Lionel Trainmaster Type-KW and Williams Trains

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by pollen, Jan 1, 2006.

  1. pollen

    pollen New Member

    Hi all,
    My name is Paul and I have a question I am hopeful someone here can answer. I am actually seeking help for my father in law because he can't find what he needs locally and doesn't have a computer.

    He has a Lionel Trainmaster Type-KW transformer that controls the speed, direction and whistle for two trains. Here's his question. He has some williams engines that have whistles and bells and recently he has gotten the idea to setup a layout for the grandkids for Christmas. He wants to know if there is a stand alone device that maybe could be wired inline with his current trainmaster transofrmer that would allow a user to control the bells (in addition to the whistles) on his trains. If not, does anyone know how one could be built?

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    There is a Lionel bell (and whistle) controller that is sold for the purpose you discuss. You can also build your own using diodes - I can't find the circuit just now. The home built circuits generally do not have the AC compensation for the voltage drop when using the older air whistles, so the train will slow down.

    yours in bell ringing
  3. pollen

    pollen New Member

    Thanks for the reply. He was certain there was a stand alone controller, but the locals didn't know what he is talking about and unfortunately I am not sure what I am looking for on the internet. Any chance you could post a link to said product?
  4. Zman

    Zman Member

    Here's a very simple schematic for an in-line whistle controller.

    Let me know if you want the specs on the components.

  5. pollen

    pollen New Member

    Thanks...his already controls the whistle. He needs to control the bells (in addition to the whistles). Thanks, Paul
  6. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    Actually the circuit Zman displayed works - you change the polarity of the diodes to change from bell to whistle or vice versa. The post war whistle relay works off a superimposed DC signal; an AC boost is added to keep the locomotive from slowing when the whistle motor kicks in. The non-command control bells (Williams locomotives do not have command control) used the opposite polarity DC to the whistle.

    There are several options:

    The Railsounds Bell buttons were made in the '80s and '90s; I didn't see any in the Lionel 2005 catalog. See this thread on the Classic Toy Trains forum for more info: You might try eBay also.

    You could buy a newer transformer that has both bell and whistle buttons, either new or used.

    OMS has a bell and whistle controller listed on their web site, great compatibility with various systems including Williams; see

    You can build your own using a circuit similar to Zman's; there are others. Another circuit is in the CTT thread I listed earlier.

    yours in bell ringing

    Hope this helps.
  7. Zman

    Zman Member

    Fred beat me to it. Just reverse the direction of the diodes and it becomes a bell controller.

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