ONLINE
STORE
"ASK THE BACH MAN"
FORUM
PARTS, SERVICE,
& INFORMATION
CATALOGS AND
BROCHURES

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
June 04, 2020, 08:32:13 PM
Home Help Search Login Register
News: Please read the Forum Code of Conduct   >>Click Here <<
+  Bachmann Message Board
|-+  Discussion Boards
| |-+  Large
| | |-+  Track lubricant?
« previous next »
Pages: 1 [2] 3 Print
Author Topic: Track lubricant?  (Read 12969 times)
RkyGriz
Guest
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2015, 08:18:31 PM »

The verdigris was on the rail head and down on the sides and bottom of the rail beds. It would grow back if I only did the tops of the rail heads. Maybe some contaminants were trapped between the rail bed and the bottom of the plastic ties? I don't know. It was all at the ends of the tracks and not in the middle. Kind of strange. I bought it from an Ebay seller who lived back east and it came that way. The Scotch Bright pads, while effective at removing the wheel residue, were no match for this stuff and it literally had to be sanded in the areas that I could get to with the Emory cloth and wire brushed away in the areas that couldn't be reached with the Emory cloth (such as the plastic ties/rail bed and crevices where the Emory cloth couldn't quite reach). The main thing is that it's gone and hasn't returned. I'll never buy any track or trains from back east again unless they are brand new and factory sealed and the seller can prove it! That  Ll. starter set I mentioned earlier was supposed to have been in excellent condition when I bought it from a seller in Michigan last year,but it cost me a lot of time to clean and restore. The tracks were tarnished,the locomotive barely ran, and one of the passenger cars didn't light due to one of the track skate wires being broken off deep inside the car. Well over 6 hours of finger numbing work just to remove the heavy brown tarnish from the tracks. Of course, I cleaned the entire rail head and sides on the 12 pieces of curved track. It was a lot of work, but it paid off beautifully if I say so myself! That little 0-4-0 Pennsylvania locomotive now runs like a champ and on its' own tracks and both cars are now brightly lit, so I did something right. I'm almost tempted to take the cars apart again when I get the new metal wheels and install LED lights and an on-off switch in them for daytime running but,nah.
Also, I was told by the guys at our local G Scale train shop (Reno Rails ) to make sure to clean the entire rail head and not just the tops. Of course, they also tried to sell me a $110.00 track cleaning car, but I passed on it, and that's why I clean both sides of the rail head. I just like the track to be as clean as I can get it. The rubbing alcohol totally strips the wheel residue from the rails and leaves nothing behind.
Anyway, I hope I didn't confuse you further with this ramble.
Have a great day Chuck and as always, it's a pleasure to chat with you !
Andrew
Logged
crb


View Profile
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2015, 08:28:53 PM »

I cleaned the darned track with rubbing alcohol, spent a couple of hours with my torpedo level and stone, and leveled from side to side.  It ran like a turtle.  I took a Scotch pad to the track....got cramps in my fingers from scrubbing the darned thing, scrubbed the train wheels, and it ran even worse.  *sad face*
I am starting to feel like I am not meant to be a train engineer.  Sad
Logged

Chris Smiley
Train newbie, faerie garden oldie
RkyGriz
Guest
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2015, 08:55:59 PM »

Maybe your power supply or power outlet isn't up to snuff? Do you have any test equipment to test the track/power supply voltage? Have you checked you power connections to ensure that they are intact and making proper contact with the track and power supply? Do you have any other powered rolling stock or just the one loco? Also, did you buy your loco new or used? These Bachmann locos are usually pretty bullet proof, but if it's an older loco the chassis may be worn out .
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 09:06:27 PM by RkyGriz » Logged
crb


View Profile
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2015, 09:06:18 PM »

Hubby tested the voltage (he's a mechanic) and said all is well.  I tightened all the screws on the rail joiners and tightened the screws where the power hooks to the track.  The locomotive is the only powered one.  I haven't tried to attach any cars to it, this is just the locomotive that won't run worth a darn.  I purchased it new, as a set, which included the power pack.

