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"SuperO" Assembly ....... How To Assemble 10/15/2006

Lionel "Super O" track combines the realistic appearance of two-rail railroad track with the superior performance of the "three-rail" electrical system. Most all postwar Lionel cars and locomotives will operate efficiently on "Super O" Track. Through the use of various transition pieces, described at the end of this article, "Super O" Track can be combined with "O" and "O27" switches and crossings making it possible to convert to "Super O" gradually without discarding or obsoleting older Lionel equipment. Below, illustrates assembling "Super O" Track.

HOW TO ASSEMBLE "SUPER O" TRACK

Note that the molded track base makes a cylinder-and-socket joint with the adjacent track. This helps to align the rails perfectly and to keep the track sections firmly together. Ease the track sections together so that the pins in the running rails fit into the rail openings of a mating section. Snap in a cylinder-and-socket joint and then rock the other into place.

Join the central power rails by means of number 31-7 connectors (also called bus bars) pushed on from above. Seat the connectors flush with the top of the rails. Number 32-20 insulating connectors are available for making insulated block sections.

On permanent layouts, anchor the track section with number 2 wood screws through the holes in the cross ties. This will keep the track from "creeping".

ELECTRICAL CONNECTION TO "SUPER -O" TRACK

Pictured below are #61 & #62 Ground and Power Lockons as well as a #37 Uncoupler and a #90 Controller. Also, serving the same purpose as the #61 & #62 is the #43 Power connector which is not illustrated.

Electrical connections to "Super O" are made through a #61 Ground Lockon and a #62 Power Lockon or a #43 Power Connector. The power lockon is inserted into one of the slots provided for this purpose in the central bus bar. The ground lockon is fitted and clamped to one of the running rails. Generally only one ground lockon is required but a large layout may require several power lockons connected together by #18 gauge wire to keep track voltage even all around the track. A power lockon or additional power connector every 6 to 8 feet is not a bad idea.

NO 37 UNCOUPLING TRACK UNIT

For uncoupling cars with remote knuckle couplers "Super O" layouts use #37 Uncoupling Track Units (illustrated directly above), which consist of an electromagnet built into a short length of track which is the identical length of the #43 Power Connector. Insert #37 Uncoupling Units into the track layout like any regular piece of track. Being less then 2 inches in length it will disturb the symnetry of your track layout very little, but if several of them are used in a layout (or in conjuction with the #43 Power Connector) they should be spaced so as to equalize the opposite sides of the track layout.   The fixed voltage post of your transformer is where the #37 Uncoupler should be attached through a #90 Controller button as shown in the above illustration. Also, connections to various transformers are illustrated.

To open any remote control magnetic knuckle coupler the car must be in a position where the coupler you want opened is over the electromagnet. The car may be stationary or moving slowly. As you push the #90 Controller button, the energized electromagnet pulls down the coupler trigger plate or disc and allows the coupler to snap open.

NO. 36 REMOTE CONTROL BLADES

For operating remote control cars "Super O" layouts use the #36 Remote Control Blades. At least one set of blades is furnished with each "Super O" outfit. Some outfits containing several operating cars contain two sets of control blades. Additional sets can be purchased.

The blades are positioned by inserting their pins into the holes provided in the track ties. Make sure that the blades are positioned so that they lean toward the outer rails, away from the "bus bar". See the below illustration:

Note: In order to dump both sides of  No.3359 Twin-Bin Dump Car the control blades are located about 13 inches apart and are both connected to fixed voltage through the No. 90 Controller. Another car which requires both control rails to be connected to fixed voltage is the No. 3562 Operating Barrel Car. The electrical circuit of those operating cars is grounded directly to the rails through the car wheels and not through one of the slide shoes.

INSULATED TRACK SECTIONS

Each "Super O" outfit includes one special No. 48 Insulated Track section which may be used for automatic control of No. 252 Crossing Gate, No. 145 Gateman, No. 155 Banjo Signals and similar track-side signals and accessories. No. 49 Insulated Curve sections are also available.

In No. 48 and No. 49 there are gaps in the center of the track tie plates on the underside of the track, so that the two outer rails are insulated from each other. The insulalation of either rails from the rest of the layout is completed by a pair of insulating track pins in the ends of the rail. When installing the track, first remove from adjacent track any metal pin facing an insulating pin. Without the electrical connections for automatic operation No. 48 or No. 49 Track can be used as ordinary track.

To obtain automatic operation the electrical circuit of the the accessory is connected to the insulated rail (through a No. 61 Ground Lockon). Whenever the train crosses the insulated rail its wheels and axles form an electrical connection from the insulated rail to the opposite grounded rail and cause the accessory to operate.

The insululated track section can be used to operate several accessories simultaneously. For independent accessory operation you can obtain additional insulated sections.

NO. 38 ACCESSORY ADAPTER TRACK

Some Lionel accessories cannot be used with the regular "Super O" track because of the closely-spaced "Super O" Track ties and the shape of the rails and the bus bar. Therse accessories include  No. 3656 Stockyard Corral, No. 497 Coaling Station, No. 154C contacter, the "low bridge" signals used with No. 3424 Brakeman Car, the track trips used with No. 3360 "Burro" Crane and No. 55 Tie Unloading Car made prior to 1958, and No. 260 Bumper made prior to 1958.

To accommodate this equipment the No. 38 Accessory Adapter Track Set which consists of a pair of special track sections, each 5 1/4" long. Two sections are provided because the "low bridge" signals for No. 3424 Brakeman Car and the track trips for No. 55 Tie Unloading Car are used in pairs located in different parts of the layout.

TRANSITION PIECES FOR "O" AND "O27" TRACK

In order to prevent scapping older "O" and "O27" track components, Lionel has developed various transition pieces which can be used to connect "Super O" track components to "O" and "O27" track, switches and crossings. These pieces and their use are illustrated below. Transition pieces are available either individually or in sets to adapt either a No. 022 "O" switch or a No. 1122 "O027" switch to "Super O" trackage. These sets are No. 022-500 and No. 1122-500 respectively.

Contact me on eBay for additional information.

Mike (hspanier@aol.com)


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