Lionel Crafts & Hobbies - Recent Questions, Troubleshooting & Support


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.

Lionel The Polar... | Answered on Oct 05, 2019


It sounds like the counterbalance spring is loose or disconnected. I would rather add weight to the counterweight box to take some load off of the motor...Use fishing sinkers, one or two rolls of pennies or equivalent. Also do not overtighten the spring you will warp the base of the bridge.

Lionel Crafts &... | Answered on Sep 12, 2019


Is the track properly and carefully put together? Is one or more sections damaged take one of the cars and gently push it around watching in those places where the train derails. If it only happens at a track joint look at it more carefully.

Lionel Trains... | Answered on Sep 12, 2019


Recent Lionel transformers are notorious for their issues. Put an old fashioned reverse switch into the circuit, an old Lionel 88 will do the wire to terminal 1 of the lockon or the wire tothe center rail needs to be cut and attached to the 2 terminals of the 88 reverse switch. Note this is ancient technology from the 30s to 50s

Lionel Cw 80... | Answered on Sep 12, 2019


It should not be too difficult to replace the entire rod assembly including the valve rod eccentric rod and eccentric crank. THe crankpin in the drive wheel holds the eccentric crank to the wheel at the top there should be another screw freeing the valve rod and crank in one piece. two screws and 10 minutes you should be done. I am basing this on other Lionel locomotives including the Southern Crescent 8702, 736 and 1656

Lionel Trains... | Answered on Sep 12, 2019


There is bad contact in the track connections. You can sand the track connection sites. Another method is to run another power wire to the other end of the track where the train slows down. Even better is 3 or 4 evenly spaced power wires from the transformer to the track.

Lionel New Haven... | Answered on Feb 21, 2019


try reversing your wires from the transformer to the track.

Lionel New Haven... | Answered on Feb 21, 2019


From a top view there is a dot near a pin. That pin is #1 and numbering proceeds counterclockwise from 1 to 8. Pin 1 is the ground. You can see the article on Wikipedia for other info, if needed

Lionel Cw 80... | Answered on Jan 10, 2019


The Lionel postwar 190watt transformer is an excellent power supply for trains. If one or more of the binding posts are loose ("U,A,B,C,D" Terminals") you will need to replace the binding post, use a T-159 replacement Binding Post. The original posts are soldered and crimped on.
The T-159 replacement binding post is bolted on. UNPLUG THE TRANSFORMER Carefully pull/pry up the handles and remove them remove the 4 Philips screws on the top, lift off the case top, the binding posts stay with the body of the KW.
Remove the loose bindings post one at a time as needed. Be sure to get any wire reattached. Reverse the procedure to reassemble.
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Lionel Cw 80... | Answered on Nov 08, 2018


I have had the same problem with my polar express, which i just bought recently. Having to send it to the USA from the UK would be very expensive so i decided to open it up myself. The tamper proof screws were a bit of a problem getting into it. I ground down an old screw driver into the triangle shape to undo them. I then replaced them with self taping srews the same size.
The Problem I found was simple, there is an internal (250V, 8Amp) fuse soldered onto the red wire on the secondary winding of the transformer. The red wire going from the transformer to the PCB, the fuse has black heatshrink over it.
There is no room inside the housing of the controller to fit a fuse holder. I fitted a box on the side of it with a panel mount fuse holder. drilled a hole through the housing, fitted longer red wires, so they could go through to the terminations on the back of the fuse holder.
At least now I can change it simply if it blows again.

hope this is of help to you.

Lionel Cw 80... | Answered on Jul 22, 2018


I rewired my train this weekend..it now works on my outdoor setup....I found that the circuit board inside the engine had a blown capacitor and the power transitor was fried. I by passed the engine board found that it only would run backwards....went into the tender and taped into the power from tack bypassing the rectifer... By the way the engine does not start up when one uses the remote...there is a 20 second delay before starting

Lionel 11000... | Answered on Jun 15, 2018


indicates a dead short to ground in the smoke unit that is overloading the transformer
replace/repair the smoke unit

Lionel The Polar... | Answered on Oct 30, 2017


http://www.ebay.ca/itm/Lionel-Drive-Belts-2-NEW-3540-3512-3545-Radar-Car-Fire-Car-TV-Car-W-Insts/122742995541?hash=item1c940d7a55:g:xhMAAOSwEzxYXAQs

Lionel Crafts &... | Answered on Oct 25, 2017


Looking at auction pictures, I'm going to say that odds are the fuse is located in the main unit. You can pick up those tamper proof screwdrivers at Harbor Freight pretty cheap. Please make sure that you've properly discharged the unit before attempting any repairs.

Lionel Cw 80... | Answered on Oct 25, 2017

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