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Author Topic: Inherited HO trains  (Read 3269 times)
mole1583

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« on: December 01, 2015, 01:55:44 PM »

I inherited my fathers HO trains. All the engines have been in storage for the last 20 years. I am a complete novice when it comes to trains. I want to try and get the engines going but do not know where to begin. Since they have been sitting so long will they need to be prepped or something prior to being run? Any help is greatly appreciated.                                            Thank You
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jbrock27

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« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2015, 02:22:01 PM »

Do you have track with rail joiners on them?  A (DC) power pack?  If so, hook the power pack up to some track, using the variable DC contacts and turn up the juice and see what happens.

What you need to be prepared for is some possible disassembling (taking off the loco shells) some possible lubrication of the locos and some possible cleaning of the wheels.
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mabloodhound


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« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2015, 02:25:28 PM »

Mole,
You're going to be in for a lot for work.  The drives and motors on those old locos just aren't known for longevity.  If you have rubber drive shafts or rubber bands, these will need replacing.  Motors may work ok but not up to today's standards which is allright if you're satisfied with them.  And light oiling on moving wheels/parts will be needed.
The cars will run on the track, but I suspect your track is all brass and will either need replacement or constant cleaning.  The car wheels may also be plastic which are not desirable either.  They can be changed out to metal wheelsets.
Detail parts on those old locos and cars are minimal and somewhat crude.  Again, if your happy then that's all that matters.
Good luck.
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jbrock27

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« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2015, 09:37:20 PM »

Mole,
You're going to be in for a lot for work.  The drives and motors on those old locos just aren't known for longevity.

I would not be quick to judge or assume this, before knowing the make of these locos.

I suspect your track is all brass and will either need replacement or constant cleaning.

Again, we don't know if it is or isn't and there should be no rush to judgement.  Is nickel silver track better?  For about the 1,000th time, yes, of course.  But, there are plenty of people who successfully operate on brass track.

The car wheels may also be plastic which are not desirable either.

They may be, depending on what kind of "plastic" wheels they are and whose make they are or they may not be.  Once again, we are not privy at present  to who made the cars.

Detail parts on those old locos and cars are minimal and somewhat crude.

Maybe, maybe not, depending, once again, on make.  I would be more inclined to ask more questions about what the items are, before making judgments or offering opinions about them.
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Len

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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2015, 01:09:56 AM »

If the locos have been sitting for 20 years, they will definately need lubrication before use. After sitting that long the volatile components of any lube that may have been there will have evaporated, and the residue that's left will actually create drag. But don't over do it when you add fresh lubricant.

As others have said, it would help to know what you have. Many manufacturers put their name or logo on the bottom of their locos. Athearn diesels will have 4 holes in a square pattern on the bottom for mounting the motor. Best would be if you can upload pictures of the locos to a site like Photobucket and post the links here.

Len
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