Another newbie

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Bigguy, Dec 28, 2007.

  1. Bigguy

    Bigguy New Member

    This is my first post. I just discovered this site yesterday. There is a whole lot of great information here. I recently set up a 4 1/2 by 8 table with a double loop HO track set up with DCC.

    So far, I am having some derailment problems; they seem to be happening most at a 19 degree X crossing. I am using Atlas Code 83 track. Any suggestions?
  2. scubadude

    scubadude Member

  3. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Welcome and congrats on finding the best place on the web for info and knowledge about trains. There's plenty of folks here who have some great skills and experience that freely share and try to help.

    Are the derailments occuring with the engine or on some cars? First and easiest thing to check...with an HO Standards gauge, check the space between the wheels of everything. You'd be suprised just how many wheels sets are close but not exactly spaced correctly out of the box. Next, I'd suggest taking a magnifying glass and closely look at the entire X-crossing for plastic burrs that might be affecting a wheel as it goes through the intersection. Also, with a gauge, check the rail spacing as it's possible that the width between the rails is too narrow causing a wheel to ride up and out. Are there curved track sections right before the X-crossing? It's possible that the radius isn't quite right to straighten the cars out just before entering the crossing and if there's any coupler problems, the end result might be a derailment at the crossing that had its start a few inches prior. Finally, it could be the wheels themselves. I'm just learning about the various track codes and which wheel works best on what code. But I've seen on my layout that some wheel types (Low rise vs. High profile - if I'm using the terms correctly) do better than others and where I notice it is over the turnouts I'm using. I can always count on a derailment from a light weight car using a low profile wheel, so I try to make sure the car is correctly weighted and has he higher profile wheels. That may not be quite prototypical, but it keeps the derailment gremlins at bay and allows me to run a train with no derailments for hours.

    But there's plenty of guys here with way more knowledge than me who could add their two cents...
  4. Bigguy

    Bigguy New Member


    Thanks for the good info. I will get a gauge and check the spacing. The derailments seem to occur most with small hopper cars. I will try to put some weight in them to see if that helps.
  5. stripes

    stripes Member

    Well it seems like you got good advice from Herc Driver so there is noting left for me to say but, WELCOME!!
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Welcome to The Gauge, Big Guy.

  7. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Welcome. Weight, or lack of, can also cause derailments, especially if you are using the plastic cars that come with a train set. Try adding some pebbles to your open cars to see if it makes a difference.
  8. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    I know there are suggested weights available on the NMRA website if memory serves me correctly. They post a formula for the car's basic weight plus a fractional ounce per inch of car (or something like that). I had similar problems with my Nscale layout and after weighing a random sample of various manufacturer's cars, I found some to be under weighted, which seemed to contribute to the derailments at the turnouts.
  9. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander

    Welcome aboard! [NMRA HO Car weight formula is 1 ounce plus 0.5 ounces per inch of car. It made a big difference on the performance of my under weight cars.]

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