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Author Topic: Bad EZ track swithces  (Read 7057 times)
elwood

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« on: February 01, 2008, 10:49:02 PM »

hi all,

I find myself here with the same problem that others are reporting with HO loco and cars derailing in the switches. I am more then a little dissapointed given that I bought the "my first track" kit so as to avoid having to reinvent the wheel and would have a set I could rely on to have fun with my son with. Not the case, poor product.

I just ordered several sets of metal wheels for my cars as it seems this may help but I do not know yet. I made the other recommended changes with some improvement but 1/3 the time I still have the cars derail.

Has backmann replied to anyone's questions on this? Is there a solution or recall for the switches so I can get ones that work?

Thanks for the help,

ed
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the Bach-man
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« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2008, 11:24:05 PM »

Dear Ed,
If the switches are defective they'll be replaced. First, however, you should check the gauge of the wheels that derail. Also, see if the points have a rough spot. You may be able to sand this down for better operation. This is common in the hobby with most brands of turnouts.
Have fun!
the Bach-man
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tommy4u2

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« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2008, 11:41:25 PM »

My Lord Switches Switches
I have not seen one comment from Bachmann about these switches either
 I got the same My first Railroad track pack and my trains cant make it twice over a single switch, I have checked to make sure there flat and straight and still the same thing with all 4 switches
 More than likely will wind up to be another thing to put up on the shelf along with the 3 crossovers I got that dont work either
 I think its a shame that a company can send out products that are just plain junk. A couple of years ago I built a MTH O gauge Layout and never had 1/10 the problems as I do with the HO Stuff
 I now have about $300 to $400 worth of Ho stuff sitting on the shelf that will never see my layout including a Spectrum USRA Mountain 4-8-2 with dcc and sound thats doomed to sit in a yard because it can't make twice around a simple loop with out the tender or front trucks derailing
 And then every one tells you that you have to try this or that to see if it will work!!!
I Would think after you spend Over $300.00 for an engine it should work and not need to be played with trying to figure out whats wrong, The other day a few friends stopped  ovet to see the trains and I was imbarest
to tell them They couldnt see or hear the steam loco because it wont make it around the track
 
I am sorry I needed to vent I just left the train room and I get upset with the poor performance of the products made today  
 
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2008, 02:03:57 AM »

With such a highly competitive market, the manufacturers produce the best quality product they can for the price they charge.  They don't make "junk" as you call it.  If they did, they couldn't compete for long.  You can't expect swiss watch quality for fifteen bucks.

Modeling in HO gauge takes a little more tinkering, and a lot more patience.   It took me a long time  to work out kinks in my trackwork, and I still get an occasional derail.   It is a continuous learning process, part of the challenge. 

Filing the points as suggested will do wonders.   As for the front trucks, some say add a spring for down pressure, others say take the spring off.  Most tenders can benefit from a little added weight, and make sure the drawbar isn't lifting the front of the tender.

No need to be embarrassed by your friends.  Just explain that this is a new venture for you and there are some problems.  They will probably be happy to help you troubleshoot and fix the problems.  Asking for their help will make them feel good and once you conquer the problem you will have a great feeling of accomplishment. 

Oh yes, you might want to read your signature line again.  Maybe change it to "If you can't say anything nice about a product,,,etc. etc.  The forum is a place to exchange ideas, not  for "venting". 

Yampa Bob



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Rule Number One: It's Our Railroad.  Rule Number Two: Refer to Rule Number One.
tommy4u2

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« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2008, 03:22:04 AM »

 Yampa Bob
Well maybe you dont have several hundred dollars that has to be just thrown on a shelf to gather dust
 I would of gladly paid $10.00/$20.00 more for a product that works correctly and then if fileing  the switch points and installing a spring with more tension is the solution then this should be taken care of at the factory or maybe there should be a warning on the package that if you buy this product you will have to modify it to get it to work, And then the steam engine that cant make one loop around the track by far wasnt a $15.00 item Try more in the nieborhood of $300.00,
 I am on a very low fixed income and cant afford to throw money out the window This is one of the problems with todays society, nobody is willing to stand up for whats right, I remember the day you could take a Bachmann Engine throw down a set of stairs then put it on the track and it would run like the day it was bought,I dare you to try it today youll wind up sweeping it up in a dust pan, What happened to the days when companies showed pride in a product they but there name on Huh??

