I got a Polar Express set for around the Christmas tree, and found that I
don't get any puffing smoke. Everything else seems to work fine. It's been
34 years since I had a train and I had forgotten how fun they are just to
sit and watch.
But the smoke isn't working properly. No puffing smoke, no smoke at all,
when the train is moving. If I put the train into neutral I can see smoke
creeping out. So whatever heats up the oil is working.
Are there any easy answers for this? Or is it just a warranty issue?
On another note, maybe everything else isn't working fine. Forward,
neutral, and reverse usually don't work the way the manual explains they
should. With the CW-80 transformer, it says to apply the throttle and the
train will go forward. Briefly cut the throttle and reapply and the train
will be in neutral. Briefly cut the throttle again and reapply and the
train should go in reverse.
This sometimes works, but not very often. Most often the train will go from
neutral to forward again. Sometimes, in neutral, I cut the throttle and
reapply it and the train will remain in neutral. Cut and reapply again and
the train goes forward.
It seems like hit or miss. Note, with both these issues I have verified
that the switches on the locomotive are set on. I've checked all the track
and wiring connections and they seem to be good.
On another topic: what do people think of the ZW transformer? I am having
so much fun with the trains (I had originally built an HO set for under the
tree) that I think I'm going to build a permanent layout. I'd like to have
at least two O scale trains to make a large layout interesting. I don't
think the CW-80 transformer will handle that kind of load, especially with
lighted cars and accessories.
I'd like to have a working freight line, and a passenger line. The layout
can be large enough to handle the Polar Express also. I'll get some books
on the technology and layout concepts. E.g. what is the difference between
O-27, O-36, O-54, etc. Is it just the minimum curve of the track, or can
these tracks not run together?
But not knowing the history of trains, I have no idea what kind of
locomotives to choose. I'd like an older style steam locomotive for the
freight line, and a newer diesel locomotive for the passenger line. But I'd
like them all to smoke. I don't want to set off the smoke alarm, but the
odor of the smoke brings back good childhood memories.
Is this all a matter of personal preference, no matter how eclectic the
layout might look?
- posted 15 years ago