BATTERIES FOR TRAINS
Page updated 11/6/04
On this page we will describe the batteries that have been used on the P&C, including characteristics,
dimensions, prices, and sources.   Most of this information is based on personal experience, with over 10
years of  battery operation.  I have no connection with any of the manufacturers or dealers listed, other
than having purchased or used these batteries.  Because prices change often, I will keep this page updated
periodically.
GEL-CELL BATTERIES
This type of battery is based on lead-acid technology and can be used in any position.  Gel Cell batteries
are relatively heavy but they are also very economical - the most "bang for the buck."  They are best suited
for mounting in larger locomotives where the weight becomes an advantage in pulling power.  They should
be charged slowly, at no more than one-tenth their amp-hour capacity.  Trains running on Gel Cells will
slow down as the batteries discharge, but the batteries will last longer if you're careful not to let them
discharge fully. They should be stored fully charged.  During storage they will not lose their charge.  They
last for about 300 cycles.
6 volt, 1.3 amp-hour gel cell
1 x 2.25 x 3.75 inches
Weight 287 g (10.1 ounces)
CSB no. GP613
Using in Eggliners in pairs (12
volts).
12 volt, 2.2 amp-hour gel cell
1.3 x 2.55 x 7 inches
Weight 1030 g (36.3 ounces)(2.3
pounds)
Helios FB12-2.2
Using in battery cars at 12 volts.
6 volt, 3 amp-hour gel cell
(Aristocraft)
1.4 x 2.4 x 5.25 inches
Crest no. CRE-55493
Using in combination engine/battery
car.
6 volt, 4 amp-hour gel cell
1.8 x 2.75 x 4.25 inches
Weight 856 g (30.2 ounces)(1.9 pounds)
Using 4 sets in paired engines (2
FA/FB's, pair of U25's, pair of GP-7's).
NICKEL-METAL HYDRIDE BATTERIES (NiMH)
This has become my favorite type of battery.  It has about twice the power for the same size and weight
as a similar gel cell. It is ideally suited for battery cars (because of lower weight) and in smaller engines
(because of their size). The price is coming down, although gel cells are still cheaper.  There are very
nice electronic chargers for these batteries, but most are designed for single batteries or low-voltage
battery packs. I have had good luck with the simple charger outlined in the battery power article. This
NiMH type of battery has no "memory effect" as the Ni-Cad has, so you don't have to worry about a
full discharge and a full charge each time.  One minor drawback is that during storage, it is normal for
these batteries to lose some of their charge, so make sure to top off the charge before an operating
session.   I'm so pleased with NiMH batteries that I'm converting my whole fleet to this type.  AA sizes
are good where you have a tight space or don't want much weight.  Sub-C size can get up to 3300
mAH capacity, which can run moderate-size trains for 3 to 4 hours.  "C" size is usually 4000 or 4500
mAH, which will run heavy trains up to 4 hours, or smaller trains up to 6 hours.  I haven't used "D" size
yet, but they have a huge 9.5-amp-hour capacity.
6 volt 4 amp-hour NiMH battery
pack
(Five 1.2-volt "Sub C" size cells)
2 x 2.5 x 2.5 inches
Weight 400 g (14.1 ounces)
BatterySpace no. 5HC4000BMLG
Price: 2 for $24.99  10/20/04


Using in FA1 and Gondola battery car
Allelectronics.com: $5.25
Batteries.com: $9.99
Allelectronics.com: 2.0
$9.50                              2.3: $12
Batteries.com:  2.2 AH $13.99
Allelectronics.com: $7.50
Batteries.com: 4.5 AH
10.49
AA size 1.2 volt NiMH batteries
2300 mAH capacity
Batteryspace.com: 24 for 29.99
Prices range around $30 per
set of three (through Aristo
dealers).
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LITHIUM ION BATTERIES
This type of battery has the best power-to-weight ratio of all the above, although at this point it's also the
most expensive.  It must be carefully charged to avoid damage, and requires specific minimum and
maximum voltages.

In December 2004, Aristocraft will have Lithium Ion batteries on the market.  I will keep this web page
updated with prices when they become available.
WHERE TO PURCHASE BATTERIES
Allelectronics.com - variety of batteries and electrical components
Thomas distributing - batteries only in many types and sizes
Batteryspace.com - Nickel-metal-hydride batteries at excellent
prices.
Batteries.com - Batteries of several types and sizes.
Hosfelt electronics - electrical components including batteries.
Radio Shack - AA batteries and battery holders.
3.3-amp-hour cells with tabs, 1.2 v

"SC" size
Weight 55 g each

BatterySpace price:
10 for $26.99 (10/20/04)
1.2 volt, 9.5 amp-hour cells (no tabs):
"D" size
Weight ~150 g each
BatterySpace price: 8 for $44.95  10/20/04
1.2 volt 4.5-amp
hour cells with tabs
"C" size
Weight 80 grams each
BatterySpace price:
10 for $29.99
(10/10/04)
8.4 volt 3 amp-hour "air soft" battery packs

Approx. .75 x 2 x 6 inch
(will fit side-by-side in boxcars, gondolas, FA1's, RDC's,
etc)

BatterySpace.com price 2 for 33.99 (4/7/04)

Using a pair in Budd Car
AA size 1.2 volt NiMH
batteries
2500 mAH capacity
Walmart 8 for $17.95