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Discussion Starter #1
I have restored 259 and 259E sets for my daughter and son. I also gave them both an ancient fire hazard transformer to them (pre war transformers).

Q1) With the train sets, I gave them a simple oval (one FasTrack and the other tubular track). I would like to upgrade them to a more modern transformer this holiday season. Would an 80 Watt transformer work?
80 Watt.jpg
Or should I go to a 110 Watt transformer?
Lionel RW-110.gif

I would like something that has a built-in circuit breaker or alarm since some of my grandchildren are still young and adventurous.

Q2) The 259 series trains have the 600s series passenger cars and the standard tender. What would be a good pre war whistle tender be for this situation? I would probably end up with painting them with a gloss black to match the 259 engines. Right now, I am looking at the 1689T as being a viable candidate. The young ones really like the whistle.
Suggestions?

Q3) The 259E that I gave to my daughter has the zinc pest on one of the geared wheels (It was my Mom's set and I am in my 70s). I ordered another driver wheel (red spoke) gear wheel. What is the best way to remove and replace the gear? I have an idea, but usually it is the wrong one.

Sorry if I bored you folks with noobie questions. Anyway, Thanks folks - Mark
 

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If you are looking for a whistle tender, the 259E came with a 1689W not the 1689T. The “W” indicates a whistle. My choice of a more reliable transformer would be the Lionel KW, which controls 2 trains, with internal circuit breaker. If the geared wheel suffers from zinc pest, the gear is part of the wheel. Some will use two flat blade screwdrivers wedged from opposite sides of the wheel, and pry the wheel off the axle. Reinstalling is done with either a vise, or large C clamp.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks John. I respect any recommendations that you provide. I emailed Kent on my requirements and asked for what he would recommend. A KW is probably too much for their needs, so I'm looking for something more simpler. They don't have any accessories and no need for two different power sources. I'll wait until I hear from Kent. Thanks.
 

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Thanks John ... A KW is probably too much for their needs,
The one thing about the KW, it's rated for 19 V as compared to a 1033 (or 1044) at 16 V. While the 90 W from the 1033/44 is plenty sufficient, I wonder if prewar locos like the 259 need a higher voltage.

Maybe one of members can shed some light on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The one thing about the KW, it's rated for 19 V as compared to a 1033 (or 1044) at 16 V. While the 90 W from the 1033/44 is plenty sufficient, I wonder if prewar locos like the 259 need a higher voltage.

Maybe one of members can shed some light on that.
Yeah. It seems that the pre war motors want more juice to get started. 18V seems like what they want to get moving, but I haven't put a multi meter on them. Anyway, it has always been the higher voltage on the transformer lug nuts to get these things rolling. The other side of the loop is also a problem, especially with the older tubular track. That is probably an issue with maintenance. My bad, but I don't live with the kids. Maybe just a suggestion or two for them?

Yup, the pre war stuff likes the extra HP.

Side note: I have a 238E and 259E that I use a RW 110 with them. No problems for the past 5+ years. Also, some accessories, not much, but enough to light up a room.
 

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Although it is my personal opinion, the CW-80 is not the greatest, as far as reputation. It doesn’t put out a pure sine wave, and the early ones had too many problems. There is nothing that is user accessible with the CW-80 either. You can add extra Lock-ons at the far side of your loop. The more feeders, the better, if you have sections, where the locos slow down. Just a little more to add to your learning curve.
 

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I have to ask about the 600. Series cars as to the type of couplers. Some have hook style, while other later ones have Latch couplers. Be aware of the type that a 1689W whistle tender has, so they match the 600 series cars have. Depending en the 1689 tender t might have Latch, or Box couplers. Just check to see what is ring sold. The transformer that seems the best fit, for your application would be the RW, which they are both familiar with.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I have to ask about the 600. Series cars as to the type of couplers. Some have hook style, while other later ones have Latch couplers. Be aware of the type that a 1689W whistle tender has, so they match the 600 series cars have. Depending en the 1689 tender t might have Latch, or Box couplers. Just check to see what is ring sold. The transformer that seems the best fit, for your application would be the RW, which they are both familiar with.
This style of the 600s. I guess it is called a latch coupler. This is one that I restored a couple of years ago. I also put some lights in them with fogged windows.
P2270131_zps540698c0.jpg~original.jpg

The RW that I have works great with a 238E and whistle tender. Kent said that he had one. It shouldn't be a problem with the 259s.
 

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You have latch couplers on the one you show, so anything you add will need the same ones.
 

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...

Yup, the pre war stuff likes the extra HP.

Side note: I have a 238E and 259E that I use a RW 110 with them. No problems for the past 5+ years. Also, some accessories, not much, but enough to light up a room.
The RW is rated up there at 19 V according to the chart, below.

There's a difference between needed power (e.g., watts) and needed operating voltage. The motor's winding may be designed for higher volts. But higher volts reduces required amps given the same power.

The modern CW is rated at 18 V - lack of voltage shouldn't be a problem. The "chopped sine wave" technique of power control is mostly irrelevant for conventional operation. However, IIRC, I've read a post or two where it interferes with one or more of the modern control system signals from MTH, Lionel, etc..

I admit I'm biased towards the post war Lionel transformers. In good condition, their design and relative simplicity can provide several more decades of use. And they fit better with the (Pre)Postwar "motif".

So, personally, I'd pick an expertly restored postwar Lionel over a new CW given similar price. According to the chart, that's a LW, KW, RW or the "holy grail" ZW. The chart's missing entries ... the V and the (baby ZW) VW transformers also have a higher voltage output.

YMMV.

Transformer Voltages.png
 

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Mark, I am attaching a link to Olsen's Toy Train Parts "Library" sections, that is a section explaining everything you should need, to get your whistles working. Make sure to Bookmark it, for future reference. There is a wealth of knowledge, in their Library, which covers both Postwar and Prewar Lionel. You can check out other sections later. Here is the link you need:

http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/searchcd31.htm?itm=1065

This should help you getting things fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Mark, I am attaching a link to Olsen's Toy Train Parts "Library" sections, that is a section explaining everything you should need, to get your whistles working. Make sure to Bookmark it, for future reference. There is a wealth of knowledge, in their Library, which covers both Postwar and Prewar Lionel. You can check out other sections later. Here is the link you need:

http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/searchcd31.htm?itm=1065

This should help you getting things fixed.
Thanks Jerry. I'm going through the test procedures now. I hope that the ball bearing in the bushing is still there. Good grief.
Thanks for sharing. - Mark
 
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