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I purchased Lionel Polar Express set # 6-84328 last March and it ran fine when I tested it and has been running fine through the holidays but yesterday the chuffing sound began to operate only intermittently in the forward direction while it still sounded perfect when running in reverse.  I am running on Fastrack and have thoroughly cleaned the track as well as the locomotive wheels and its pick up rollers.  I also made sure the little metal tab attached to the rear truck was making good contact with the truck's axle and cleaned the axle as well.  Still not much chuffing in the forward direction but fine in reverse.   I'm not sure if there is anything else I can do to correct this problem  but if anyone has any advice or recommendations I'd appreciate it.  Thanks in advance for any responses.

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This may not be the same problem you are experiencing but the chuffing (actually, all sounds) just stopped while running my 10th anniversary PE set a few days ago.  Upon examining the engine I saw that one of the wires on the engine’s drawbar had broken loose and was no longer under the shrink wrap.  It took some work (the wires are quite small) but I was able to solder the broken wires back to the connector on the drawbar and replace the shrink wrap.  Sounds are working again.

I am resurrecting this post which I started last December because of a chuffing problem on my Polar Express LionChief Berkshire engine, set #78-4328.  I delayed looking at this engine until after the holidays but now I have and I am still at a loss as to what is causing the problem.  I have popped the hood on this thing and have looked for the components  that GRJ suggested to check out.  First of all I am not experienced with working on Can motors so I don't what I'm looking for.  Anyway,  I found the motor easily enough and the the flywheel which sits atop of it but I can find no tab or a chuff chopper, whatever that is. I turned the flywheel several revolutions but I observed nothing to tell  me what is going on.  I saw no tabs or anything else moving towards or making contact with the sensors which  I think I see  on the inside of a couple of the drivers(little red bulbs).  If someone could specifically identify where these tabs are as well as the chuff chopper perhaps I could fix this thing but as it is I just don't know what I'm looking for.  Any assistance would be appreciated.

There is a arm with a pivot in the middle much like a see saw when you were a kid. One end of this moves a plunger up and down on the smoke unit. The other end of this arm moves up and down between a sensor. In my case the arm wasn't going down far enough to activate the sensor. I bent the end of the arm just a wee bit so it would activate the sensor and hence the chuff sound.

@Phil55 posted:

There is a arm with a pivot in the middle much like a see saw when you were a kid. One end of this moves a plunger up and down on the smoke unit. The other end of this arm moves up and down between a sensor. In my case the arm wasn't going down far enough to activate the sensor. I bent the end of the arm just a wee bit so it would activate the sensor and hence the chuff sound.

I presume you used a pair of needle nosed pliers to bend the arm.  Did you bend it right at the see/saw joint?  That's where I'm trying it and it just doesn't want to seem to bend and I don't want to break it.

Look up by the smoke unit. Watch the action of the smoke lever while you turn the motor by hand and at the end there is a black blade the moves up and down between 2 black boxes (sensors). The blade must completely cover the sensor to activate a chuff.

Thanks Chuck.  With your's and Phil55'ts advice I have located the potential problem area and it looks like that arm needs to be bent slightly downward to adequately cover the sensor.  I'm in the process of trying it now.  Wish me luck.

@Phil55 posted:

Just use pliers and bend it very slightly. Much easier to do if you take the assembly apart

Just got back to thus repair this morning.  I followed your advice and disassembled the smoke unit to get to that "arm".  It was easier to bend but unfortunately my chuffing woes continue.  At first I continued to get  intermittent chuffing both forward and reverse but  I'm beginning to think the problem may reside with the on/off chuff switch because I turned it off and the unit continued intermittently chuffing.  After a while it stopped.  I then turned the switch back to the on position and received no chuffing whatsoever in either forward and reverse.  So, currently the chuffing is totally non-functional.  All other sounds work beautifully and the engine smokes up a storm.  At something of a loss here because I'm leary of getting into the wiring for the on/off switch.  I've checked visually and can't see any breaks or worn wires.  Anyone else have any additional guidance.  Help would be appreciated because I would like to get the chuffing sound back.

Last edited by OKHIKER

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