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Power to Track but Locos Don’t Move

Gabriel seeks advice to solve his problem:

“After many years I’m back to model railways. My HO track is powered but the locos will not move. Please help.Thanks.”

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6 Responses to Power to Track but Locos Don’t Move

  • Denny says:

    Maybe you need to clean & oil the engines as needed.Don’t forget to clean the wheels. Denny

  • Gustavo Fernandez says:

    I’ve just made a deep cleaning on my Marklin trains after almost 20 years in a storage facility….I strongly recomend to follow these steps:
    1. clenaing in the outside with a soft brush
    2. same for the interior
    3. disassemble the engine (very gently) in order to clean the carbon deposits, both on the rotor and the stator coils and the inner motor case. You’ll need to use a cotton pad soaked in isopropyl alcohol (if you don’t have it, you can use medical alcohol) BUT, don’t touch the coils because the alcohol attacks the resine that covers the wires. If there are carbon deposits on the coils, just take it out using a gentle brush. You can use the cotton pad for everything else.
    5.you’ll need to clean the motor brushes (you can do it with alcohol too)
    6.before assembling the engine again, put just one drop of light oil on each end of the rotor axe.
    5.You’ll probably need to clean the gears too. The best way to do it is disassembling all of them and soak in alcohol, then clean with a soft brush and reassemble. If this is too complicated for you, there is a way (pretty boring) to do it without disassembling: use a very small screwdriver and clena each gear teeth (glently) to take out old dust and grease
    6. If your loco has pick up shoe, you’ll also need to clean it (alcohol again) or replace it if it’s worn out
    7. reassemble and test. One tip: when you take the rotor out, ckeck if the wheels move smoothly using your fingers. If yes, the rotor was the problem, if not, probably the problem must be one or more gears taht will need to be cleaned or replaced
    Hope it helps….

    • Gabriel says:

      Thank you for your help. Will do that soon.

  • Bill says:

    Could be any or all of a number of issues.
    1st do the lights light up? If not then there is probably no electricity getting into the loco. Dirt could be your problem. Thoroughly clean the wheels.
    Still no lights? Check the wires coming off both sides of the loco are the connections down by the wheels solid? Are the connections at the other end solid? Is there a collection of dirt and crud between the pickup wheels and the wires?
    If all is good so far then you should have power at the top end of the wires, check with a volt meter. If there is no electricity then you missed something earlier.
    If there is electricity and the loco won’t move then you have two possible problems. The motor might be the problem, do you here anything when you increase the power (hum?). If nothing is heard or the motor doesn’t appear to be trying to rotate that is your problem so check the brushes. Any other problems here are better dealt with by replacing the motor.
    If the motor is turning or trying to and the loco is not moving then your problem is in the transmission. Could be a broken gear or dried up grease that is going to have to be totally cleaned out and replaced.
    Good luck!

  • Sheldon Clark says:

    An excellent, very full answer, but you forgot the wheels, as Denny said. And any pickups that bear on the wheel treads or backs.

  • Gabriel says:

    Thanks for your help. The motors are humming burning fuel going no where .will do a big clean

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