Bachmann Thomas Decoder Problems

Greg Elmassian

Greg Elmassian

8 Mar 2014
San Diego
Yep, I would write them, and also there is some mystery, I'm going to pursue this on the Bachmann forum and the SoundTraxx forum.

Post here if you learn anything, and I will to. Something is rotten here...

(I just posted on the SoundTraxx forum that moved from yahoo to

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Neil Robinson

Neil Robinson

24 Oct 2009
N W Leicestershire
Emailing some company's to see if they can program a massoth card with Thomas sounds .
I fear that may involve some expensive copyright issues. I'd be interested to learn if you have any success.
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26 Nov 2019
I'm experiencing the exact same issue as everyone here -
-Brand new Bachmann DCC equipped Thomas
-It does mostly fine by itself on straights, but frequently stutters to a stop on R1 curves.
-Once it stutters to a stop, I had to return the throttle to zero. It then stutters/shakes more, with wheels turning but engine not moving, for a few seconds. After it finishes stuttering, then I could re-apply the throttle.
=> does yours all do this as well?

-with any load, it does much worse. It basically couldn't pull Annie and Clarabel around the oval. It just has no pulling power
-I have some brand new, spotless track I recently purchased. It did better on those, but still stuttered a couple of times
-I have been wiping wheels down once or twice each running session, but no help

Has anyone successfully fitted a power buffer? Greg?
I might end up fitting a Massoth decoder to drive the motors, and let the Soundtraxx handle the sound and whistle. But I need to know if I just have a particularly weak motor.
How many cars can your Thomas pull?


Neither idle nor a marvel
13 Jul 2015
I used to have one of these. Some of the problem on R1 curves is the long wheelbase and large wheels on this 0-6-0 model. You could hear it grinding on R1 curves even though (IIRC) the middle axle was flangeless so the amount of friction quite high which affected pulling power dramatically. Add to that Annie and Clarabelle coaches which are long wheelbase 2 axle coaches with fixed axles its a wonder it moves at all. It worked much better on R2 curves.


G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
Tamworth, Staffs.
We used to run Thomas on the Christmas layouts.. We always had a Stainz on the rear of the train, as a banker! - This was analogue.


10 Jul 2020
Not mean to bump an old thread or change the subject slightly.

But I'm thinking of getting one of these sound cards, and was going to install it into a troublesome truck/Van or sorts, and just change the CV when behind a different engine. (similar to those LGB sound boxcars)
Will the concept work or does the decoder need to be connected to a motor for feedback to function properly?

I am keen to know if the Keep-alive cap is possible as the lack of one for reliable operation is what's putting me off from buying one.