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We started with a simple loop and a HO Thomas set. Just when we are ready to add to the set and go with a full 4x8 layout his engine started acting up. It runs good when its on the terminal track and the dies away as it moves away from the terminal section. Where to start?
 

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First thing to check is the electrical from the transformer to the track/terminal. Are all the wires neat, without fraying or otherwise? If not, restrip the wires and double check there are no loose connections anywhere.

Also take a look at the track - are the top of the rails bright, with no oxidization or dark patches? If not, get a track cleaner from your hobby shop. It's a $2 item that will keep everything clean and the electrical juices flowing. What sometimes works in a pinch is just using a small piece of wood on top of the tracks. Another way to tell if your track is dirty is to just run your finger along - if there is dirt / residue on your finger, you have dirty track!

Next, the loco itself. Check the bottom of the wheels for dirt, foreign objects, and general buildup. Chances are if the loco has been used quite a bit it will need some cleaning. Cleaning wheels are a little tricker on locos like that, some times you can take the edge of the track cleaning eraser and remove the build up that way, other times a stiff wired bristle brush used with care will remove the rest.

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
 

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It sounds like the track isn't making good connections. I don't know what track you have, but if it runs fine near the terminal wires but gets bad away from there, it most likely is the track connectors.
 

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I'm assuming it's the EZ Track like what came with our Thomas. I have expanded the starter set to go once around on a 4x8 plus two switches 1-LH, 1-RH to make an inside loop. I had problems like you, but after checking the connectors I found I had some that were not set properly (my bad). I cleaned and reconnected, and now Thomas goes everywhere with no problem or power loss. I even can run an 8 car freight set with no problem. Check the connectors, and try cleaning them as well. Hope this helps.

John
 

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loco help

I recently leaned on my e-z track and theengine cut out. Connections can be ruptured between snap sections. I have since soldered extra wires at random points to stop the cutouts
 
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