Peter finishes his model railroad tunnel

Peter’s been back in touch – just with one pic this time – but he’s finished his railroad tunnel:

If you missed Peter’s last missive, it’s here.

And now on to Dangerous Dave who’s been playing with his new locos:

“Hi Al, just uploaded this video showing 2 of my Deltics and the sound they give, the Ballymoss Deltic has basic Bachmann sound, but with the em2 speaker added, it sounds far better than most we hear… enjoy the sounds from years gone by…

Regards

Dave”



(Latest ebay cheat sheet here)

Now on to Terry. I just know there’s somebody out there that can help:

“I read with interest a posting from Joe who is using British engines on his Florida layout.

I travel often to Europe and as a model railroader I seem to end up at a hobby shop somewhere sooner or later. When an engine catches my eye, my first thought is: will it run in the U.S. This brought up a question that’s been running around in my mind for several years:

I realized the 230 volt power to the transformer is converted into a DC voltage for the engine. Now I’m wondering if the power needed to run any engine is the same all over the world… i.e. 12-16 volts. If so that solves my problem and I will have no fear of buying something that will not run in the U.S. If not, then what’s the solution?

On the same subject…what about the light bulbs inside passenger cars..any problems there?

Thanks so much

Terry

Idaho USA”

That’s all for today folks, because I really am short on time today.

A big thanks to Dave and Peter. And who can help Terry?

Please do keep ’em coming folks, and don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to stop dreaming and start doing.

Best

Al

17 responses to “Peter finishes his model railroad tunnel”

  1. *Most* European model railway locomotives will run on 12VDC. The only exceptions I’m aware of are some Marklin locos that run on AC and the now-obsolete Hornby Live Steam which used a higher voltage.

  2. David says:

    All modern trains are set to run on the same voltages. Some of the older ones like Marklin used to run on 16V AC but I don’t think they have any like that anymore.

  3. Gary O'Connor says:

    Your power supply will provide the same output that it will in Europe, England, Australia, the US, Canada etc. The only difference is the pin configuration on the power supply. There are some possible exceptions as listed in the previous reply.
    You can quite happily get an engine off eBay from anywhere in the world and it will run fine on your layout.
    The only thing you will have to consider is whether you have a DC or DCC system, but the voltage will be fine.
    Gary from Australia.

  4. Dean Halls says:

    Hi Terry, as a Brit running N Scale USA and British models in both DC (12v) and DCC I have no problems with either and nor should you. Most if not all DCC systems follow the NMRA standards and 12Vdc is the same whichever side of the pond you’re on. As for Light bulbs you shouldn’t have a problem either although most new models tend to have LED’s. Happy modelling

  5. I have one member in the club to which I belong who regularly travels to Europe at least once a year and is always bringing something back with him. His stuff runs really great on the club layout!
    Norm from York, PA

  6. Mike Hunt says:

    Terry
    Nearly all European analog locos run on 12-16 volts. I am not sure about Digital systems – I have a Fleischmann power unit with an 18 volt output.
    The only exceptions of which I am aware are Marklin Z scale which runs on 10 volts and, as I found out to my cost, the Kato Portrams, which run on 9 volts.
    Mike

  7. Most European Loco’s run on 12-16 V DC. The big exception is Märklin, which runs on AC. Notice that digital Loco’s usually run on a special signal that is laid over an AC power. This is not the same power that is used by Märklin. Usually, the DCC digital Loco’s can also run on 12-16 V AC, but will then loose their ability to be directed individually.

  8. Terry Miller says:

    Thanks everyone for their insight into engine voltage etc. Your help and advice solved my problem as usual and the Damnit Railroad can now increase its motive power. Now all I need do is save up enough money for my next trip out of the country (or a long session on e-bay)!
    Terry

  9. Richard Horton says:

    As for the lighting, they run off the track power so they should be just fine. The old Marklin locos and lighted rolling stock used a 3rd rail system for thier AC power so you can look at the bottom of the loco to see if there is a third rail pickup. Some of their locos also had pantographs which would allow for the power to be derived from an overhead(catenary) system however there was also a switch on the bottom to decide where to pick up the 3rd rail power from.

  10. Rob McCrain says:

    The National Model Railroad Association provides recommended voltages that are scale dependent. You should always adjust your voltage for your scale. Running with your voltage set too high runs the risk of frying delicate electronic components while running at a voltage too low will overheat motors. Controllers built for a specific scale should never be used on a different scale from that which they were intended. Some controllers, ECOS and the Z21 system are adjustable for scale.

  11. steve joyce says:

    I have been running Fleischmann and Roco locomotives for years. They work quite well. Maybe a little faster since we run 60 cycles and the European is 50

  12. Whats I would like to know is if he did the bridge also.
    Apart from that, thanks for the opportunity to see the layout, it looks great.

  13. fred day says:

    any locomotive or otherwise nmra compliant model train runs at 15v motor. so all can be run in any country. so any one in europe can being trains to the U.S. and us folks can take our trains to europe. including the 3 rain trains. american folks can get the marklin 3 rail transformers here too.

  14. fellow train guys…..RE: Locomotive voltage limitations are not that tight. You can
    overvoltage any electric motor as long as you are on top of the heat buildup. As
    voltage goes up, so does the amperage which causes heat. As long as you don’t
    exceed the heat limitations of the motor windings you are ok. For instance, you
    can run a 12vdc car starter motor on 24 volts as long as it does not overheat
    ( 1/2 minute ) . This tip is from a 79 yr. old retired industrial electrician so good
    luck and be careful……RJ

  15. Rod Mackay says:

    Marlin do make different versions of the same model for DC and AC power, so if there’s something you fancy by them, it may be available in DC on request.
    Rod

  16. Keith says:

    With regards to the voltage question which has been answered by many, I have bought a Hornby Elite DCC controller from England which is 240 volt , brought it back to Canada, cut the plug off, and put a Canadian plug on and Ive used it for years with no problem. The voltage here is 120 volts . I just thought I’d mention this even though it has nothing to do with the original question. Keith

  17. Richard says:

    Hi Terry,
    We live in UK and GA so about 6 spread months in each. Our layout is in US as we have more space. The layout, as well as new locos has my old UK locos converted to DCC. They are all UK stock both Hornby and German. They run fine as they are all 10 to 16 v dc. I of course have US controls and so the main input voltage poses no problems as the out put to the track is stepped down and converted AC to DC. Go ahead and help the Eurpean economy….it sure needs it!!

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