Is this a conventional mechanical E-Unit with an AC motor?  If so, you can simply wire the motor to run in forward only.  Wire the armature from track power on one side and the ungrounded field connection on the other side.  If it runs the wrong direction, reverse the brush connections.  You'll end up with a forward-only locomotive.

Or you may be able to cycle into forward using gravity.

Flip the engine over smoothly in a forward or reverse somersault (try both). 

One of these motions will allow many eunits to cycle manually.

  The sprung plungers need a shake sometimes while held nose up or bottom up.

Direction you flip it matters for the pawl (hook) too catch a ratchet tooth on the contact drum before the pawl slides into the coil tube.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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