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Ok, so months ago I purchased an original Hogwarts set at auction for a very reasonable price.   Turn out to be a bit of a basket case due to bent rods,  hair on the axles, worn pick-ups,  the usual suspects.  I got new parts installed but I have a few questions.

1.  When I first power it up,  it sits there for about 5 seconds before it starts to move,  then it takes off in forward.   Is this normal?  The pause is long enough that I keep thinking that it is starting in neutral.  This is the only loco I have that behaves exactly this way.

2. The whistle is an old school air whistle in the tender.  It sounds okay once it spools up but a little like grinding gears until it gets going.  Is there a way to oil this without making another large project?

3.  This is the all conventional model with the incredibly small flat sided motor.   This is a very small motor for this locomotive.   Was there ever a retrofit kit issued with a bigger motor?  I have think these motors burn up if you ever put more than the original 3 coaches behind it.


Fyi, this is meant to be a surprise gift to my wife before Halloween.   So I want it to be in tip top shape.


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Frank Timko put a larger motor in one of these for me.  I have two of them, one still has the small motor.

There was a mod for the tenders for more volume, basically it just increases the voltage

I did a full TMCC upgrade on one of them a few years ago, here's the test run.

Lionel Starter Set Air Whistle Volume Fix.pdf


I have one and love it. And my engine starts right off the bat when I advance the throttle.

However, on mine the lead truck would rub against the cylinders when going through the 0-36 Fast Track provided in the set. I took it to a repair store and they modified the lead truck a little bit to provide some extra clearance room. However, just to be sure I now only run it on 0-48 Fast Track that I had to buy.

@jhz563 posted:

Nice demo John

But does anyone know if the weird delayed start thing is normal?

This sort of sounds like my Lionel Santa Fe FT diesel locomotive from the El Capitan starter set that was made somewhere around 2007.  There is a slight delay to it starting to move as the "Trainsounds" system simulates the engine starting up.  Seems odd for a conventional steam locomotive with an air whistle in the tender to need a delay, but I suppose Lionel has done stranger things before...

Interesting discussion.

I am looking at purchasing the Hogwarts set being currently produced for a 6 year old for Christmas.  Not having anything like these sets within my own collection, will new set be more robust than the models you are currently discussing?

Specifically the electric motor, sound (if any) and smoke unit.

This will be the youngsters first set along with the family.  They are not into model trains just yet.  The boys dad is asking for my assistance in this matter.  I just want to make sure it doesn't turn out to be a disappointment.

Last edited by Allegheny

Well, I have grave doubts about the longevity of the small set motor in these.  The locomotive is pretty heavy, and the motor is prone to failure anyway.

The latest Hogwarts appears to have the same size flat-sided set motor.

The smoke unit is the traditional puffer, it's probably no more or less reliable than most others.

Thank you John for your honest assessment as its greatly appreciated. 

@Jim 1939 posted:

To answer your question. Yes the delayed startup is normal on that engine.

Which files in the face of multiple examples to the contrary. On what basis do you say this is normal?

I can't imagine why the original conventional Hogwarts with the 691-DREU-A02 board would have a delay, and it's sure not built into the board!


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@Jim 1939 posted:

Say what you want but if you went back to original post about this engine you would read that the delay is very normal. And yes mine does delay on startup.

Where did you see it stated that was normal?  He questioned whether it was right.  I tested the conventional version here, and it started up immediately.  Three people all said their locomotive started up immediately, so are all those locomotives broken?

It might be interesting to see what board is in these locomotives since there's clearly different behavior exhibited by seemingly identical conventional versions.

Considering the OP's engine had hair wrapped around the axles and bent rods.  I would say the motor in that locomotive has led a hard life.  Good chance its getting weak and takes a min to move once given power.  I would bet that a fresh motor or the upgrade to a bigger motor would solve the issue.   A built in delay in a sound engine might be part of the programming, but not in a non sound locomotive with just an air whistle.  AD

@Jim 1939 posted:

Say what you want but if you went back to original post about this engine you would read that the delay is very normal. And yes mine does delay on startup.

Thank you all.  At least someone else has seen the same behavior. With that said,  since this will be my wife's I expect it to see little run time so I will leave the e unit as is for now.   I do wish the motor was mounted differently for ease of future upgrade. 

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