Lionel Locomotive Power-up Reset problem

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by bsegel, Apr 23, 2005.

  1. bsegel

    bsegel New Member

    Hi all,
    I recently bought a Lionel O gauge set and have found that the locomotive, after sitting idle without power, will reset to reverse instead of forward. I emailed Lionel, they say to send it to them and they'll look at it.

    If this is just a matter of a couple of leads that need to be switched I'd rather just do it myself instead of sending it to them and waiting to get it back.

    Anyone know how to fix this?

    Oh, and while I'm at it. No smoke from stack either, I've tried putting smoke fluid in several times now. I don't really care about this but if it's an easy fix I'll do it.

  2. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    As far as smoke, usually a non-smoker means the locomotive hasn't warmed up enough. Letting it sit in neutral for a while helps. Adding some cars (or weighing down the cars you have) to make the engine work harder helps too. Some people claim that aftermarket smoke fluids smoke a lot better than Lionel fluid. The most popular is called JT's Mega-smoke or something like that.

    The direction question... Normal behavior for a Lionel is for it to sequence directions when power is cut. It sequences from forward-neutral-reverse-neutral. Is this what happens with your locomotive? You cut the power, it sits in neutral, cut the power again, and then it reverses?

    There's a switch on the bottom of the locomotive to disable this behavior and lock it in one direction if desired.
  3. bsegel

    bsegel New Member

    Thanks for the reply Dave;

    I'm sequencing it to forward then locking it. It works great while I'm using it, stop, go etc... Let it sit with the power off for a few minutes and it will reset to reverse on it's own.

    I know that the locomotive has a power-up reset so that if it's locked in the reverse mode it will reset to forward after sitting for awhile. Everything is working fine like it should expect that it's reseting to reverse instead of forward. That makes me think that a couple of leads just got crossed when the unit was built.
  4. Dave Farquhar

    Dave Farquhar Member

    I'll buy your crossed leads hypothesis but unfortunately I don't have a wiring diagram. Another likely possibility is that the sequencer itself is defective. That's all electronic these days so there isn't much that you can fix on those.

    I would suggest posting the question on the O Gauge Railroading forum at -- there may be someone there who would be able to tell you what leads to look for. There are lots of tinkerers and some dealers on that board.

    Failing all that, you'll probably have to send it in to Lionel. I don't know if this will make you feel any better, but my last experience with Lionel customer service was absolutely first-rate. No questions asked and fast shipping.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    This was asked on the Kalmbach forum last year. I think the solution was to switch the leads, but I'm not sure.
    Is the switch for the smoke unit on?
    If the smoke unit still doesn't work, you probably should consider returning it before monkeying with the works.

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