Everything on model trains, model railroads, model railways, locomotives, model train layouts, scenery, wiring, DCC and more. Enjoy the world's best hobby... model railroading!

9 Impressive Scale Model Houses To Download and Build

Older Locomotives With Demagnetized Motors

Glen would like feedback and writes:

Can a locomotive motor become weaker and lose power over time? A friend told me he heard heat can demagnetize motors with “excessive use”, but when I asked how many hours running would be “excessive use” he said he didn’t know and hadn’t asked. I’m not convinced, because I have some 35+ year-old engines that still run as good as new, but I do maintain them well. Does someone know for sure if this can happen or not, after how many hours of running, and are some brands/types of engines more susceptible? Just skeptical and curious?

Post your feedback and comments below.

4 Responses to Older Locomotives With Demagnetized Motors

  • robertsays:

    Older Ferro magnets will lose magnetism over time especially if removed from the motor, but the newer Neomodium magnets are much stronger and longer lasting. I have both in Triang locos and the neo magnets give much better performance.

  • Frank Bsays:

    Old Hornby (open frame) motors apparently needed this, and I understand that Hornby sold a re-magnetising device to shops and moodel train repairers.

    I would guess that more modern motors use a better magnetic materials (such as neodymium alloys) that does not need this.

  • David Stokessays:

    Captain Slow (James May of Top Gear fame) is a railway modeller and demonstrated a Hornby magnetiser on one of his videos. If they are stall available, that is what you need.

  • Frank Bsays:

    I think it possible that you can obtain modern neodymium magnets of a suitable size and shape to replace the old magnets.

    But you may need to grind them down to fit, or insert soft iron shims to bring them up to the right size.

    Magnets can lose their strength due to excessive heat, or through mechanical shock.

    Further reading for your interest:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add a photo or image related to your comment (JPEG only)

Use Tiny Railroad Micro Controllers

Download Your Free Catalog

N Scale Track Plans

Watch Video


Model Train Help Ebook

Model Train DCC HELP


FREE Tour Inside Club

Take a FREE tour inside the club.

Scenery Techniques Explained

Scenery & Layout Ideas

Model Railroading Blog Archive

Reader Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.