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The cars on my train come uncoupled

My train was running great, then the cars started to uncouple, now I can't get them to stay coupled.

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C & O tender coupler will not stay closed

IVE Sseen couplings offered 4 sale on sites such as amazon and ebay b4

Jan 27, 2016 | Model Trains & Train Sets

2 Answers

I have a lionel ZW 275 watt transformer and I started to smell and see smoke coming from the right side of the Unit,it still works ok do you have any suggestions. Thanks

Not everyone will agree with me on all of this, because many people are very cautious about electrical stuff, so do proceed with caution. But, I would start unplugging it. Then unscrew and open the top. You will probably need to remove the light bulbs under the green and red caps to get the top to lift off.
  • I would first look for anything looking burnt. You didn't say what kind of smell it was and whether it was running trains or accessories at the time. Ocassionally, under load, things get warm in one spot or another and just bending a wire away from a hot spot solves the problem. Over the nearly 50-65 years since these things were made there are a couple of things that can get moved around.
  • I would, really double check what you were running when the thing started smoking. Make sure there are no shorts or derailed trucks or pilot wheels. The original circuit breakers on the ZW's are not very good, and even less so after 50 years. They don't always do what they should when there is a short. Many people who use these ZWs want to protect their trains and they change the circuit breaker to something more reliable. Look up "Lionel ZW circuit breaker" on Ebay and sort by Price + shipping. $11 is the lowest I found and a pretty good deal. Most sellers send you instructions on how to install. What I'm saying is be sure your transformer isn't burning because of a short on the train table. If it is, then you probably need to change the circuit breaker.
  • The last thing I would do is, VERY CAREFULLY, with the top off, plug it back in and operate it like you did before when it started smoking, and then watch for sparks, smoke etc. Unplug it again before doing anything else.
  • There are service manuals and repair instructions out there on the internet. Go to this site linked below and scroll to the bottom of the page for complete repair manuals for the ZW and ZW-R. The pages are .pdf and you can download them individually. I have done that and then printed them and made a repair folder. Search their Library while there. There is a ton of great information.
Lionel Toy Trains Service and Repair Information Library from OTTP...

Good Luck, Dave

Mar 25, 2015 | Model Trains & Train Sets

1 Answer

Thomas engine keeps uncoupling.

Check the warranty. If still under, return it. Otherwise find a store that sells small black rubber bands, around 1/2" in diameter. Wrap one around the coupler behind the knuckle. Check to see if the coupler still opens. If it does move the rubber band either forward or backward until the coupler does not open.

Apr 23, 2013 | Lionel (31956) Thomas The Train Set

1 Answer

Thomas the Tank engine coupler not holding on the cars.

Check the warranty. If still under, return it. Otherwise find a store that sells small black rubber bands, around 1/2" in diameter. Wrap one around the coupler behind the knuckle. Check to see if the coupler still opens. If it does move the rubber band either forward or backward until the coupler does not open.

Apr 23, 2013 | Lionel (31956) Thomas The Train Set

1 Answer


Track power is not recommended for this uncoupler. Use an aux fixed supply of at least 10 to 13VAC for the supply. You have to move a jumper on the bottom of the track to do this. Then there will be four wires needed. Two for the aux power (hot and common) and the other two which go to the pushbutton switch.

Note: Same goes for Lionel FasTrack Remote switches. Run the switches from a 10 to 12 VAC aux supply. There is a jumper you remove on the bottom of the switch to connect an aux supply.

Apr 27, 2011 | Lionel 12020 Fastrack Remote Uncoupling...

2 Answers

Is lionel 40 watt transformer from toy train enough power to run a dual motor larger train engine it just lites up and sputters

It would depend on what engine you're trying to run. The 40 watt transformer's circuit breaker will trip off if you put too large of an electrical load on it. If the engine light stays on while it sputters, the track or the engine's motor and electrical pick-ups may need cleaning. Older engines that haven't been run for a while can get stiff. Your engine may need some lubrication.

Jan 18, 2011 | Lionel 40 Watt Transformer Train Set Track...

1 Answer

We just got the Hogwarts express and it will not complete 1 loop without derailing or the cars becoming uncoupled.

Well you should probably check the radius of your curves. The Hogwarts Express has a minimum curve of O36 and on a tighter radius curve it will derail. I have found that the Hogwarts train runs better on fasttrack than standard O. You should also make sure the track is flat because if it isn't completely flat it derails. The train isn't designed well so it derails but if you run it slow you shouldn't have a lot of problems.

Dec 27, 2010 | Lionel 7-11020 Harry Potter Hogwarts...

1 Answer

Ι've just joined 2 ovals 40x60 lionel fastrack, used some other items 2 Lionel 6-12018 FasTrack O-36 MANUAL SWITCH RH, 2 Lionel 6-12017 FasTrack O-36 Manual Switch LH, A few 6-12014...

It sounds as though you may have two defective transformers. Lionel has reported problems with some of their smaller transformers. I would have the transformers and the engines checked by a Lionel service station or contact their customer service department for help.

Nov 12, 2010 | Lionel 40 Watt Transformer Train Set Track...

1 Answer

I have a 1950's engine and transformer. I run it every year a Christmas. Last year the reverse direction switch started working intermittently. I would press it multiple times and occasionally it would...

Turn the power to the track off and then back on. The engine may stay still because the train is in neutral. Turn the power off and on once again. The engine should now go forward or reverse. Turning the powere on and off again will return the train to neutral. On and off again should make the train move in the opposite direction. If all of these steps work then the problem is in the "Direction" button of the transformer. But if the problem still persist, than the "E" unit in the engine needs to be serviced. More times than not it is the E unit. The direction button is a simple momentary off switch that has few moving parts.

Nov 09, 2010 | Lionel New Haven Freight Train Set

2 Answers

I bought the set last year of holiday lionel trains g replaced batteries, have light on remote and noise from engine but no movement? any ideas

If all cars are not properly on the track, the engine does not have enough power to pull the cars. Try with engine and coal car only to zero in on cause.

Dec 23, 2009 | Lionel Trains Holiday Express G Gauge...

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