Tom
 
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2008, 12:37:35 PM »

I guess I've seen quite a few complaints about the EZ switches and numerous fixes for them.
I have to agree with the consumers here.
If the points on EZ switches often need filing, then why aren't they built better at the factory so the points don't need filing by the consumer?
The rivets on my switches frequently get loose and sloppy. Why can't this be addressed at the factory by using a stronger metal for the rivets?
I often sing the praises of EZ Track, but there are some issues as evidenced by the number of complaints on the board here.
I wonder how many people don't take the time to complain here or to Bachmann directly and just chalk them up as "junk" and never buy EZ track again?
It's harmful to Bachmann's reputation and, it therefore follows, their sales.
There are reasons I don't buy Fords - Their reputation from years past and I'm not willing to risk $30,000 to see if they've gotten better.
Bachmann does an excellent job of replacing defective items, but it still costs to send the items in what with postage and a trip to the post office.
I haven't had a problem with Bachmann locos, other then the occasional front truck derailment on the old time 4-4-0's. When it happens, it's usually on the EZ Track switches. Maybe coincidence? A little weight on the truck usually fixes that problem for me, unless it's the switch causing the problem.
I can afford to replace bad switches. Some folks aren't as fortunate.
Given that much of Bachmann's EZ Track appeal is to kids and beginners, it shouldn't be up to them to have to tweak the switches out of the box to make them function correctly.




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grumpy

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« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2008, 04:47:42 PM »

I have ten switches on my EZ track layout and I have not experienced   the problems brought to light on this forum. I have had a problem with 2 switches but once once I made sure they were flat on the base and fastened securely the problem disappeared . I would check the height of the frog . If the frog is to high it may be lifting the trucks and causing the derailment.
Don Sad
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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2008, 04:56:56 PM »

Tom
Are we in a time warp or what?  On December 31 you posted in the HO section that your problems had been solved, even recommending the same solutions offered here.  A month later you post that you are having problems. 

The link you posted is excellent reading.  That page was written by an expert in the hobby and we should all heed his advice. 

Modelers seem to range from the doers to the complainers.  There is a middle class, who  sometimes sits there with a dumb look which fits me at times.  I have my share of frustrations too.  I think the challenges of model railroading is one factor that makes the hobby so  popular.

When I first set up my temporary EZ track, I had constant problems with one turnout. I couldn't fix it so I just replaced it with the newer Atlas turnout. 

We are all free to make choices.  Terry won't drive Fords, I only drive Fords, not because I like them better, but our Ford dealer provides excellent support and service.

I would bet I could run your loco on my layout all day without a derail.  So you aren't wasting $300, the problem seems to be with the turnouts. If that's the case, then you should complain directly to Bachmann.  All we can do here is offer solutions.  If you choose to just let your $300 loco gather dust, I guess that's your business.

I don't know if Bachmann has plans for an upgrade on their turnouts. Atlas just made several changes which greatly improved performance, but it wouldn't be appropriate to detail those changes here.   
 
If enough people complain and sales drop considerably then I guess they will do something about it.  They have a toll free number and provide excellent customer service.

I'm not saying we shouldn't complain, only that this  is not the proper place.  Since Bachmann provides this service, I think it is inappropriate (being polite in my choice of words) to call their products junk in the forum.

