My Old Trains, RIP

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Eric_L, Dec 21, 2003.

  1. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    Some background -
    At the age of five (1973) I got my first trainset, which I still have. It was the beginning of a lifeling hobby and interest. IN 1988 when I went off to university I packed all of my train collection carefully in ziplock bags and cardboard boxes.

    Now I have seven and five year old sons. This weekend I decided to pull my old trains out and give them a test drive on a circle of new track with a new transformer.

    nada.

    Some light up and made a slight groan, and that was it. A newer train worked fine.

    So it would seem all my old trains are deceased.

    It is not entirely bad news. I have been wanting to downsize from HO to N gauge anyway, and now I have an excuse. Sentimental value is good, but if they don't work they don't work.

    I'm wondering now if they have any value on Ebay. These were all just Tyco sets - Chattanooga Choo-Choo, Spirit of America (1976 Bicentennial) and others. They may be repairable by someone so inclined and talennted. Probably just have burnt out or corroded motors.

    I don't know why, but after 15 years of storage, I really don't care much about the sentiment like I thought I would. Meanwhile an N gauge coffee table set sounds very appealing...
     
  2. John Miles

    John Miles Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't know anything about trains, but my suspicion is that the new transformer you're using doesn't have the same ratings as the one your trains were designed to run on. It may be too wimpy. Before giving up, I'd look around on eBay for an original transformer, or at least talk with the folks at a hobby shop that sells model-train equipment.
     
  3. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    I know we can't keep everything, but boy, I wish I at least had my first baseball glove that I bought myself, or a transistor radio I bought in 1963.

    And the model railways just disappeared. Too many moves or somethin'[​IMG]
     
  4. Eric Kahn

    Eric Kahn Guest

    My only train set is the spirit of america set you mentioned, I played with it as a teenager and broke some of the small pieces off.

    I still have it packed up somewhere
     
  5. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    I sold my HO trains when I was about 12 but luckily I held onto my American Flyer S scale trains. They were old back then, now most are pushing 50 and run just fine. Even the train station with the tiny record that announces "All Aboard, American Flyer....." works great and my rocket launcher still scares the hell out of people!

    I sold my N scale set on ebay for around $100.
    HO trains in the 70s tend to be pretty cheaply made and prces reflect it. A guy once told me the only American Flyer he ever saw that was not fixable was one that was smashed by a sledgehammer....they don't make them like thay anymore.
    Here are some model train forums that might help
    http://www.trains.com/maghomepage/ma...p?idMagazine=3

    http://www.trains.com/community/foru...ult.asp?S_ID=0
     
  6. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    hmm, interesting theory, I'll check it out... I still have a powerpack...
     
  7. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Some newer trains use DC; your old trains are variable AC I think.
    When I took mine out from their 30 year sleep, they sat there like yours.
    They get power from the tracks. Tracks are dirty; hence no movement.
    I found sprayable TV tuner cleaner to work great. Spray on and use a cloth to wipe off. They might come back from the dead yet!
     
  8. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    I have my old set also - in this case, a Maerklin HO.

    I need to get it set up one of these days. A lot of track to lay; mine covered a full size sheet of plywood... that's after about 10 years of collecting.

    I have found in the past that the tracks corroding is a problem. I ended up using a piece of emory paper to just touch them up, and they worked fine. But it is a bit rough on the tracks.

    I'll have to give that TV tuner cleaner a whirl, thanks for the tip!
     
  9. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    My first thought was that the gears were stuck, due to grease gone bad - don't know about the AC/DC thing.

    It should be easy to pop the cover from the engines and at least look. Hey, maybe some WD-40 might do it! [​IMG]

    Glenn
     
  10. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    A few years ago I decided to dust off my trains. They were tyco HO trains that I had since the mid-eightys. Not very well stored. They weren't very reliable, and they didn't do well on the carpet. So I decided to invest in a nice set of Lionel trains (my father and brother also have Lionel). I found a nice set at a train show, and have enjoyed them every year since. I try to add one piece to my collection every year. Nothing too terribly expensive. Although those new steam engines do look nice...
     
  11. Tony Whalen

    Tony Whalen Producer

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    HO modeler here. [​IMG]

    Could be any number of things. New power pack using less power... track that needs cleaning, or just old engines that need a little service. That usually involves taking them apart and giving 'em a little clean and a little oil here and there.

    If you aren't stuck on getting rid of 'em, head over to the local hobby shop...I'm sure they can offer you some tips on cleaning up your old engines, or maybe even replacing their motors. Heck, they might even have someone who will do it for you for a couple of bucks. [​IMG]
     

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