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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back in the day I had a Lionel train set my parents bought for me as kid. Now that I'm the parent, I've been thinking about purchasing a new train set for my younger son to play with during Christmas. I originally had my mind made up that I was going to get a Lionel set, but maybe a something like a LC+ so I can enjoy it as well.

Well, I was browsing eBay the other day like any insane person would do and I put in a low bid on a MTH subway set that I didn't expect to win. Well, I did, not knowing that MTH and Lionel aren't compatible with each other. Now I've been searching the forums trying to figure out if its worth looking into MTH and its controls.

I guess I have a few questions if anyone could help:
-Can you use Lionel 3 rail tracks with MTH?
-Does MTH allow you to run two trains on one track like Lionel does?
-If you can run multiple trains on one track, is the control worth the investment even though its going to be a holiday train only?(probebly going to build an N scale model in future)
-What controller would you recommend purchasing that would be easy for my son to control as well with all the sound features the trains have?

Thanks for any suggestions. I'll keep searching the forums for my answers as well.
 

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Back in the day I had a Lionel train set my parents bought for me as kid. Now that I'm the parent, I've been thinking about purchasing a new train set for my younger son to play with during Christmas. I originally had my mind made up that I was going to get a Lionel set, but maybe a something like a LC+ so I can enjoy it as well.

Well, I was browsing eBay the other day like any insane person would do and I put in a low bid on a MTH subway set that I didn't expect to win. Well, I did, not knowing that MTH and Lionel aren't compatible with each other. Now I've been searching the forums trying to figure out if its worth looking into MTH and its controls.

I guess I have a few questions if anyone could help:
-Can you use Lionel 3 rail tracks with MTH?
-Does MTH allow you to run two trains on one track like Lionel does?
-If you can run multiple trains on one track, is the control worth the investment even though its going to be a holiday train only?(probebly going to build an N scale model in future)
-What controller would you recommend purchasing that would be easy for my son to control as well with all the sound features the trains have?

Thanks for any suggestions. I'll keep searching the forums for my answers as well.
Pretty much all O-scale track will run all O-scale trains without any issues. The next think would be the minimum curve your set requires. I presume it's the O-27 subway set. And that means it it will take O-27 curves; the sharpest of all common O-scale track.
 

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Back in the day I had a Lionel train set my parents bought for me as kid. Now that I'm the parent, I've been thinking about purchasing a new train set for my younger son to play with during Christmas. I originally had my mind made up that I was going to get a Lionel set, but maybe a something like a LC+ so I can enjoy it as well.

Well, I was browsing eBay the other day like any insane person would do and I put in a low bid on a MTH subway set that I didn't expect to win. Well, I did, not knowing that MTH and Lionel aren't compatible with each other. Now I've been searching the forums trying to figure out if its worth looking into MTH and its controls.

I guess I have a few questions if anyone could help:
-Can you use Lionel 3 rail tracks with MTH?
-Does MTH allow you to run two trains on one track like Lionel does?
-If you can run multiple trains on one track, is the control worth the investment even though its going to be a holiday train only?(probebly going to build an N scale model in future)
-What controller would you recommend purchasing that would be easy for my son to control as well with all the sound features the trains have?

Thanks for any suggestions. I'll keep searching the forums for my answers as well.
who ever told you this "not knowing that MTH and Lionel aren't compatible with each other."
don't ask them about trains again.


is this a conventional train?
if it is
do you intend to stay conventional?

or are you looking for command control?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good question on whether I want to stay conventional or not. I think i'd like to use a controller if I can get two people controlling trains, but thinking about it, i'm not sure if that would be ideal with the setup(single loop track running in living room and dinning room).

I've been looking at the MTH control system manuals to get an idea on what each "part" does. I think IF we wanted to run duel trains on one track, Wifi (not a big fan) would be the cheapest way to go. (DCX Exploer and the Z-1000)

My other option to run duel trains, but with one controller would be to either purchase the DCS commander, or TIU + handheld?


The train I purchased off eBay was (MTH NYC subway O gauge / 30-2122-1 1970 4 Car Set - Proto-Sound) operates with O-27 track.
 

