i used to live in england and bought a fair amount of hornby 00 trains
over there. they worked fine over there, but then i moved to the
states. i unpacked them and left them in my basement but haven't
really used them in the three years since. im trying to set them up
now and im having some problems. the trains don't seem to run very
well. sometimes they wont start unless i give them a little push, and
when they are running they tend to stop and start frequently.
sometimes, on curves, the trains will stop moving forward and the
wheels will spin in place. there was a lot of grime (dust and stuff)
on the tracks and i cleaned most of that off, but im still having the
problems i listed. strangely, the locomotives seem to run fine by
themselves, but run into trouble when i attach a lot of wagons or
rolling stock. any suggestions?
Sounds to me like gears or couplings are slipping. Since you say the motors
are running, I don't think it's dirt. Can you try and run them without the
shell, or in the workbench where you can see the drive train, look where a
shaft is turning, but the associated gear or coupling is not.
When was this?
The original Hornby 3-rail and early 2-rail had a wheel profile rather
like Lionel, with a flat tread instead of coned.
On the real thing it's the coning that steers the wheel because the
circumference at the point of contact changes. The side with the
larger circumference steers towards the side with the smaller one.
On a curve the flat tread causes the wheels to try and move at
different speeds but they can't so one of them slips.
If it's not original Hornby its probably due to being kept in a damp
basement and not being used. Bearings dry out over time and the damp
makes things sieze. The motor has to overcome the increased friction
and less power is available for traction. In spite of the coning there
is increased friction on curves, increasing the drag of the train
which is combines with an engine having less traction.
Remove the engine's body. Lubricate the bearings including the motor
bearings but be careful not to let oil get into the motor's brush
gear. Grease the gears and run the it upside down by connecting power
directly instead of through the wheels.
Clean the wheels using FINE sandpaper sticks while it is running
upside down. You can get these at the hobby shop at an expensive price
or cheaper in the lady's grooming section of the supermarket - they
use them on their finder nails.
Dirt track and wheels cause intermittant power to reach the motor. If
the engine is running well its speed carries it over the dirty bits.
But if it is slow it will stop on them and need to be pushed to start.
So the track and wheels should be as clean as possible.
Thoroughly clean the track - not "most of it". If the engine is
running slowly - which it will be until it has been oiled and running
properly. run in
horoughly clean the track (