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Frequently Asked Questions

Click on any of the questions in the list below to skip straight to the answer, or simply scroll down the page to read all of the answers one by one.

Can't find your question in the list?

Just email your query to us and we'll answer it directly. If we see the same question often, we'll also add it to this page.

If email isn't your preferred method of communication, contact us via mail or phonecall.

What sort of battery do I need?

All locos sold by MTS are fitted with connectors to make it easy to install a driving car mounted battery. We generally use AGM Deep Cycle batteries.

Always use a deep cycle battery rather than a car battery - it will give you longer daily operation and longer battery life and is well worth the extra cost.

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Can I drive two or more electric locos together?

Yes, using the MTS "Multiple Unit Control" ("MU") option available on all electric locos sold by MTS. This feature provides the driver with a control unit held in the hand or on the driving car, linked by a cable to the first loco. There are then additional cables between the other locos. Once these are connected, you can drive two or more locos with the one driver.

Even different voltage (12V, 24V, or 48V) locos can be mixed! The battery power is shared though all attached engines and driving cars, however there may be differences in the pulling performance due to differences between engine types.

MU Cables are available if you need them for this purpose.

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What happens if my electric loco comes away from the driving car while under power?

The "Break Away" feature in all locos sold by MTS cuts the power off in the loco, which will then coast to a halt. If you have two or more locos running in MU they will all shut down, even if you have internal batteries.

Be careful if you do, as you will catch up to those engines quickly, so apply the handbrake!

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What do I do if my electric loco gets a fault and won't stop?

While this is very rare, the "Break Away" feature on all MTS locos and the "Power Cut Off" Switch on all MTS Battery Fitted driving cars solves the problem: Pull the link or hit the switch and the loco will shut down straight away, even if it has internal batteries. If you have two or more locos connected together, they will all shut down immediately.

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Is child safety an issue?

Subject to state legislation, the parent is responsible for the continuous supervision of all persons under 18 years of age operating miniature railways.

The disable key fitted to all MTS locos helps parents prevent unauthorised/unsupervised use. In addition, the "Power Cut Off" switch provided on MTS driving cars can be padlocked in the "off" position.

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My loco was pulling well but now it seems to be slipping a lot. What is the cause?

Check that all wheels are actually driving. ie, when it's slipping check that all wheels on each bogie are actually slipping. On 24V locos one bogie slipping at high load while the other is normal under high load, particularly on slippery track. However a single wheel slipping within a bogie (or say the front or rear wheelset on a 4 wheel loco) is not.

If you have a single wheelset slipping, that one is actually OK! It's the one that isn't slipping that is the problem. See if you can if the motor on the non-slipping wheelset is running. If it is then the pinion gear on the motor shaft has come loose and needs to be re-fixed. Please make an appointment to bring the loco in - we can normally fix it while you wait.

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Does MTS provide train brakes?

Requirements vary from club to club but generally the AALS requirement is that at least one car in three has some sort of brake.

All MTS driving cars have a very effective handbrake fitted, so if you are running an MTS driving car plus two passenger cars then in most cases you won't need additional brakes.

Once you go beyond this then you have a couple of options:

Firstly, a when you have more than two passenger cars many clubs require a guard, then it may be sufficient (depending on your club) to include the "guards" version of our passenger car at the back of the train. This car has its own hand brake working on the rear bogie, to be operated by the guard for emergency or parking use.

If driver operated brakes are required, we can supply very effective electric powered brakes, vacuum or air in as many cars/bogies as are required.

Many 5" gauge clubs use vacuum brakes, and many 7.25" gauge clubs use air brakes. We can supply bogies with brakes fitted, and the rest of the equipment required, or we can do the full installation for you.

Guard's Wagons are available to suit your train, integrated into both 5" gauge or 7.25" gauge carriages.

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Does MTS provide repairs on other makers' products?

In general, yes, but it is considered on a case by case basis. We restrict our work to petrol-electric and electric powered locos, but any scale or gauge is OK.

Be aware that some locos are not be very well built, and just may not be worth repairing! We can take a look at any loco and give you advice on where to go from there.

Services covering many aspects of design and construction are available.

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Does MTS provide support for privately imported Maxitrak products?

Yes, but of course we charge for this at a fair and reasonable price. MTS modifies all Maxitrak locos before sale to enhance performance and reliability, and achieve compliance with Australian Standards. Privately imported locos do not incorporate these modifications and MTS is more than happy to quote for incorporating them during the course of repairs.

Services including upgrades on engines are available.

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Can I use my Maxitrak loco commercially?

Maxitrak 5'' gauge locos are not designed for commercial use. They are intended for the backyard railway and club use market, and are designed and priced accordingly.

Our MTS custom built 7.25'' and larger gauge equipment is designed specifically for heavy duty use and is based on our own 20 years of commercial operating experience. The warranty on this equipment is for commercial level use.

If you have any queries then just let us know.

A range of Commercial Railway equipment is available.

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How long do I have to wait to get my train?

If we have it in stock and tested then you can take it with you when you visit our workshop.

That is unlikely for many products, however, and delivery time will vary. We'll quote you a delivery time and do our very best to meet or improve on that time when you place your order.

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How much does it cost for delivery?

Free if you pick it up from our workshop! Otherwise we'll quote you for delivery. It depends on the size and weight of the goods, and the distance they need to travel.

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What warranty does MTS provide?

MTS provides a 12-month warranty covering defects in parts and labour on all products, subject to normal wear and tear in normal operation.

Locomotives designed by Maxitrak are not intended for Commercial use, so the warranty for these locomotives is only for non-commercial use.

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What are the payment terms for Mini Train Systems?

Depending on what is being purchased, if it is ex-stock or needs to be manufactured, we will ask for a deposit or full payment with your order. In any case payment must be made in full before the goods are shipped.

Orders cancelled after 7 days of placement are subject to a 20% re-stocking charge. We accept payment by Visa, MasterCard, Cash or Direct Deposit to our account.

See our Conditions of Sale for more information.

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