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The Silver Streak Rides Again!

December 23rd, 2006 · by alex · 2 Comments

A couple of years ago, my parents cleaned out some old junk and brought us some of my old toys and the remnants of an HO train set. The set is over 50 years old, bought by my dad when he was a teenager. I tried to resurrect it last year and bought a new transformer for it. I was able to get a spark from one of the engines, but nothing really worked. I concluded that perhaps the tracks needed to be cleaned. The tracks are made of brass and they were pretty tarnished. They’re made of brass and they don’t make ‘em that way anymore. Nowadays they’re made with a nickel-silver alloy that doesn’t tarnish. I was going to try cleaning them up but our cleaning lady used my bottle of Brasso on our appliances and lost the cap and it spilled out. We got rid of the cleaning company and the bottle. I then ran out of time to work on it.

Box o' junk Old Trains Transformer Antique rolling stock Water Tower and Crossing 1962 Mantua box and brochure

This year I decided I was going to try again. I cleaned a bunch of tracks and set it up and fired it up and got nothing — no sparks, no movement. My dad and I decided we needed a new engine so we went out to Hobbytown USA in Gwinnett. The guy there was very helpful and showed that I was getting enough voltage on the sample piece of track I brought out there. We ended up buying a new engine (A Bachman Santa Fe) and a new set of track. When we got home we realized that the car connectors have changed over the past 50 years as well.

Old couplers

We had to rig a connection using a twisted up ornament hanger. Here’s a picture of the locomotive and the antique Mantua B&O passenger cars.

Bachmann Santa Fe Flyer Mantua antique passenger cars

With some help from the whole family, including Dwight and Darryl, we got a bunch of track set up mixed and matched from old and new. In this picture you can see the difference between the old and new track.

Old and New

After a bit of fiddling with layouts and temperamental switches we got everything working.

Comin' 'round the bend

Here’s a couple of movies showing it in action!

Tags: Games and Toys · House · Movies · Photos

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 kelliepannepacker // Jan 10, 2007 at 11:00 pm

    Great shot on the second video.

  • 2 Train Update 2008 | The Kell Blog // Oct 7, 2008 at 10:58 pm

    [...] you’re following this blog, you may remember a post about two years ago on the resurrection of my father’s trains from the early 60’s. Last [...]

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