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1983 Lionel Laser train set diesel switcher

By | October 1, 2010

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Q: I bought a small four-wheel diesel switcher that was part of the Laser train set introduced by Lionel in 1983. It runs on DC current, and the motor that Lionel supplied is inadequate for shunting freight cars around my yard. The motor is the kind found in many mechanical items, and its simple gear hookup uses three gears to power the wheels. I’m familiar with small electric motors and wonder if there isn’t some way for me to give this one more power. I should mention that I’d like this engine to run on AC current and be compatible with my others.

A: You should be able to put a bridge rectifier in the circuit to the moor, though the engine will then run in only one direction. To be honest, I wouldn’t waste time on this engine as it’s not meant to be a real yard switcher. Even Lionel’s older switchers (40-50 series) were designed to handle no more than four cars for a short time at a low voltage and speed to prevent gear damage. Your engine also does not have automatic uncoupling or coupling or a self-centering coupler spring.

2 thoughts on “1983 Lionel Laser train set diesel switcher

  1. Hi-Josh's Dad, Ed Kohler–We had one of these old engines given to us 2nd hand for the Joshville and Northern R.R. in the hopes that it could perform light switching duties in Joshville Yard. We experienced the exact same issues. I put a rectifier on it as directed in the article and due to the fact that it would only move in forward and still performed "jerky" we ended up selling it on an auction site. To be honest, the 0-6-0 Lionel switcher we now use was the wise choice.

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