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Sound value RS3 will not run

Started by FEC Bill, April 02, 2024, 11:31:08 AM

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FEC Bill

My RS3 ran fine. I took it off track and stored in box. When I tried to run it today it does not move. Sound works, horn, bell, and head lights respond. Prime mover sound increased when throttle first moved but locomotive will not move. Then prime mover sound steady but locomotive does not move in either direction when throttle increased. Head lights change when direction toggle changed.

Thank you
Bill Michael

CNE Runner

Hi Bill. I had the same problem with one of my Bachmann GE 45 tonners. All my locomotive's symptoms were the same as yours; so I hope my suggestion works for you. I removed the body and inspected the wiring. [I should note that I replaced the Bachmann decoder with one from TCS - along with their "Keep Alive" module" prior to the problem.] I found that one of the wires that connected the decoder to the split frame weight had come 'un-soldered'. Simply re-soldering the wire, reinstalling the body, and reinstalling those darn couplers (takes patience) did the trick. I hope this helps.

"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"


This sounds like the lubrication in the gears is gummed up.  How long have you had that engine in storage?  Also, long-term storage allows all the electrical contact points to oxidize, and basically shut your engine down.  Enough power is getting through to run the lights and sound, but not enough to turn the motor.

1.  Thoroughly clean all the wheels and electrical contact points you can get to.
2.  Take your engine shell off and painstakingly, tooth by gear tooth, dig all of the old lubricant out of all the gears.  Apply fresh lubrication.  I bet you will find that the old stuff has turned into kryptonite.

I have a feeling that your engine will run like a champ after all of this.  if not, refer to the post above and check for loose wires under the engine shell.


I can't speak for the Bachmann RS-3, but I have several diesels that did this, and the cause is either the lubricants in the gear-towers have solidified (Life-Like and Athearn) or, in the case of Life-Like, split gears, though gear locking is extreme for this cause, they usually do a lot of clicking first. You need to study the maintenance diagram and, when you understand it, dis-assemble to the point where you can see the gears to diagnose and fix. For Life-Like there are on-line videos to show you how to do this, the problem is so common. I don't know about bachmann as I have never searched the issue online. Clean the gears and re-lube with Hob-E-Lube - there are various types for different parts, varying from light oil (axle bearings) to grease (gear towers).

Hope this helps,