Operating Car problem

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  • Member since
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Operating Car problem
Posted by gottcent on Sunday, January 20, 2019 5:22 PM

I have several postwar Lionel operating cars that use sliding shoes to activate the mechanism. In some cases, I cannot get the cars to operate on a traditional 027 remote control track (with the two "extra" rails) even though they will operate when I apply 12 volts to the shoes directly from wires connected to the transformer. I've checked the "extra" rails on the RC track and they are putting out the required voltage. The obvious conclusion is that there is no direct contact between the rails and the sliding shoes. Is there some way to adjust either the shoes or the rails to correct this?

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Posted by Clete on Sunday, January 20, 2019 6:25 PM

I had a similiar situation with some 3469 dump cars. the rivet head on the sliding shoe was oxidized. I cleaned it with a wire brush in my dremel and now worked as it should. Might be worth looking at. Also make sure the 2 remote rails are clean.

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Posted by Penny Trains on Sunday, January 20, 2019 6:57 PM

This probably is an obvious question, but did you check to see that all your shoes still have all the little metal pins in their centers?

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Posted by TrainLarry on Sunday, January 20, 2019 7:36 PM

There is no adjustment to the sliding shoes or rails. Check to make sure there is downward tension on the sliding shoes. Push them up by hand and they should spring back down.

Since the cars operate with power connected directly to the sliding shoes, it seems that the problem is in your remote control track. Double check to see that it and the controller are wired properly.

See here for the wiring schematic for the #6019 track and controller.




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Posted by lionelsoni on Sunday, January 20, 2019 10:05 PM

I seem to recall seeing somewhere that there are some cars that need the greater length of the O31 track.

Bob Nelson

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Posted by gottcent on Monday, January 21, 2019 9:17 AM

Thanks, guys. I did clean both the pins in the sliding shoes and the rails on the control track. Also, other operating cars work on that track, so I don't think it's the rails. (As I mentioned, I checked the control rails with a voltmeter and they're putting out 14 volts.) Frustrating.

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Posted by Roger Carp on Monday, January 21, 2019 9:26 AM

To Gottcent.


Please contact me at Classic Toy Trains so we can offer expert help with your problem.




Roger Carp

Senior editor

Classic Toy Trains

262-796-8776 ext. 253

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Posted by rlbarnard on Monday, January 21, 2019 10:35 AM


If you are having problems with operating dump cars 3459 and 3469 the following response may be of help to you.

I have an O-gauge layout that includes Lionel's 497 coaling station and their 3459 automatic dump car. At the moment this combination doesn't work together. It looks to me that the 479 was designed to work with the 3469 dump car. The difference between these is that the 3459 uses electromagnetic couplers that have shoes that are about 7" apart,whereas the 3469 uses magnetic couplers that have shoes that are about 5" apart. The 497 doesn't like the longer distance--the device's power blade and ground clip do not contact both shoes of the 3459. Yes, I know that I can change the couplers to get the dump car to work, but I'm wondering if anyone has instead modified the power blade and the ground clip to extend outward so that the 479 can accommodate both types of cars with their orginal couplers. If it's been done, how?



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Posted by alank on Monday, January 21, 2019 11:27 AM

The Operating Twin Dump Coal Car No. 3359 requires the use of OTC contactors because of its length.

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