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I suggest you try applying power directly to the two motor brushes and see if the motor runs, if it does then there must be a faulty connection somewhere between the wheels and motor.
As the model had a decoder fitted the connections between the chassis halves and motor must have been removed, have these been re-made when the decoder was removed?
If you have a multimeter then check for continuity between the wheels and brush holders. If there is a circuit then its possible that the brushes are stuck in the holders and not making contact with the motor comutator. Palitoy split chassis models are also notorious for bad contacts between the axles and chassis, removing the wheels and cleaning the bearings might help.
Unfortunately [as far as I know] spares are unobtainable for Palitoy models, [if anybody knows different though, I'm looking for gears for a peak! ]

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