Magnetraction

Hardcoaler Oct 9, 2016

  1. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    What is the engineering science behind Lionel's post-war Magnetraction? In other words, how did it work? I'm assuming that it somehow uses an electromagnetic field that's somehow attracted to the steel track? I don't recall ever seeing a big simple magnet inside my Lionel locomotives. Thank you.
     
  2. r_i_straw

    r_i_straw Mostly N Scale Staff Member

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    It only works on tin plate track, not most stainless or nickel silver. I believe Gargraves Stainless steel track is made of an alloy that it will work on. However, it is great for picking up stray small screws, shavings and most other ferrous objects. I understand that over time the magnets that energize the steel wheels do lose some strength. Some Lionel repair shops had a device to remagnatize them. Problem is the drivers have to be pulled to get the magnet out. I have always wondered what would be the result of replacing original magnets with new high tech rare earth type. Might be permanently stuck to the tracks.
     
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  3. country joe

    country joe TrainBoard Member

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    Lionel used permanent Alnico magnets in the axles to magnetize the drive wheels of locos with Magnetraction.
     
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  4. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the education guys. I got to thinking about Magnetraction the other day while looking at my Lionel trains. Unfortunately they're all in storage because I have no room to run them. I took some of my locomotives to a local club and they ran them so fast that I greatly feared they'd jump the track on curves and fall to the floor. Not knocking Lionel operators at all, but this is the second club I've visited where they seem to run trains at light speed and I can't figure why they do this.
     

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