Train Tips

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Check here for Tips on running and maintaining your model railroad.

Have a great tip you want to share?  E-mail us and we'll put it here.  Please be sure to include
your name and city so we can give you proper credit.

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We recommend the following for long and short term storage of  electric trains.

  • Wrap unboxed items in newsprint (blank), butcher paper, or a thick layer of  white paper towels.  Avoid printed newspaper or any colored paper as the inks and dyes can run if moisture forms and ruin the paint and decals of your models.
  • Place wrapped items and/or outer carton in a plastic storage box.  This will prevent garage floods and attic leaks from soaking a cardboard box and rusting any metal parts.  This is especially important for owners of tinplate trains as water damage can  happen even in year-to-year storage.


Easy Track Cleaning- Use green Scotch pad type scrub sponge (dry) to clean that dirty track. Works especially well on the larger gauges. Never use steel wool on track.  It  creates tiny gouges that fill with dirt and never come clean.  Use rubbing alcohol or liquid track cleaning solution to clean really dirty track.

Trouble Shooting Guide

Problem: Sputtering loco, stops and starts, hesitates and speeds up

  • Thoroughly clean track
  • Use a pencil eraser or track cleaning eraser to clean wheels of  loco and tender (if applicable)
  • If problem persists and other locos run fine on the same track service loco (see: loco maintenance)

Problem: Loco stops or slows down in the same spot on the track frequently
Solution: Track problem

  • Thoroughly clean section of track
  • Check for "dead spots" a bad track connector or glue from scenery can disrupt power flow.
  • If problem persists track may be too large for the size of transformer/power pack. If the problem section is at the opposite end of layout from transformer/power pack, invest in a more powerful unit, use less track or run a second set of wires from the transformer/power pack to the problem section.  Note: when running two sets of wires DO NOT CROSS WIRES.  Label or color code wires so that each rail is linked to only ONE post on your transformer/power pack.

Problem: Street lights & other accessories are dim or move slowly,
SolutionTransformer/power pack problem

    There are too many items drawing power. Invest in more powerful transformer/power pack or buy an inexpensive unit and use it only for accessories while a second one more powerful unit runs the trains.

Friend's Junction
Ventura, CA 93003 USA
(805) 653-5022 Order Line and Help
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Store Location:
Toys N Trains
1974 East Main Street
Ventura, CA 93001 USA
805-643-TOYS (8697)

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