LAMRS Equipment, Periodic Locomotive Service

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Periodic Locomotive Service

Model railroad locomotives are electro-mechanical machines that require periodic service. Unlike the prototype, this service is not required every day, but over periods of months to years or when something seems to have degraded.

Generally, periodic service will forestall the need to do remedial service for many years. The actual period of service is a subject of argument. Some model railroaders service their locos every few months, some only when they get around to it. I'm not at all sure what the "right" period is. Invasive service involving disassembly increases the risk of damage due to handling and perhaps reduces the risk of damage due to wear. Everybody has to work out their own "optimal" schedule.

The section below describes what usually needs to be done, roughly in the order of how often the specific service should be performed. Services performed most frequently are listed first. For issues related to the refurbishment of an older loco or the repair of a failed loco, see my Reliability page.

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© 2012 George Schreyer
Created 17 Dec 10
Last Updated April 2, 2012