1997 Lionel 6-18053 Century Club 726 berkshire not smoking

Hi Everyone,

This last weekend I just bought a new Century Club 726 berkshire and spent the afternoon figuring out how to get everything working correctly.  But to this point, I still don't have it smoking.  I did notice a small amount at one point but it quite after that.  Can someone help me with getting it to work?  I was reading the original paperwork that came with it and noticed that it said if you run it without smoke fluid it could burn out the element in the smoker.  Is that true?

Thank you,


Original Post

Contact Lionel customer support.  Yes they can burn out if they are on but don't have any fluid in them.  Years ago, I bought a new Lionel PRR 6-4-4-6 that wouldn't smoke and when I called customer support they told me that some locomotives were shipped with the wires were not hooked up correctly to the smoke unit.  That was the case with mine. 

Hi Jim,  Thank you for the reply.  

Since I was told the engine was new and had never been used, I added 8 drops as the Lionel instructions for this engine callout 4 to 8 drops.  I ran it for a while and never got anything from the engine in the way of smoke.  This is only the second new, never been used, engine that I have bought since I was 10 and started collecting Lionel trains.  The first one didn't smoke well at first also, until I had added a second round of drops and now it smokes great!  So I added a second round of 8 drops (total of 16) and that was when I saw a very small amount of smoke, also this small amount of smoke was after it sat for a few hours.  I'm of the opinion right now that it might take more fluid at first to get the smoker to work fresh out of the box.

I would be very interested in your thoughts.


Hi Bruce

is the the smoke unit fan driven or a mechanical puffer ?  fan driven units require more fluid more often !

some times when you add the fluid , you get a bubble !  blow down the smoke unit !  then try running the engine again ! 

Good luck !




Thank you for the reply, I really don't know how to tell if it's a fan driven unit, my news engine up until a year ago was an early 80 engine.  When did fan driven smoke come out?  I'll try blowing down the smoke unit tonight and see what happens and let you know.

Thank you,

Its a puffer type. Sounds like wiring. I had the same issue. I disassembled the unit, replaced the smoke resistor with a 27ohm from Lionel, re assembled and now my CC Berk smokes a heck of alot better.

Check your wiring.





All Lionel!!

Postwar, MPC, LTI Standard O, Postwar Celebration Series, Conventional Classics, All the way!!!


Are you running this command or conventional? If you are running conventional, that might be the issue.

Running command there's 18 volts to the track and there's plenty of current available to power up the existing smoke resistor and the circuitry is designed to support 18 volts at the rail.

As an example:  I had a signal sounds non-command board equipped diesel.  When I ran in conventional the smoke unit just wouldn't "work".  Once I added a command board and ran it in command mode, it smoked up a storm.

So, as this was an early, TMCC Century Club loco, I'm guessing you might have a "power" problem.


It has a command board already.  Your issue is not running it in command.  If you dump 18 volts to that in conventional, it will go through the wall. 

You might want to check out the TMCC board to find out how to add command to your ZW.   I have CAB-1's, Power Master's and one Command Base - these are the original TMCC components introduced by Lionel.   Now there's CAB-2's, and I don't know what else, because I've been out of the new loop for a while.


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