I have the Lionel Grand Central Express set, and have been searching high and low for a Lionel, NYC, FT, Dummy, but with no success.
Well, last night a Locomotive from this very set showed up on eBay, in the box, for a very good price, and I bought it.

These are conventional locos, and I plan to run them as an AA unit.

A gentleman over in the Want To Buy forum stated that, all that is necessary to do this, is to switch the two wires that power the motors, on the rear locomotive, so that it starts up in "neutral/reverse" rather than "neutral/forward.

That seems very straight forward to me, but are there any other concerns with doing this mod, and running this way?

Thanks 

Original Post
youngstown posted:

When you run them AA will they be back to back or front to back?

I see that  I wasn't all that clear on the fact that these are both Grand Central Express FT locomotives, and yes, I will run them with one forward and one backward.

 

There are usually blue and yellow wires coming off both motors. They will be connected together at some point and then connect to the reverse unit. You should just have to reverse the connections at the reverse unit and the locomotive should start in reverse instead of forward. 

Santa Fe, All the Way

Lou1985 posted:

There are usually blue and yellow wires coming off both motors. They will be connected together at some point and then connect to the reverse unit. You should just have to reverse the connections at the reverse unit and the locomotive should start in reverse instead of forward. 

Thanks Lou,

Do you know of any other concerns with running two locos, of the same type and number, at the same time?
Like will they draw double the amperage, or anything like that?
I only plan on pulling the 5 or maybe up to 7 cars, at the most, and I have no inclines.

My new Grand Central Express FT unit came in today, and the first thing I am going to do is to run them together, a few inches apart, and see how close they are in speed. If good, then I will rewire my older one to start in neutral/reverse, and run as an AA set.
Again, any other concerns are welcome, as I have never tried this before.

I have done some testing and investigation, and:
- The good news is that these two locos run, together, at almost exactly the same speed.
- The bad news is that there doesn’t seem to be a simple way to swap the motor wires.

I took the cover off of my original Grand Central Express FT locomotive, and did find the yellow and white wires coming off the tops of the can motors, and running over to the control board.
These wires all go into one small plug at the board, yellow wires together on one side, and white wires together on the opposite side, and the plug is not reversable.
At the other end, the wires are soldered to the tabs on the tops of the motors.

So then; Which is the best way to swap these wires?
1)  Can they be removed from the plug, and be replaced in the opposite locations?
     NOTE: This plug is very small
2)  Should they be desoldered from the motors, reversed, and resoldered? This would be a dicey endeavor.
3)  Should the wires be cut in the middle, and resoldered, white to yellow, and then covered with shrink wrap?

I saw that the front of the small plug had very small springy portions that could be pried out to release the wire inserts.

I pried them open, and gingerly removed them, swapped them, and reinserted them.
I now have a perfectly functioning, double powered AA unit, with 6 cars behind it.
- 3 original coaches
- 2 add-on cars (Baggage and Dinning)
- 1 added MTH vista dome car (a bit longer than the Lionel cars but very nice)

That set is now complete

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