Model Train Forum banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm having trouble removing the coach top to replace a burnt out lamp in my Polar Express coach car. I have followed the directions in pushing in the side windows and pulling on the top but the roof won't budge.

Has anyone encountered this problem before? Any ideas on what to do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunately its not the observation car, its one of the passenger coaches. I have tried squeezing one end at a time, but the engineering just seems to require more hands than I have available. I have even tried enlisting my daughter's help, but we just end up with pinched fingers. She suggested a screwdriver wedged in the windows, but I don't want to damage the car.

Do you know of any other way to remove the roof? I mean, how else can I get to those lamps?
 

·
Yard Master & Research
Joined
·
10,635 Posts
How about just wedging a piece of plastic down. This will lift the locking tab and won't mar a surface. You may be trying to hard. You have to squeeze where the tabs are? Sorry I don't have one here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Success! I used a 6 inch plastic ruler and carefully wedged it ino the seam between the roof and the car body, squeezed the window slots and pulled the roof until it came off. Great. Now to the bulb replacement part: After replacing both bulbs, still no light! I tested each bulb by removing them from the socket, spreading the wire leads and touching them to the inner and middle rails of the track - both bulbs worked. Now it sounds like a wiring issue, so I tested for continuity with a volt / ohm meter and found an open circuit between the pick up roller and the wheel. There were no visible wiring problems until I pulled the wire that was supposed to be connected to the pick up roller. The wire had come unsoldered on both trucks. I am going to reconnect them later today and I'll bet the lights work after that procedure. The process will be a little tricky since the trucks are riveted to the chassis requiring me to to solder the wires to the pick up rollers in a tight space that won't give me much room to work the soldering iron. I'll be back with the results :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Wiring the Polar Express passenger trucks

After a GOOGLE search on how to open up the Polar Express cars for lamp replacement I read the post by boblovestrains about the wiring problem. We just got this car on ebay and it was apparent that the wiring was fried. After opening the unit and confirming that the wiring was toast, we did some further investigation.

My wife popped out the wheels thinking that I'd have better access for soldering new wires. I noticed that the center of the truck with the rivets (not the rivet holding the truck to the car) holding the electrical contactors looked like it might just pop out also. My wife used an elongated coin (you can use a flat blade screwdriver) to pop out the piece. I now have easy access to solder new wires to the truck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks deejayh! I thought about popping the truck off the chassis before reading your post, but chickened out because I was afraid of damaging the car. I soldered the lamp wire to the copper contact that touches the wheel and all is well. The interior lighting is now operational. I made sure I had a good solder joints so the movement of the trucks would not pull the wires off again. I did notice that the original solder joint was not sufficient to hold the wire - less that 1/32". Before soldered the connection, I applied a thin coat of solder to a 1/8" section of bare wire - that made the connection to the copper contact fairly simple. I needed a third hand so, I gently positioned the car in a bench vice with a soft cloth between the car and the vice making it easy to place the soldering iron tip exactly where I needed it. This was a fun exercise and I'm sure I'll get to do it again in the future. Next time, I may try your technique for removing the truck.
 

·
Railroad Tycoon
Joined
·
23,876 Posts
After a GOOGLE search on how to open up the Polar Express cars for lamp replacement I read the post by boblovestrains about the wiring problem. We just got this car on ebay and it was apparent that the wiring was fried. After opening the unit and confirming that the wiring was toast, we did some further investigation.

My wife popped out the wheels thinking that I'd have better access for soldering new wires. I noticed that the center of the truck with the rivets (not the rivet holding the truck to the car) holding the electrical contactors looked like it might just pop out also. My wife used an elongated coin (you can use a flat blade screwdriver) to pop out the piece. I now have easy access to solder new wires to the truck.
:thumbsup::DI LIKE THAT TEAM WORK!:D:thumbsup:

THE ONLY THING MINE WOULD DO IS, HELP ME GET RID OF MY TRAINS ONE WAY OR THE OTHER.:laugh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
Polar Express car wiring

This old thread really helped me get the lights back on in two Polar Express cars. The information on removing the roof and popping out the pick ups on the trucks saved the day! I found and soldered three broken connections. The wire had broken at the solder joint on all three joints. I also increased the amount of wire under the cars to allow more movement. The car department earned their pay today! Thanks.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top