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New Member
hi,,,, everyone! i'm new at this so if i ask a bunch of silly questions do'nt be surprised.
last week i bought two new starter train sets off ebay.both are bachmann. one set has a emd ft locomotive. the other has a 4-8-4 steam locomotive. i have already set them up and tryed them out.

my first question is about the geeasing and oiling them. i want even my cheap set's to last for awhile. the manual does not tell much about this. it just say's to oil and grease. not how often and how too.
if anyone can answer these questions,,,, i'll be sure and have more.
for now i'm reading ever thing i can about model railroading trying to learn as much as i can. i already have some ideas, and i'm sure i'll come up with more as i go along.
i have already read some of the post's on this forum and learned a great deal. so all the help and advice i can get will be well received.i am hoping this new hobby i'm stepting into will be long and happy. at 51 years old,,,,i still like to play and have fun.
everyone just call's me "doc"


HI DOC welcome. As to oiling I clean and oil/grease about once a year! I clean the wheels more often probley, about every 3 months or as needed.


Diesel Detail Freak
I've cleaned my wheels once... Testing the track cleaner I have.

Oh and welcome to the forum Doc!


Wiley Old Dog
What's up Doc?
(sorry couldn't resist and you just know some wise acre was going to do it :D )

Glad to have you here and looking forward to seeing lots more of you. I got into the hobby about a year and a half ago and I'm loving it, I hope you will too.

I'm interested in your question myself as it's one I have also had, I'm sure you'll get some good answers the gang here is great.

Talk to you later.




Well-Known Member

First, it all depends on how they were lubricated when you first got them, and then how much you run them. For example, the fine Broadway Limited Imports steamers do not come lubricated except for the motor and gears. You are specifically advised to lubricate the side rods, valve mechanism, and wheels soon after you get the loco. In BLI's steamers, they need a solid break-in, so lubing should be delayed until they have run-in for an hour or so...depends on the individual model. My J1 Hudson was okay within an hour, but the K4 Pacific was several hours, and even then it squeeked after I lubed it, an indication it had a wear point that needed....well...wearing.

Once you properly lube an engine, it should be good for many hours of operation...and I'm talking about 50 or more...a lot of time for your typical modeler. If you only own a couple of locos, though, they will each acquire the hours of usage quickly, so judge accordingly.

It is best to use a plastic compatible hobby grease for lubing any gears. Aside from that, you could use....wait for it!...automatic transmission fluid, such as Dextron II or III. This fluid is a superior lubricant, is plastic compatible, has an incredible shear index (as you would expect given the nature of its hot and close environment), and it doesn't evaporate. Can you think of any other properties that might make it a poor candidate,...or better, for that matter?

By dipping a wooden toothpick into a cap containing 1/4 tsp of the stuff, and touching the drop to the bearings and bushings, you should get a lifetime out of one bottle.

Good to have you here.
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Steve B

Good to have you here Doc, clean wheel's, clean track and good track connections are the top tips today.


New Member
i'm only home on the week-ends ,,,,i drive a truck so my time will be limited on my new hobby. i have bought two bachmann sets. ho scale.
i've not gotten very far yet. but as time will allow i want to do 40's early 50's lay out.

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