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Author Topic: General help with 2055 Post-War  (Read 2979 times)

mille395

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General help with 2055 Post-War
« on: October 29, 2014, 08:07:02 pm »
Hello all.  I'm totally new to trains.  I spent a weekend researching for the start of a collection for my son, and chose to bid on a working 2055 locomotive and tender on eBay.  I made this decision based on era, look, and expense.  Now I have this very cool locomotive (though I wish I would have researched longer) I need to get all of the other pieces.  From my research it runs on O27 track, but I'm not sure if I should get vintage O27, O, or, a new O Fast-track.  Advice would be great. 

I am also concerned about getting the electrical parts I need to make the track hot.  Any recommendations on a transformer and is there anything else I need?  For this year I just want a working locomotive to run around a Christmas tree.  My plan is to add 1-2 cars / accessories each Christmas morning as a tradition.  I'm not looking to fill a room, just buy quality good parts that will be a nice collection that my son can grow up with and enjoy as an adult too.

Any help or suggestions is greatly appreciated!! 

Thank you,
mille395

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TrainLarry

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Re: General help with 2055 Post-War
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2014, 12:10:52 am »
Welcome to the board and the wonderful world of Lionel trains! It is a great father and son hobby that can last a lifetime.
The 2055 is a nice locomotive, with plenty of detail, smoke and a whistle tender.
You can use any track you want, but '027' and '0' gauge ''tubular'' track are being phased out by Lionel in favor of the newer Fastrack. Most hobbyists would agree that the '0' gauge track is the best with regard to being robust, especially the turnouts (or switches as they are called). Fastrack has some issues at times, one being that the trains sound very noisy on it, and the turnouts have occasional issues also, due to their complexity. As you are starting out with what is known as postwar trains, there are many operating accessories that can be had to add life and fun to your layout. Some, not all, of these older accessories do not adapt well to Fastrack, as they were designed before Fastrack was invented. '027' track is lighter, and makes a smaller diameter circle, and the larger engines and cars will not negotiate the turns and switches properly.
For powering up your trains, you will need a transformer, and lockons to connect the transformer to the track, along with wire. For a small layout with one locomotive and a few cars, an older 1033 transformer will suffice. If you are thinking of upgrading in the future to 2 trains on 2 separate loops, then you may want to invest in a larger transformer now, even if you do not have the trains now. A good, used KW or ZW transformer would be a good choice. Finally, you may wish to locate some smoke pellets, or liquid smoke fluid for your locomotive to get it puffing.
This should get you started in your hobby.
You may need to learn how to service your locomotive and tender to get it into optimum shape, including disassembly, cleaning and lubrication. Here is the service manual http://pictures.olsenstoy.com/2055.htm for the loco to familiarize yourself with the terminology, and the internal workings of it.
Any old or new rolling stock will work with your locomotive, so you have a vast choice out there.
Enjoy your trains.

Larry

mille395

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Re: General help with 2055 Post-War
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2014, 07:14:43 am »
Thank you so much Larry!  I really appreciate your help with my setup.  It is such a exciting (and daunting) hobby to enter without any prior experience with trains.  I now have enough knowledge to make some somewhat educated choices!

One question on the transformers, will a 1033 transformer operate whistle and smoke on the train, or will I need a KW or ZW transformer for this functionality?  I'm assuming the transformer operates this, but I also notice some sort of "switch" located behind the smokestack.  Perhaps this operates the heating element?

It seems I will likely go for a KW or ZW at first glance, to allow more growth in the set, but I also see they are quite a bit more expensive (and popular) on ebay.  If I choose a 1033 for the first year or two, I just want to make sure I would at least have full functional capabilities with this one 2055 train engine.

Again, I really appreciate your help.  It's nice to know there is a community out there to offer support and suggestions so my son and I can enjoy this hobby and tradition for years to come. 