The topic of EZ switches has been posted Ad Nauseum. I only read them to see if I missed something the first 2,987 times around . :-)   

Good Luck
Yampa Bob 

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Pacific Northern


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« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2008, 05:25:05 PM »

My Lord Switches Switches
I have not seen one comment from Bachmann about these switches either
 I got the same My first Railroad track pack and my trains cant make it twice over a single switch, I have checked to make sure there flat and straight and still the same thing with all 4 switches
 More than likely will wind up to be another thing to put up on the shelf along with the 3 crossovers I got that dont work either
 I think its a shame that a company can send out products that are just plain junk. A couple of years ago I built a MTH O gauge Layout and never had 1/10 the problems as I do with the HO Stuff
 I now have about $300 to $400 worth of Ho stuff sitting on the shelf that will never see my layout including a Spectrum USRA Mountain 4-8-2 with dcc and sound thats doomed to sit in a yard because it can't make twice around a simple loop with out the tender or front trucks derailing
 And then every one tells you that you have to try this or that to see if it will work!!!
I Would think after you spend Over $300.00 for an engine it should work and not need to be played with trying to figure out whats wrong, The other day a few friends stopped  ovet to see the trains and I was imbarest
to tell them They couldnt see or hear the steam loco because it wont make it around the track
 
I am sorry I needed to vent I just left the train room and I get upset with the poor performance of the products made today  
 

Why would you not send  the engine in to be replaced rather than have it sit in a drawer?
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tommy4u2

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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2008, 11:42:07 PM »

I cant afford to send it back, Bachmann Charges $20.00 and then there shipping so It would cost me about $30 t0 $40 I just dont have that kind of money

Just a update on those switches
I spent about just about the entire day working on them and think I have them working better, Actually ran a fifteen car consit for about an hour over them and not one derailment

! filed all the switch points
2 sanded down the frogs
3 installed an additional sping to hold the switches tighter up againts the rails Now the switch is a little slugish but its stays tight at the rail points in either direction
« Last Edit: February 04, 2008, 11:54:24 PM by tommy4u2 » Logged

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Yampa Bob

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« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2008, 03:31:17 AM »

Congratulations, you just made the transition from "complainer" to "doer".

Feels good doesn't it?   

Yampa Bob
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Woody Elmore

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« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2008, 09:40:05 AM »

At one time Model Railroading was a hobby that required tinkering. Engines had to be built and tweaked, rolling stock assembled and track required more than shaking the box. When I first joined an HO club, members used to all have little pocket screw drivers and pliers so that they could deal with things like a low Kadee gladhand or wobbly truck. Even a Mercedes needs work now and then.

One thing I learned when I started HO was always check wheel gauge. The NMRA gauge is worth the investment. You can use it to check clearances on switches as well as things like coupler height.

I can't imagine how boring it is to take trains out of box, stick together some track and watch the train run round and round. How is that model railroading?

If your engine or EZ track has problems, Bachmann has a very good repair policy.
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2008, 11:18:46 AM »

It's like buying a new car and taking it home and finding out you have to get under the hood and troubleshoot it because it's not running right.
You could take it back to the dealer and they'll probably give you a loaner car until they fix your problem. It's under warranty and the dealer is right down the street so you don't have to pay to have it shipped back the factory and then pay a charge on top of that.
You could return your EZ switch to the dealer (If you bought it locally. If not you have to pay the postage to send it back to the dealer.) and get another one just like it, but it might have the same problems, so that's no help.
I stand by my statement that you shouldn't have to tweak a product right out of the box to get it to function properly.
It's no big deal to most of you because most of you don't use EZ Track. If Bachmann started shipping locos that didn't run right out of the box, there's a whole bunch of you who would be squawking.
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Terry Toenges


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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2008, 11:22:30 AM »

I guess Bachmann could put a disclaimer on all their products - "CAUTION. This product is for advanced model railroaders only. It might not function properly without some additional work by the purchaser."
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JerryB

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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2008, 12:51:03 PM »

tommy4u2:

Glad you got things turned around!!

Two items you didn't mention checking are the track gauge through the turnouts and the back to back spacing of the wheels on every car and locomotive. It is very important that these dimensions be within tolerances. I check these dimensions as a matter of course before installing new purchase on the RR.

You can find these dimensions and also buy a track & wheel gauge at the NMRA's website. You don't have to be a member to use the site. There is significant beginner's help documentation available there.

Happy RRing,

Jerry
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