Thursday, October 27, 2016

Running Out of Steam

Over the years I've bought a number of second hand model railway locomotives from sellers on eBay - back in the days before the collectors had effectively overrun the model railway sections, inflating prices to ludicrous levels - and, perhaps surprisingly, every one of them proved to be a runner.  That's always the big worry: that you are having to take the seller's word that they are actually in running condition.  Back in the good old days, when there were actual physical shops on the High Street where you could buy second hand model railway equipment at reasonable prices, you could always 'try before you buy' by running any of the locomotives on the shop's test track.  Anyway, up until now I've been lucky with the eBay purchased locomotives.  Until today, that is.  For the first time in years, I bought a locomotive from an eBay seller last week.  It was described as being in 'good working order'.  Well, it arrived today and I've spent a fair amount of time this evening trying to get it to run, with little success.

I've got some minimal and very jerky movement from the driving wheels when the current is applied, but run it will not.  I know it isn't down to the controller I'm using for the tests - I've taken a couple of other locomotives out of storage and tested them with no problems.  Now, to be fair, I have another locomotive of the same type as the new one and that has also suddenly decided to play up under test, despite running perfectly at first.  Moreover my experience with locomotives from this particular manufacturer - Wrenn - is that if they are left inactive for any length of time, they become very unresponsive.  Lubrication and a thorough cleaning of the mechanism is usually enough to get them running.  So, when I have time this weekend, I'll have to get a can of WD40 (or equivalent), take the locomotive apart and clean it thoroughly.  Hopefully, this will do the trick.  If it doesn't, I'm afraid that I'm going to have to get in contact with the seller, as I'm not sure how the locomotive could be described as being 'in good working order' if it hasn't been run for some considerable period of time.  



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