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Author Topic: Question about E-Z Track and Steam Engine Derailments  (Read 10625 times)
RAM

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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2009, 10:39:35 PM »

Walther's Goo is bad news on some plastics.  so test it before you use it.
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Hellhound


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« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2009, 05:54:44 PM »

...Wonder if I could get just the EZ track roadbed for switches and crossings and mount Atlas track on them. I have a lot of EZ track and don't want to scrap it all and start over. I wanted to get some number 5 or 6 switches for long passenger cars but I am hesitant since those are pricey and I will be very unhappy if they don't work any better than the standard switches. ...It should not be necessary to rebuild something that should work right in the first place.
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2009, 12:13:36 AM »

I have run into problems with Atlas turnouts as well.  They don't seem to cause derailments but the internal "wiring" loses contract with the rails  so you have to add jumpers around the switch, and sometimes to the point rails within the switch.  I thought maybe it was glue seeping in when ballasting, but then found the problem in some that had never been ballasted.  At one time, I believe Atlas spot welded the flat metal "wiring" to the rails, but one of the failed ones that I tore apart had no signs of spot welding, so maybe they quit that and are relying on the plastic keeping the various pieces of metal in electrical contact.  Or maybe they all came from the same bad batch - they were all purchases from the same supplier at about the same time.

The only words of consolation I can offer is that at least we no longer have to built our own turnouts from scraps of rail and match sticks.  Having said that, I will also brag a bit and say the most reliable turnouts on my layout are the hand laid ones.  When a leaking pipe soaked one of them a few years ago, I was sure it was a write-off.  The spikes were rusty, there was green stuff festering up from the rails, and the wooden base had swollen so much that the points refused to move.  But the wood eventually dried and and shrank to more or less its original size, the rusty spikes still had enough of their heads left to keep the rails in place, and the crusty green stuff came off with a tooth brush.  A few passes with some 400 wet and dry paper and some oil, plus new rail joiners over the ends of freshlycleaned rails, and it was back in business.  I am not advocating that we spend all out railroading time hand building turnouts, but somehow having to tune up commercial ones seems mild in comparison.

Jim   
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
CNE Runner


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« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2009, 10:06:40 AM »

Having read all the posts as well as viewed the excellent photos provided; I finally decided to include my two cents. Having recently built a switching layout with Bachmann EZ-track (my first experience with the product), I can unequivocably say; "Never again!" Look guys, you get what you pay for. My suggestion is to stop trying to "make a purse out of a sow's ear" and cut your losses. Scrap the EZ-track and get yourself some good stuff...like Peco. Robert and 'Hellhound': If you are having track trouble this early in the game - you are going to have more in the future. Unless you have a compelling need to 'fiddle' with your trackwork; tear up what you have, sell it at a train show, and get a decent product ('sorry Mr. Bach Man but EZ-track isn't in the same galaxy as your Spectrum locomotives...I tell it like it is).

Peco (and some other brands) of track can be had from the following website. I find Bill's Trains and Tracks to have some of the best prices/availability on the Internet. Personally I use Peco Code 75 products; but the code is up to you and the look you are trying to achieve.


BTW: On December 5th, we will be vendoring a train show in Birmingham, AL. I will have my small supply of EZ-track for sale...at almost giveaway prices. I know I sounded harsh -  but I feel your pain and wish you all the best.

Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Johnson Bar Jeff

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« Reply #19 on: September 04, 2009, 10:54:03 AM »

I hope nobody raps your knuckles for expressing an honest opinion, Ray.

I can't imagine using E-Z Track to build a large, elaborate, layout, but for a simple, temporary loop--with no switches  Grin --that isn't fastened down--say, for around a Christmas tree--I still think it's pretty good.
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Jim Banner

Enjoying electric model railroading since 1950.


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« Reply #20 on: September 04, 2009, 12:15:42 PM »

I wonder how many locomotives E-Z Track has saved?  One of the things our modelling group does as part of our volunteer work at the local museum is fix trains.  Every year, starting in January, there used to be an endless parade of train set locomotives that had to be taken apart and the lint and pet hair removed from the axles.  Invariably, they had been run on the old style sectional track laid on a rug.  Johnson Bar Jeff's posting reminds me that we haven't had that for quite a few years.  I can think of two reasons for that - wall to wall carpeting isn't as ubiquitous as it used to be, and train sets mostly come with E-Z Track or something similar these days.

