Tip for those whose locos just stop for some reason…

Hello Engineer,

ever have a situation where you are running a train and it suddenly stops dead for no reason and then you notice the DCC control system is flashing indicating a short. Mmmm whats causing that you think!

Earlier with that loco you notice that the truck drive seems to click every so often. Its annoying but doesnt stop you using the loco.

Well if the loco is either an Athearn or Lifelike (Walthers) its very likely that there is a crack in the wheel set gear and it causes the gear to open up – the spacing between the cogs changes causing the clicking-, the two half wheel shafts meet up and then it shorts.  The diagram below shows what happens.

To fix, turn the loco upside down, open up the plastic clip on the bottom of the truck drive and remove each wheel set. Check for a crack (if the half shaft can be slid in and out easily then you have a crack). Replace the wheel set with a new one, clip back in place and put the clip back on.

good luck!