What's In This Manual?

In this opening section of our manual, we've only briefly outlined the standards to be followed in order to make compatible modules. In the pages that follow we go into detail under the headings.

  1. Construction
  2. Track
  3. Electrical
  4. Decoration and Scenery
  5. Special Modules
  6. Three-mainline System
  7. Modular System Plans and Operation.

If some of our specifications appear to be arbitrary, please keep in mind two things: a few basic rules must be followed by everyone, otherwise modules will not be compatible and the whole idea fails; and in most ways, every builder has a great deal of discretion in how he builds, finishes and uses his modules.

Now, let's get to module making and having fun running trains.

Tinplate Trackers Module Standards in Brief:

  1. Basic module 24"x48". Optional widths 30" and 36"; optional lengths in multiples of 48", although 72" is permissible if two are supplied.
  2. Height from floor to railhead 40" with legs adjustable plus or minus one inch.
  3. Track: Lionel O-gauge tinplate (or equivalent), new or in very good condition.
  4. Two main lines, the first with the center rail 3 1/2" from front of module. The second center rail 8 1/2" in from the center of the first.
  5. Mainline tracks end 5" from end of module. Each operator to supply two connecting 10" sections (called bridge tracks), one for each main line, plus two 5" sections, all of O-gauge straight track. Note: an off the shelf "half-section" of Lionel (or K-Line) track is 5 1/2" long and must be cut down to 5".
  6. Each module should have a bus running its length consisting of four wires no smaller than 16 gauge, preferably 14 gauge. It is highly recommended that wire be white for the front main, red for the second main, black for common, and orange for fixed voltage.
  7. Modules electrically connected to each other by a female socket (Radio Shack 274-205 or TRW-Cinch S304AB) at each end of the rear of module, with a separate bridge cable having a male plug at each end (Radio Shack 274-204 or TRW-Cinch P304CCT). A 4-pin socket should also be supplied as a convenient connection for a transformer.
  8. Modules structurally connect by C-clamps.
  • Introduction
  • Simple Standards
  • Section One: Module Construction
  • Section Two: Track
  • Section Three" Electrical
  • Section Four: Decoration and Scenery
  • Section Five: Special Modules
  • Back to Cover Page