Lionel offers several different power supplies to meet your needs as you get started and as you grow your railroad empire. What are the differences between each and what does each do best? This overview should help you see the differences and advantages of each and help you choose the right power supplies for your needs.
1.8 Amp Accessory Transformer (6-32923)
This power supply is perfect for operating your lights, switch machines and other accessories. Variable AC voltage allows you to easily set the desired voltage output for your accessories. (We recommend 14 V AC for most Lionel accessories.) Phased transformers can be linked together to provide additional amperage or divide larger layouts into manageable power districts.
CW-80 Transformer (6-14198)
This versatile power supply comes with most of our starter sets today. The transformer is capable of putting out 0-18 volts of variable AC to run your trains. You can also set fixed accessory voltage up to 18 V AC. Total amperage of this 80 Watt transformer is about 4.5 amps. This is ample to operate your starter set, or many accessories. For more detailed instructions on installing and using the CW-80, see the Customer Service Instructional Video.
For larger layouts, running multiple locomotives, or older trains and lots of lighted passenger cars, you may find a single CW-80 is not up to the challenge. When you upgrade to a larger supply for your trains, save the CW-80 for accessory power.
180 Watt Powerhouse (6-22983)
The Powerhouse provides 180 Watts of power for your TMCC or LEGACY controlled layout. This is purely a power supply. (There is no means of controlling the trains directly from the Powerhouse.) Check out the command control sections for more information on TMCC and LEGACY.
With 10 Amps of output, this will provide adequate power for most layouts. For large layouts with multiple loops, additional power supplies can be strung together for even more power.
The newest addition to the Lionel power supply line is the ZW-L transformer. Run up to four trains independently in conventional mode, or use it to supply power to your LEGACY or TMCC system. Modern control with a classic design, the ZW-L can supply 620 Watts of power safely with several built-in protection devices. For more on the many details and features of this product, see the Customer Service Product Video.
This covers all of our current options but for a more comprehensive look at what we’ve released in the recent past, please see this video introduction.