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Author Topic: Durango & Silverton won't run new out of box x 2  (Read 4545 times)

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« on: May 16, 2017, 03:46:56 AM »

I looked back through all the posts about the D & S N scale trains and found 2 that were having the same issue I am.  The train will not run even though it is new right out of the box.  I purchased one from my local hobby shop to use with my Yard Boss set.  The track is fine, my Yard Boss works perfectly on it.  I unboxed the D & S Locomotive and Tender, placed them on the track and nothing happened.  I quickly boxed it back up, returned it to the sister hobby store (due to no additional sets at the first store) and exchanged for another new set.  I brought the second one home and am having the same issue, it won't run.  Taking hubby's advice, I took all the new track and power supply and set up a circle on my dining room table.  Still, it doesn't work.  I looked through the forum to see if others had the same problem, hoping it was something stupid like an on/off switch.  I found an answer, however I really don't understand it.  I was hoping someone here could explain it in "dumbed down" terms?  How do I apply power to the trucks while poking the commutator?  And where might I find these parts?  Here is the answer I found..."I am very happy to report  Cheesy that my loco works after all! I had it packaged up to go back to Bachmann but stopped at the hobby store in Green Bay first to purchase a different loco to get me started and the fellow said if you had it here, we could just check this one thing; so I booked out to my car and grabbed the package and we opened it up. He applied power to the trucks and spun the commutator with a small pick and off it went. He said it had probably been sitting a while and the lube grease had gotten stiff. "...Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, Carol


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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2017, 08:24:23 AM »

I assume it's one of the old 0-6-0 steam locomotives with an open-sided motor like this?

If the motor / drivetrain is seized up due to sitting around too long, you can try to get things going by putting it on the track, applying power, and then manually spinning the motor internals (the magnets and stuff visible through the sides of the motor).

It would probably be easier to do this with the locomotive shell removed. To do that, just unscrew the screw visible on top of the shell in the center dome. Once the screw is out, the shell should lift right off.

Good luck!


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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2017, 09:47:07 AM »

If, indeed, this is the problem, you might also want to get some track cleaner fluid, dip a Q-tip into it and slop some on the armature of the motor where the brushes are. (it is the narrow, copper colored shaft toward the "front" part of the motor)  This will help to clean the gunk from it.  Failing track cleaner, some seventy-one per-cent rubbing alcohol should do the trick, just take care  not to slop any onto the painted surfaces of the model.

Another thing to check is to make sure that the stiff wires in the drawbar (the shaft that connects tender to locomotive) are clean and making proper contact with the split post on the back underside of the locomotive.   If they are not, you  might have to clean the contact post and stiff wires.  If you try to bend them inwards, DO SO VERY CAREFULLY.  Those wires are delicate and break/come unsoldered easily.  You might try taking a small pair of needlenosed pliers and gripping the stiff wires at their base before you pinch them inward.

If there is no split contact post on the back underside of the locomotive, you have an even older version of this.  Instead, there are two brass tabs that contact the drawbar.  You might have to clean those and bend them up from the bottom, slightly.  You can improve the contact further by making sure that the contact tabs on the front tender wheelset are making proper contact with the drawbar.  It is best to disassemble the tender truck to do this, but, if you do not think that you can get it back together, you might get away with loosening the screw and pushing up on the tabs.  Do not loosen it too much and take care that you do not pop the tab/wiper out of the truck.

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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2017, 03:39:32 PM »

Thank you both so much for responding!!  The connection to the tender appears to be okay.  The next question I need to take out the 2 screws on the side of the motor to get to the parts that I think you are both referring to?  I'm trying so hard to post a picture of mine, however my file is too big and now I can't fix it.  Anyway, the battery is round (no square piece) and there is very little space between battery and motor.  Unless I can unscrew it without damaging it.
Fred Klein

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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2017, 04:00:42 PM »


As I'm looking at the picture from spookshow, I believe that what you are referring to as the "battery" is really the metal ballast that allows the locomotive to get traction. Usually, the ballast (or weight) is also part of the locomotive frame assembly which holds the drivetrain gears and a bunch of other little stuff in place. If you loosen or remove the two screws that (I think) you are describing, the frame may come apart on you and you will have a bunch of little parts rolling around on the table. What spookshow is telling you to do is to look at the back of the locomotive as if you were looking into the cab. The round object that takes up most of the room there is the motor. Usually it has a few openings in the back and when you look into it, you may see a triangular object with wires wrapped around it. That is the commutator. One thing that has worked for me is that, without  any power, I take a toothpick and try to rotate that triangular object in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction. Do this gently. You don't want to break any of the wires on the commutator. You'll ony have room to rotate it a little bit - maybe an 1/8th of an inch or so. Go back to your starting point and use the toothpick to rotate it again. Repeat this and eventually, you will see the driving wheels move just a little, indicating that the linkage and gears are free. When that happens, stop and place the locomotive on the track and apply power and see what happens.

Hope this helps,

Fred Klein
Okeechobee, FL

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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2017, 04:06:31 PM »

Go to this page. You will be able to tell us which model you have.

remove the tender and shell. Place the loco on the track. Apply 50 to 70% throttle. Press down gently on the chassis. Prod the motor with a toothpick, or plastic stirrer. If the motor won't move (it should run, on straight track, in this condition), call Bachmann. They are great with warranty. If you get it moving, read the rest of the link I sent and join Between here and there, you can learn a ton of ways to improve this model, but first, since you bought a new model, it should at least move. After that, you can improve it.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2017, 04:09:00 PM by kmcsjr » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2017, 04:35:01 PM »

Oh my goodness!  Again, thank you all for responding!!  I have the newer (2015) model, according to the pictures provided by Spookshow and kmcsjr, thank you both!  I, being impatient, went ahead and took the screw out of the center of the motor area to try to separate it a little to see if I could look down there.  As far as I could tell, nothing happened.  So I dripped one drop of alcohol into the space and placed the train on the track, turned the power knob and squealed with delight!!  My train was running!!!!  I let it make a few laps around it's tiny circle and took it back off to replace the screw.  I replaced the screw, put it back on the track and NOTHING.  I loosened the screw about 3 turns, put it back on the track and it runs again!  Thank you all so much for your help!  And now that I know the difference between the battery and ballast and can now locate the commutator, I can follow the links supplied and make it better!!!  Thanks again!

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« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2017, 02:41:12 PM »

I replaced the screw, put it back on the track and NOTHING.  I loosened the screw about 3 turns, put it back on the track and it runs again!

Hm... it could be that the screw is / was too tightly gripping the sides that it was either causing a binding issue or an electrical short. Regardless, glad you got it running.

~AJ Kleipass~
Actively modeling in N, HO, and 2-rail O scales.
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