Newby Questions - Power, Control, Track

Started by pitts2112, October 06, 2023, 09:58:31 AM

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I originally posted this in the general forum, but it's probably more appropriate here.

Another newby here with questions that have probably been asked a million times but I haven't had much luck finding the answers in the forum or anywhere else.

I'm building my first O Gauge set, cobbling pieces from here and there.  I'm trying to keep costs low and flexibility high.  To that end, I'd like to buy a new loco and electrics, but use original tube track because there are millions of miles of it in every antique store, so it's cheap, and I like the traditional look.  My questions are:

1.  Am I correct in assuming the Bachmann Williams line is just their brand of standard O gauge, compatible with Lionel, etc?

2.  For a stereotypical "train around the XMas tree", is tube track a good choice with modern locos?  I'm not looking for DCC now but may in the future.

3.  I really like the Baldwin 4-6-0 steam loco, product #40607.  What combination of power supply and/or controller would I need in order to use the smoke, bell, and other features?  What is Trueblast 11?  I can't find a description, only products, and don't know what it needs to control it.

Any info and other tips will be greatly appreciated!

Yard Master

Hi pitts,

1. Williams by Bachmann is the brand used for all of our O Gauge products, except for Plasticville and SceneScapes accessories. All of our O Gauge products are compatible with Lionel and other O gauge trains. Just make sure to check the minimum radius of the locomotive/rolling stock to ensure it can operate smoothly through curves on your layout.

2. Tubular O gauge track will work just fine with modern locomotives, as long as they meet the minimum radius as noted above, and the track is clean and wired correctly. Operating modern/command control locomotives is more dependent on your control and wiring setup, not the type of track.

Note that DCC is not compatible with 3-rail O gauge trains. There are multiple command control systems for 3-rail; Lionel's Trainmaster Command Control (TMCC), Legacy, and Lionchief systems, and MTH's Digital Command System (DCS.) Williams locomotives are designed to be ready to operate with a conventional transformer and are not sold with command control, but aftermarket upgrade kits are available.

3. You will need an AC power supply and transformer to operate the 4-6-0 and other O gauge locomotives. True Blast II (two) is the digital sound system installed in the locomotive that provides digital whistle and bell sounds. It can be activated with a conventional transformer with whistle and bell buttons and does not require a command control system. To use the smoke unit, all you need is Bachmann brand Smoke Fluid (#00251.) The smoke unit is automatically controlled with an on/off switch under the cab.

Feel free to ask any other questions, and have fun!