The Mainline Range

During the 70's & 80's (are the apostrophies OK) I was a
workoholic and had little time for "The Hobby". I had no experience of
Mainline kit when new but recently have had plenty of the worn out
variety. That was until this past week when I bought a Class 45 stated
as unused. Not only does that seem to be true but it runs as well
as any Bachmann or Hornby and without the gratuitous sound effects. I
have read many comments regarding this type of locomotive (and
similar) but find the appearance to be very acceptable. Did they all
give such satisfaction initially and then die or was (is) it just pot
luck ?
Reply to
Peter Abraham
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I used a lot of Mainline stuff back then, because it was usually better-looking than Hornby at the time and often better value as well. I didn't have any trouble with it at all, and my recollection of discussions with other modellers was that this was a fairly common experience.
However, as second-hand stock twenty or thirty years later, there does seem to be a general impression that Mainline products haven't lasted as well as Hornby models of the same era (or even Triang from an earlier generation).
I can't comment on that directly as I haven't (yet) bought any old mainline products myself, but it's a recurring theme in discussions both here and on web forums that I frequent. My guess, therefore, is that if you can find a Mainline loco in new or as-new condition then you'll be fine, but I'd be inclined to be wary of any that have obviously been well-used.
I don't know for certain why it should be the case that Mainline stuff hasn't lasted so well, but I suspect it's something to do with the fact that Hornby, being (then) essentially a toy manufacturer were simply better at building robustness into their models. Mainline (and Airfix, who also got into the model railway market at around the same time) certainly raised the bar as regards detail and fidelity to the prototype but maybe they underestimated the difficulty of making them reliable and long-lasting as well as good-looking.
Mark
Reply to
Mark Goodge
I've always had a bit of trouble with my Mainline 45 now stored and replaced with a Bachmann 45 which has a more correct bogie. I have two of their 56's and have no problems with them only the arrival of a Heljan 47 supplanted them as best performing diesels on my layout.
Chris
Reply to
Chris
I've owned two Mainline Class 45's from new, plus seven second hand ones bought from ebay recently. Never had any serious problems with them save for replacing traction tyres with those from the Airfix Class 31.
All I've done is give them a light service every now and again, and they still keep running.
I wonder if they'll last as long as my Tri-ang 1954 R52 Jinty, which still has it's original X04 motor and brushes.
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Chris, if you want to off load your two Mainline Class 45's, email me at; snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com I'm interested :-).
Wilson
Reply to
Wilson Adams
I have owned quite a number of locos from the 70/80's. I think it is true to say that Hornby were far more robust, but they always seemed to need some tweeking on purchase - loose parts, or some such. The main problem I've had with Mainline - and subsequently Bachmann - has been with the plastic axle or gears. They split over time, although so far I've been able to use superglue to effect a repair to the axles. Split gears on a Warship have been replaced with an Ultrascale set which vastly improved the running. Bachmann also suffer from splitting plastic axles - but spares seem to be available at the moment.
It is the plastic axles that will "kill" a loco, and it is one thing that Hornby have not used to my knowledge, and nor did Airfix. This is the main reason for saying Hornby were more robust, although valve gear parts were more to scale and therefore more flimsy on the other makes.
I have seen comments which suggested that lack of use rather than the opposite seemed to encourage the cracking of plastic axles. I have been more concerned to see this happening with relatively recent Bachman models like the Ivatt 2-6-2T's, whereas the older Mainline models seem to have onle exhibited this problem - on my models anyway - after a much longer period
Colin
Reply to
antrobus
No ammount of attention to the motor, the gears seem to be really stiff, and pickups would improve its performance maybe I got a dud. Very happy with the replacement Bachmann loco.
Chris
Reply to
Chris
Hi Chris,
Your Mainline Class 45's should run better than you describe. Have you at any time stripped the motor's and cleaned them ?
If so, it's possible that you've tighten up the four brass screws that hold the motor together to tight, slacken the screws off about a quarter/half a turn and that should make an improvement to the running.
Are the gears in the Mainline Class 45's black or white, or a mixture of both ?
If the gears are a mixture of both, then for some unknown reason they don't run well. This was discovered by accident when I mixed the gears up when reassembling after servicing two 45's together. I can't explain it, as both sets of gears have the same number of teeth and are the same diameter.
If your Bachmann 45 is one of the more recent models, then I would expect it to run better than the earlier Mainline Class 45's, after all, technology has moved on since the 1980's
Wilson
BTW, I'm still interested in buying them, email me @ snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com
Reply to
Wilson Adams
The motor runs fine when not on the track but does not move much when on the track, all black gears. Might take another look at one day.
Chris
Reply to
Chris
Motors running fine when not on track, ok. This might sound silly, but, check to see if the traction tyres are still in place.
A similar problem happen to a friends 45, motor ran fine as long as it wasn't placed on the track. Traction tyres where still in place, but the 45 wouldn't pull you out of bed. Traced the problem to a tiny drop of oil that he had managed to get into the grove that the traction tyres sit in.
Cure, remove and discard old traction tyres, clean any traces of oil from the wheel groves, and replace with Airfix Class 31 traction tyres. The Class 31 tyres are approx 1mm or 2mm smaller in diameter, and a much better fit.
Wilson
Reply to
Wilson Adams

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