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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My son bought a used train set yesterday (The actual name is "Life-like", not life-line) and we are trying to set it up. Of course it doesn't work, perhaps because it is broken, perhaps because we don't know what we are doing. I don't see anyway for the engine to pick up power, it seems like it should be through the wheels, but they all seem to be plastic. I'm thinking there must be something else, because the engine also seems to be missing the hook to the other cars.

So I was wondering if there was a manual online or a diagram or something so I can see how it is supposed to work. Thanks in advance...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the reply TW.

Yeah, if it was one of those old style train sets I would know a little more about them. This is some new kind, "Power Loc" which seems to be a standard for new cheaper sets.

Further messing around with it showed that the power does indeed come through the rear wheels and there is a set of copper commutators hiding behind the wheels which are making sporadic contact. I plan to try to gently clean and re-bend the contacts to get it to work better. Or buy another engine.

The coupling on the end of the engine is broken off, so we will need a new one anyway. But his allowance was spent on this, $20 for a $150 used set with two cardboard boxes of houses and trees, etc. It would be a good deal if it actually worked 8)
 

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If it is any consolation, it sounds like you still got a good deal, even if the locomotive doesn't work out. My suggestion would be to find an Athearn Blue Box locomotive to replace the one that came with the the. You will get a reliable, easy to maintain model that will run for years, and that can be had for $15-20 tops.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the suggestion, but are you saying that the various cars I already have (Life-Like) will match the Athearn engine? That would be nice since the set came with several cars and there were a few more in the boxes.
 

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Yes, they will. Most sets of that type come with what is called a horn-hook coupler that is quite common in HO equipment.
 
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