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MTH locomotives have internal batteries that may need to be replaced. The circuit boards in some older MTH locomotives can be damaged if operated with discharged or faulty batteries. Contact MTH customer service for help with your engines.
check all track connectors(squeeze lose ones with a needle nosed pliers..check wire from transformer to the track..and during assembly, the track gets any dust on it, the wheels wont make proper contact for the engine to run..) as for the locomotive.. sometimes you can clean the motor brush comutator with a simple pencils' erasure by rotating the motor armature by hand(small as it is) to clean the pickups on this..it will better help to transferr the electric into the motor..sometimes on these track layouts, you need fine grit sandpaper to run across the top of the rails as the manufaturer puts a protective coating on these.. it wont carry power to your train..you can also use the backside of a butterknife drug around the layout a few times with the electric off.. it helps you feel any rough spots on the track/layout..
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.
This train set is very particular and getting it to work each Christmas is a family tradition in frustration. First you must make sure that all the pieces of track are connected properly and that the track is perfectly symmetrical and flat. We double-check the battery positions every year and find one in wrong. There are + and - signs, but they're hard to see; use a flashlight. There is a black toggle switch below and behind the red stack that toggles forward (to make the train go forward) and backwards (reverse); straight out perpendicular to the train is the "stop" position. Also, you have to start at a stop/switch station. One other note: behind the red stack, there is a smaller black stack. If you turn this, you can make smoke come out of the stack. I think I remember someone suggesting a drop of cooking oil. Hope this helps!!! Hope you get it set up for Christmas!!!