TMB Model Train Club, Lionel Ambassador and home to 81 members is located in Famingdale, NY.
Model Train Club currently houses a 4000 square foot permanent layout in
Farmingdale, NY. They also have a modular layout that is taken to street fairs,
nursing homes and veteran’s hospitals – promoting the hobby and making people
smile. TMB is also the owners of the original Lionel Soprano Layout that was
featured on HBO. Through promotion of their club and the hobby, they distribute
4,000 flyers annually and receive 5,000-7,000 visits at their open house
events. One of the most popular events the club represents at is the Bellmore
Street Fair which attracts 70,000-100,000 visitors.
On Sept 17-18 the TMB
Model Train Club took our modular layout to the Bellmore Street fair.
Attendance was down a bit from last year but approx. 50,000 attended and a lot
of guests passed our display. At the event we raffled off a train set
donated by Nassau Hobby.
What else have the Ambassador’s been up to? Check out their product review/videos on new and old product below:
Lionel product Review
by Stephen Scagnelli
Lionel Legacy (6-14295)
July 25, 2016
The TMB Model Train Club, located at Farmingdale Long Island,
NY, recently transitioned to a new location. At this point in time we have
completed our bench and track work, wiring and are now in the scenery phase of
development. Our basic conventional operation is tied to two control panels
which allows for dual operators on each of our main lines. The control panels,
although somewhat basic can be intimidating to many of our members. With the
membership accumulating many of the new Lionel Legacy engines, we knew it was
time to install Lionel Legacy.
The control panels separate the layout into 25 blocks and
require constant attention when in use by dual operators
Installation was real easy! Simply plug in the unit and
connect the Legacy output wire to the common output on our transformer.
Lionel Legacy base and CAB-2 are mounted in the control tower
of the TMB Club Layout
I see two distinct advantages in using Lionel Legacy. First, it puts all the controls in the palm of your hands and secondly it allows you to roam about, no longer tied to the transformer.
Lionel Legacy SD-70 product 6-81137 ready for action
In today’s digital world, Lionel now includes many features
in its trains and Legacy gives you the power to utilize the full potential of
your Lionel Legacy trains. The hand held
unit, CAB-2, is very comfortable in your hand with a well-lit display panel and
an easy to use touch panel. The basic controls needed to operate your trains,
on/off, direction, speed control, whistle and bell are all there along with new
features like smoke volume control, crew talk, tower-com. The remote coupler
control allows you to switch out engines and if your layout includes a siding
or two enjoy realistic railroad operations. There is also speed control which
will allow you to gradually control the speed acceleration in 6 programmed
Let’s get started – One of the basics is that all of the
modern era Lionel engines is assigned an ID number. Out of the box, Lionel
assigns its engines #1. I strongly suggest you assign your engines a unique
number in an easy to remember pattern. I use the last two digits of the engine
cab number. When setting up an engine you will need the Lionel instruction page
and the orange Engine Memory Module. During the engine set up the display
screen guides you through the 7 set-up steps which are:
your engine ID#
the orange memory module into your CAB-2
that the Engine Memory Module
information is correct for your selected engine. If the information is correct,
press YES to finish the download
process for your engine
- An ENGINE
DATA LOADED message will be displayed. Remove the Orange memory Module
CTC button to return to your operating
Club Member Randy throttling up his engine for a tour of the
TMB club layout.
You have now entered your engine into the legacy command base
where it will reside until you delete it. The keypad will vary based on the
engine ID you enter, and will be matched to features of your engine.
With the Legacy wired into the layout and an engine stored in
the Legacy command base let’s get the trains moving. Now comes the real easy
three steps to get your train in motion:
up your transformer to 20 volts. At this time the marker lights and headlight
will come on and you will know that the track power has made it to the engine
the ENG button followed by the
choice, Pull down on the whistle slide, the whistle will sound and the engine
is now operational. Now just start turning the power dial (the big red dial)
and your engine is in motion.
In our club train room which is 4,000 square feet, the CAB-2
at times can be as far a 75 feet away from the base and we do not have any
issues with signal strength.
Overall, the process of setting up and operating an engine in
Lionel Legacy is well guided, intuitive, and simple. Legacy unlocks the all the
features in some pretty amazing trains and what I covered here are the basics
of Legacy. Included with your Legacy system is a full manual which will help
you go beyond the basics and unleash the full power of your railroad.
Be sure to visit the TMB and Lionel web sites where additional Lionel product reviews will be stored.
