K-Line 0-4-0 A5 PRR 6-22103 Erratic whistle blowing .

I’ve not ran this A5  #6-22103 engine for sometime. My problem is the Railsounds whistle operates erratically. In one loop around my layout the whistle will blow 4-6 times on its own while nothing is entered thru the CAB. All other features smoke, bell, speed, chuffing, all these features work perfectly. Four other engines three steam and one diesel work without error.

Recent changes included addition of various quanties of LCS Wifi(1), SER(2), BPC2(2)  controllers.

Removed ZW’s from power strings.

Power starts with six 180w Power House PS, AVC (3), TPC (2), TMCC OTC (2), SC-2 SW (1).

Various ERR modifications were made by adding Milk Car Mini-commander(1), Switch Commander (20), Gantry Crane Trolley Mini-commander(1). One AVC powers all accessories. Switches(20) , Milk car(1) and active engines are track powered.

Added a second CAB, iPad and iPhone as input.

I’ve tried various combinations of the above items with no success. Problem remains with A5 PRR engine.

Looking for suggestions to this erratic whistle.


It's not an exact science... The impossible takes a little longer...

Original Post

I took your suggestion since it has been awhile since this engine has had attention. Cleaned all third rail pickups. Removed tender truck copper strip pickups and cleaned, cleaned wheels, axels, etc. Replaced parts.

Also cleaned outer Fastrack loop of layout, again.

Tried A5 engine.......got same erratic whistle result...many times.

It's not an exact science... The impossible takes a little longer...

Yep.  Some times they can't be cleaned either if they have been neglected and require replacement.  Glad it was simple. G

MTH Authorized Service Center

Authorized ERR Dealer

Lionel Independent Repair Tech

Virginia Train Collectors Member

It took me awhile to find a source for Bachmann’s lube and get it in here. I got it, applied it to the rollers, but it did little to improve the situation. However while working with the third rail collector rollers on the tender I did notice the forward roller on the tender had much more slop in the roller action. I will go for a new set for tender and engine after seeing how they can wear. Also I may consider replacing the rail sounds board after the roller change.

Jeff thanks for suggestion!

It's not an exact science... The impossible takes a little longer...

Installed the two copper ground straps for the tender axles, after cleaning the axles. Changed the collector rollers on the tender and swapped out the rail sounds board. Still have same erratic whistle issue.

Was unable to replace collector rollers on engine as the so called replacement for the engine rollers are too long and bottom out on the engine frame. Engine and tender rollers are called out to be the same according to current on-line parts for 6–22103 engine. They fit the tender but not the engine. All four rollers received were approximately 29/32” from center of pivot shaft to center of pickup roller shaft. The correct engine roller should be closer to 20/32” shaft ctr to shaft ctr. A call is in to Lionel.

I did polish the engine rollers as best i could.

Moving on I have thoughts of replacing R2LC on general principles or the tether. However the tether is unavailable according to the on-line parts list.

Does anyone out there have a schematic for the 6-22103 engine and tender as I haven’t found that available on-line either.

Any help would be appreciated!


It's not an exact science... The impossible takes a little longer...

After all the mechanical suggestions were tried without any significant improvement I decided to take a different approach. I Looked at problem from a "sound" and "initiate sound" point of view. Obtained Railsounds Power Board, Railsounds 4.0 / Generic Steam board and R2LC/Radio Receiver board. 

After opening the tender and replacing the two sound cards one at a time, not finding any joy, I moved on to the engine and replaced the R2LC Radio Receiver board and everything was fun again. Engine back to normal no more intermittent whistle blowing. It cost me a few bucks but its nice to have this A5 PRR back to normal again.

My thanks to all those who replied.


It's not an exact science... The impossible takes a little longer...

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc. PO Box 218, Hilliard, OH 43026 330-757-3020