Xmas train won't work and it is brand new

Started by kearley_1999, November 17, 2013, 10:31:32 AM

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Just put together my $400+ train and I can't get it to even run.  Have tried everything.  It is bad that they don't have a troubleshooting forum on this website.  Can anyone help me to see if there is something else I need to do.


Is this an H.O. set or an O gauge set, or G gauge set?
If is an H.O. set without DCC try using a small car battery(or motorcycle battery) to power the engine and see if it works. You can do the same if it is an O gauge or G gauge set by Bachmann as they have electronic circuits to filter the AC but will run on DC.

Just make sure you don't put battery power to a DCC set or DCC engine!

Lee F.


I really appreciate your response but it was all Greek to me.  I don't quite know what gauge set I have.  Isn't there a troubleshooting site out there?


The gauge is on the box and in the instructions. How about a model number?  That will also tell you if it's a dcc set.  You have to read a bit and have some info before anyone can help you. We cannot guess for you.

Morgun 30

Kearley, people here are very qualified and will be more than happy to help you, but they need more than, "My train would work." Brand, model, DC or DCC, will gave them a starting point. I'd say the first place to look is to make sure all the power connections are correct.


We have shortened the track and it still doesn't work.  Do these numbers mean anything to  you?   Input 120 VAC 60 HZ, Output AC 16V 1000 MA?


The only other numbers I could find was an Item No. 90047 and K130916.  It is the Christmas train.


Ok. That's a bachmann g scale wonderland flyer. Ac not dcc.

Are you certain that the track power is plugged into the track power output connection on the power pack and not the accessories connection?


Yes.  My husband is very handy and he has tried everything.  I
was hoping it would be a little technicality!


If you got it from a local store, I would take it back and tell then it is not running.


A possible oversight, your "wall wart"(black transformer that plugs into the wall) puts out 16vac, but I think it is rectified into DC before it is fed to the track by the knob.
A light bulb for an automobile can be used with wire scraps to check the power supply. 12volt will be close enough for testing, and regular bulbs don't care if you feed them ac or dc.
I think most large scale(G gauge) use D.C. only for the track (labeled "track" on controller) and 16v A.C. for accessories(also labeled). Mine does. Don't hook the ac accessories to the train, you may cause damage to the motor or boards very quickly. Most AC motors run fine on DC, but try to run a DC motor on AC and it will burn out fast.  I don't own that power supply or train, but this is how I would proceed. Some answers I won't elaborate on unless you need it, because I doubt that will be the logic chain to follow, but let me know if you are left hanging at the end of a test. Ill elaborate.(or someone will)
Take notes as you go.
Start by disconnecting wires to the track.
Insert plug of power pack into wall, turn it on/off as needed. Unplug for 2 minutes minimum before each test.
I believe you have a light on the controller. Note: Is it on when you turn the knob on?
Yes? A good sign (usually... the test bulb should tell for sure if it is a good sign. For some mfg. this means a short. But with Bachmann it usually means ON.)
No? Note it ,and continue.
Test ac accessory output with test bulb, does it turn it on?(only ac test being done by us)
Test track output, does it turn on?
No? to either, bad power pac. return or buy a new one.
Yes? Power off again.(You noted the controller light was off. It might go on if a short occurs, or light is dead)
Attach track wires to one, or two pieces of track. Turn on.
Does the bulb situation change?( test bulb on track should be lit.)
No? it has a short in the track, wires, or bad connection at the track. Isolate each track section till short is found, then remedy, or just return it.
  If your test lamp is lit, power down, and put the loco, and tender, on the rails. Plug loco and tender together(add battery if needed).
Power up. If you have no response, lights, or sound check for bent contacts to the wheels, return it, or let us know that you, want more do it yourself help (large scale forum here is a better place for this subject), or even send it to Bachmann service for repair. They have a good warranty and repair policy.
If the lamp on the controller should light, and the test bulb goes out, as the loco is tested, the lamp on controller is a fault light that turns on to show a short (more common on other mfg.s stuff), and the loco has issues. Follow return/repair advice.
Hope this helps! K.I.T.! and Good luck!



