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Lionel 6-31960 Polar Express Problem

3659 Views 20 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  gunrunnerjohn

My first post here!

When we set up our Lionel 6-31960 Polar Express train around the Christmas tree this year, the CW-80 transformer made buzzing noise and the train did not move. The green light came on, and the engine made humming noise like it was about to go but did not move. The bell button worked, and so did the lights on caboose. I tried the forward/backward button but still no movement. The green light stayed solid.

Since the lights and the bell work, I assume it is not the transformer. Could it be the motor in the engine? If so, can this be fixed DIY?

I appreciate your help in debugging and fixing the issue. Thanks.
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It can likely be fixed DIY, depending on your level of ability. How old is it, and does it sit in the box all year until Christmas?

First thing to do is to look for anything jammed up, in the wheels, rods, etc. Could be as simple as a string or fake snow wound around something. Could also probably use a good cleaning and oiling.

Post pictures of it underneath (you'll need 5 posts I think to add pics). I don't have O scale, but someone will be able to help you further.
There's another recent post about lube, and I mentioned 3in1 oil. Another member said he had heard to NOT use 3in1 oil... perhaps it's not good on plastic, etc. I don't know, but I'd google it or search this forum for 3in1 oil comments before I used it.

People recommended labelles oil, or I use hoppes #9 lubricant, and silicon grease for the gear boxes. Look in my post history for the thread about lube.
I think those rods are supposed to go into the black 'barrel' thing. Sorry, I don't know the terminology, but they shouldn't be hanging out like that, they slide inside that black thing, I think.

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Sorry, I missed the part about you saying it had slipped out. They call me captain obvious.
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