In our next review we will be looking at Lionel’s CAB-1L (6-37155)
Product Review by Phil Calabria
Something old, something new, something borrowed
If you been in the
O-Gauge hobby for a while the CAB-1L/Base-1L system (6-37147) may look very familiar to
you. It looks very similar to the TMCC system Lionel released more than 20
years ago. The exterior cases for the CAB-1L and the Base-1L look to be
identical to the original system components with a few notable exceptions. The
new system has no antenna and the CAB-1L and Base-1L are blue in color as
opposed to dark grey/black of the older Trainmaster system 6-12969.
Trainmaster Command Set
If you have acquired
TMCC equipped locomotives and accessories over the years then this system will
allow you run your fleet in command mode. If you are looking to replace your
aging TMCC command system or looking to run in command mode for the first time
then this may be the command system for you. All the base TMCC functions are
there in a simple to use interface that you will be familiar with if you have
used the original TMCC command system.
Connecting the system to
your railroad is exactly the same as the original system. Make sure that all
transformers are in phase before connecting the command base. Attach a wire
between the “U” post on the command base to the “U” posts of all transformers
powering your layout and connect the command base power supply to a standard
grounded wall outlet. You will also need to install 4 AA batteries into the
Once you completed these
step you are ready to being programming a unique engine identifier into each of
the TMCC Locomotives in your fleet.
locomotive comes factory-programmed with TMCC ID of 1. You may wish to assign a
new ID#, using any number from 1 through 98. To make it easy to remember, try
using part of the locomotive cab number. For example, assign your Lionel F3 no.
2343 to "#23" or "#43." We will use 23 in our example.
Here’s how to give a
Command-equipped locomotive its new ID#.
- Make sure the Command Base is ON.
- Holding the locomotive, slide its control switch to the
PRG, PROG or PROGRAM setting.
- Place the locomotive on track and power up your
- Using CAB-1L, press ENG, press 2 and 3.
- Press and release the SET button located under the
removable panel on CAB-1L. The horn or whistle will blow or the headlight
flash. This confirms your new ID #.
- Power down your railroad.
- Slide the switch back to RUN and you’re ready to go.
Follow the same
procedure with your remaining locomotives setting each engine to a unique ID#.
Now power up your
railroad and let’s get the trains rolling.
- Press “ENG”, press “2”, press “3”, press “AUX1” press
“0”. This is the engine reset sequence; you should hear your start up
- Press WSTL/HRN to sound the steam whistle or air horn
on your diesel engine.
- Turn the red dial clockwise to speed up your engine,
turn red dial counter clockwise and your engine slows down.
- AUX1 + 4 lowers engine sounds, AUX1 + 1 raises engine
- Press “DIR” , turn the red dial clockwise and your
engine will move in the opposite direction.
- Move around, you are no longer tied to the transformer.
The communication between the CAB-1L and the base had no issues in the
clubs 4,000 sq. ft. train room.
Phil Jr. having fun with the CAB-1L
This system also has
some additional feature that the original TMCC system did not have:
- Multiple communication channels between the CAB-1L and
- Allows control of 99 power masters and lash-ups.
- Activate quilling whistle on newer legacy locomotives.
This is just a sample of
what you can do with your CAB-1L/Base 1L. For the full feature set check out
the product documentation on the Lionel web site.
There are also some
additional notes that you should be aware of:
- The CAB-1L/Base-1L cannot be used/interchanged with the
older TMCC systems CAB-1 or Base unit.
- CAB-1L can be used with Lionel’s Legacy system. If you
are using Legacy system you won’t need the Base-1L. You can use as many
CAB-1L as you want with the Legacy system. If you are using the CAB-1L
with a Legacy base you will need to program additional information into
the Legacy base using the TMCC program modules that come with the Legacy
Lionel Trains fun for all ages. Steve is Running Legacy with his CAB-2 and Phil
Jr. running TMCC with his CAB-1L.
My personal observations
of using the CAB-1L/Base-1L are the following:
View a video of the CAB-1L test session.
- Simple and familiar interface for me. Nothing new to
learn since I’ve been using the original TMCC system since 2002.
- It has all the functionality I need to run my older
TMCC engines in command mode.
- Lower cost than Lionel’s Legacy system.
- I currently don’t own any Legacy equipped locomotives
and now I can run them on my railroad as well as other railroads with
either the TMCC or Legacy operating system
- MSRP for this system is $249.99. The MSRP for Lionel’s
Legacy system checks in at $399.99.
