Can solenoid coil go bad?

My 497 Lionel Coaling Station's solenoid which activates the chutes no longer works.  I have checked the wiring connections and they seem fine.  I use a simple momentary push button instead of the original controller.  Everything worked fine until today.  The linkage is not binding.  So, can the problem be the coil?  Do they go bad?     

Original Post

Yes they can go bad.  One check would be to use an ohm meter (multimeter set to ohms) and see if you have continuity through the wiring and coil.  Test from the terminals of your push button.  If you see an open circuit (infinity) then it is either the solenoid coil, wiring, or connections.  The plunger can also get stuck on a solenoid so make sure you have free movement of plunger and linkage. 

I would use a multimeter and check voltages at each hook-up or splice location. If the voltages are good then check the Coaling station solenoid for continuity.

Also are you using a newer transformer with this item? Most older track side electrical stuff work better with post war transformers.

Lee Fritz

Philadelphia & Reading Railway, one of the first railroads in the USA, first to have a double track system in the USA.

I would be careful on using an E- unit coil.  Coils are sized on the amount of work (magnetism) they must provide.  This includes spring stiffness and plunger size.

The correct part number you need is a 2315-44 (see pic) which may be listed as 6-2315-044.   I do see it available at North Lima Trainworks (6002315044) for $1. 



497 Coaling from Supplement 10


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Baldoc posted:

I ran the tests and the coil appears to be the culprit.  I have extra coils from old E-units that look like the same size.  Can one be used as a replacement, or do model train coils vary in voltage and current requirements?

When you say bad, is it open (infinity) or shorted (zero or close to it) ?

If open its likely broken near the connection. Like Tommy says, it can be repaired. 

If shorted it will be obvious with burned insulation. Time to toss it.


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