I recently purchased an MTH Hiawatha 30-1127-1.  It was in pristine condition appearing to never have been run.  Since it was equipped with PS1, I replaced the battery prior to operation.  After a few laps around my layout (48In Radius), I noticed a wobble particularly in the turns.  I removed it from the track and noticed that the flanges on both front drivers were broken.  I had inspected it carefully upon receipt and am certain the drivers were intact as I placed it on the track.  MTH literature indicates that this particular model should be able to operate on 31 inch radius track.  I am wondering if anyone in the forum has had a similar experience.  The Richard Ridolfo "Comprehensive Guide To M.T.H. Railking Engines indicates the model appeared in the 1998 catalog Vol. 1.   I would appreciate any comment.


Thanks and Regards








Original Post

Was the engine packed in a foam cavity or holder piece?

Look at the foam where those wheels would have been. Do you notice anything?

Sitting in foam all of those years can sometimes be problem. Foam is like an ongoing chemical reaction. Certain types of foam "outgas" more than others as part of the slow chemical reaction. This make have had a negative effect on the casting.

It's not a common complaint about MTH wheels, but it could have been a run of poorly mixed alloy.

email Midge at MTH for a new axle set and some traction tires.


Arctic Railroad

It did happen with some engines.  Going to require a chassis change and they may not have that specific one, but one similar.  G

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Hey, Thanks guys for the replies.  Fortunately, the seller agreed to let me return the loco for a complete refund.  As a Power Transistor Reliability Engineer for many years, I have run across situations where an intermetallic compound can be formed by separation of the alloyed materials.  In general, this condition is brought on by the application of temperature significantly higher than room.  I hope this is just an isolated instance and ahs been brought under control by the factory making the units.  Thanks again and best regards,


Pulled my Hiawatha out of storage (wrapped in a towel, not in the foam box) two weeks ago for a test run.  Stalled immediately with swelled (zinc rot) drivers binding.  Flanges disintegrated when I tried to regauge the wheels to gain clearance.

Guess I have a shelf queen since parts (apparently) are not available.  May try to put the shell on another Hudson chassis, but I have many other repair priorities ahead of this Proto-1 loco.

FWIW, I pulled a dozen locos out to run a this season's shows, and experienced a 50% failed-to-run rate on modern locos.  I'm beginning to think the modern manufactured stuff should have a "best used by" date on the box.   Grrrr.


I've seen a number of the older PS/1 locomotives with the same issue.  I specifically saw that very problem with the 30-1127-1 the other day, a couple of the wheels are simply falling apart.  The chassis for this one isn't available, maybe something close might work.  Truthfully, by the time you buy the chassis and install it, I don't think the locomotive is worth the money.

In case anyone is still interested, I returned the loco to the seller.  Some time later I saw an ad for a Hiawatha and decided to buy it at a significantly lower price as it was advertised as "Not Running".  Turns out it was the same engine and now I was stuck with it.  I contacted MTH but unfortunately parts were not available.  Mth apparently does not sell drivers but instead lists a power block which consists of the chassis and the drivers already mounted.  I have a copy of "The Comprehensive Guide to MTH Railking Engines" by Richard Ridolfo and began looking for a Hudson with the same drivers.  I found what looked like a match and decided to take a 70 dollar risk and ordered the power block.  When it arrived I found the drivers were a match with the exception of the color however the power block was not.  I installed the drivers on the Hiawatha (Axles were an exact match) after blending paint and airbrushing.  After re-assembly, I ran the engine with for at least an hour with no further driver problems.  As pointed out earlier, it may not be sound from an economic standpoint but it is possible.  I see them showing up for sale from time to time but I suspect that the run of drivers used for all these engines is faulty.

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