Blind Drivers

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by MilesWestern, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    What's the deal with blind drivers? What do they do that a flanged driver cannot? Why do they make them? Do they help provide/improve traction, or what? :confused: :confused: :confused:
  2. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    They help a locomotive negotiate tighter radius turns. In fact the prototype U.P. 2-12-4s had blind drivers because there was concern that they would have problems on some of the prototype mainline curves!
  3. RailRon

    RailRon Active Member

    The need of blind drivers for locomotives with a very long rigid wheelbase (5 or 6 driving axles) is quite obvious. But blind drivers also were quite common on smaller engines of short lines and narrow gauge railroads, because those lines in mountainous or hilly country featured very tight radius curves.

    On the consolidations (2-8-0) and mikados (2-8-2) of all the Rocky Mountain 3 ft. railroads drivers #2 and 3 always were blind. Even on the moguls (2-6-0) of the Colorado & Southern, Colorado Centrral etc. the center driver was blind.

    Examples for standard gauge lokeys were e.g. the consolidations of the Maryland & Pennsylvania (Ma&Pa), with two blind drivers between the two flanged ones, too.

    For us modelers this is quite practical because it works the same way on a layout: Blind drivers allows us to run our engines on curves, which in fact are too tight.

  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    For us modelers this is quite practical because it works the same way on a layout: Blind drivers allows us to run our engines on curves, which in fact are too tight.

    thank goodness for that :D most of the first locos i built were Matua kits and most had the center axles blind
  5. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    It's nice to know that somebody, somewhere, appreciates us "Blind Drivers""! :D ;) :D
  6. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Glad to see you're still driving my friend...:wave: :wave: :D
  7. zedob

    zedob Member

    Besides the fact that I'm going blind (just reading glasses), I am so used to seeing blind drivers on my narrow gauge locos and small MDC oldtimer standard guage consolidation that when I purchased a Bachmann 2-8-0 and ran it on my layout, I was disappointed in it's performance and realized it was due to all flanged drivers. My MDC 2-8-0 tracks much better because of the blind drivers.

    Since I'm not overly concerned with prototypical larger steam flanged drivers as much as I am with smooth running, I'm not against changing the center drivers for blind ones if someone offered them for my loco.

    I guess I could turn my loco upside-down, power it up and put a file to the flanges...:thumb:

    I wonder how many quick responses I'll get from that one.:D
  8. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

  9. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    Thanks for all the great responses! I'm so glad I learned something new!

    Zedob- I'm miffed that my spectrum consolidation has the same problem, and for that, I can't negotiate 18" radius curves! :(
  10. zedob

    zedob Member

    Actually I was joking. Not that I don't think it can be done, I have no doubts about that, but I've heard so many nay saying about doing it because of the filings in the motors that I wouldn't have done it because of that reason. But, then again, I didn't think about the magnet on the file trick. :thumb: It's tempting now. "To the laboratory, Gromit..."
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Don't know how I missed this thread. A better way to improve oversize flanges, or eliminate the flange altogether is with a cut-off disc. This is quicker and applies less stress to the driver, which is particularily important for drivers with plastic centres. As with the file method, protect the motor and axle bearings from the residue of removed metal. The loco should be in a convenient position to work on. Using jumper wires, apply power, until the drivers are turning at a fairly high speed. Using a cut-off disc in a Dremel tool, running at maximum rpm, apply the flat of the disc to the flange, using very light pressure. Too much force can break the disc or overheat the wheel flange, which can have disastrous results with plastic wheel centres. Do not use the edge of the cutting disc for this operation: if it catches on the flange, it will break, and most likely also ruin the wheel. As usual, proper safety measures should be observed when performing this operation.

  12. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    I was just kidding, Don!
    I haven't driven for a couple of years now...:rolleyes:

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