I believe 90047 is the number for your set. 44213 must be embossed on the loco as the number for that particular piece. Since neither of these is in the current Bachmann catalog, I'm wondering if you purchased it used on eBay or from a private person. If so, you would have to pay a fee to Bachmann to repair it out of warranty. If you purchased it new and have the paperwork, the Bachmann warranty should apply. However, sending in a loco is expensive and we are quickly moving into the time of year that the B'man's service department starts to get plugged up with increased demands. (Yes, the trains shouldn't be broken until after Christmas but a lot of dads set the trains up "to make sure they work okay," and then proceed to break them.) Since you haven't tried much it's more than worth while to see if we can help.

To do so, we'll need more information. It's very helpful that you identified what you have; we'd be hopelessly stumped without that. But ... we need some details about just how it isn't working. For example, do the lights work? Does the sound work? Are you seeing any sparks? Can you hear the motor trying to go? Are the drive wheels -- the big ones connected to the side rods -- loose so you can move them or fairly tightly held in place? Have you checked to ensure that your power pack is putting out the juice? (If you have any lights or sound it is putting out something. An electrical tester can tell you more, like how much current is flowing. If you have no electrical tester, connect the feeder wire and see if you get any sparks when you quickly place a metal object across the rails with the power turned partway up. Remove your trains before doing it and don't repeat the test unless you have changed something and want to see if it made a difference. Be aware that your power pack's internal circuits may open the circuit breaker when you short the power pack and it may take a few minutes to reset. That's normal and it doesn't mean you damaged anything with your test.) Does your loco lurch when you apply power and then stop? Does it go at all? Does anything happen if you touch your feeders directly to wheels on opposite sides of the loco and tender? (Ty several combinations.) Have you looked underneath to see if there are any narrow metal strips which should be making contact with the metal parts of the wheels or the axles?

In short, describe exactly what does or does not work and tell us what you've tried so far. The odds are very good that we can help you with what is probably a simple matter but we need to know exactly what the problem is. Think of it like going to the doctor. If you say you don't feel good it doesn't help him very much. It's better to tell him where it hurts, or how you hurt something, or that your stomach has been upset since you ate those oysters, or that you have a fever and a dry cough. I look forward to seeing some more details.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    -- D

Loco Bill Canelos

Are you sure this is new.  This is actually and old set about 9 years old!   I would take it back to the seller and get a refund.

If you do not want to, then go through the instruction manual that came with it and follow the instructions step by step.  If you did not get the instructions then here is the link.


These instructions show basic troubleshooting problems.

If you follow the instructions exactly and it still does not run.   State exactly what happens when you turn on the power and try to increase speed.

Folks here will help you, but without knowing exactly what is happening we can't help much.
Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway-Missouri Western Railway
Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
Colorado RR Museum-Brakeman-Engineer-Motorman-Trainman
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!

Joe Satnik

Hi, Kearly.

I am fairly familiar with the item marked 44213. 

It is the controller head of a 3 piece Large Scale ( or "G" Scale) power pack and track cord set, Bachmann item number 44213. (Same number.)

The other part of this set is a "wall-wart" AC wall adapter numbered AC1601000.

It has only a round 1/8"  3 conductor jack for an output (to the track).   

(It has no AC accessories output posts, which its HO-N-On30 Scales counterpart power pack set has.)

Plug the red cable into the 1/8" jack on the controller head.

The flat rectangular end of the red track power cord plugs into the right end of the "power clip" or "lock on" shown  here.

Slide the "lock-on" under the two rails until it "clicks" into place.

Put aside the coal tender and other cars - not needed for troubleshooting.   

Place only the 6 main wheels of the loco on the track, being careful that all 6 wheel flanges are between the 2 rails. 

Put a piece of paper under the 4 front wheels to insulate them from the track. 

Plug your AC adapter into the wall socket, and the adapter's wire end into the controller head. 

Does the small red LED in the upper left corner of the controller light up?

Does the LED vary in brightness as you do various things: turn the speed up and down, switch directions, plug/unplug the red cable jack from the controller ?

Troubleshooting beyond this point would need a VOM (Volt-Ohm Meter) or a DMM (Digital Multi-Meter) or some kind of low voltage test light. 

Do you have, or have access to any of those?

DMM's are fairly cheap at Harbor Freight. 


Joe Satnik

If your loco is too heavy to lift, you'd better be able to ride in, on or behind it.