o guage thomas train not working on wall shelf past first track or two...

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o guage thomas train not working on wall shelf past first track or two...
Posted by Chipper777 on Friday, June 09, 2017 5:35 PM

i just finished putting up the shelves in my son's room for an o guage thomas train.  WHen i start the engine, it will go in forward and reverse, but stops just past the first track or two where the energy box is.  Seem as if it only runs on the 2 10 inch tracks before stopping.  ANy idea what could cause this?  Even if there are connection problems, shouldnt it run on the tracks that are connected securely to the first tracks where the energy box is?

 

Thank you. 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Friday, June 09, 2017 8:05 PM

Do you have an electrical meter?  If so, go round the track doing a voltage check and see if there's anywhere you lose power.  Could be a bad section of track.

PS: If you're getting into model railroading or just toy trains an electrical meter can be worth it's weight in gold, and they don't have to cost a lot, a good basic one is all you need.

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Posted by fifedog on Sunday, June 11, 2017 7:25 AM

Clean the track...?  Goo-gone on an old sweatsock.

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Posted by JTrains on Sunday, June 11, 2017 8:26 AM

Chipper777

WHen i start the engine, it will go in forward and reverse, but stops just past the first track or two where the energy box is.  Seem as if it only runs on the 2 10 inch tracks before stopping.   

A few questions to help us zero in on some possible causes:

  • Does it always stop at the exact same location or does it vary a bit each time?
  • Have you tried running just the engine (without any cars) and does that change the behavior?
  • If you pick up the engine and turn it so it faces the other direction, does that change anything?
  • Have you tried removing all of the track that doesn't run and see if that changes things?
  • If you connect the power supply to a different place on the track, does that change anything?

IT consultant by day, 3rd generation Lionel guy (raising a 3YO 4th generation Lionel Lil' Man) by night in the suburbs of the greatest city in the world - Chicago. Home of the ever-changing Illinois Concretus Ry.

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Posted by rtraincollector on Sunday, June 11, 2017 11:07 AM

Here is another way to figure out whats going on. take all the track down other than the track that is working. One by one add track and test the engine till it stops running. That will show if you have a bad section of track. Some where there is a bad section of track or pins missing or not conected correctly. Youmay have a short somewhere like a screw across the center and one of the outer rails. Check your track closely. You may find something without having to take it apart. 

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KRM
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Posted by KRM on Sunday, June 11, 2017 11:16 AM

Very common issue, Had the same issue with the grandson's Thomas set.

 Try Lionel's fix. Easy and works.

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=fast+track+repairs+lionel&&view=detail&mid=B5C476CC939ABA7A67E8B5C476CC939ABA7A67E8&FORM=VRDGAR

 

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Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling

 

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Posted by Firelock76 on Sunday, June 11, 2017 12:18 PM

Thanks for posting that KRM, great tutorial video.

One other thing, I wouldn't use Goo-Gone as a track cleaner unless you chase it with some alcohol to remove the Goo-Gone residue.  Goo-Gone will attack the rubber traction tires on newer locomotives, or so I've been told.  I prefer to use just alcohol myself or a Scotch-Brite pad for really stubborn skuzz on the tracks,.

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Posted by Chipper777 on Sunday, June 11, 2017 2:08 PM

thank you for the suggestions.  i have run some bus lines and hope that will work.  It is a lionchief.  

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Posted by Chipper777 on Monday, June 12, 2017 1:51 PM

i have taken the track down to the floor to test the tracks.  The engine stalls for the most part, but if I take my hand and push down the track, it runs... any idea what would cause this?  I have it down on the carpet testing it out with the transformer and 2 extra bus lines. 

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Posted by Chipper777 on Monday, June 12, 2017 3:13 PM

It is now running a little better, but sometimes I have to push a track down on the shelf to keep it going.  No idea why. 

KRM
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Posted by KRM on Monday, June 12, 2017 7:59 PM

Have you tried anything suggested?

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Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling

 

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Posted by Chipper777 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 6:46 AM

yes, i have tried cleaning tracks, squeezing open end rails.  I ran two bus lines to parts of the track, when i connected the second bus line, it made the transformer start flashing the green light when I tried to run the engine.  Would a power pack, 4 amp, be enough power to run around a 4 wall room, 10x10,11x11?  That is the first thing I want to do is get tnough power and then go from there.  I dont wanna mess with the bus lines anymore if there is an alternative.

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Posted by lionelsoni on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 8:29 AM

The length of the track has little to do with the power required.  The track resistance, which increases with distance, is responsible for voltage drop between the transformer and the track.  High track resistance between the transformer and the train will slow or stop the train, regardless of how much power the transformer can put out.

You can either reduce the resistance (by making better connections or by supplementing the rails with copper wire) or increase the transformer voltage.  Some prewar and early postwar transformers put out significantly higher voltages than the modern ones (24 volts for the V and Z types).  But then you'll be continually adjusting the transformer as the train gets closer and farther away.

