BLI Switcher Potential Problem

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by spitfire, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Just wanted everyone to be aware of this in case you have or are thinking to buy Broadway Limited Imports' new switcher. It will not operate through back-to-back #4 turnouts. You either need to add a straight section, or go to #6s. This may not be a problem for everyone, but it certainly was for me. I ripped out my yard ladder, thinking the problem was my trackwork. Re-laid it, but had the same problem.

    I belatedly decided to test some other engines through it, for which I had to hook up a DC power source. Two Life-Like engines, the SW9 and 0-8-0 ran back and forth thru the ladder just fine. Even my BLI Hudson could negotiate the turnouts.

    The problem is there is not enough swivel to the trucks as the picture below clearly illustrates. In order to get sound into the engine they had to cram the cab so full that there is no room for any play.

    So, this is not a good engine for a tight yard - the very purpose I bought it for. :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:


    Attached Files:

  2. sumpter250

    sumpter250 multiscale modelbuilder

    I guess I'm going to have to rip up some of the test track at the shop, and lay in a tight "s" curve. All the units we ran were all on straight track, so we never saw this problem. Thanks Val!, good heads-up :thumb:
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    to bad Val :cry: :cry: know you wanted this loco for yard work.
  4. SAL Comet

    SAL Comet Member

    Ha Val, Looks like the trucks are hitting the weight, mabye you can do a little cutting on it to get some more clearance?
  5. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Hi Scott, while it does look that way, actually what they're hitting is inside the housing. My bet is it's all the sound equipment in there. The cab is actually full of stuff too - no little engineers in there, no seats, no interior - just wires!

    EDIT: I think I have solved the problem. That last word "wires" got me thinking so I referred to Graham Evans' post to remove the shell. What I discovered is that the wires to the cab lighting were getting tangled with the top of the truck assembly. There are 2 screw holes there which makes me wonder if there was supposed to be a plate there to prevent just this problem. As far as I can tell from the exploded diagram there isn't, but I think maybe there should be. I'm going to see if I can attach a piece of rigid plastic there to keep the wires out of the truck housing. I've run the engine without the shell, and it goes through the yard ladder now, so that's a major step forward!! :thumb: Of course now I've broken the stupid horn!! :cry:

  6. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    That's a good eye-opener! Anyone else with the same kind of snag?
  7. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    Well, I tried my new BLI NW-2 in my (as of yet...) unfinished yard area, where I only have #5 switches, but I do have 15" radius curves throughout the area. The little BLI negotiated all turnouts and 15" rad. curved track without a hitch. However, my NW-2 trucks look like they have the same clearance problem that Val's SW-7 does, but my wires were not getting tangled.

    I hope this helps.... Bob :confused:
  8. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Val,You go Girl! You nail that problem.. :thumb:

    If the plastic doesn't work then a small piece of electric tape will get the job done..Replacing the horn isn't a problem..You can use a Athearn horn,a P2K horn,Details West horn or Detail Associates horn for switchers.. :D
  9. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Thanks Brakie! :)

    Bob, the SW7 and NW2 are, as far as I know, the same model release from BLI. There may be some minor differences, but I think the only difference was HP of the motor. Anyone have an answer on that?

    I'm glad to hear you got such tight radii with yours. Gives me a benchmark for my fix-up job.

  10. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Val,The SW7 and NW2 are two different looking locomotives.
    Here is a NW2. Note the slope from the hood to the cab.This is a early phase(phase 1) NW2.

    This is the phase 2 NW2.Notice the slope from the hood to the cab is more smoother and the more commonly used slope on EMD SW series switchers.

    Here is the SW7.

    The NW2 is a 1000 HP unit whereas the SW700 is a 1200 HP unit.
    Now some railroads order the NW2 and SW7 with seal beam twin headlights-like your P2K SW1200 has.
  11. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Thanks for that Brakie! Now I'm looking at the box it says NW2 Phase V. I've been calling it an SW7 because that's what CN had. Oh well, yet another prototypical glitch on my railroad. :D

  12. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Val,I would not worry to much about the different phases of locomotives unless you are going for accuracy.You see to EMD and the railroads there is no such thing as different phases in locomotives.In the case of the NW2 and SW7 to EMD and the railroads they are exactly that a NW2 or SW7.A GP38 is a GP38 a GP38-2 is a GP38-2 locomotive..
    The phases of locomotives came about by railfans noticing the difference in the same type of locomotive and modelers wanting to model more accurate locomotives of their chosen prototype railroad..
    Now off to work I go. :cry:
  13. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    I wouldn't worry either, late NW-2's & early SW-7's are pretty much identical and as Larry said it was how the railroads ordered them and when, I don't think the sealed beam headlight and rectangular cab windows came until about April of 1950, at least that's the way it was on the Central according to my diesel book and pictures.

    This is where being pure and prototypically correct can drive you insane, my theory,if it looks right it's OK.
  14. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    I'm surprised Spitfire didn't have this problem pop up sooner, I had a spot in my trackwork when I started my current layout where I had a similar no.4 S-curve and several of my locomotives couldn't go thru it without derailing. Since then I only use a no. 5 or larger where there would be an S-curve situation (or no.6 if passenger cars run thru it.)
  15. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    Stix, Here is my experience the "S" curves found with #4 switches..I have used Atlas #4s for years and still do because of space limitations on my industrial switching layouts and if there is one thing I have learn from that is speed during a reverse move with long wheel base cars is the most important factor..It is my firm belief that these "S" curves shouldn't be much of a problem for the majority of locomotives and cars including full length passenger cars.I am not saying a long wheel base diesel like a SD70 or SD90MAC or a 2-10-4 or 2-8-8-2 will guide through a #4 "S" curve.However,seeing our equipment is most forgiving(sometimes :eek: ) I would not doubt a long wheel base locomotive could *possibly* do it based on speed being a major factor.. :confused:
    Perhaps some day I will try my Athearn SD70s and my Rivarossi 2-6-6-6 through these #4 "S" curves. :eek: :D

Share This Page