Question by Dave Bello: Is it possible that a child can get electricuted with a Lionel Electric train set? Ive heard that the chances?
are practically null?????
Answer by Ben H
Provided that the transformer is in good condition, the track is completely isolated from the wall current.
The design of the transformer is such that the current is limited to a level where it’s not possible to be injured.
I’ve felt a slight “buzz” off of some transformers when accidentally touching the two terminals. It hasn’t been strong enough to cause me any harm whatsoever.
Occasionally, an old(or new) transformer will be damaged to where there’s some “leakage” from the primary side of the transformer, which plugs into the wall, to the secondary side, which is connected to the track. Usually, this happens in a transformer where the coils are slightly loose on the core, allowing them to vibrate and abrade the varnish coating on the core, and allowing conduction between them. The transformer has to receive some other damage, like being dropped, in order for this condition to be present in the first place.
All vintage transformer should be tested for leakage. Authorized Lionel service stations, and independent Lionel repairmen like myself have a very sensitive test instrument which will show primary to secondary leakage. Any transformer which shows leakage should be disposed of, or at least disabled to the point where it’s not repairable, as there’s no repair for leakage.
Also, a transformer which hums loudly should be checked, and, if not showing leakage, the cause of the humming repaired.
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