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Hello--

I need some expert help on designing a small a Lionel 0-31 layout. The layout will comprise a reversing figure 8 inside an oval. I want to direct trains simply by throwing an one of the four Lionel 0-27 switches. I plan on using traditional tubular Lionel O-31 track with black ties, affixed to 1/2 ply wood so the layout can be broken into three main sections (two sections for the curves and one mid section with the 90 degree crossover, switches and associated straight sections) and stored under a bed. I am not familiar with Lionel track or equipment. Do I need to daisy chain all four switch machines so that throwing one will activate the rest? What equipment will I need? Do I need additional electric connectors between each module or will just connecting the track suffice? Will I need a reversing unit? I have a vintage transformer with 90 watts to boot.

Any help would be appreciated.

Sincerely,

Steve Williams
 

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I need some expert help on designing a small a Lionel 0-31 layout. The layout will comprise a reversing figure 8 inside an oval. I want to direct trains simply by throwing an one of the four Lionel 0-27 switches. I plan on using traditional tubular Lionel O-31 track with black ties, affixed to 1/2 ply wood so the layout can be broken into three main sections (two sections for the curves and one mid section with the 90 degree crossover, switches and associated straight sections) and stored under a bed. I am not familiar with Lionel track or equipment. Do I need to daisy chain all four switch machines so that throwing one will activate the rest? What equipment will I need? Do I need additional electric connectors between each module or will just connecting the track suffice? Will I need a reversing unit? I have a vintage transformer with 90 watts to boot.
Welcome, Steve. :wave:

I'm no expert. However, I don't recommend mixing the two track systems, e.g., using 027 switches with an otherwise O-31 layout. Both the rail height and curve radii are different.

As for the switches, Lionel's are different than the real thing, or other model train scales. They lock in position. However, the remote-control switches throw automatically if a train approaches from the "wrong" direction. You may be able to use this non-derailing feature to work your one-button reversing plan.
 
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