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Common mistakes setting up a Lionel train set.
Note: These directions are for Lionel sets that have all metal track, pre 2004. The newer sets have a much better
track called "FasTrack".

(If you don’t want to read all this give us a call 401-737-5506 

“Lock-on” or power clip installation (Pre FasTrack)

The “Lock-On” or power clip. This clip is often installed to the track wrong. The correct way is to have the end that says “Lionel” clipped to the center rail. The middle of the clip connects to the out side rail. The best way to install the clip, is to engage the wide metal piece (the one that goes to the #2 post) to the out side rail then sort of roll it under ‘till the little clip snaps under the center rail. When properly installed, the clip will cover only 2 of the 3 rails. The train won’t work if the power clip is placed so that it covers all 3 rails. 

Bad Track (Pre FasTrack)

Every so often a piece of track will have an electrical “short” where the center rail makes contact with the cross tie and the train won’t run. With a short, the train won’t go and the green light goes out on the controller. The cause is the paper insulator that holds the rail to the tie is torn a little during assembly at the factory. To see if you have a bad track, take every thing off, and connect the controller and turn the speed knob up to full. If everything is OK the green light will be on. 

It takes only 1 piece of bad track to stop the whole set from working, and the only way to find the bad track is to split up the layout and trying that part until you find the bad one.  


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This page was last updated on 06/04/08

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