Benchwork / ZW Transformer


I have a 5‘x16’ foot cabinet top train layout 48” high. I use American Flyer track with AF roadbed. All track is cleaned well along with the road bed before laying down. I use a brad air nail gun to fasten the rubber roadbed to the base underneath. You want to adjust the depth you want the brad to be, so the track will float in the roadbed. The brad can easily be con-sealed with paint. Use one brad in each section of rubber roadbed, next to each track connection. If you have to remove a section of track, just cut the brads and remove the track along with the road bed in the section you want to replace or move. The secret is having very clean track along with clean connector pins to start with. I have over 200 feet of track with twelve turnouts. In this layout I have a train depot, switch yard, mountain pass etc. I can run up to three trains myself with no problems. I started building this layout three years ago. I’m still at it. 

ZW Transformer Information
Don’t you just love the American Flyer / Lionel Rail sound in the American Flyer Silver Flash Alco PA diesel. I run the Lionel ZW-R transformer with update diodes to operate both my UP 4-8-4 Northern & my Alco. I can get all the rail sounds and crew talk on the 4-8-4. The Silver Flash has diesel revving sound and horn. It’s a good idea to use 10 amp circuit breakers or fuses between your transformer and track. You can easily fry the circuit boards in less than 3 seconds.

Lionel Multi-Control: Circuit breaker, Whistle and Direction

  • RW:  110W 60Hz 1948-59 single control with fixed voltage
  • LW:  125W 60Hz 1955-56 single control with fixed voltage 
  • SW:  130W 60Hz 1961-66 dual control, single whistle
  • TW:  175W 60Hz 1953-60 single control
  • KW:  190W 60Hz 1950-65 dual control with fixed voltages 
  • VW:  150W 60Hz 1948-49 looks like ZW
  • ZW:   250W 60Hz 1948-49 four variable controls, two with direction and whistle
  • ZW:   275W 60Hz 1950-66 four variable controls, two with direction and whistle


  • 4B:  100/110W, single control, circuit breaker
  • 8B:  100W, single control, manual circuit breaker
  • 9B:  150W, dual control, manual circuit breaker
  • 12B: 250W, dual control, manual circuit breaker
  • 14:   150W DC, single control
  • 15B: 110W, single control, circuit breaker
  • 16:   150W DC, single control
  • 16B: 175W,: single control, circuit breaker, power switch
  • 17B: 190W, single control, circuit breaker, V and A meters
  • 18B: 175/190W, dual control, circuit breaker, power switch
  • 19B: 300W, single control, V and A meters, power switch
  • 30B: 300W, dual control, dual V meters, dual circuit breakers