Bad spot of track

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Collyn, Dec 28, 2006.

  1. Collyn

    Collyn Member

    I can't figure why this piece of track keeps derailing all of my locos. It is a piece of sectional curve, on a flat spot in the layout and it keeps derailing all of my locos. there is nothing obstructing or close to the track that would cause it to derail and it is in gauge.
  2. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I'm assuming that since its a piece of sectional track its a similar radius to other curved sections you have and not too tight a curve for your locos. Is the offending curved section the first one after a section of straight track? If so maybe your locos need an easement curve going into the turn. (?)

  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    Also - look really close for a chunk of ballast or other obstruction next to the rail. Sometimes, the plastic tie spike is molded incorrectly and sticks up to high. Anyything between the rails is a potential culprit. I have seen track nails that work their way out and catch a coupler - causing derailment.

  4. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Could also be out of guage, check with a NMRA guage or maybe you pushed your track nails in to tight on the ties and pinched the rails together?
  5. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    to Collyn:

    How sharp are your curves? If they are 18"-radius and you are trying to run BIG locomotives like long 6-axle diesels, more often than not you will experience derailment problems, particularly at the rail joints where sometimes there is a kink, or if the rail joint has a sharp edge on the inside where it will catch a flange and throw it off the rail.

    Also, if your curve leans outward, derailments are even more likely. Curves should lean slightly inwards.

    Due to space constraints, I am forced to use 18" radius curves, and I also get a lot of derailments with long 6-axle locos like SD40-2s. I had to:

    1 - Lay the curves using flex track to minimize joints.

    2 - Make sure the joints that I cannot eliminate have no sharp edge or kinks.

    3 - Superelevate the outside of the curve by shimming it with pieces of .015" styrene.

    4 - Ensure my locos have free-swiveling trucks and that they are not warped, the wheels are in gauge and in good shape.

    All these things together made my derailment problems virtually disappear.

    Hope this helps!
  6. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    My first guess would be that it isn't smoothly connected to the next section and the rail joints are kinked.
  7. johnpasko

    johnpasko New Member

    Check for a tie that is bowed up or broken. Sometimes the airbrake hose on the front knuckle coupler will hit a tie and derail the locomotive. Good luck.
  8. IAIS 604

    IAIS 604 Member

    Once I had a coupler hose catch the track and flip the loco - make sure the hoses don't dip too low (use the Kadee gauge).

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