Model trains are a fun and enriching hobby for people of all ages. One of the best and worst parts of owning a model train is that there’s always more to do! Improving your model train and train setup really is a never-ending job. If your train is experiencing judders or stopping and starting randomly, there’s definitely something wrong. A train that isn’t running efficiently could be related to a variety of causes, so let’s dig in!
Narrow Down the Problem
Before you start troubleshooting the best way to fix your train’s efficiency, you need to narrow down where the problem actually is. You can typically pinpoint an issue either with the track or the locomotive itself. The easiest way to determine if it’s the track causing your train to run poorly is to try out a different train on the same track. If more than one train experiences the same problem on the same track, the track is to blame. If the new train runs smoothly across the same track that the other train struggled on, the train is the cause of the problem.
Fixing the Train
Two common causes of sluggish trains are dirty wheels and dry gear. Spend some time cleaning the wheels. Then, thoroughly lubricate the gears. If the train still runs poorly, your best option is to visit a nearby model train repair shop or find an online repair service.
Cleaning the Track
Your train tracks might look clean to the naked eye, but that doesn’t mean they really are. If you determined the issue is with the track instead of the train, clean the track. Train tracks can get littered with dust, pet hair, and other particles floating through the air. Those particles build up over time and create a dirty track that can run smoothly.
Tighten the Connections
When all else fails, check the electrical connections of your train setup. Setups that are moved frequently are more prone to loose connections. Tighten each connection as much as you can before trying to run the train again. Something as simple as a loose wire could be all you have to fix to get your train back in good condition!
If you’re struggling to determine what’s causing your train to run poorly, don’t panic! Contact Charles Ro today to schedule an appointment with a model train specialist. Our team can help troubleshoot the problem, offer advice on how to fix it yourself, or provide maintenance to the locomotive as needed. Avoid running your train until the efficiency issue is resolved. Continuing to operate a train that’s juddering or stopping at unpredictable times could lead to further damage and an even more complex issue that will need to be repaired.