I have a very nice Lionel Postwar 646 Steam Engine. It was creating plenty of smoke using traditional smoke pills, but it was not puffing smoke when running like it usually does.

I think I made a mistake. I took a small screwdriver, gently prodded inside the smoke stack with the power on and the engine in neutral, and then saw a tiny flash. After that, the locomotive stopped creating any smoke.

Did I short out the smoke unit? If so, is it possible to fix that smoke unit or should I have a new smoke unit installed in the locomotive?




In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

Original Post

I would guess you shorted the element to the housing and it opened up. It is never a good idea to insert a metallic object into any electrical device when it is under power unless you can clearly see what you are doing and know exactly what you are trying to achieve by probing. I really wouldn't recommend inserting any object, regardless of material, blindly into anything. We all learn lessons the hard way from time to time. I don't think this one will cost too much.

Michael DeSandro

Troy, AL

Arnold, you probably broke the wire.  The original smoke heater was a ceramic block with nickel chrome wire wound around it.  You can get a new one from the Train Tender, or many other parts guys, for about $8.  The part # is 671-169 for using smoke pills.  There is also a 671-170 for using smoke fluid.  That is $13.  It is a pretty simple fix.


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