Best,
mille395 

TrainLarry

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Re: General help with 2055 Post-War
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2014, 03:18:45 pm »
Glad I could help you  starting out in the hobby!
The left handle on the 1033 transformer operates both the reverse function of the locomotive, and also the whistle in the tender, so you are safe to purchase it if you desire. The smoke operates all the time, and there is no switch to turn it off on these older locomotives. The lever on top of the locomotive allows you to either sequence the locomotive direction, or to lock it into one state. With the e-unit lever (which is what it is called) in one direction, when you operate the direction lever on the transformer, or turn the transformer power all the way off and back on again, the locomotive will sequence to the next position of the e-unit (an electro-mechanical switch inside the locomotive-see the service manual for its location and shape). The locomotive will sequence Forward-Neutral-Reverse-Neutral-Forward, etc. You need to operate the direction lever on the transformer, or turn it off and on to sequence one position. The other position of the e-unit lever will lock the e-unit in the position it currently is in. If the locomotive is running forward, stop the locomotive, move the lever to the opposite position, and now the locomotive will always run forward, even when you operate the direction lever or turn the power off and on again. This way you can lock the locomotive in forward, neutral, or reverse if you want.
Time to get some track, transformer, lockon and wire and set up your layout! Have fun!

Larry

djacobsen

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Re: General help with 2055 Post-War
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2014, 04:03:00 pm »
mille395
Hello & Welcome to the Forum!

I can't add much to the information TrainLarry has already given you.

There is a very large contingent of us tubular track aficionado's out here
running our trains the way a Toy Train is supposed to be run, on tubular track!
You can get O27 tubular track or O tubular track which has a larger variety of curve radii.
Don't be snobbish about used tubular track. If its been cleaned well and tight, it should serve
quite sufficiently. If they're not going to be located where they're difficult to reach, used manual
switches for tubular track are readily available & reasonably priced.
Some of the track that I uses is 75+ years old. The rust & accumulated dirt/dust
I see as Natural Weathering.....

Happy Rails!
Dave
Railroad Crossings: Mother Natures way of thinning the gene pool.

mille395

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Re: General help with 2055 Post-War
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2014, 09:59:37 pm »
Wow, I can't say thanks enough for your responses.  I am so excited to get this running I can hardly wait.  As you may understand, I am just trying to gain enough knowledge to get started educated. 

Larry, I appreciate the knowledge about the operation of the e-unit switch.  I think I follow you but will know for sure when I get it in operation. :)  This totally makes sense now because it does have three very distinct switch locations and neutral being the middle would make sense. 

Dave, I can't agree with you more.  I bought this locomotive because I wanted a piece with nostalgia and history.  I'm sure new trains are amazing in their own way, but I wanted something that I can enjoy with my son that is more than an iPad on wheels.  I want to teach mechanics, craftsmanship, and play that electric instead of electronic.  I will certainly buy vintage O tubular because of this. 

As a note on this, I have no experience with trains as noted, but I have some of my best memories at my grandparents playing with a vintage electric race car track. This is not the kind that went up the wall like the 80's/90s stuff, but it was trigger-based electric cars on a track that was probably 8-10" wide.  The cars were huge compared to what I grew up with as a child in the 80's -- but they were so much cooler!  They came apart in many pieces and you could change wheels and make "Frankenstein" cars out of parts and pieces.  My cousins and I would make something out of nothing and were happy to make a car go once around the track.  Ultimately, this is the experience I hope to create with my son in Lionel trains.  I don't need the best train track in the world or locomotives --  just the experience of making amazing things happen with a little bit of track, electricity, and toy cars.  It just so happens these trains are so much more amazing than the vintage cars I got to play with as a child.  I am already addicted.  :)



jdlong

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Re: General help with 2055 Post-War
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2014, 04:30:09 pm »
O31 track is an excellent choice. It's cheap and plentiful. Although Fastrack looks good, it's expensive, noisy, and can't be cut to special lengths without special surgery. Plus Fastrack switches are cheesy and major expensive compared to the old reliable O22 switches for O31 track. An LW transformer is a step up from a 1033. It's an excellent choice because it is powerful and economical without spending KW or ZW money.

Merrill

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Re: General help with 2055 Post-War
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2022, 08:53:06 pm »
O31 track is an excellent choice. It's cheap and plentiful. Although Fastrack looks good, it's expensive, noisy, and can't be cut to special lengths without special surgery. Plus Fastrack switches are cheesy and major expensive compared to the old reliable O22 switches for O31 track. An LW transformer is a step up from a 1033. It's an excellent choice because it is powerful and economical without spending KW or ZW money.
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