Cars that derail

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Edgar, Oct 9, 2005.

  1. Edgar

    Edgar New Member

    Hi fiolks, I'm new to the hobby but learning every day. I'm having a hard time with derailments; some of my HO freight cars are derailing at the same spot (a curve.) Any suggestions from the veterans out there? I'd appreciate it.
  2. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    Is it the same place on the curve? Possibly a track joint there? If so the track could be 'kinked' in that area.Check your track's guage in that area which an NMRA track guage to make sure that the rails are correctly spaced. If not, try to gentely take a set of needle-nose pliers and try to curve the kink out or if you have just laid the track try taking it back up and re-laying it in the curve.
    Also you could have some wheelsets on your cars that are out-of-guage as well check those with the NMRA guage as well and re-space as nessasary.
  3. Hoghead

    Hoghead Member

    Can the radius handle the car?

    Smaller radius and long cars don't work well together.
  4. cabdriver

    cabdriver Member

    Well, I cetainly don't want to insult your intelligence, :eek: but we had the same type of issue on our layout and were amazed at the cause.:eek: :eek: :eek: We had a switch on one of our curves, and we thought the switch was thrown one way when in actuality, the switch was thrown the opposite way. :eek: The lead loco seemed to be able to transverse this but the lighter rolling stock would not.:p Many folks suggested the problem was that our rolling stock was "too light" so we loaded them up. :( This seemed to help -- perhaps just muscled the stock around the curve. ;) Well, once we realized that the problem was with the switch, everything worked fine. :thumb: :thumb: Flipped the switch and presto! :thumb: :thumb: Smooth running around the layout. :thumb: We were able to reduce the weight in the stock without any adverse affect, as well. I'm sure this is too simple for your problem, but it was the root of ours, so I thought we would let you know.

  5. dsfraser

    dsfraser Member

    On a curve? Same spot?

    Make sure the guage is correct (NMRA guage).

    Make sure the wheelsets are in guage (again NMRS guage).

    Make sure that there is a smooth joint between rails. Make sure they are even, crimp the outer rails with vice grips and solder them.

    Make sure the rails are the same height. If not level, the outside rail should be higher. You can get a "string level" from a home builders' store to verify this. I suspect you need to shim the outer rail.
  6. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member


    If it seems to be the same car that start the derailment, sometimes just reversing that car will take care of it. Just a thought.

  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    There is a process to checking out derailments.
    When a variety of stock derails at the same place, it's probably the place. Look down at the curve and along the curve to see if the joint is off or if the track is bent more tightly there. If you use sectional track, put a piece of curve over the joints and see if the laid track lines up on both sides. Also check that the rail ends are all IN the rail joiner: no rail is sitting on top of it.
    Push the cars through one at a time to see if they derail, then two at a time. There may be a few cars that can't take the radius.
    The other part of the problem could be the wheels. Some cars have very deep, sharp flanges (we call them "pizza-cutter" wheels) and the flange picks at the bad joint instead of rolling off it. Only fix for that is new wheels.
  8. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    Maybe a locomotive is yanking the car off the tracks, thats what happens on my layout. usualy means you need a new coupler, or a different locomotive.
  9. Pitchwife

    Pitchwife Dreamer

    Also be sure to put the heavier cars at the front of the train and the lighter ones at the rear.

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