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Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by 66merc, Dec 26, 2006.

  1. 66merc

    66merc New Member

    Howdy from a total newbie (I bet there are alot of us newbies today!).

    I got a new-old stock K-line o-gage army train set for my son. I set up the supersnap track and transformer. I tested the train for a few laps----worked great. Then my son wrecked it while I was in another room and it is now showing short on the power pack. I took apart the track and see no shorts or foriegn objects. Rotating the speed control knob to zero (per instructions) does not reset the transformer.

    I also notice that the green light on the piece of track where the wires connect shines green when no train is on the track but goes out when I mount the locomotive.

    Could he have shorted out the transformer or the locomotive?

    Any help appreciated.
  2. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    Hmm. What happens if you disconnect the wires from the track, flip the locomotive upside down, put one wire on the pickup roller, and the other wire on some other metal part of the train (such as the coupler or drawbar)?
  3. 66merc

    66merc New Member

    Well Dave,

    I don't know. Will try that tomorrow and post results. Thanks much for the help.
  4. 66merc

    66merc New Member


    OK so curiosity got the best of me and I hooked the transformer back up tonight and tried the direct connections. Nothing. Not surprised since the transformer is still flashing the red light (short)---even when the wires are unhooked. Still seems like this is a transformer problem. Thanks.
  5. Geno

    Geno Member

    The toy train transformers are fairly robust pieces (with the exception of the CW-80)- they're built to take abuse from derailed trains and shorts from metal objects placed on the track. What exactly did your son do?

  6. 66merc

    66merc New Member

    Hey Geno,

    My understanding is that the caboose/machine gun car became detached and the engine came around and rear-ended it. Everything derailed and the red "short" light began flashing. Now it won't stop flashing and nothing works. I really don't know in what position the trains were after the crash. He probably let it flash for a few minutes before turning it off.

    The transformer keeps flashing red even with the leads unhooked. I have unplugged it and reset the throttle to zero. I have also tried new wires to the track in case the bannana plugs were bad--no luck.

    I am curious what the green light is for where the wires join the track. It is "on" when no trains are on the track but goes off when I put the engine back on or if I short the track with a screwdriver.

    The instructions with the train are terrible and I understand the K-line company may be out of business. I bought the train new in the box off ebay because it was the only 0-gauge army train I could find. Maybe I would have thought twice if I knew the company was gone. Seems to be a sturdy, well-built train. I paid about $250 for it----was that a bad price?

    Thanks for your help.
  7. Geno

    Geno Member

    Is there a reset button on the transformer? Most transformers have some sort of switch or button to reset the circiut after a derailment or short. If they don't then you reset it but turning the throttle back to zero and waiting a few moments. From your description it sounds like your transformer may be bad.

    Your track lockon (where wires join the track) should be lit even when an engine or power is applied- it is basically a power indicator. The red light on the transformer is a short indicator.

    K-Line was a small company that competed with Lionel and MTH- they were around since the late 80's. Their specialty was selling detailed equipment for less. They recently lost a battle with Lionel over TMCC-license infringement and went bankrupt, with Lionel naturally stepping in and taking over.

    I don't think Lionel will honor the warranty (especially if you bought the set from a private party on Ebay), but I'm willing to bet that everything else- the engine, cars and track are okay. The price you paid for that set is fair, you may have had a bit of bad luck with the transformer. Don't let that discourage you- pick up another transformer and get back to running trains.

    I have four K-Line TMCC command- controlled engines, as well as a dozen diecast intermodal cars- all are good runners with nice detailing. It was a loss to the industry when K-line got eaten by Lionel, as they offfered a quality product at a better price. Lionel now sells their trains at typical Lionel prices.

  8. 66merc

    66merc New Member

    Thanks all for the info. I went ahead an ordered a new transformer and engine. One way or another I will get this thing running again. Look forward to more interaction on this board since all have been nice and helpful.
  9. Geno

    Geno Member

    66 Merc,
    Glad to help- BTW, what kind of engine and transformer did you order?

    I've bought 3 K-Line MP-15's (the Army unit, KCC unit and BN unit), gave 2 as gifts and kept the BN to play around with. They're sturdy little engines and it would take some major juice to burn the motors out on them.

  10. 66merc

    66merc New Member

  11. Geno

    Geno Member

    I couldn't see the picture ,but for that price you can't beat it. And as for getting the spare Army MP-15, I can't see why that's a bad deal either. And you could always resell it if you decide you don't need it later.

    Did your set come with K-Line's Supersnap track? That track might be worth picking up now, as it's getting harder to find (but still around). Nice looking track, though.

  12. 66merc

    66merc New Member

    Howdy folks,

    Update on this post. Finally got replacement transformer today and the K-line army train is rolling right along! Interesting note: while looking for a used transformer on ebay I saw one just like my son's that was also burned out and being sold as-is. Sounds like these transformers have some kind of inherent tendency to burn out.

    Thanks to all for the info. I look forward to bugging you guys in the future


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