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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a newbie with a 1950's 2-6-2 Lionel engine (#20261) and a new CW80 transformer. I don't understand how to start the engine. When I apply power with the throttle, the headlight comes on and the whistle button works. Then I press "direction" but nothing happens. I wait, press it again. Maybe on the third or 4th time the engine starts and then runs nicely. Sometimes I have to fiddle with the throttle and buttons for quite a while before it starts. Any suggestions? Thanks.

(BTW I cleaned the vintage tracks with a "Bright Boy" eraser.)
 

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Moderator Torpedo Emeritus
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From your description, it sounds like you have a problem with the E-unit (reversing lever), that controls what direction the loco runs. The E unit cycles from forward-neutral-reverse-neutral-forward, when either the direction control is activated, or you power up the loco, shut the power down, and then power it back up again. I think you have a typo with the number, and it is probably a 2026 loco, from the 1950's. It most likely needs a good cleaning, and lubrication, and a thorough cleaning of the contact fingers of the E unit.

As an easy trick, if the problem is with the E unit. You can buy some CRC Contact Cleaner, the kind used on electronics. Try spraying the cleaner up into the area of the E unit, and do that a few times. Put the loco on the track, and try to run it. If you don't feel comfortable with trying to see if that works, I would suggest you find a hobby shop that deals in Lionel Repair, and have them give your loco a thorough going over. The 2026 and the similar 2025 locos, are not the easiest to take apart, and reassemble, if you are totally new to the hobby. The group of guys here can guide you through a lot, and can answer most of you questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks!

Now I understand the issues. I turned off the E-unit for now, and the problem is gone. I'm satisfied with just running forward.
 
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