Lionel 128 Newstand and 6-12818 Animated Freight Station

Both animated accessories have similar mechanical gearing activated by a belt-driven pulley. My two accessories have the same "behavior." With 12-14 volts applied, the figures on the devices will move and turn but with a hesitation -- as if the figures are "on break" for a few seconds.  Then the action resumes for several seconds until the next "break."  The hesitation seems regular and nearly predictable.  QUESTION: shouldn't the action be continuous without hesitations?  Suggestions welcome.

Mike Mottler   (ritrainguy) 

Original Post


Thanks for that tip. According to Lionel, these accessories should be fed 8 to 11 volts; I'm already applying 14v to them (from a fixed voltage tap on a MTH Z1000 transformer). That should be more than enough.

I decided to risk taking the Lionel News Stand accessory apart and discovered some dried-out grease on the pivot gear and on the gear wheel of the "spinning newsboy." I cleaned that off.  Also, there were some small roughened areas on some gear wheel teeth -- perhaps enough to cause momentary hesitation in operation.  Last night I used an Exacto knife to smooth the roughened places and then applied fresh white lithium grease to the gear. That might be a satisfactory "fix;"  however, I ordered some replacement parts for this accessory via eBay. When those parts arrive, I'll install them and check its performance again.

As for the 6-12818 accessory, when I opened it up, I noticed that a mere string wraps around and turns the main drive pulley. Although spring tension is applied to that string, it seems that the string may not get a firm, reliable "grip" on the pulley.  Occasional slippage may be the source of its momentary hesitation. If the string has gathered some wayward grease or oil, that might explain the slippage.  If so, I'll apply some alcohol to the string for a clean-up.

IMHO, Lionel should have used a rubber belt (instead of a string); it would have more surface contact with the pulley. Better yet, a rubber belt with teeth and a drive gear with mating teeth.  Just thinking out loud ...

BTW, I'm sure I'm not the first hobbyist to give an enthusiastic "thumbs up" for your layout. I toyed with the idea of a helix for my home layout, but the geometry seemed quite daunting.  With 20/20 hindsight,  I should have paid more attention in geometry class.

Mike Mottler     LCCA 12394

Add Reply

Likes (0)

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