My son just received an old LEGO 9V electric train (no model numbers or instructions) from a family member.

I've set it up and turned it on. It lights up but when I put one of the trains or just the train motor (refer to image below) on the tracks nothing happens.

I've connected the Train Speed Regulator to the power adapter and turned it on, then connected (to the top of the speed regulator) the extension wire with the train track clip things to each side of the tracks - refer below.

Is this the correct way to set it up?

power setup

And set up the track in the smallest possible loop for testing:

circle of track

If anyone has any suggestions or solutions on how to make this work or the correct way to set it up it would be greatly appreciated!

  • 1
    thanks @AlexanderO'Mara ! - do you know if these cars can be fixed - or new ones purchased? Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 22:50
  • I don't think they are generally repairable unfortunately. If you're lucky, it might just be something isn't connecting. If unlucky, you can buy them 2nd hand on BrickLink and others: bricklink.com/v2/catalog/catalogitem.page?P=590 Commented Feb 8, 2017 at 23:00

2 Answers 2


The speed regulator light being on is a good start. It looks like you have things set up correctly as far as I can tell.

The first step is to identify which part is having issues. All of these parts can be purchased on Bricklink, so once you know what has failed, you can replace the defective part.

Here are some ideas for testing components:

  • If you have a 9V light brick or similar, you can attach it directly to the speed regulator to see if that is delivering power.
  • It's fairly easy to test if power is getting to the track if you have a volt meter handy. You can simply measure the voltage between the tracks when you have the regulator turned all the way up. If this reads around 9 volts, then everything is working except the train motor.
  • You can test the motor by connecting one pole of a 9V battery to one side of the wheels and one side of the battery to the other. You'll need to use a paper clip or something to bridge the gap. If the motor spins, you know that it isn't the issue.
  • You can also directly power the track using a 9V battery. You just need one pole on one rail and one on the other. You can make the connection using a small wire, paper clip, or whatever you have handy.

If any of that doesn't make sense, let me know and I can add more detail and/or pictures. Let us know what works and then we can go from there.


If there is a suspicion that the metal surfaces have developed dust and grime or any other insulating layer, a solution would be to give the tracks a Brasso (or other metal polish) wipe and quick rinse and dry with water. Also give the train motor wheels a wipe of the same polish.

Also check this YouTube video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RCda7voqyUY

Edit 2: not having Brasso made me try a standard cleaning wet-wipe and after a few wipes it felt smoother (less sticky/rubbing) and guess what? One motor runs perfectly fine, the other stops after a few seconds, I've opened that one up and cleaned the insides (grease got dusty and hard) and it now runs fine without any grease and sounds way better!

  • 2
    Hi Tom and welcome to Bricks.SE! I took the liberty to add a clause about the specific problem this method solves, just to avoid anyone trying this unnecessarily (like when all involved metal surfaces are squeaky clean). If you don't like this edit, feel free to update, extend, amend or rollback.
    – zovits
    Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 7:37
  • It doesn't even look like there is rust on his tracks. Commented Apr 30, 2020 at 17:36
  • 1
    @mindstormsboi it doesn't seem like rust build up, which would be rather unlikely since it's either stainless steel or a nickel/zinc alloy but there very well could be a layer of build up dust and grime not neccesarily visible with the naked eye but very well eletrically insulating
    – Tom Hofman
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 9:41
  • @zovits thanks for the edit, but it's very unlikely for rust to occur it's more likely dust & grime
    – Tom Hofman
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 9:45

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