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Train engine wont run

I have a gp38 locomotive that i cant get to run. i have proper power on track' but still wont run. hope someone can help me

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I made a mistake. My Train is not a Darda top train. Mine is a gp38 that wont run.

Posted on Jan 12, 2009

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If your locomotive continuously starts then stops, when prodded with hand/finger repeats process. Then most likely, first check your electric connection for a loose connection. If everything looks ok, check wheels on locomotive for dirty wheels, then check track for dirty track.

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Try cleaning the track AND wheels with an INK ERASER. Put the engine on the track and help it along. It could just be tight from sitting in the box. I live about 8 miles from the Strasburg railroad and have 2 relatives working there. We have ALL experienced the same thing on4 different sets. It isn't just the Strasburg sets that do this, it's most of the new toys. Your Strasburg cars might not connect to other train sets. Their car couplings are different, just like on their real trains.

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I have power to the train and it runs but it moves extremely slowly and sommetimes comes to a stop.


I'm assuming the train is track powered with a power pack, and not battery powered, so there's actually a few possible solutions. I'll work from the easiest/cheapest, to the more advanced/expensive.

First, especially if the track is old or been in storage a while, the track may have a thin film of dirt, oil, or rust that is insulating the wheels from picking up the power they need from the track. Try cleaning the track with a mild soap but BE SURE TO DRY IT COMPLETELY before reattaching the power. Also, clean the wheels but use a cotton swab and very little water. One drop inside the motor might destroy it from the inside. You can also try a special track cleaning solution sold at your local hobby shop that has HO model train sets. That will work better, especially on lightly rusted parts. Also, make sure all the track connections are tight and free from contaminants.

Then, if you're feeling brave, you can check the motor of the train itself. Disassemble the locomotive and find the motor inside the housing. Check the wires leading from the wheel area to the motor for any corrosion, or loose/broken wires. If it's not the wires which are easy to solder back in place, I wouldn't recommend going any deeper into the motor as it's better and less frustrating to just buy a whole new set.

Finally, the problem may lay in the power pack (inverter) itself. I personally don't bother trying to fix a power pack, but if you know your electronics you could run some tests of the output voltage to the track, and the voltage on the track at various points. Again, it's not worth the time or effort to mess with the power pack unless you know what you're doing. You could get seriously injured or killed by the voltage/amperage running through those things. They even have enough stored electricity after they're unplugged to cause some nasty electrical burns from the capacitors.

Hope this helps and you're able to fix the problem so you can get back to enjoying the train set. I've always enjoyed watching them for hours, especially when I set up my track around the Christmas tree every year! Good luck!

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Not sure what instructions you need, but the setup is very simple.
1. Put your track together
2. Attach the track power connector by slipping it under the track and pushing, then lift up the other side. This will make the two metal contacts connect to the track.
3. Plug the connector from the power pack into the track module (It should only go one way)
4. Plug the control box (looks like a telephone cord) into the track module, Will only go one way
5. Place the locomotive on the track.
6. Place the Treetop Tender on the track (you need both to make it run)
7. Connect the large connector from the treetop tender to the loco
8. Turn on the command module and press forward ...

You should now be running in circles ...

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1 Answer

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