- Simple one wire setup to connect to your railroad.
If you are interested in seeing Lionel's Legacy system in action check
it out live at one of our 2016/17 open house events.
Lionel Product Review By Stephen Scagnelli
Weathering as an option:
Model Railroading has many facets to the hobby, and its participants fall
into various categories, notably Operator vs. Collector. Another way to distinguish
the hobbyists is Purist vs. Realist. The Purist will maintain their train
collection in pristine condition and displayed in new toy-like condition. The Realist,
on the other hand, has opted for a weathered look. The trains reflect the
elements they are exposed to as they do the hard work they are built for. Faded lettering, mud, dirt, dust, and rust are just
a few of the daily issues all engines face on the tracks.
About the artist - Lionel’s
weathered engines are done by hand in the USA by veteran train enthusiast,
artist and expert modeler Harry Hieke, who brings over 20 years of experience
and personally details and weathers each locomotive. Harry offers a weathering
service and is available to weather any engine or rolling stock in your fleet,
in addition to his Lionel obligations. Harry also maintains a full line of
buildings, all delivered with a realistic weathered look and all modeled after
real railroad buildings.
I recently purchased my
first weathered steam engine, the Virginian LEGACY USRA 2-8-8-2 Y-3 steam locomotive
#737, product #6-82486
Performance aside, it’s the
look I went for. The weathering is airbrushed and sealed with an additional
dull finish. I opt to run my engines with the smoke units on. As neat as I try
to be, some of the oil, either spilled by me or residual grime from the smoke
when wiped off, did NOT affect the weathering colors. The colors are spot on
and in doing some online research, Lionel’s artist has truly captured the real
world weathered look.
Here are some additional photos of my Y3 positioned on
my home layout. X
Lionel is again offering
weathering as an option in its Built-to-Order product line. In the 2016 volume-2
catalog, pages 8-9, is a Norfolk and Western Y6B, delivered fully weathered by
Harry Hieke. If you are considering adding some realistic trains to your fleet,
the new Y6B, Lionel product 6-84063 is the way to go. If you have some existing
trains you would like weathered, contact Harry Hieke and have Lionel’s
commissioned artist work for you too.
As a purchaser of a Lionel
weathered engine and having had Harry Hieke weather several engines and cars in
my railroad fleet, I highly endorse both Lionel and Harry as products and
services you will be pleased with.
Enjoy the journey!!
Coaling Tower 6-83490
Lionel Product review By Stephen Scagnelli,
TMB Model Train Club
two sides to our involvement in Model Railroading. Expanding and maintaining
our stable of motive power and rolling stock is one dimension. The other
dimension is building your model railroad. As the late John Armstrong
eloquently noted, “a model railroad is a stage and our trains are the actors on
on your railroad, or enhancing your stage, one product to consider is the
Lionel Coaling tower.
handsome model includes: Exterior illumination, Coal chute, pulley, and chain
details, red warning light on top of tower, separately applied walkways and
railings, separately applied ladder chutes and steps. Below is the model recently
installed on the TMB Model Train Club layout.
Here is the
model recently installed on the TMB Model Train club in Farmingdale NY
What must be considered before installation is what type of
engines and roiling stock you plan to run through the coaling tower. Basically,
there are Height and Width dimensions that that need to be considered before
final placement is made.
Height - In
testing clearance we ran a Lionel Big Boy pulling some double stack intermodal
cars. We found that we needed to raise the tower by one inch to clear the
double stack cars. We simply inserted a 1” piece of wood under legs which we
covered with some black diamonds to simulate spillage.
Width – The tower
base is plenty wide to allow for anything you have including the Big Boy. My
suggestion is if you are running any large articulated engines or the longer
passenger cars, place the tower on a straight section at least 12” from the curve.
This will allow the overhang of the engines to straighten out before passing
under the tower.
Overall, our club members are very pleased with this
addition to our layout and highly recommend you consider adding this accessory
to your railroad.
Lighted Coaling Tower Specifications:
- Gauge: O
- Scale Type: Traditional
- Dimensions: 5
½" x 5 ½" x 19 ½"
- Most Recent Catalog: 2016
Lionel Volume 2 Catalog
**The information about the clubs is provided by them and may or may not be accurate depending on changes in membership, 501c status, etc.. Lionel is sharing their content and not validating it’s accuracy.