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Any model train guys out there?

Old 12-08-2008, 09:29 AM
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Default Any model train guys out there?

So I pulled out the model train set to set up around the tree this year - HO scale - stored all year dry and safe, and only used around the Christmas tree. Set it all up, and turn up the juice to test the locomotive engine only (no other cars attached yet). The thing barely moves, and is making a grinding sound that it never has before. Defnitely not even close to full speed. Stops in ceratin parts of the track and I have to push it to start it moving again, and again it's slow and making a grinding noise.

This train is hardly used. I checked all the track connections and they seem fine...I sanded the track with really fine sand paper to ensure it's clean. Tried to clean the engine wheels but they are difficult to get to...

I even have a second engine that I tried and that one runs better than the first one, but still not 100%. Makes me think it's a contact problem - maybe the wheels on the engine - they are sort of "blackened" a bit on each train...I also used another transformer/controller that I have to test that out - does the same thing. Again the equipment is hardly used...

But, this has never happened before. Here's the kicker - my brother has essentially the same train set bought at the same time - his is doing the exact same thing - grinding noise with little or no forward / reverse motion.

They are made in China cheap sets, but still...like new condition...

Anyone have any idea? Hate to just dispose of the set without trying to troubleshoot?

Any model train folks out there with some suggestions for a fix? My kids are dying to have the thing up and running - thanks!

Dave
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Any model train guys out there?

An eraser will remove the black stuff.

You could also check here.

http://www.modeltrainforum.com/
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: Any model train guys out there?

Go to Radio Shack and get a bottle of liquid CONTACT CLEANING FLUID (not the spray can). Use the cleaner on the locomotive wheels and the tracks and try to avoid using an abrasive. If you can only get the spray, use it on a rag and then clean the wheels and tracks. It will dissolve the oxide. Maybe it won't help your particular problem, but it the right way to clean the metal.
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Any model train guys out there?

I have a little monkey on the back with 1/32 slot car tracks. Obviously different but do try cleaning the gears from the motor to the drive gear. Lots of dust and crap gets stuck in there and makes a huge difference in performance when the little hairs and crap are cleaned out. use a needle and tweezers to get all of it. Like I said huge difference in performance. You may have to remove the outside body to get to the gears but it ususally isnt that hard. Usually just a couple of small phillips head screws and a little manipulation of the body to get it off.
Good Luck!
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:48 PM
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Default Re: Any model train guys out there?

You can also clean the conection of the track to make sure they are getting good contact.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Any model train guys out there?

There is a great train store in Malden MA by the name of Charles Ro Supply.

It's worth the drive just to see the second floor set they have up.

I will be setting up about 300' of G scale this week.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:49 PM
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Default Re: Any model train guys out there?

Sweet,

When I used to work in the field (and I still do restoration work from time to time) I used to tell everyone the same thing, that brought in HO at Christmas to get it repaired, throw it in the trash can and buy a new set. Unless it's one off brass, Marklin or something else collectible, it's not worth fixing. I'd work on Marklin, Mantua etc. But anything Bachman or lower, was garbage can fodder.

300' of G track.. that's not going to be cheap

Have you seen some of the G scale stuff from Mikes Train House? WOW that G Big Boy is a work of art!

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Old 12-08-2008, 08:26 PM
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Sewing Machine oil!

Here's me IN my layout!

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Old 12-08-2008, 08:39 PM
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Sewing Machine oil!

Here's me IN my layout !

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Old 12-09-2008, 06:00 AM
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Default RE: Any model train guys out there?

Take a look at the photos in this link:

http://www.horailroad.com/fsm/fsmlayout0.html

They're from George Sellios' Franklin & Manchester. It's in Boston and open for tours now and then. I find it hard to believe one guy does all of this. Makes mine look like
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:16 AM
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Default RE: Any model train guys out there?

Jimm - 12/9/2008 9:00 AM

Take a look at the photos in this link:

http://www.horailroad.com/fsm/fsmlayout0.html

They're from George Sellios' Franklin & Manchester. It's in Boston and open for tours now and then. I find it hard to believe one guy does all of this. Makes mine look like
That is an incredible amount of detail. I am not a train guy but can appreciate someone who is a master at their hobby.

FYI if this is cool to you. There is a church here in Stamford -St Johns.. Big old gothic stone church in the middle of town. About 50 years ago some enthusiast started to make a railway in the basement. You go there now and it is insane. I takes the whole basement.

It a local too joke because its like a myth that you hear about till you see it ( ... There is this church .. buried deep in the cellar is a train......) The detail is incredible. The only open the doors to the public about once a year but if you ask for a showing they will bring you down. Its very cool
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:37 AM
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StingerII - 12/8/2008 9:49 PM Sweet, When I used to work in the field (and I still do restoration work from time to time) I used to tell everyone the same thing, that brought in HO at Christmas to get it repaired, throw it in the trash can and buy a new set. Unless it's one off brass, Marklin or something else collectible, it's not worth fixing. I'd work on Marklin, Mantua etc. But anything Bachman or lower, was garbage can fodder.
Stinger,

That's what I was thinking. It's a Bachman cheapo model. I took it apart last night - made sure the linkage from the motor to the gear boxes was tight and made sure it wasn't gunked up with crap - it wasn't. I think it's the cheap motor in the thing that just isn't working right anymore.

Thanks everyone for the info - very cool links and pictures too - amazing what people can do with these model set-ups.

Dave
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Old 12-09-2008, 02:25 PM
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There will never be an HO railroad to compete against John Allen's Gorre & Daphetid. Never.

A great model builder and a greater photographer, RIP, John.

http://www.gdlines.com/galleries.html
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Old 12-10-2008, 07:30 AM
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Old 12-10-2008, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Any model train guys out there?

Model trains are cool...I'm begining to be a bit of an RC geek....anyways- if any of you guys get a chance if you haven't seen it- Extreme Trains on the History Channel is Fantastic! Hosted by a mainer!
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Old 12-11-2008, 06:08 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptLT-qgH2p4
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