20 Most Recent Lionel The Polar Express Train Set Questions & Answers

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What guage wire should I use to connect a train transformer to the O gauge lockons on the train track? thank, E.S

I have used 18ga lamp wire but you can use wire as thin as telephone wire. My rule of thumb is to use thicker wire (lower gauge number) the more motors on the train you are running. 20 or 22ga is generally used by most.
10/5/2019 10:20:58 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Oct 05, 2019
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I have an O Gauge Lionel Polar Express train set.

indicates a dead short to ground in the smoke unit that is overloading the transformer replace/repair the smoke unit
10/30/2017 10:53:44 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Oct 30, 2017
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Parts to fix train with failed component

You've done the right thing by talking with Lionel. Their techs should be able to guide you trough trouble shooting as it seems that you have some knowledge of electronics.
4/26/2017 5:58:08 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Apr 26, 2017
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My son got this train set couple years ago but open it now. Everything is working but it won't move. When he turn it forward or reverse it turn off. Is there anything I can do???

electric trains that sit for a few years require cleaning (yeah I know how'd it get dirty in the box ) but its not the same kind of dirt u/I see its a type of oxidation called corrosion , and it affects the metal parts of set , IE: tracks , wire connectors, engine power pick-ups on bottom of engine they ALL get this light powdery stuff on them this "stuff" will not pass power over to engine and it will not run , this powder can be easy removed with a light rub of 3M scotchbright pad , I don't recommend using steel wool , but I have in a pinch before and 4 sure don't use brillo as this has soap in it (worse than powder)
2/23/2016 1:28:14 AM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Feb 23, 2016
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The 3rd passenger car has short in it and causes green light on cw80 to blink. Checked wires and contacts on trucks can't find problem.

Lionel uses insulated wheels on there power pickup trucks , one side will have insulation bands and one will not , insulated bands need to be all same side on same truck , lead end is different than tail end this is how it picks up power from tracks , sometimes trucks axles get popped out in playing and maybe don't get popped back in the same way , also its possible for insulating bands to get holes in them from use , a dot or two of black latex paint fixes these up (don't paint entire wheel)
2/17/2016 1:37:55 AM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Feb 17, 2016
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Led blinks when train put on track

I am assuming you are using the Lionel CW80 power source. If so, the blinking light might indicate a partial short or a problem with the motor. The reason I believe that is that the CW80 has an internal fuse, which will blow for near shorts/shorts. A stalled motor i.e stuck drive gear, can cause excessive power drain although not enough to blow the internal fuse and also cause the engine not to move. Also, If the engine has the neoprene belt on one of the drive wheels it might have come off and is jamming the running gear or wheel. I believe the Polar Express only has one neoprene belt.
2/10/2015 11:31:54 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Feb 10, 2015
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When I my brand new Lionel train on the track, the red light goes out. Is there a short in the loco?? This isa the Polar Express 73-0218-250 model Xmas is tomorrow!!

I am assuming that the throttle is off when you put the train on the track. If off, then you are correct that there is an internal short in the engine. You might try disassembling the unit and looking for a pinched wire specifically from a roller(s) (center rail pickup). You might also check for a short between a pickup roller and a wheel with a VOM. Make sure the wheel is not the one with the neoprene belt.
2/3/2015 6:24:46 AM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Feb 03, 2015
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Just setup our Christmas present the Lionel polar express set. It ran a few times and stopped and will not go. I have read everything I could find online and even trouble shooter setup and wires. I am

Have you let the loco charge first? The instructions are a bit vague but the loco needs to charge before it runs. Not easily understood from the instructions and many have spent some frustrating hours wondering why their train wouldn't move.
12/25/2014 7:42:32 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Dec 25, 2014
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Take wheels off polar express

You will have to solder them using a pencil soldering iron.
12/17/2014 3:48:44 AM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Dec 17, 2014
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Engine runs slowly or not at all

CLEAN wheels, roller pickups & track.
10/15/2014 4:58:54 AM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Oct 15, 2014
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New Lionel Polar Express train set-up issue. The

My son just got this train and we are having the same problem. Taking the last car off solved the problem for us. I think it has something to do with accessories and the transformer voltage output (See page 14 and 15 of the instructions).

I have still not determined why it won't run with the final car but am assuming it has something to do with the lights on the cars pulling too many amps and not enough left to run the train. I will let you know if I find a solution. If anyone else knows how to solve the issue, any assistance would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
6/16/2014 4:37:10 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Jun 16, 2014
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Put smoke fluid in the wrong place on Lionel polar express train, got all the controls wet on main engine

Remove the shell. Soak up as much as you can. Leave out to dry or use a hair dryer on low until controls are dry.
6/16/2014 3:44:41 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Jun 16, 2014
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Won't start

There are more than just one Polar Express set. What's the set number?
5/6/2014 5:12:44 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on May 06, 2014
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I'm looking to replace the little white gears in the locamotive.

You could try contacting the Lionel Service Department on their website contact service. Contact Lionel Trains
1/21/2014 10:48:09 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Jan 21, 2014
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Short somewhere in basic fastrck oval

Strange indeed? Is there more that power to track connector going to the track. If so one may have been incorrectly orientated? The only other thing I think of that would cause a short between the two rails on the track is perhaps a set of dodgy points. sorry couldn't be more helpful.
1/21/2014 7:51:09 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Jan 21, 2014
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Not turning on

Have you let the loco charge first? The instructions are a bit vague but the loco needs to charge before it runs. Not easily understood from the instructions and many have spent some frustrating minutes wondering why their train wouldn't move.
1/21/2014 7:28:33 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Jan 21, 2014
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New polar express motor wont engage

It sounds like the gears have worn out or come adrift somehow. You will be able to get replacement gears from any of the Lionel authorised dealers Lionel Authorized Dealers or their replacement parts service Replacement Parts
1/20/2014 9:13:43 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Jan 20, 2014
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The train gets no power.

The instructions are sometimes a bit vague: for example, once switched on the train needs to sit and charge before it runs, but that is not very evident from the instructions and many folks spent some frustrating minutes wondering why the train wouldn't move.
1/20/2014 8:13:38 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Jan 20, 2014
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Lionel Polar Express Berkshire Locomotive will only go in reverse

No doubt the transistor in the motor controller inside the engine is shorted TIP31C Q6 If you have the skills you can repair the unit. Parts are cheap, like 50 cents. Expense is shipping. Have repaired at least one that had the probblem you describe
good luck
12/5/2013 4:20:58 PM • Lionel The Polar... • Answered on Dec 05, 2013
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