Crossing Problem

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by scat, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. scat

    scat New Member

    Hello ,
    I am fairly new to Model Railroading but I have a feeling I will be in it for a very long time. What a great hobby! I have endevered to construct my first n scale layout. It's 14' by 12' on ply with a 1 1/2 " foam bed. So far I have layed around 100 ft code 80 flex track with 8 switches and also have used 6 crossovers. I am planning on going 2 more levels up with the track and useing 2 tech 4 mrc 280 power supplies for 4 seperate "?? Bus ??" voltage supplies to the layout. I am useing Peco insulfrog turnouts with Tourtise switch machines. They told me at the train shop I should use insulfrog turnouts because they are easier to wire. ( Kinda wish I would have used the electrafrogs now ). It's been a challange and a whole lotta fun building it so far. I have the 100' of track that I have laid now functioning and considering this is my first layout I am pretty happy with how it's working. But there are 2 problems (so far) that I cant seem to figure out and I am hopeing some one could give me a hand with. Problem #1 is with a 90% crossing I am useing. It worked fine for a while but now suddenly when my locomotives try to cross over it they jump up in the air sometimes derailing. This only happens on 1 side of the crossing and only to the locomotives , not the cars. I checked for nails sticking up , debrie on the track stuff like that and I dont see any type of damage to the crossing either. Its an Atlas crossing 90%. This happens with any locomotive I run on it. Seems a little worse with a steam loco. The track is still straght and level also.
    Prob #2 is with a Peco large radious turnout. This turnout is on a perfectly (well pretty close) level and straight section of track. What happens is about 1/2 of the time when the train comes down that section of track the rear wheels of the loco or of the cars will follow the curve of the turnout when it is switched in the straight position. I worked on it so long I decided the switch must be bad so I carefully replaced it. It still happens. On the first switch I had removed the spring from the Peco like the instructions for the Tortious instructions said to said to. On the new switch I left the spring in and used heavier wire on the tortious machine. It switches beutifully but still sends the rear wheels on the curve about 1/2 the time . This also happens on all locos and random cars. Can any one help me? Thanks
  2. Ray Marinaccio

    Ray Marinaccio Active Member

    Hi Scat,
    Welcome to The Gauge,
    Have you checked the gauge on the wheels of the locos and cars that are derailing?
  3. Skammer

    Skammer Member

    For the crossing, I would also check the height of your couplers, especially the clearance of the pin that curves down from it (assuming you are using a knuckle-type coupler). On my first layout, I had a lot of problems with the coupler pins catching on my crossing until I learned how to fix 'em.
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    :wave: welcome to the gauge :wave: sounds like you still might have a level problem. have you sighted down the stock rail to see if there is a hump or a twist in it ?
  5. scat

    scat New Member

    I haven't checked the wheels for gauge . I don't have a tool to do that but I hope to have one by this time tommorow. I guess it could be out of gauge. One of the locos is brand new but I guess it could be out too. Whats strange to me is it's always the back wheels that follow the curve on the switch when the switch is in the straight position. I have turned cars around that have done this to test the wheels and had them still do the same thing. The front wheels go straight and the rear follow the curve. As for leveling it , it is very very close to level. Also I have tried to raise the switch a little to see if it helped. Swearing at it didn't help either.
    Thanks for your suggestions , I will check the wheel gauge asap.........
  6. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Maybe the front wheels of the car throw the switch out of whack a little bit? I have noticed that Peco springs and switch machines don't always get along, even if they seem to work fine at first.
  7. scat

    scat New Member

    You may be right jetrock. I noticed earlier tonite that that particular switch has more pressure on it from the tortoise than any other switch on my lay out. I must have used a heavier wire on that one .It has the same push in either position but I wonder if it is pushing to hard. Could that cause the rear wheels to slip like that? I didn't have time to really do any work on it last night but when I can I will check that possibility also. Thanks for takeing an interest you guys , I need the help!
  8. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    This isn't an uncommon problem on locomotives straight out of the box, especially on Bachmanns.
    My first thought was: deep flanges on small rails. But you say it's Code 80, so that shouldn't be a problem.
  9. scat

    scat New Member

    Well thanks for the replies you guys. You are gonna love this....... It suddenly stopped doing that jump thing on its own. Crazy but im not complaining. Im getting ready to start on my second level. Im sure I will have more questions to ask. Its great to have a place I can ask them, Thanks again , I will let you know how its going!:thumb: :wave:
  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It sounds like something was hanging down on the bottom of the locomotive that hit the diamond in the center of the crossing and caused the locomotive to jump. If it has stopped jumping, it may have worn the offending piece off to get clearance.
  11. scat

    scat New Member

    Yea that makes sense to me. I looked with a magnifing glass at the locos though and didnt se anything. I dont know but if it stsrts again im gonna call the ghost busters!

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