This was supposed to be fun and is just frustrating.  Of course, I'm not the most patient person either.  Sad

I am wondering if I were to purchase a battery operated locomotive, if I would be better off?Huh?  

P. S.  It is of note that when I first received my starter set, and set it up in the house, with the standard track, it worked just fine.  The issues have come about since I put the brass track outside. 

« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 09:08:08 PM by crb » Logged

Chris Smiley
Train newbie, faerie garden oldie
Chuck N

View Profile
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2015, 09:16:33 PM »

Andrew

I've never seen track with the "verdigris" you describe.  That track has to have been subjected to some unusual conditions.

We have some yard sculptures that are made from copper pipe.  They have a very heavy verdigris patina.  I asked the artist how he created the patina?  He said that he washed his sculptures in "miracle grow" to get the heavy green effect and it took a number of washings.  Is it possible that your used track came from a railway that was from a garden that was heavily fertilized with miracle grow?  As an aside, he said that one of the owners of miracle grow once asked him the same question.  He now gets all the miricale grow he needs.

There are many ways to clean track, everyone has a preferred method, they aren't all the same, but if they work that is all that matters.

Chuck
Logged
RkyGriz
Guest
« Reply #20 on: October 07, 2015, 09:20:34 PM »

There are battery powered g scale train sets out there Bachmann makes a decent one but for the most part the ones that run on battery power are pretty cheap and phony looking.  Now, if you have a lot of money to spend and if you or your husband can do it, you can convert a Bachmann Big Hauler over to battery power and a remote control system. Be prepared to spend several hundred dollars on such a system. At least you wouldn't have to worry about track cleaning nearly so much since the train wouldn't require track power to run it. I've thought about it,but I've dismissed the idea as financially unpractical as I have 8 locomotives from 3 different manufacturers in my collection and the cost to convert everything over to batteries and R/C would be in the thousands.
Try this test: Take the loco and place it on either a thick towel or piece of foam rubber. Even the foam insert that it came in would work. Make sure that it's stable so it will not fall over! Then take the power supply and wires and touch the ends of the wires to the insides of the wheels, one on each opposite side. Don't try running it too fast or too long. Do this test on each set of wheels with the exception of the middle set. The loco draws power from the front pilot, the forward set of wheels and the rear set. Not the middle set. Try that and see how she runs. I do this with my locos when I need to clean the wheels or just test them. Just be extra careful to not let it fall over and you'll be fine.
Let me know how that works.
Andrew
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 09:28:46 PM by RkyGriz » Logged
crb


View Profile
« Reply #21 on: October 07, 2015, 09:38:54 PM »

Andrew,

Thank you for your time and patience with all of this nonsense!  I tested it like you said to do and all of the wheels turned when touched with the wires.  I really think it is all related to the wheels not making good contact with the rails, but I don't know what else to do to fix it.  I used very fine, crushed stone for the ballast.  I am now wondering if perhaps I should lightly mist the stone, and use something to tamp it down, to try to get it more level and less likely to shift?  Sound like a reasonable plan?
Logged

Chris Smiley
Train newbie, faerie garden oldie
Chuck N

View Profile
« Reply #22 on: October 07, 2015, 09:42:55 PM »

Chris

It is very hard to diagnose problems remotely.  We can offer general suggestions.  This is why I think you should try to find someone locally who might be able to help.  

Battery power is another choice, but it has its own set of problems.  It needs to be installed.  It depends on your skill level how easy that will be.  I have several battery powered engines.  I had help to get them up and running.  I can do a lot of things, but I wasn't comfortable doing the wiring.  I prefer track power, but I run trains at places that don't have track power, so I needed some powered by battery.

