Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by photoman, Jan 11, 2007.

  1. photoman

    photoman New Member

    Well thing are going pretty smooth, I have been switching out the switches and the derailing is getting better. I waiting on one more switch to replace another. Is there anyone out there who never has a train derail.

    I have a question on dirt. What is the rock or dirt I see around the track for some of you guys. I have quite a bit of track so im hoping its not to high on the dollar scale. And a place to get it.

    Once I clean the area up and get things in order and start adding scenics I will take some pics and you can all let me know how I did.

    Thanks for all your help.

    Dino www.dinopetrocelli.com
  2. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    What kind of de-rail? My tank car jumped the tracks now and then at switches, but the scariest was when it jumped and small blue sparks flew near the wheels. It wasn't a big thing for my train or powerpack, and that car seemingly allways manages to uncouple itself right before the switch, only tipping itself. My loco has never derailed ever.
  3. photoman

    photoman New Member

    Funny I have a Sante Fe Loco, and it never derails, except for the one switch, I tried to take book advise and file down the switch and the wheels go right through it. The trains seem to work better on a Y switch than a full turn out. I think it would be cool to see sparks and smoke, as long as you don't blow a gasket. My son was running Gordon (thomas the train) the big loco and he derailed it right off the track and crashed it pretty bad, 50.00 bucks down the drain, the arms on the wheels busted. You can't fix something like that can you?
  4. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    you mean the metal rods that are conected to the wheels and keep them in unison? if so, try to find a LHS (local hobby shop) and see if they can reapair the big blue giant:D
  5. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    Although you haven't seen any pictures of my layout/club layout, I use real dirt from my back yard. I dry it in the oven on low temperature. I then sift it with a couple of different sizes of kitchen sieve's. The dirt can then be mixed with the latex paint when you paint the basic foam or sprinkled on wet white glue which has been diluted. After you get it arranged where yo want it, spray the dirt with more diluted white glue to hold it in place. If you are speaking about the large rock formations, they are usually made from plaster. You can buy molds at the LHS or online.
    I would suggest experimenting on a piece of scrap foam or whatever you are using for terrain prior to doing your layout.
  6. NYNH&H

    NYNH&H Member

    Get a couple of scenery books from Kalmbach, and Joe Fugate's model trains video series. You can learn a lot, they have step-by-step with materials lists and all. And you can just modify the processes to suit your needs/ time/ budget (although the whole dirt thing isn't too expensive :) ).
  7. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Were you talking about ballast Dino? These are the rocks spread on the sides of the track and between the ties. They are commercially available in several different shades. A small bag covers a lot of track so it really isn't expensive. A lot of us use real dirt (I sweep up sand from my garage floor) sift it and apply it to yard tracks, side tracks, or lesser used rail to get a nice effect.

  8. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    I used dirt for dirt. But since I have a geology background, I should call it "sediment". :) It's dirt cheap (free.)

    In this photo, you will see a dirt road and a ballasted track:

    The ballast (not sure if you were interested in that) is medium grade. I'd use fine in the future.

    The dirt is sediment from a nearly arroyo (that's what we call a dry creekbed here in New Mexico), carefully sampled from a small bar where the sediment was especially fine. Fine sediment is key - you can sieve it if you have to. The color is natural. I laid it down by just arranging it how I liked, then soaking it with a dilute solution of white glue and water, with a drop or two of dish detergent as a surfactant so that it would penetrate. Once it was all wet and arranged just so, I went over the thing with a 50/50 mix of white glue and water in a bottle, and really soaked it. When it all dried, I thought it looked great.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I don't know what locomotive you have pulling that tank car, but the problem you have sounds like it could be a combination radius/locomotive incompatibility problem. On my first layout years ago, I had 22 inch radius mainlines, 18 on sidings, and a couple of industrial spurs with 15 inch radius. My Athearn Sd45's were intended as strictly mainline power, and only the Sw7 would ever be used to switch the 15 inch radius industry spur, but I decided to do some experimenting which taught me a lot about the dynamics of long locomotives and tight radius. If I tried to back a Sd45 through the 15 inch radius, it made it without problems. If I coupled any freight car to the Sd45 and tried to back it through the 15" radius, the car would tip up on 4 wheels with the other 4 off the tracks as the engine moved through the curve then drop back onto the track when the engine got straightened out. If I coupled a Gp7 to the Sd45 and then coupled a freight car to the Gp7, I could back the entire consist through the tight radius without problems. All of this was done at low speed, and I should mention that each backing move was followed by a forward move, and forward or backward, the results were the same.

    In short, I suspect your problem is that you are trying to run a locomotive that is too long for the curve of your chosen turnout, and the engine overhang is pulling that tank car off the rails. Try other cars right behind the locomotive and see if the problem is consistant. If it isn't a problem with other cars, then you need to check the tank car closely against the cars that make it thrugh to see what is different. If it happens with any car coupled behind the particular engine, you have a locomotive/curve radius compatibility problem.

    If the problem is only with the tank car, check the following list.

    First, check both trucks on the tank car very carefully. Check wheels in gauge? Are the wheels concentric on the axle (when you spin them do they spin in a perfect circle or do they look more like a cam shaft)? Do any wheels wobble on the axle? Check the geometry of both trucks. Are the axles perpendicular to the side frames? Do the trucks side frames run parrallel to the rails, or does the truck kind of "crab walk" sideways down the track.

    After carefully checking the trucks completely, go to the car itself and check it out closely. Check it's weight. Is it up to NMRA standards for weight? I've posted the link to the NMRA standards for car weights in all scales.

    Now check the car frame for straightness & plumb. Do you have a solid table with a good flat table top? Put the car on the table, does it sit flat? If the trucks are installed, do all 8 wheels sit flat on the table? Are both trucks inline with each other? In other words, does the cars frame have any warp or twist in it anywhere?

    The final test is to check your couplers on the tank car. Do they move freely side to side? Do they have adequate side to side range of movement compared to other freight cars on you layout?

    This is a lengthy post, but if you check everything I've mentioned here, I think you will find the answer to your problem.

    Sometimes turning a car around will make problems seem to go away. If all you want to do is watch your train run in a circle, that may be a suitable fix. If you want to operate your railroad prototypically, all rolling stock has to operate facing either direction in both pulling and pushing moves on any part of the layout through all track sections. The only exception to this rule is sometimes we make tight radius curves on our model railroads to fit industries that restrict the size of the locomotive that can be used on the local switcher. When we do that, it should be something that we know we did on purpose and we abide by the rule that we only use certain locomotives to switch out those restricted industries. The closest thing the prototype does to that that I know of, is to use empty cars (usually flat cars) as handles to load freight cars on and off barges because barges are not designed to support the weight of a locomotive.
  10. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    Thanks Jack. That's a very illustrative photo.
  11. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Ok, the engine was a Proto 2000 CNW done up nice and works fine. This was a ground layout. I remember that there was a problem in the middle because the ground was a bit taller in the middle. That and it was always the same switch. If I have it right, the tank car went off the rails a bit from too much speed, landed wrong, de-coupled, and crashed with a lightshow. I haven't been able to try to figure out why because I havent been able to run trains on my table because we are still in the "trial and error" stage. That, and running that car alwas made me a little jumpy. It's actualy the only car that has no use on the Junction yet:oops: As for all that technical stuff above, I don't have any tools to do that with. The car still rides great. I think it should be curred.

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