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Discussion Starter #1
I'm a complete rookie at O Scale stuff, but am planning a Christmas village line for my wife, thing on getting a bump and go trolley. I want thee most reliable track, power pack, and trolley I can get.

Help please with suggestions on best track, best trolley (or some other loco & car combo), that would be super reliable.

I tried a Lionel bump and go trolley a couple years ago on Lionel fastrack, and had problems with black buildup on the wheels, requiring frequent cleaning and gave up on it. Ready to try again though.
 

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I'm a complete rookie at O Scale stuff, but am planning a Christmas village line for my wife, thing on getting a bump and go trolley. I want thee most reliable track, power pack, and trolley I can get.

Help please with suggestions on best track, best trolley (or some other loco & car combo), that would be super reliable.

I tried a Lionel bump and go trolley a couple years ago on Lionel fastrack, and had problems with black buildup on the wheels, requiring frequent cleaning and gave up on it. Ready to try again though.
cleaning wheels and pickup rollers is just a result of running trains.

Lionel and MTH make decent bump and go trolleys


this place is close to you and they might have trolleys running at the next meet.

https://www.ttos-sp.org/
 

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My experience is that the MTH is built a bit heavier, has more metal in the frame/drivetrain, etc. I had a Lionel trolley get jammed on a public layout, fail to trip the breaker, and catch fire. It would bounce around quite a bit and was generally unstable. The MTH trolley ran the same trackage without any issues.

One of the two we had would also have the pickup rollers jam, causing it to lose track power. We cleaned them, changed the springs, etc, with no luck
 

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Discussion Starter #4
In reading online posts about the Lionel trolley, I see others complained about the black buildup on the wheels.

I have not yet gotten eyes on the MTH trolley, I would hope they use a better wheel material.
 

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In reading online posts about the Lionel trolley, I see others complained about the black buildup on the wheels.

I have not yet gotten eyes on the MTH trolley, I would hope they use a better wheel material.
I have both Lionel and MTH trollies. The MTH version is far superior to the modern Lionel version.

Bill
 

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Have both also.....MTH appears to me the better choice. My only pet peeve is the interior lighting....very low.

-Pete
 

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The MTH is the better trolly I think (I have both and a few others besides). But realize you will get that black build up and need to lean track and rollers regardless - it is a consequence of running the thing, nothing more.
 

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I'm going to take a tangent here... I see that you are modeling On30, and I think I remember another thread where you talk about Kata Unitrack and an On30 railbus?

Why isn't the railbus something to consider?

Also, there are bachmann trolley kits and I have tried and work pretty well:

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/bac...MI256t3bWm5wIVApyzCh115w1TEAQYBSABEgJN7PD_BwE

You can add as much track to that as you like... you can buy the trolley track (expensive), or I can tell you how to hack it to run on any track, you just need to run a wire out to the farthest end track and connect it back to the controller.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
MTH is better, ok thanks. Tom C., yes, I am using ON30 right now, just received a shiny new Railbus and found it to be defective, will not run, so am returning it. I have a Davenport ON30 Bachmann that runs fine.

Just looking for a setup that runs reliably and does not require cleaning too often and is roughly S or O scale in size. I am planning to order up the Bachmann trolley and see how it runs. I have had 2 Bachmann steam locos develop problems after some hours of running, so I'm thinking Bachmann may be a bit light duty on their running gear. Now that I have a failed Railbus right out of the box, I'm wondering if getting a Bachmann ON30 Trolley is a good move or not.

I have even considered getting a high quality HO loco, maybe Kato? and putting a turn of the century type shell on it to match up with the 1900's Christmas village we have.
 

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That's too bad about the railbus. I've got a herd of those things, and for the most part they've run trouble free. I did get one this year, and it ran for probably 20+ hours, and when I turned on my layout one morning it wouldn't run. Appears the motor gave up the ghost.

Question, was the railbus new retail, new-old-stock that had sitting on the shelf, or ebay used? NOS items may have had the issue with split axle gears.

I've heard people complain about Bachmann, but my On30 stuff runs well. I've got a 4-6-0 steamer that's run many many (many) hours without supervision and the only thing I've done is given it a few drops of oil on the linkages. Granted, it's a holiday roundy-round that doesn't break any land speed records. :)

I think you will always have a few lemons no matter what you buy, and you will likely always need to do some maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The new railbus I think is new old stock and I think it has a broken gear, it wants to go, but something is binding up.
I had a 0-4-2 that ran great had sound too.
Had a 2-6-0 that developed weird sounds, mechanical issues.
Had a 4-4-0 that ran great.
Had a 0-4-0 that developed problems.

Was think of trying the 50 ton center cab. Doesn't look right though, not 1900's looking of course. Neither is the Davenport
 

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I know exactly what the problem is, it's a split gear, one or more. It can be repaired if you're so inclined. Get a front and rear shaft set and they will drop right in easily.

You can probably verify this by gently rotating the wheels... if the shafts are slipping then the wheels will rotate past about 1/4 turn. It may be the front, the rear, or it could be both.
 

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This is purely anecdotal evidence, but is nevertheless true from my experience. I set up a Lionel trolley on FasTrack and had to clean both the track and the wheels every other day to keep it running without stopping on the track. Got tired of that so I took it down. I later decided I really wanted a trolley for my Mickey Mouse station and put down some old O27 track I had. That was 4 years ago and I have not cleaned the track once and it runs perfectly with no hesitation using the exact same trolley and transformer. I have no idea why the huge difference, only that it works now.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Batstang2000, happy news. I thought the tin plated steel rails were not a great idea, but I believed the culprit was the cruddy looking wheels on my Lionel trolley, they look like sintered metal, but really crude. And I wondered if Gargraves SS track would have the problem, or nickel-silver from Atlas or MTH.

Based on what you are saying it is not the wheels, it is the tin plated track. I wonder if other locos have the problem too. I would think no one would use Fastrack if they knew this.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
the hack?

Also, there are bachmann trolley kits and I have tried and work pretty well:

https://www.modeltrainstuff.com/bac...MI256t3bWm5wIVApyzCh115w1TEAQYBSABEgJN7PD_BwE

You can add as much track to that as you like... you can buy the trolley track (expensive), or I can tell you how to hack it to run on any track, you just need to run a wire out to the farthest end track and connect it back to the controller.[/QUOTE]

Tom C. can you explain your hack in detail please?
 

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Yeah. It's not really a hack, just a way to avoid buying the more expensive "auto reverse" track.

When you get the trolley take a look at the underside of the track. You will see along with the rail joiners there is another electrical connection, which feeds a conductor all the way to the end track. The end track has a rail gap, and when the trolley reaches the end the controller stops it, waits 5 seconds (I think there is a variable controller for time) and then reverses it and it comes back home.

You can add all the extra regular track you want, just run a wire out to the end section and tie it back in at the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Tom C. , ok we would need to use Bachmann E-Z track right, and keep the controller, and the end of the line pieces they provide, right?
 

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Yes.... and then not really. You could use other track if you really wanted to, it just won't look the same. But, technically, you could.

In that trolley system I think the controller is in the building and then there is an end section of track that has a rail gap. You *could* just keep the building and then use any other track you wanted, as long as you are able to connect it. Then at the end of the line create a rail gap. Just look at the end piece of the trolley track when you get it and duplicate what it has.
 
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