From my experience, over 30 years in the hobby, track power is the easiest.  All power systems have advantages and disadvantages.  This is another place where local contacts will be helpful.  You can ask questions, and see what others are doing and find out why they made those choices.  When I started, there wasn't a pool of help.  We were few and far between and mistakes were made and we learned from our mistakes.  The help is out there, you just need to find a local group.  Most if not all of the people I know in the hobby want to see beginners succeed.  They are the future of the hobby!

Don't give up, there are solutions.  It just may take some time.

Chuck
Logged
crb


View Profile
« Reply #23 on: October 07, 2015, 09:48:10 PM »

Thanks, Chuck!  I've been trying to join MYLARGESCALE.COM, but the sign up process doesn't seem to be working right now....go figure!  LOL

I will continue to try that to see if I can find some local people to network with.  I fully understand that it is difficult to diagnose from afar!  Smiley

I am going to try something else tomorrow and see what happens.  Maybe by the first snowfall I will have it all worked out.....LOL
Logged

Chris Smiley
Train newbie, faerie garden oldie
RkyGriz
Guest
« Reply #24 on: October 07, 2015, 10:16:09 PM »

Hmmm... you could try that, but I doubt that it's going to be the problem. Use a level (if you haven't already) and go around the entire track. If it's level and all connections are good, then it's probably not track related. You stated that the loco is new, correct? Now, I consider the power supplies that come with starter sets to be woefully inadequate to run these trains. Some of them came with a little black transformer that has a red handle on it. This transformer has a habit of over loading and shutting off after a short time of operation. The other power supply that Bachmann provides in the newer sets is much better. It's a gray, square,  controller with a round power knob on top. It also comes with a black plug in transformer that plugs into the wall and the square controller and then to the track. This is a much more reliable power supply, but it,too, has it's drawbacks as it is only one amp and can be inadequate for larger layouts and trains that need a lot of power for lights and accessories. Like Chuck already said, it is difficult to remotely diagnose the problem and the best that we can do without actually being there is to guess at a possible best solution. It may be as simple as an inadequate power supply. It may not. The best thing to do is to take it to a local train store, or hobby store that sells trains, and see if they can help you . Remember that Bachmann offers a lifetime limited warranty on all of their locos and if all else fails, I encourage you to contact their customer service department. They will repair/replace the loco free of charge within one year after purchase if it was purchased new( proof required). You'll only have to pay the shipping to send it back to them. Repair cost after 1 year is (last time I checked) $55.00 for a standard G Scale loco( plastic drive rods) or $75.00 for Spectrum. I don't know if the Anniversary Edition locos are charged the same for replacement as a Spectrum loco as it's been 3 years since I sent my last Anniversary Edition loco back for repairs/replacement and the prices have somewhat changed. The main difference between the Bachmann Standard Edition 4-6-0 and the Anniversary Edition 4-6-0 is that the Anniversary Edition loco has metal drive rods and far more detailing than the standard 4-6-0 loco does. If all else fails, give Bachmann a call and see what they can do for you.
Don't give up! These trains can be a bit frustrating from time to time, but they're well worth it for the sheer amount of enjoyment they provide to those who enjoy and love them!
Keep us posted as to your progress.
Best regards,
Andrew
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 10:21:25 PM by RkyGriz » Logged
Chuck N

View Profile
« Reply #25 on: October 07, 2015, 10:17:38 PM »

Chris

I hope you can get up and running before the first snow.  I enjoy running my trains in the white stuff.  If you need to shovel out the track, be sure to use a plastic shovel.  Metal ones will scratch and possibly damage the track.

Winter in Virginia



Train in Colorado before moving to Virginia



If you want the trains to do the work, under proper conditions
Colorado

Virginia


This is a learning experience.  Give it time and keep asking questions.

Chuck

Andrew may have hit the nail on the head.  If you are using a starter set power supply, that may be the problem.  They really don't have the power. 

Try bringing inside enough track to make a circle and with the power supply close to the track, short wires, see if it will run, or bring in some straight track (10'-15') and see how it runs on a level track on the floor.







« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 10:27:02 PM by Chuck N » Logged
Loco Bill Canelos

Model railroading since 1947


View Profile
« Reply #26 on: October 07, 2015, 10:53:04 PM »

CRB,

One quick way to see if the problem is with the loco or track is to take the loco back into the house and run it on the track that came with the set.  If it runs great in the house on the original track then you know for sure the problem is with your outdoor track.   If it runs like a turtle outdoors, does it do it all the way around??   Does it run better on the track the transformer is attached to??  If so the problem may be the track connections.  You should test the voltage on the track right by the transformer first.  note the reading, then test the voltage on the next connected track.  It should be the same.  continue on around if you find a section with low voltage, the most likely problem is poor contact at the joiners.  Don't worry too much about the track leveling until you get the loco running right.   I would invest in some rail clamps.  When you find a problem joiner replace it with a clamp.   I would actually recommend using rail clamps all the way around to minimize future problems.   At some point the voltage should be the same all the way around the track.  Then if your train wheels are clean the train should go around with out seeming to be a turtle.

I am convinced the problem is with your track wiring and or the original low output power supply, since you tested the loco and found it to be running right.   

Good Luck and follow the steps to isolate the real problem.   I have helped many hundreds of folks with your problems and 99 percent of the time the problem of a loco not running right is track connectors with bad contact.   Also if a loco is running right and derails all the time the problem is again 99 % the track being out of level either side to side or along the length. 

Snow plowing can be fun.  This youtube vid is on my sons layout in Denver.   We had fun this day.   Click on his name on Youtube to see his other videos.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7Y5fJGrJ3k

Bill
Logged

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!
Chuck N

View Profile
« Reply #27 on: October 08, 2015, 08:25:21 AM »

Chris

Along the lines of Bill's comment.  If it works on the starter set track, is it possible to move the outside track to a level space, driveway, or garage floor? This would then give us some more information, if it works or not.

Most starter set power supplies put out between 0.5 and 1 amp.  Most single motor engines require between 0.5 and 1 amp to run.  If your engine has smoke, lights, and sound, try turning those off.  There should be a switch for smoke, and I don't know about the other two. 

For one engine we recommend a power supply with a minimum output of 3 amps, more is better.  I use 10 amp units.  I have a streamliners that requires 7 amps.

Chuck
Logged
crb


View Profile
« Reply #28 on: October 08, 2015, 09:06:25 AM »

Chuck N,

Love those snowy pictures!  I hope I can get mine running before the white stuff makes an appearance! 
Logged

Chris Smiley
Train newbie, faerie garden oldie
crb


View Profile
« Reply #29 on: October 08, 2015, 09:17:18 AM »

You guys are all so helpful and have given me many things to try!  I will work on all of your suggestions over the next few days (darn work schedule...interfering with my train time!) and see what happens.  Hubby has a voltage meter, so we can test the voltage over the track and see what we come up with.  I am, indeed, using the small gray, square power supply that came with my train and it says it is 1 amp.  Hubby and I had wondered if perhaps it wasn't powerful enough.  My sounds are controlled by a 9 volt battery in the tender, and I don't have other lights (yet!).  So, perhaps I need a larger power supply.  But, I will try all of your suggestions first. 

Just out of curiousity, is there any sort of rule of thumb (ie-footage of track vs amperage needed)?  I understand that a lot of it depends on how much stuff you are trying to power, so maybe distance around the track doesn't really matter so much.  However, I have only been trying to run the locomotive....without any other cars attached.  So I haven't exactly been draining power from what I am running. (if that makes sense)

Thanks again everyone....you are all so kind to share your wisdom!!!  Smiley  (And if anyone wants to make a road trip to Ohio, my doors are open....LOL)
Logged

Chris Smiley
Train newbie, faerie garden oldie
Pages: 1 [2] 3 Print 
« previous next »
Jump to:  
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!