CW-80 new and old issues, with new trainset

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Gunn

New Member
So for the last several years I've been running a 1959 Lionel set from the Space and Military series around the Christmas tree It belonged to my Dad when he was a kid. I had been using a CW-80 transformer I purchased in 2008 I think off of Ebay.

We just now purchased a Lionel Polar Express set to run on the same track so the kids could play with something a bit more fun. This also came with a CW-80.

The problem is that with my "old" CW-80, I can't get the PE set to go into reverse. If I use the 'Direction' button, it will briefly stop and then restart heading in the same direction.

So I then hooked up the "new" CW-80 on my track. I was able to get reverse to work fine. Pushing the button, the train will stop and then lights will come on but it won't move. Pressing the button a 2nd time will cause the lights to go out briefly and then it will head in the opposite direction. Just as I would expect it to operate.

I would just use the new CW-80 and be done, but...there are issues with it. First, the power level controller is not linear. When I raise the lever to where 0% is just showing, the train will jump and start to move rather quickly. Then as I move to 30%, the train will basically slow and stop. Past 30%, it will jump and then begin to linearly go faster.
Second, my accessories on my layout hooked up to the 'Accessory' terminals flash at a steady rate. Can't stand it.
Third, my switches won't operate correctly with this new CW-80. They barely move.
Fourth, the "Whistle" center button on the new CW-80 will not operate. The button itself seems to be in the depressed state like it is stuck in the down position. But there is no audible whistle.

So...do I have a defective new CW-80 that came in the Polar Express set? Seems so.

And then...why won't my old CW-80 cause the train to go in reverse?

Thanks!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
What happens when you manually change the direction, instead of using the button. IIRC, you could change the direction of the train by turning the power down on the speed control to zero, turning it up again,(where just the lights come on), turning power down again to zero, then turning the power back up causing the loco to move in the other direction.

I suspect that the button on the old CW is just plain worn out, and that by using the throttle, you can change direction. I also believe that the new CW is defective, and should be sent in for repair/replacement.
 

Gunn

New Member
What happens when you manually change the direction, instead of using the button. IIRC, you could change the direction of the train by turning the power down on the speed control to zero, turning it up again,(where just the lights come on), turning power down again to zero, then turning the power back up causing the loco to move in the other direction.

I suspect that the button on the old CW is just plain worn out, and that by using the throttle, you can change direction. I also believe that the new CW is defective, and should be sent in for repair/replacement.

I should have mentioned it; when I use the throttle controller to change direction, it exhibits the same behavior as the button...doesn't reverse. When I shut off power, and the re-apply, it just continues to move forward.

I should also note that my '59 Santa Fe locomotive does properly change direction with either the button or the throttle (using the "old" CW-80).

Thanks,
 

Cjcrescent

Master Mechanic
Still sounds like the new CW is screwy. As to the behavior of the loco, is there a lever on the engine that needs resetting? I recall that most Lionel toys had a lever on the engine, that if set one way, it wouldn't change directions.
 

Gunn

New Member
Still sounds like the new CW is screwy. As to the behavior of the loco, is there a lever on the engine that needs resetting? I recall that most Lionel toys had a lever on the engine, that if set one way, it wouldn't change directions.

The Polar Express locomotive has a switch to turn the reverse direction on or off. I have set it to the ON position. Works fine with the new controller, not so with the old controller.

My '59 loco has a lever on top. It works fine with the old controller.

I do agree the new controller is faulty and I need to contact Lionel. My old controller works fine for everything -except- changing the direction of this new locomotive!

Thanks for your help,
 




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