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Author Topic: Derailments on switch tracks  (Read 2947 times)
Allenkoz

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« on: December 18, 2011, 11:34:17 AM »

Hello fellow railroaders!  I tried out my Bachmann White Christmas Express loco that I bought for my boys for Christmas.  I added some additional track to the basic oval along with right and left hand switches so I could branch off.  The problem:  Every time the loco gets to a switch, it derails unless the switch is set for the straight path.  I have even tried it as slow as the engine can possibly run and it still derails- starting with the guide wheels.  My assumption is that the Big Hauler steam locos are simply not designed well for handling switch track, but I don't know for sure.  I am thinking of ditching the Bachmann loco and buying a deisel or another engine to see if I have better luck.  Has anyone else had this problem???   
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 02:12:40 PM »

They work great for me.   Start by checking the wheels to see if they are out of guage.  that is the most common problem.
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
Kevin Strong


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« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 03:32:35 PM »

To start with, make sure the pilot wheels are in firm contact with the rails. Sometimes the post that "hangs" the pilot truck is just short enough to where it doesn't put any downward pressure on the pilot. That's been a weakness of the 4-6-0 design pretty much from day 1, and was finally fixed in the newest version of the loco that's just coming out now. You may also have some luck adding some weight to the top of the truck so that it doesn't bounce up on the points. Adhesive pinewood derby car weights are probably the easiest. (They're essentially strips of lead with 2-sided foam tape on the back.) The bottom line is that you want to make sure there's some kind of downward pressure on that first axle, so it doesn't just bounce up and ride over the point of the switch--especially on the 2' radius switches.

The next thing to look at is the very end of the points of the switch where they meet the rail. Make sure that's a smooth transition from the rail to the point, otherwise flanges will bounce up and over that. That's a common problem on switches in all scales. The "fix" is typically to take a small file and file a taper on the end of the point rail to smooth the transition out.

Those are the two most common sources of derailments on switches with this loco.

Later,

K
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on30gn15


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« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 05:30:31 PM »

Bill & Kevin are worth taking advice from.

Will add that I have a couple 4-6-0 and on one of them wheels on pilot truck were too far apart and had to be pushed in a bit. 

Glued 3 drapery weights in a stack over each axle.
Sanded top of truck frame a bit then glued weights on.
Have successfully used both gel type super glue and something named E6000.
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When all esle fials, go run trains
Screw the Rivets, I'm building for Atmosphere!
later, Forrest
NarrowMinded


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« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 08:02:18 PM »

Just Curious... Are you trying to force the switch open with the loco as you run through it?

Switches must be set for for the path the loco is taking.

I mention this because my nephew called me about this same problem a couple days ago and he was leaving the switch set to the diverging route and was trying to run through/past so he could then back into a siding without having to set the switch each time.

Nm-Jeff

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Allenkoz

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« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2011, 09:31:17 PM »

Thanks to all for the responses.  I will look into both the guide wheel truck weight and gauge.  One would think for as long as Bachmann has been around, that they would have the little nuances of the wheels etc ironed out- especially for as much as these things cost.  I guess I was expecting it to work right out of the box.  One shouldn't have to make aftermarket modifications for the product to function properly.  I wonder if the same thing happens with Aristocraft, LGB, and USA locos.   

Narrow Minded, to answer your question- no.  The derailments occur when the loco is supposed to take the switch.  I haven't even tried going through the switch in the opposite direction.  Even then, it shouldn't derail.

This is a great forum.  It's nice being able to go to a place where you can readily find help and advice.
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Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


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« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 10:53:24 PM »

The main reason the pilot truck hangs up is the pivot post gets hung up on the wires leading to the truck.  I personally have never found the need to use the weights like some of the guys do, but I do use a small screwdriver to move the wires up and out of the way.  I also use white grease on the slot the pivot post slides in.

No matter, the new pilot truck on the new Annie will be welcome and appears to be a dead ringer for the successful pilot truck developed by Barry Olsen of Barry's Big Trains for the 4-6-0.  Barry sells the pilot truck if you want to retro fit your older 4-6-0.

I do as Kevin does with all my switches, use a file to put a taper on the points so they make a sharper connection to the stock rail.  I  do this to all switches no matter the brand and feel that this one thing alone make for much happier railroading.

It also helps to place your switches so they do not result in a sharp reverse curve

Best of luck with your new train!
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Loco Bill,  Roundhouse Foreman
Colorado & Kansas Railway Missouri Western Railway
Semi Official Historian; Bachmann Large Scale
There are no dumb or stupid questions, just questions!
Kevin Strong


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« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2011, 11:54:21 PM »

Quote
...I wonder if the same thing happens with Aristocraft, LGB, and USA locos...
Yup. Pilot trucks in general are very prone to derailments. Unlike the prototype, model pilot trucks are there for aesthetic purposes only, and for the most part just flop around loose. Without some kind of downward force on them (lots of weight, spring, or something like that) they'll bounce up on the slightest unevenness. I've made modifications to most all of my locos with pilot trucks to get them to "behave" consistently.

Later,

K
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Old John


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« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 12:00:15 PM »

Has anyone thought of the turnout size?  My 2 Annie's do not like the smaller #4 Aristocraft or LGB Turnouts. The only #4 they will take, are the Old Pullman Turnouts.
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Kevin Strong


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« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 05:42:46 PM »

Turnout size has a lot to do with it. The tight curves pull the pilot far over to the side, and introduce additional lateral forces on the truck which would cause it to look for excuses to jump off the track. Going with wider turnouts is always a good solution, but it doesn't cure the problem. In this case, the train is running under the Christmas tree, so presumably replacing the switches with wider ones probably isn't all that realistic.

Later,

K
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