Model Train Information For Train Enthusiasts

Model toy trains have attracted millions of people since their conceptualization. Apart from kids who enjoy playing with these creative toys adults also like to indulge in some playful activity after spending several tiresome hours in the office. For many hobbyists, model trains are a best way to utilize the energies in the positive direction. As far as kids are concerned introducing them to the world of toy trains is an effective way to enhance their creativity and imaginative faculties.

Parents often have a tough time deciding which toy train to choose for their kids who are going to play with them for the first time. Apart from discussing with friends and relatives many parents spend hours on the net searching for relevant model train information. Experts opine that the kids should be first introduced to the most uncomplicated models that are basic in features. One can come across different model trains made of plastic that are sold during Christmas and other special occasions. These plastic toy trains are simple to use and modestly priced to fit in the budget of everyone. With time, the interest in these uncomplicated little things tend to wane and kids start preferring locomotives that come with attractive features and interesting accessories.

While selecting a model train for your kid you should concentrate on the various features offered by different model toy trains. You should buy a product only after you have found ample model information. Details such as prices, accessories and portability are some of the important things that call for maximum attention. If you are a family which remains on the move regularly, buying an attractive yet cumbersome model train will not be a very smart move considering the hassles that you would face while moving with the toy train from one city to another. Similarly, if you have monetary constraints you should be taking the final purchasing decision after cautiously working out on the expenses. For people with limited purchasing power, it is always best to buy these products during sales period or Christmas when the prices of these trains are considerably lowered. Although the quality of these toy trains cannot match the standards of their expensive counterparts they are still a worthy substitute especially when you cannot shell a lot of money.

The best part about the model toy trains is that they are known to be durable. If used properly it is not very difficult to play with them for several years or even pass them onto the next generations. One just needs to stir the imagination of the young hobbyist who will find a better way to utilize leisure time instead of wasting several hours on the computer playing mundane games.

Lionel Train Transformers

Lionel Trains have made a model train empire by making model trains easy to operate and connect both physically and electrically. The presence of 3 rails simplifies many things with regards to electrical wiring and grounding. Fortunately, Lionel and other manufacturers have developed components to a state where wiring is fairly simple regardless of how complex your train layout might be. The latest tools and controllers allow one to easily run multiple trains on the same layout with complete independent control.

Most O Gauge Lionel trains operate on 18 volt alternating current. The AC current is increased or decreased with the use of what is called a rheostat. This is pretty much equivalent to an electrical dimmer, but in this case the ‘dimmer’ it resides in the the transformer of your model train setup and it regulates the current going through the tracks and thus, the speed of the trains on the track. The electrical going through the track is conducted to an electrical motor housed under the shell of the locomotive. More current equals more speed.

Many Lionel and other trains have an electronic reversing switch which allows the train operator to remotely reverse the motors direction, sending the train into reverse. Some trains also have a feature, a gear allowing them to run fully powered without moving, like neutral on a car. This ‘neutral’ gear occurs when you throttle your train down to 0 or even when you go from forward to reverse. With the modern TrainMaster Command Control system, you can customize the direction and response of multiple trains independently as well as control and program a wide range of accessories and switches.

When many think of a Lionel transformer, the classic CW-80 often comes to mind. It is an 80-watt unit that includes speed, sound accessory activation, forward and reverse buttons all in one convenient control panel.

Sometimes with large layouts, long heavy trains or steep inclines, more power is needed. 80-watts may not be enough, it’s situations like these where the ZW controller is called for. With 360 watts of power, the Lionel ZW transformer and it’s four throttle levers provides ample power for any heavy duty layout needs and when coupled with a TrainMaster Command Control System it’s an unstoppable combination.

When connecting your transformer, you will probably notice that it has more than just two post for connecting wires. These additional post allow you to route varied and fixed currents to the wide range of accessories that you may need power on your track layout. Examples could include lights for streets and buildings, switches, automatic gates, loaders, cranes, couplers and many more items.

Regardless of what accessories you might connect to your transformer, the magic all begins with your connection to the track. This is done by using what is commonly called a lockon. The lockon device connects the wires coming from the transformer to two rails of the track. With large layouts, a second lockon is needed with a feeder wire connected from the first, it is best to have a lockon for every 6 feet of track. Otherwise the resistance of the track itself becomes significant and performance may falter.

CrossFit Style Training

With all the choices and methods of exercise these days, many of us are confused about what is best and what will work for them. Hopefully I can clear up some of this confusion about fitness, and talk about what methods I feel are most effective.

Being involved in the Fitness and Sports Medicine Industry for the past twenty years, I’ve seen and used every form of exercise machine, fad program, and group class imaginable. I’ve seen and done some scary things and have learned from my mistakes and observations.

