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Back In The Hobby After 27 Years

Jack asks readers:

“I gave up model railroading around 27 years ago when we moved to a smaller house, but I kept 3 locos packed in boxes. We have relocated to my son’s property on a farm and he has a big shed where I can set up my trains again. I tested the engines but they are running sluggishly and one only goes intermittently. They used to perform well but that was a long time ago. What do I need to do to clean and lubricate them?”

3 Responses to Back In The Hobby After 27 Years

  • Garth Familtonsays:

    I can relate a similar story. After trying to improve old badly running locos and then seeing how well new ones operate, I would strongly advise buying new. Park the old ones beside the engine shed, there are always locos not moving in the real world.
    If you are desperate to get them moving, you may be able to buy new motors and running gear.
    Cheers, Garth

  • Petersays:

    Sluggish running is usually caused by solidified oil on moving parts like axles and motor bearings. They can be flushed with careful application of Isopropyl alcohol followed by sparing use of a modern model loco oil on the moving parts. Once you get the locos moving again, you can flush the brushes and commutator with Isopropyl alcohol to flush out residual carbon dust and tracks on the comm.

  • David Krausesays:

    Cleaning the wheels is also a good idea. Many years in storage can result in oxidation on the running surfaces of the wheels. That oxidation does not conduct electricity well.

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