Stock won't move

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by TheDuke, Aug 14, 2004.

  1. TheDuke

    TheDuke New Member

    first of all, Hi I'm new here :)

    about 8 months ago I bought an oldish train set off a workmate mainly as an investment, but also because I do have a liking for trains.
    the track came on a large piece of plywood, and I got about 3 transformers etc. I tried the engines on it and they won't move, I've just got round to getting a new transformer see if that was the problem and it wasn't as the trains still won't move, so I'm thinking maybe the underside of the track has gone AWOL (for want of a better phrase) any ideas on how to clean them up, theres alot of it or is it a better idea to replace it all?

    and if it still doesne work what then? I doubt that all the engines will have gone caput as they were boxed and neat.

    any ideas I'd be greatful

  2. DT1967

    DT1967 New Member

    The most likely problem is dirty track but check to see if you have power to the rails. An automotive test light or multimeter should help you figure this out.

    Also look underneath and see if there are any disconnected wires.

    Do a search on dirty track on this webiste and you'll learn more about it than you ever thought possible.

    Also tell us what brand,model and scale(i.e. HO, OO, N, etc) that you're working with and someone might be able to help because they've had that exact problem.

  3. Catt

    Catt Guest

    First of all "Welcome to the Gauge." :wave:

    Secondly I would suggest that you check to see if the wheels are dirty.If they are try cleaning them to see if that helps.Then try cleaning the track.Your local hobby shop should carry a BriteBoy (or simular) track cleaner.

    If this fails find someone who can disasemble your loco(s) and have them serviced.

    When you hooked up the new transformer did you use new wiring? If so check your connections .Actually check them either way to be sure that they are correct and ot tight.

    If none of this helps c'mon back and ask for more help thats one of the reasons we're here.
  4. TheDuke

    TheDuke New Member

    all the wiring was new today. from memory the tracks got three circuits and a number of laybies (howdya spell that!!) I only got the one transformer just for testing it out. I think my best bet atm is to take up the track and clean it all, theres alot of brick dust on it for some reason.

    the make is hornby, and it's 00 gauge.

    cheers guys
  5. you don't need to take up the track --- indeed taking up glued down track and trying to put it back together is ASKING for trouble!

    you can get a rubber eraser-like item called a 'Bright Boy' at your local hobby shop. go over all the track with one of those, and you should see shiny track!

    Its also possible some of the gearing in the locomotives has locked up from lack of use. Take them by a local service shop, and see if a cleaning won't help them.
  6. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Welcome to the Gauge :)

    First thing I would do is make a test track setup with just one piece of flex track on a table. Hook up the wires to the test track and see if the engines run on that.

    What about a dead short in your track somewhere. The problem your having could be the reason the previous owner sold it. Perhaps there is no insulating rail joiners where there should be some by the switches. This would give you a short for sure. Get yourself a multimeter. On the meter is a setting to check continuity. With this setting you can check to see if there is a short by touching the probes to each track and see if you get a current flow. You would do this with no power to the track from the transformer. If there is a current flowing between the tracks, then there is a short someplace.

    I don't know if you ever had a multimeter before, so let me warn you. You must never allow the probes to touch each other or else it will fry out the meter. There is only one setting where the probes can touch each other and that is the continuity check. In that setting, when the probes touch, the needle jumps to 100%. When you put the probes in different parts, then the needle tells you what percentage of power is getting through. This is a good check to test the flow of electricity and check for shorts on anything. I just used my multimeter to hook up the lights on my trailer. Once you have one, and get use to using it, you will wonder how you got along without one.

    TrainClown :D
  7. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge :wave: Like Squirrel said, don't pull up the track. Is there a way you can post a picture of the layout itself or maybe a sketch of how the track is laid out (commonly called a "trackplan"). There may be a dead short built right into the layout.
  8. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hi Duke,

    I wouldn't worry much about this :
    "You must never allow the probes to touch each other or else it will fry out the
    meter. " Not in my experience. :confused:

    Trainclown's suggestion that you hook up one isolated track section is right on. :)
    Hornby has made 3-rail and 2-rail, AC and DC, at various times. I think anything
    newer than 1959 is standard 2-rail DC. There's just a very remote possibility that
    your power packs are not compatible with the locos. :curse:

    More likely your layout is shorted or open. As previously suggested, an
    inexpensive VOM will tell the tale in a hurry. Best of luck!!! :thumb: :thumb:
  9. TheDuke

    TheDuke New Member

    lol, cheers guys, well I already took up the track, it needed a cleaning anyway. I'll be getting a Multimeter on monday hopefully. I'll see if I can head into the city center, theres a large model shop there, the shops around me I've called and they don't seem to stock anything to clean the track with, might have to get some online.
    thankfully the track was nailed down, I ended up with a few broken sleepers but nothing serious.

    I'm pretty sure now I think about it there was a short in the system, as when I did have my new transformer and controller plugged in the controller started smoking!!!

    so next job is to clean up the track, and then test it for power :)
  10. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    Hi Duke, you say this is Hornby OO. Does the track have a third rail down the middle like they used to have some time ago. That makes a difference to wiring if it does.
  11. TrainClown

    TrainClown Member

    Sid: I bought one of those cheap Radio Shack multimeters and the first thing I did was cross the probes and blow the thing. Back to RS for another and an explanation why it went south. Your multimeter must be a better make than Radio Shack.

    It really erked me when this happened, so I thought aheads up wouldn't hurt. A good point to ask when buying one though.

    TrainClown :)

    Oh yeah. I use 400 grit sand paper to clean my tracks. Buff them with the sand paper, then pollish them with a clean cloth. Always works for me.

    TC ;)
  12. TheDuke

    TheDuke New Member

    nope no third rail.
  13. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Your train is powered by 12V DC. The track needs to be connected to the controlled DC terminals on the power pack. The power pack normally will contain a transformer, a rectifier, and a speed control, probably variable resistance, and a direction switch. It is possible that the transformer is a separate box. Make sure the unit you use puts out DC, as AC will not run the train but will heat up the motor, eventually to burning it out or something.
    You can clean track by using alcohol on a cloth/paper towel wrapped around a small block.
    The engines may need a light lubrication after sitting for ages.
  14. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Do as was suggested and get a test track to check whether your problem is with the engines, track, or both. I suspect that your locomotives have jelled lubricant in the gear boxes. That usually will occur with any locomotive that has been in storage for a long time. If that is the case, the gearboxes need to be cleaned before you try to lubricate the locomotives.
  15. Jodam

    Jodam Member

    Sid: I bought one of those cheap Radio Shack multimeters and the first thing I did was cross the probes and blow the thing. Back to RS for another and an explanation why it went south. Your multimeter must be a better make than Radio Shack.

    Mr T Clown Sir.
    I respectfully suggest that said RS person was very wrong & covering up faulty equip. As all Multi/VOM's, use shorted leads to determine a zero setting on the ohm's range.
    Trying to test voltage on ohm's or amps range will cause probs.
    If you want a reasonably foolproof M/meter get a Digital mm preferably an auto rangeing, they allso have seperate Amps inputs.
  16. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I have a $14.99 Radio Shlock analog meter for my trains and an $89.95 GB Industries digital one for work. Quess which one I continually fall back on because it gives me the least trouble and the most reliable service :rolleyes: ?
  17. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member

    When I have a used loco that I just purchased, I generally turn it upside down and touch the leads directly to the wheels. You should get some sparking by just touching, but then sight and sound will give an indication if it is dead, or trying to run. The results of this tells me how to proceed. I don't use any track until after this test


Share This Page