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Trains Will Not Run

Mike posted this question to others in the hobby:

I have two o-scale trains on separate tracks with separate power sources (transformers).  The systems worked well for about a year or two, but now the trains will not move even with full power.  I can hear them trying to start, but no movement.  Any suggestions on how to get them to run please?”

4 Responses to Trains Will Not Run

  • Dalesays:

    The first thing I would do is disconnect one of the transformers and remove one of the locomotives so that there chance they are interacting poorly. If the problem persists, I will assume that the problem is in the locomotives themselves.

    With power applied, lift them to the point where they are barely in contact with the track but not putting weight on the drivers. If they operate while you are holding them so they have no weight on the drivers, there might be something not secured properly and binding or jamming the gearing when the internals are putting weight on the wheels..

    Next, take them off the track, flip them over and apply power directly to the wheels (and pickup if 3-rail). If they don’t operate, then the issue is likely with the motor or drive mechanism. Inspect it for jams or misalignment in the gears. Clean them well and re-lubricate.

  • Georgesays:

    In the past I have found that some of the cars had run into a use problems. Meaning that they start to wear in all the moving parts. Several times I had this same problem, but thanks to the internal short protector on the power supply unit I was able to find the problem. What I did, leave the power on, then starting from the back of each train remove a car at a time, until you come to the one is shorting out, inspect the car and fix what ever ails it. Several cars of mine had a short from wear across the tracks and the under frame, a little work and they where back on track. Hope this helps.

  • Geoffsays:

    It sounds like they need oiling. Get some appropriate oil or lube from your local hobby shop and apply a tiny drop to the gears and axles. If you know the brand name of your trains, try searching on the internet for any instructions on what to lubricate.

  • robertsays:

    The usual things to try would be to clean track, clean pickup wheels, try separate wires from the controller direct to the pickup wheels or to the motor inputs, test controller with a voltmeter. Is your layout DC or DCC?

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