So you just bought a train set, looking at that lovely locomotive, you want to get it running as soon as possible. Opening the box, you are faced with a cornucopia of bits, How do you set it up? Here is quick guide that will have you running trains in no time. Screen grabs from RC Empire.
What you get in the box
This will vary, but with starter sets you get a four wheeled locomotive, some wagons or coaches, an oval of track and a DC controller. See the post, The best train sets to buy.
With Hornby sets you usually get a track mat. This is a printed “poster” that can be used to guide future track purchases. It shows the position of the track and can be laid on the floor. Starter sets will have the smaller oval of track included. The mat will also help to stop carpet fluff from getting in to the Locomotive.
Setting up a train set.
First of all connect the track together. At each end of a track section there are rail joiners. Carefully align and then push the rails together. It is easy to get one of the joiners out of position, this will create a “step” in the rails and lead to derailments.If this happens pull the track apart and try again. You should end up with an oval of track.
One of the straight sections of track will have a power clip attached to it. This will have two “plungers” that will connect to the wires from the controller. Make sure that the clip faces the outside of the oval.
Connecting the power.
Firstly, find the controller, the box with the dial on it. This will have two sockets on it, one is for the power input from the transformer. The transformer or PSU will have plug prongs on it. The other socket is the output to the track which is 12 volts DC. Some controllers may have a hard wired track output.
The input will be marked.
Plug the output into the power clip. This will go in either way round, if the loco runs backwards when set to run forwards reverse this plug.
Next, place the loco on the track and slide it about to make sure that the wheels are on the rails. Plug the PSU into the wall socket and advance the control, the locomotive should start smoothly off. Add any wagons or coaches and enjoy.
Expanding a basic train set
The first thing to do is to add more track. Hornby provide track packs just for this purpose. Next a larger locomotive will add to the fun. More coaches and wagons will enable different formations to be had.