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Here are some pictures and a quick video of the new Lionel Portland Terminal S4 switcher. Nice looking model and it sounds great! Pulls 12 weighed scale tank cars on the flat with no issues. I love the short line railroad models Lionel has been putting out!23E14BF2-207E-4305-948E-90EE9635CB9D5FD0DCC8-5C69-4ECA-A4AB-DBDFE3CBB55E4E4B3045-D3A0-4137-8420-61E272F2C76E


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Original Post

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@Ted S posted:

Smooth!!  I guess you're operating it under Legacy?  Does this version use a drive shaft connecting the trucks to the fuel tank?  Any chance you could post a photo of the underside?  (parts diagrams for SKU # 2033150 don't seem to be on the Lionel website yet.)

I was operating it with legacy. Although I did run it with the LionChief app on my phone and it was fantastic. It can crawl  almost as well as with legacy. Even though I have legacy I still might run this model with my phone. Here’s a photo of the underside. Also note the couplers are connected to the frame not the trucks.CC8A8F81-CB93-48B7-93A2-56A631A33C16


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Last edited by biscuitag97

@romiller49 I presume you are referring to the areas circled in yellow toward the bottom of this photo?

Legacy S4 idler gear engagement

The upper truck looks perfect.  I wonder what the root cause of this problem is?  (We've seen it on vertically-motored Legacy Geeps before, too.)  Is it possible for an owner to re-gauge the wheels in a vise?  Or just keep ordering new trucks from Lionel until you end up with two that are gauged properly?

The original poster's video shows smooth operation, at least with the loco facing clockwise on wide curves.  Is this something that gets worse over time, or eventually stops the loco from running?  I would love to know more, because like some of you I've already bought my share of "lemons" in the last 2 years!


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Last edited by Ted S


Here is a picture of my NW2 with the nylon to reduce play in the wheel sets and improve gear engagement. 

If the slop does not affect performance, then there may be no short term need. The OP can make that decision for themselves. 

However, with that said, from a design and engineering standpoint there is no need to have so much play in the wheel sets; especially for a B-B unit. 


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Good info all. 

I don't have one of these and the parts diagrams haven't been posted yet.  So I can only guess what happens when the drive shaft enters the truck.  I'm sure there's at least one worm gear connected to the drive shaft.  It looks to me like Lionel adapted the vertical motor truck design.  If so, the worm wheel in the truck block doesn't care whether the driving worm is mounted vertical (as in the Geep) or longitudinal.  So the nylon washer is an effective solution in either case.

It's encouraging to hear that in most cases, the excessive side play doesn't seem to affect operation.  The S4 (and maybe the NW2) remain on my wish list!

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