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That’s a PS1 set produced in 1998. Before you apply power to it, replace the battery with a BCR. If you try to power it up with a dead battery, bad things can happen. It operates the same as a conventional loco. If the manual wasn’t included with the set, here is a link to the MTH page for the set. Click on the SUPPORT link and you can find the operators and part manuals. A list of transformers that MTH recommends for the set is on page 28 of the operator’s manual. The DCS system won’t do much good for operation of your subway set as is it made for PS2 and PS3 locos.

https://mthtrains.com/30-2122-1

Here is a link to J and W Electronics (maker of the BCR).

https://www.jandwelectronics.com/bcr
 

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Good question on whether I want to stay conventional or not. I think i'd like to use a controller if I can get two people controlling trains, but thinking about it, i'm not sure if that would be ideal with the setup(single loop track running in living room and dinning room).

I've been looking at the MTH control system manuals to get an idea on what each "part" does. I think IF we wanted to run duel trains on one track, Wifi (not a big fan) would be the cheapest way to go. (DCX Exploer and the Z-1000)

My other option to run duel trains, but with one controller would be to either purchase the DCS commander, or TIU + handheld?


The train I purchased off eBay was (MTH NYC subway O gauge / 30-2122-1 1970 4 Car Set - Proto-Sound) operates with O-27 track.
I like the lionel legacy or cab1L and a tpc (which has been replaced by the legacy powermaster) to run conventional trains. also another option I like is the lionchief.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will say O gauge seems to be more overwhelming than it needs to be. With all the different controllers and model types that can and can't run together.:dunno: I appreciate everyone's response in the post. I'm sure you'll be hearing much more from me as I'm still trying to figure things out.
 

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I will say O gauge seems to be more overwhelming than it needs to be. With all the different controllers and model types that can and can't run together.:dunno: I appreciate everyone's response in the post. I'm sure you'll be hearing much more from me as I'm still trying to figure things out.
Yep, the various command system can get overwhelming and at times frustrating. Over the years Lionel first came out with TMCC, then MTH came out with DCS that was more robust, then Lionel came out with Legacy to compete with DCS.

I purchased TMCC when first released, then DCS when it was released. I have not added legacy, maybe someday but don't see the need for adding a 3rd command system to the layout.

Bill
 

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I run both MTH DCS and Lionel Legacy command control systems. They can be operated together as I often run Lionel and MTH locomotives on my layout at the same time. Both systems have their strong points and weaknesses.
 

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I purchased TMCC when first released, then DCS when it was released. I have not added legacy, maybe someday but don't see the need for adding a 3rd command system to the layout.
Legacy will operate all the TMCC stuff, so you're replacing one with a better one, not adding a 3rd command system. ;)
 

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I will say O gauge seems to be more overwhelming than it needs to be. With all the different controllers and model types that can and can't run together.:dunno: I appreciate everyone's response in the post. I'm sure you'll be hearing much more from me as I'm still trying to figure things out.
MTH is pretty straight forward. At least for me it is since I have been running it for years. Take a look at the first few pages of this catalog and they explain their current product lines and various operating options. A far as older MTH stuff, some folks tend to shy away from PS1 since (as previously mentioned) trying to operate with a dead battery causes problems. Also, because it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles as PS2 or PS3. Some folks also shy away from early PS2 locos with 5 volt boards since they can be a problem. If you are looking at a loco, you can tell the board voltage, by looking up the manual at the MTH site. A 9V battery means 5 V board.

https://www.mthtrains.com/sites/default/files/catalog_files/2020_v_1/index.html

As far as Lionel stuff, since I run 99% MTH, I didn’t really understand the difference between TMCC and Legacy until Bill explained it yesterday.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I noticed that the MTH P3 says is has an onboard DCC/DCS decoder. Does this mean that these can be ran with a DCC controller? Would this allow multiple P3 DCC engines to be ran on the same track?
 

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You can also run multiple PS2 and/or PS3 locos on the same track using the DCS system. They have speed control so you can set them to run at the same speed. Speed does vary slightly so you do have to watch them.

Or you can run multiple TMCC/legacy locos at the same time. Or multiple Lionechief/Lionchief +/Lionchief +2.

You can run a TMCC system thru the MTH DCS system, but I'm not sure if you can get a TMCC and a DCS loco to run at the same speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I like the lionel legacy or cab1L and a tpc (which has been replaced by the legacy powermaster) to run conventional trains. also another option I like is the lionchief.
Do you need anything additional to run the MTH with the Lionel Legacy?

If I chose to go with a legacy engine, can I run this MTH subway separately (removing the lionel from track) and easly switch to conventional?
 
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