Purchasing Model Trains in the USA and Canada

 
  AdelaideRail75 Station Staff

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
I have a friend who is travelling on Tuesday to Canada and the USA and would like to ask the following questions:

The DC/AC operation of our model trains does it cause any issues if you purchase model railway locomotives in HO Scale in the USA and can you run them here in Australia given that many electronical appliances need operate on 110 Volts there compared to ours of 240 Volts.  For example his wife says she had to purchase a dual voltage hair dryer and his own shave is dual voltage to make sure it works in the USA?

He says he knows he can use HO Scale rollingstock here and he can also use the HO Scale buildings but its the locomotives of DMU's etc that he thinks might not work well here in Australia when he returns.

He thanks people for their help.

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  Newcastle Express Chief Commissioner

Why don't you ask the USA &/or Canadian companies directly? Most would have a contact us area.
  qredge Deputy Commissioner

Location: Marsden Qld
Most if not all of the HO trains run on 12v DC so anywhere in the world your models can operate except for three rail AC ones
The transformers/controllers are the only things that connect to mains power so they can't work here as are 110v
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The trains and track will be just fine - from anywhere in the world not just the U.S. and Canada, but the transformer will be useless. If you request it, sometimes the vendor will remove the transformer from the package, don't expect them to lower the item cost for doing this, but the weight saved by not shipping you a useless chunk of copper and iron will generally lower the shipping by a few USD.
  73LJWhiteSL Deputy Commissioner

Location: South East Melbourne Surburbs
The trains and track as others have said will be fine they use the same 12 Volt as ours do.

With transformers get them to check the input. With much consumer equipment such as laptops and the like you will find they will operate on both 110 and 240V, just make sure the transformer has 100 - 240V on the input and not 110 Volt only.

I have used the same laptop at home on 240 V as well as in the States on 110 V with nothing more than an adaptor to use the different wall socket (no Voltage change). (No issues in Indonesia, UAE, Russia or China either)

Steve
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
The trains and track as others have said will be fine they use the same 12 Volt as ours do.

With transformers get them to check the input. With much consumer equipment such as laptops and the like you will find they will operate on both 110 and 240V, just make sure the transformer has 100 - 240V on the input and not 110 Volt only.

I have used the same laptop at home on 240 V as well as in the States on 110 V with nothing more than an adaptor to use the different wall socket (no Voltage change). (No issues in Indonesia, UAE, Russia or China either)

Steve
73LJWhiteSL
Some Electronic "Switch Mode" power supplies will operate happily with an input voltage anywhere between 100 and 250 volts
Some Electronic and wire wound power supplies have a change over switch to switch between 110 and 220 Volts.
Both the above will only require a change of plug on the input lead.

However many "transformer" style power supplies are built for one voltage or the other and hence can not be used on both voltages.
The name plate on the power supply will reveal the input voltage required.
Also note that the Australian voltage of 240volt can vary from 220volt to 250volt, so equipment labelled 220volt will be OK here
  TheBlacksmith Chief Commissioner

Location: Ankh Morpork
I think reading the original post would be a good idea, AdelaideRail75 has already said in effect that his friend is only looking to buy locomotives, not complete sets. The discussion about power supplies is irrelevant.

In which case the answer in a nutshell is YES, they will run just fine over here.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Since I have purchased locomotives directly from the US and Europe, I can say with certainty that they work 100% with our track standards.

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