Like JBJ I like to keep a supply of E-Z Track on hand for testing, demonstration and breaking in.  For the latter application, a figure 8 is particularly useful as it forces the locomotive to turn both ways.  I have not had a problem with crossings.  The only two E-Z Track turnouts I ever had came used with a bunch of used track.  One appeared to have been stepped on and the other was permanently set to the straight route with copious amounts of glue.  Not exactly the samples I would wish to base an opinion on.

Jim
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Growing older is mandatory but growing up is optional.
CNE Runner


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« Reply #21 on: September 04, 2009, 02:33:13 PM »

Jim, as usual you are the source of good ideas. Rather than take a severe 'beating' on my leftover EZ-track, maybe I could hold back enough to make a circle (for running in engines) and a couple of lengths of straight track for troubleshooting. The turnouts will have to go however. Another good idea was using some EZ-track around the Christmas tree...good suggestion. Like Jim, I have spent an inordinate amount of time - cleaning lint, pet hair, and carpet fibers out of Lionel locomotive motors and drivetrains...point taken.

Thanks for the suggestion,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Robertj668

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« Reply #22 on: September 04, 2009, 11:36:05 PM »

Wow

For some reason I was not getting the updated posts. Even though I subscribed.  Some great information in the last day or two.

Ray
I am still tempted to switch my track but it is only 2 engines that give me trouble. The K4 4-6-2 and the Decapod.  All others run fine.  Even my larger J 4-8-4 works great.  Having  said that I love the kato track.  I have never been good with laying down my own roadbed.  Though even in that field there are some great improvements.  Yes I have a lot of money invested in the EZ track.  Especially i started with 18" and went to mostly 22".  I still have not "Nailed" the track down yet.  I guess I am afraid of the huge commitment.

I think the EZ track is a great idea but the jury is still out if it may or may not suit my needs.

Thanks again

Robert
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CNE Runner


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« Reply #23 on: September 05, 2009, 10:07:08 AM »

Robert, I understand your concern (particularly the financial one); but remember my quote: "If you are having track trouble this early in the game - you are going to have more in the future." I had to scrap a whole layout because of endless turnout problems (no, they weren't EZ-track). I couldn't remove the old turnouts because I [foolishly] soldered and spiked them in place AND they were #4s whereas Peco small radius turnouts are something akin to #4.5 or #5. In other words the track geometry wouldn't have matched. Live and learn. It would be a whole lot easier, and cheaper, if you change now as opposed to later...your decision.

Good luck with whatever course you take,
Ray
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"Keeping my hand on the throttle...and my eyes on the rail"
Hellhound


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« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2009, 02:16:53 AM »

I am seeing problems with 2 out of 6 switches and a 90 degree crossing. Pushing railcars through the turnout is almost impossible. Did severe damage to a switching locomotive when it hit one of those switches at medium speed and ended up on a hardwood floor. I have seen too many other people with EZ track switch problems. I will probably keep some EZ track curves and straights for testing and temporary setups and abandon the rest. My entire layout is now dismantled and put away since I am doing some remodeling on the house. Looks like I will be shopping for better quaility track when I rebuild the layout.
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Robertj668

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« Reply #25 on: September 07, 2009, 10:20:21 PM »

Update
On the Decapod 2-10-0 I added a small weight to the pony wheels. Guess what! No derailments!  It has been running beautifully.  Now for the K4 4-6-2.
Robert
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Robertj668

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« Reply #26 on: September 12, 2009, 12:19:39 AM »

Update #2

On the K4 4-6-2 I added a small weight to the pony wheels. Guess what! No derailments!  It has been running beautifully. But what to do.  Do I keep the track now since I fixed the problems? For now yes.  I am not totally sold yet.

Robert
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budlidman

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« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2012, 08:08:25 PM »

Has anyone had any trouble with the right dcc crossover?
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Robertj668

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« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2012, 09:01:56 PM »

I did only with my decapod steam engine and my J class. Diesels were just fine except the little switchers. When I can afford it I will switch to Kato.
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