Let me mention “old school” methods of exercise and training. Exercise fads may come and go, but some things still remain constant. I remember my Physical Education classes back in grade school, and playing on the playground at recess. Those were fun times. Our Phys Ed teachers actually had the insight of getting us to exercise without us knowing it. They used things like balls, bars, ropes, obstacle courses, and certain types of races to motivate us as kids. We didn’t need fancy and expensive equipment to achieve fitness. Remember the squat thrust, mountain climber, jump rope, rope climbing, push ups and sit ups? Maybe we didn’t enjoy those so much, but they certainly got our hearts pumping.

In addition to this “old school” phys ed type of training, there are other methods still going strong and yielding incredible results. Most of us have done some type of gymnastic training at some point in our lives. If you have done a hand stand, cart wheel, pull up, tumbled or have played on a set of rings, you have done some form of gymnastics. Gymnastic movements involve the entire body. You will get more “bang for your buck” with the full body movements that are required in simple gymnastics. This simply means that many of these movements require abdominal and low back (the core of your body) stabilization while the upper and lower extremities are being utilized. These dynamic movements help increase flexibility and strengthen the body as an entire unit. Don’t think that you are too old or not skilled enough to perform some of these movements. There are ways of scaling the exercise to the skill level and achieving incredible results.

Olympic weight lifting has been around for decades. Most of know this to be a very specialized and technical sport. Well, it is, and if you don’t know what you are doing you can certainly hurt yourself. Maybe this is one reason so many of us have sore backs due to improper body mechanics. Olympic weight lifters are some of the most athletic and powerful athletes around. This is just in the nature of the sport. To explain it simply the object of the sport is to pick an object up off the floor to your shoulders (the clean) or overhead position as efficiently as possible (clean and jerk or snatch). I will not bore you with the details of Olympic Weight Lifting at this time. If you think about it, you probably execute these types of motions throughout the day in life. Weather you are lifting a child, a bag of groceries, or any object for that manner. Olympic lifting doesn’t have to involve a bar with weights on it, any object can be used including dumbbells, medicine balls, stones, sandbags, and Russian Kettlebells (this in an article in itself).

Kettlebells are a fantastic tool for strength and conditioning

It cracks me ups when someone tells me their doctor doesn’t want them to do squats because they may hurt themselves. I simply ask them: How do you sit down and get up from your chair, or toilet for that matter? Is your doctor not allowing you to sit down? Is he or she not allowing you to go to the bathroom? That usually clears things up. The Squat is the most functional movement that we see in life. Functional to me means that the movement has carryover to real life situations. Another highly functional movement is the dead lift. Sounds kind of scary, right? The dead lift is simply picking an object up off the floor. How many times during the day do you do this? There is a right and wrong way of dead lifting.

The Kettlebell Deadlift can be performed with one or two kettlebells

Ok, now that I have gone over a few things, I will explain how all of these things fit together to create a multi faceted fitness program for everyone using the CrossFit method. All the things mentioned above can be performed by anybody. These are all movements that are universally scalable and can be performed at various intensities to achieve incredible fitness levels.

CrossFit is an exercise concept developed in the 1970’s by Greg Glassman of Ca, a former gymnast. He took what he knew from gymnastics and what he observed from bodybuilding to devise a program that everyone could benefit from. The CrossFit method is designed for universal scalability making it the ideal program for people of all ages and skill levels. By scaling the intensity of the workouts, elite fitness can be achieved by everyone including military special operations units, pro athletes, house wives and grandparents. For more information on the CrossFit method, log on to

CrossFit is designed to improve fitness in ten areas including cardio respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. This program can be done at home, in the gym, or at your local park. There are hundreds of CrossFit affiliates around the world performing these training sessions out of garage gyms, parks, and warehouse spaces with minimal equipment.

You may wonder why this type of training is better then conventional machine based program, and I will try my best to explain why. Here it is in a nut shell. Our bodies were made to move naturally with out the guidance of artificial machines AKA, functionally. The CrossFit methods use full body motions that incorporate every muscle in the body to work as a unit. These full body movements when done at high intensities with short rest periods (metabolic conditioning) raise our metabolic rate causing our bodies to burn fat more efficiently, and train the heart and lungs properly.

To sum it up, CrossFit takes the best of the best movements including certain body weight exercises, Olympic lifts, gymnastic movements, power lifting, jumping, throwing and slamming of medicine balls, rope climbing, running, Russian Kettlebell training, rowing and more randomly combined at various intensities. The combo of all these activities will not only prepare you for the rigors of everyday life, they will prevent boredom and overuse injury.

There are hundreds of CrossFit affiliates around the world including Crossfitters as far as Australia. CrossFit Jersey Shore, Avon, NJ is the only CrossFit affiliate in the state. Jim Milkowski, and Mike Stehle, co-owners of The Training Room and CrossFit Jersey Shore LLC saw a need for this type of training and offer a full schedule of group classes and private training. They are both certified CrossFit trainers with an extensive background in fitness. They are also the first gym in the state of NJ to offer Russian Kettlebell training, a highly effective and time efficient form of training. They incorporate Russian Kettlebells into their CrossFit style workouts for a highly effective and unique blend of training that can only be found at CrossFit Jersey Shore and The Training Room. For more information, please call (732)988-1555 or log on to and