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Discussion Starter #1
No matter how many configurations I tried, I cannot get a Lionel 2036 and a Lionel 2037 steamer to run on the same track by setting up insulated block sections and the use of the 153C Contactor as basically a SPDT switch turning track section B on and off.
The "A" section of track (which consists of 9 sections) is hooked up to terminal A of the ZW transformer
The "B" section of track (which consists of 10 sections) is hooked up to #1 terminal of the 153C contactor. The B output of the ZW transformer is hooked up to terminal 3 (Which I consider the input terminal) of the 153C contactor.
The idea is as one train passes over the 153C contactor, it SHUTS OFF the B section of track, causing the other train to WAIT. This all works, but the problem is that the two engines' speed are drastically different to the same track voltage.
The 2036 takes off like a rocket, but the 2037 not so much. Eventually the 2036 will slam into the 2037 when they are in the same block of track. Is this only possible with two totally identical engines? I've tried this with a 1978 6-8759 Erie Lackawanna and the 2037, then the 2036. I've tried different throttle positions on the ZW, but when the two engines wind up in the SAME section of track any combination of the three engines result with one engine being vastly faster than the other. What am I missing here? I'm working on an experimental layout on the kitchen table. Maybe my layout is big enough? Do I need a 100 foot run to get this to work? Do I need to buy two IDENTICAL ENGINES to get this to work?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Well, it was quite a juggling act, but what FINALLY worked was I added 5 cars to the faster 2036, and ran the 2037 steamer but itself. Also, the A track section was set at 9 volts, and the B block was set at 12 volts. The two trains come within about 5 sections of track with each other, but each train does stop alternately.
Of course, things that came into play were making sure the table was level, tightened up the A and B terminal on the back of the ZW, several loose track pins right where the 153C contactor was installed, and cleaning the track and rollers on the two engines.
It was tedious, but now the results are consistent and predictable. WHEW! I KNOW there are digital solutions that would have made this much easier, but there's no fun in that!
 

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Add diodes in series with the power feed to the motor (the wire going to the brushplate) of the 2026 locomotive. The diodes will drop the voltage to the motor. Add diodes until the speed of the 2026 matches the 2037.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Add diodes in series with the power feed to the motor (the wire going to the brushplate) of the 2026 locomotive. The diodes will drop the voltage to the motor. Add diodes until the speed of the 2026 matches the 2037.

Larry
OK- great tip. This supports my guess from the beginning that the two engines should be reasonably close to the same speed, i.e., with respect to the track voltage. Even though I did manage to get the two to work, I wasn't happy with the fact that I had to run the 2036 (the faster one) with five cars, and the 2037 (the slower one) by itself. Kinda defeats the purpose of the experiment. Your diode solution is based on the nature of diodes to have a slight forward voltage drop, right?
 

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The 2036 & 2037 use the exact same motor. I would look at the 2037. Perhaps it needs a good tune-up (brush plate, clean and grease the gears, oil the axles, etc.). Or perhaps the fingers in the e-unit are not making great contact and you're losing some voltage there.
 
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