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Lionel CW-80 80-Watt Transformer

by Lionel
4.2 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
| 22 answered questions

List Price: $149.99
Price: $96.42 & FREE Shipping. Details
You Save: $53.57 (36%)
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  • Handsomely designed controller, reminiscent of the famous Lionel ZW
  • Control speed and power by raising and lowering the engineer handle
  • 0-18 volt variable AC output
  • Perfect for train sets and small- to medium-sized layouts
  • Programmable AC output for accessory operation
14 new from $80.00

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$96.42 & FREE Shipping. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.


Frequently Bought Together

  • Lionel CW-80 80-Watt Transformer
  • +
  • Lionel - FasTrack - Straight Track - 4 Pack
Total price: $115.68
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Product Specifications

Assembly Time 2 minutes
ScaleO
Main Language(s)English
Model Number6-14198
Number of Puzzle Pieces1
Assembly RequiredYes

Product Details

Please review the User Guide for instructions and troubleshooting. [PDF]
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Domestic Shipping: Item can be shipped within U.S.
  • International Shipping: This item can be shipped to select countries outside of the U.S. Learn More
  • ASIN: B0006O217K
  • Item model number: 6-14198
  • Manufacturer recommended age: 8 years and up
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,498 in Toys & Games (See Top 100 in Toys & Games)
  • Manufacturer’s warranty can be requested from customer service. Click here to make a request to customer service.
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews
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Product Description

Product Description

Enjoy operating your favorite locomotives, train sets, and accessories with the 80-Watt CW-80 Transformer.

Features include:

•Handsomely designed controller, reminiscent of the famous Lionel ZW
•Control speed and power by raising and lowering the engineer handle
•0-18 volt variable AC output
•Perfect for train sets and small- to medium-sized layouts
•Programmable AC output for accessory operation



Recommended Ages:8 and up

From the Manufacturer

Enjoy operating your favorite locomotives, train sets, and accessories with the 80-Watt CW-80 Transformer.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

The picture of the CW 80 is of an old Lionel transformer. I guess the seller does not care. I own a CW 80, and it works. However, if you should short out the unit for a few seconds the fuse will blow. Then you have to have a special tool to take it apart or send it out for repair. The fuse is not expensive, but it is hard to get to.

I would recommend a MTH Z 1000, as it has a capacity of 100 watts and a circuit breaker. Should there be a short circuit you only have to wait a few seconds for the circuit breaker to cool off and press it to reset the unit. It's throttle is very smooth, and it activates the bell and whistle on all my locomotives. The MTH Z 1000 runs about $80 - 90, and being an electronics engineer I can say that is a great unit!
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I purchased a ready to run Lionel O scale train set for my son and it came with this transformer and it has caused me some headaches to get it to work correctly. At first I hooked up the train set as instructed in the directions that came with the kit and we could only get the train to run forward, it would not stop or go into reverse as described. I was ticked off I figured I had just wasted a bunch of money on a toy for my son. Well off to the internet to figure out what was wrong since it was long past the hours Lionel phone support was open.

Long story short I figured out that there are basically 2 versions of this product, the first design has a date code before 2006 and most of those have problems, the one I had was the later one having a date code after 2006 and these will have a 'G' in the date code. These later ones are the good ones that have been redesigned. Well mine wasn't working correctly right out of the box. So I think they still have some design issues with these.

Well after more reading I figured out that the way the Lionel trains work is that the voltage on the track should drop below 1 volt AC between the center track and the outside rail when the reverse button is pressed to make the train reverse. So to make this work correct you need to add an electrical load between the red and black terminal on the back of the transformer to make it work correctly. To fix this I added a 1000 ohm 1 watt resistor between the red and black transformer output terminals and this makes the voltage drop below 1 volt when the reverse button is pressed ,and now my train runs correctly.
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Comment 17 of 17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Lionel has been providing "Powermax" transformers with many of their starter sets. This is fine for a basic loop of track, but as soon as you start to add things like lighted cars, additional track or other accessories, the Powermax transformer just does not have enough power to allow you to run your train smoothly. If you are looking to upgrade, the CW-80 looks a lot like the Powermax transformer, but it provides about twice as much power. It also has seperate outputs that you can use for accessories. This is nice because you normally want the power to the accessories to be constant and not varying as you increase or decrease the speed of your train. I am only giving this four stars because you can easily find these elsewhere for fifty to sixty dollars.
2 Comments 20 of 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Came as part of the "Polar Express" set. Good on power delivery, accessories (such as the locomotive's whistle) work on demand, but this Power Pack/transformer failed after less than 9 years of very intermittent use (basically, the train set came out at X-mas for its obligatory circle around the tree). Took to my local model train repair store who told me that's ittow throw-away item outside of warranty, NOT REPAIRABLE. If there is anything that should be nearly bulletproof, its a transformer (see below). Terribly disappointing design and workmanship (China, where else?); will buy something else (probably other manufacturer) as a replacement. Storage of set was in garage, but not only in its packaging box, but also the cardboard shipping box surrounding it, so well protected from the environment.
As opposed to this, I have a 40+ year old Lionel basic transformer that has seen worse storage over its lifespan and has never blipped! I'd stick with it if there weren't some compatibility issues with today's engine management electronics...
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Verified Purchase
We received this as part of the Polar Express Lionel O Gauge Passenger train set. My dad bought it for my son three years ago Christmas so this is the third time we've set it up and it's had very gentle and not much use. It has never been dropped and it is kept in a dry, room temperature environment year round stored in the box when not in use. Well, the transformer was plugged in but the train was not running (throttle off) when suddenly the train just started moving full throttle. I checked for ghosts, found none and moved the throttle a bit and the train stopped. For five minutes. Then it started all on its own again. This time it wouldn't stop unless I unplugged the transformer.

So I packed up the CW-80 transformer and drove down to Berkeley Ace Hardware which is my local authorized Lionel dealer. They reported to me that several customers have been coming in with these and they're trying to help me out (really good folks there at Berkeley Ace) but I had to order a replacement in the interest of having the train running when we want it running.

These transformers are made in China and unlike your dad's Lionel transformers that still work 75 years later, these are clearly not built to last.
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Lionel CW-80 80-Watt Transformer
This item: Lionel CW-80 80-Watt Transformer
Price: $96.42
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com