. O gauge fast track?
    3. O gauge MTH?
    4. O-24 gauge?
    5. O-37 gauge?

    et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

    How do I know what I have, what I need, and where to get what I want?

    Thanx-The REAL FNG
  2. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge:wave:

    Most likely you have O-27. MTH would be clearly marked on the underside. Scale O gauge generally would be two rail with about an 1 1/4" between the rails.

    >>> Try here http://thorstrains.com/index2.ivnu
  3. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Hi Ray,

    I haven't a clue as to what you have...other than to say they're trains. There are a lot of folks here who will help you out, I'm sure.

    I just want to say "Welcome to The Gauge...!!!" You'll find it a very rewarding experience.:thumb:
  4. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Hi Ray.
    In the 1950s Lionel made 3 types of track. In the late 50s they introduced Super-O, which had plastic ties, a lot of them, and a blade center rail. The other types were called tubular track, and came in light and regular weights.
    --The light weight was called O-27. A circle measured 27" diameter over the outside of the ties. A straight track was 9" long.
    --The heavy weight was called O or O-31. A circle measured 31" diameter and a straight track was 10" long.
    Sometimes they made wider curves in either size - O-72 was a 6 foot circle in the heavy weight.
    Marx also made a few varieties in the light weight; this was compatible with O-27 and cheaper
    If you give us the numbers from your locomotives we may be able to give more advice..
  5. raybanduchi

    raybanduchi New Member

    Now we're talkin'

    Thanx, 60103!

    I just measured the track in is 10". That means I have O - 31 right?

    I checked the engine over and the only numbers are the ones on the side of the cab. Is that the one you mean?

    P.S. Thanx to you Guys for the Welcome!
  6. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Do you have enough track to make a circle? If so, make a circle and measure the diameter.
  7. raybanduchi

    raybanduchi New Member

    Do I

    measure the ID or OD?
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Measure the outside diameter -- over the ties even. It's a rotten method, but that's what Lionel did.
    And the numbers are on the cab. Lionel generally put the model number on the locomotive -- in later years they started to put real numbers on. Steam locos intended for O gauge had 3 digits; O27 ones had 4. That didn't seem to work with diesels. Often the same loco would have both an O and O27 number.
    With cars, the first number indicated the type of coupling; between 1930 and 1950 they went through a whole series of couplings and variations.
  9. raybanduchi

    raybanduchi New Member

    1. Okay the engine is 736, which further confirms a O31 right?

    2. The track I have is rusty, I went to a local hobby shop and they said replace it rather than clean it. Something about connectivity and insulators. Was that just a salesmans pitch or was it the straight scoop?

    3. I've got a basic plan in mind, where do I find out about how to do the bench work and radi, and transformers, etc.?

    4. Is there a book of basics, you guys recommend?

    5. Is there a point at which you need to have power ampliiers, if the track is too long?

    So many questions so little time!

  10. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I'll see what I know. :D
  11. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Try cleaning the track with a ScotchBrite pad first. If the rust is not heavy, it can usually be recovered with cleaning. The only real issue is the condition of the heavy paper insulating tabs used to insulate the center rail from the metal ties. As long as these are intact, and the track can be cleaned, you are good to go. If you have an VOM or continuity checker, you can check to see that there is infinite resistance between the center rail and either of the outer rails. If the reading is an open (infinite resistance) the insulators are working fine.

    yours in tracking
  12. raybanduchi

    raybanduchi New Member


    You GUys are the GREATEST!

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