set 11-5509-1 (269E) pulling power question (Christmas tin-plate train)

I have a question for those that have this set.  My engine can only pull 3 cars, 4 on good day, and that's on LEVEL with 42" minimum curves.  Sadly I bought 2 add-on cars: the M&M car and a Christmassy box car, and I can't use them cause the engine can't pull 5 cars even on level and straight.

If you own this set are you experiencing the same lack of pulling power.

Yes, I checked things like the traction tires (good), binding (none), and I have oiled all of the axles/wheels on the car and engine, and greased the gears.  I don't know if there's anything else I can do IF those that own this set state that their engine can easily pull more cars.

As always, thanks  - walt



11-5509-1Christmas Box Car 2015M&M Box Christmas Car


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A few possible ideas here.

Is it heavy enough? You can also test this by gently pressing down on the center of the engine while its slipping with a finger. If it pulls away, might be the problem. If it keeps slipping, you should probably put a new traction tire on it.

Next, try flipping the engine and running the other way. Sometimes the traction tires do terrible on the inside of a curve (if its a single tire on one side).

Something which can happen quite easily, is lube spinoff onto the track, thereby getting on the tires. I'd probably clean the tracks with QD (Quick Disconnect) cleaner or Lectra-Motive electric parts cleaner on a rag or some other plastic safe de-greaser.

Then there is the horrible dry-rot tire.

i can the light finger press and when I set up for Christmas again I'll surely try that.

Considering it's a steamer, "flipping the engine the other way", well, that ain't going to be possible.

It has 2 traction tires on the driver wheels.  Since I only bought the 2 add-on cars after 2 or 3 Christmas layout run time I don't know if it could have pulled more than the original 3 cars when brand new.  I suppose the next logical thing to try is what you say: replace the tires and see.

As for dirty track, not on my layout.  never happen.  I'm really particular about having clean rails.  If I suspect anything I do the old finger-swipe test.

thanks - walt

Just thought of this, I should have started this thread on the tin-plate forum.  Maybe I will reference it somehowoverthere.


thanks for clarifying.  My layouts almost always allow for reversing loops.  On 2018's Christmas layout I even made the tracks that the engine in question was running on connected to the tracks that my Baby Blue Comet tin-plate set was running on.  The Comet ran fine on either set of tracks while the "christmas train engine" couldn't pull 4 cars on either set of tracks.

This has been this way for the last 3 or 4 Christmas layouts.

thanks - walt

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