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BBEB2273-905E-404C-B001-A05D3DE79CD5C3DD84D2-6914-4B70-A8F5-42D9CA45AAB7D743628A-E86E-432E-A865-25AB56CDC6CCD112F9C8-05AC-46E5-A2C7-232D6D2233C0Last year I got a cheap used Lionel set New York Central set for my young boys to run around the Christmas tree. This was the cheapest early 90’s version with no on off for the smoke unit and it didn’t come with a whistle tender (I added a used whistle tender later).  It’s been running like a champ for over a year now(around the tree and on our layout) but a few days ago it stopped running well. It might start and jump an inch or two and then it stops. I can give it a push which can help start moving it at speed but even then halfway around the track it stops. It does seem to run a little better backwards. The headlight doesn’t even light up on the track even when there is power and the whistle tender still works.

I checked the track continuity and tried the engine on both the Christmas tree layout and the permanent layout. Same lack of function on both tracks and other engines work fine so the track power isn’t the issue.

photos attached. Any advice on trouble shooting?


Images (4)
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Unfortunately, the reverse units do go bad after being cycled & shocked w/ transients while running & during derailments. The damage is cumulative, and is just a question of when they will give out.  If the CMOS chip is toast, so is the board, but the power transistors, Q1-Q2 (TIP31) NPN, and Q3-Q4 (TIP32) PNP can be replaced easily... they are prone to fail with overloads on the motor... lots of heat, and sometimes popping open.

Last edited by ADCX Rob

With your multimeter set for DC voltage, probe the solder connections circled in red while applying track AC power to the frame and center rail collector. The motor should spin and you should get a DC volt reading. Then using the direction button, press it to change direction of the motor and then again read the DC voltage.

Small alligator jumper wires can help with all of the connections. You can also remove the motor from the frame with the two screws on the opposite side (disconnecting it from the wheel gear train).


Images (1)
  • mceclip0

The black tape isn’t melted and the unit appears to be in overall excellent shape. Last night I did major maintenance/cleaning on the Fastrack reverse loop I am running around the tree. I even added a CW-80 to give it move power. Same problems with the engine. I can run a MTH PCC trolly with no problems but the engine keeps randomly stopping.

Well, if you have done your due diligence on electrical conductivity (track cleaning, clean wheels and pickups, no obvious broken wires and no obvious physical deformities etc) there really there are only two major components to suspect:

Last edited by bmoran4
@GG14449 posted:

Having some bad engine luck this weekend. I wanted to replace the broken engine on the Christmas layout and have an old K-line switcher I bought six months ago. It was working when I put it away but now when I add power it just lights up, buzzes and shakes in place. Any ideas?

It looks like this might be one of the unusual single-motored S-2 switchers from a DC set... did it run with a power supply you got with it or some other power pack?

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