You're better off with a loop of heavy wire, no smaller than 14 AWG; but 12 or 10 are better.  In addition to using reasonably heavy wire, are you running separate wires for both sides of the circuit, center rail as well as outside rails?  Are you completing the loop with the bus as well as the track?  That cuts the resistance to the farthest point in half.

There's no point in separate feeders to various points along the track.  Just use a single 2-wire loop around the whole room, with taps connecting it to the track every couple of yards, or as closely spaced as necessary.  (I suspect when you connected that second feeder, you got the wires swapped, creating a short circuit.)

Bob Nelson

KRM
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Posted by KRM on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 1:25 PM

Did you try Lionel's fix that was in the link provided?

That should of fixed it. I don't think squeezing open end rails will help on FasTrack.

Thomas don't need much power to operate. nothing like anything post-war. So you won't need huge wire bigger than 14 gauge unless you have plans for older engines.. 

 

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Kev, From The North Bluff Above Marseilles IL. Whistling

 

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Posted by Chipper777 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 3:06 PM

instead of teh loop can i just buy one of these and put it on the farthest end of the track from the transformer?

 

http://www.ebay.com/itm/LIONEL-O-GAUGE-FASTRACK-LIONCHIEF-PLUS-72-WATT-POWER-SUPPLY-wire-6-81603/391022994778?_trksid=p2481888.c100675.m4236&_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160908105057%26meid%3D441aae5881574a549d2da40ce637ce4e%26pid%3D100675%26rk%3D4%26rkt%3D15%26sd%3D391037384460&_trkparms=pageci%253Aabdb0cb5-5073-11e7-8c9a-74dbd180049a%257Cparentrq%253Aa30fc70615c0abc1c9fabad5fffedb4f%257Ciid%253A1

 

i havent tried the lionel fix because im trying to get the power issue taken care of before moving towards anything else.  i would rather not do the loop around the track if i can just buy the above product in the link.  

KRM
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Posted by KRM on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 3:55 PM

Chipper777

 

i havent tried the lionel fix because im trying to get the power issue taken care of before moving towards anything else.  Huh?  Confused

 

Do yourself a favor and try Lionel’s fix. You may find you don’t have a power problem at all.  Wink

 

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Posted by Chipper777 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 5:05 PM
pardon my ignorance, but what do you mean by bus? A lot of terminology I don't understand which is why i want to just see if i can run the 4 amp wall pack and eliminate having to run any wires.
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Posted by Michael6268 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 8:35 PM

Bus is a "Main Trunk" line to tap off of...  Basically one continuous piece of wire the length of the track tapped where needed...

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Posted by lionelsoni on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 9:00 AM

"Bus" is a shortening of "omnibus", which is the dative plural case of the Latin word "omnis"; so it means "for all".  It's the same word as the name for the vehicle that carries "all"; and, in the electrical sense, as Michael says, is a wire (or group of wires, two in this case) that can be tapped into by all parts of the track.

It is often misspelled as "buss", which is a synonym of "kiss".  I think this comes from confusion with the "Bussmann" brand of electrical fuses, founded in 1914 by brothers Joe, Al, Frank, Lee, and Harry Bussmann.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by Chipper777 on Thursday, June 15, 2017 7:17 PM

if i use a connector and splice two diffeent size wires (the wire going into the bus line is smaller), would that still be ok? i was told to use a female .110 cirmp, but I would have to order that size off the internet. I have something to connect to the track (from the bus wire), but the line that would go into the bus wire is smaller than the bus wire.

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Posted by Chipper777 on Thursday, June 15, 2017 8:53 PM

 just ran a few splices with not much luck.  14 guage bus line with a smaller line spliced into the bus line.  Shouldn't the train run on the track that the bus line is spliced into?  If it's not running on a track where the line is spliced into, does that mean the splic doesn't work.  I didn't use a 14 g wire to splice into the 14 g bus line because I couldn't find anything to connect it into the track.. didn't have the .110 female crimp connector wasn't in any of the stores.  I would have to order it.

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Posted by Chipper777 on Friday, June 16, 2017 7:01 AM

im working on running the bus loop now.  Do you think the original 40 watt transformer is enough to power this Thomas the train with the BUS loop, or will I need a stronger transformer?  One person said I would need an 80 watt transformer and the bus wires.   

thank you

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Posted by Chipper777 on Friday, June 23, 2017 8:18 AM

Here is a link to the train finally working.. gotta clean up some wires, but that can wait.

Bout drove me nuts trying to get this to work, thank you for everything... bus line was  needed along with quick fixing a lot of rails.  I was a fool not to use the 30 inch tracks.  One thing, I was still having some troubles adding piece by piece, but when I put all the track up, it ran better.  It worked the same way on the floor, would have way less troubles when entire loop was connected.  I'mt not sure why.

Thank you for all the help and not blasting me for all of the ignorant, novice posts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zf7-WaPkwuo

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