HO Train inconsistent in speed around track

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by pinkerton, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. pinkerton

    pinkerton New Member

    I am setting up an HO train. I put down the track and have been careful with it. What is happening is that the train does not maintain a consisten speed around the track. It starts and stops, speeds up and slows down. Any suggestions on what I need to do to fix it?

    thanks for whatever advice you can offer
  2. J. Steffen

    J. Steffen Member

    If it's a large track, it could need feeders or it could be just poor connection.
  3. CNWman

    CNWman CNW Fan

    Welcome to the Gauge! As for your problem, make sure that all the conectors are not overlaping the tracks and that there are no objects crossing the tracks that would cause a short circut. Faults in you power pack and/or engine may also be the cause. What kind of track, transformer, and train are you using?
  4. pinkerton

    pinkerton New Member

    my transformer is a tech 2 railmaster 2400. is my transformer any count, if not what transformer would you sugest that isn't 100s of dollars. i'm using steel track.
  5. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Hi pinkerton:wave: , welcome to The Gauge. Are you sure the track is steel? If it is, it sounds like you have a starter set there. In that case, all the track might need is a good cleaning.
    Is use goo-gone wiped on with a rag, then re-wipe the track with a clean rag. If that helps, consider replacing the track with nickle-silver track. Good Luck

  6. pinkerton

    pinkerton New Member

    I'm not sure if its steel. Some of it is 36 inch flex track the curve track i got off ebay.
    When the train passes over certain curve tracks it starts to stop the pick up speed.

    Thank You
  7. djk

    djk New Member

    Make sure that the radius of your track is in sync with the radius recommended for the engine and cars. If the radius is too small the wheels will bind causing the engine to slow down.

    Good luck.
  8. prodigy2k7

    prodigy2k7 Member

    If its old track it could be corroded
  9. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    You can tell if it is steel by using a magnet. Magnets won't stick to nickle-silver. By the way, I have never heard of steel flex track, only brass or nickle-silver. I thing steel is to rigid to flex enough without kinking.

  10. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It sounds like electrical preblems in the track, not likely to be the locomotive. You may need to run wires to the farthest reaches of track to give you consistent electric power all the way around the layout. Also clean your track.
  11. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Definitely clean the track, and clean the wheels on your loco.

    Take a piece of paper towel, and wet a spot about 1" in diameter with rubbing alcohol. Lay the towel across a piece of track that you have power to, and put the loco on the tracks. Take one of the loco trucks, and place it on the wet spot, but also on the rails. Apply power to the track while holding the loco and the paper towel. The locos wheels will spin on the wet paper towel, and the gundge will come off the wheels. You can slide the loco back and forth on the rails across the paper towel to aid the cleaning. Once the paper towel isn't getting dirtier, swap the loco end-for-end and clean the other truck.

    As mentioned, you may need to add extra wires to the track. The resistance of the rail drops the voltage to the loco the further you get from the point where you've hooked up the power pack.
  12. jeffrey-wimberl

    jeffrey-wimberl Active Member

    I have feeder wires connected to my track, at the most every 6 feet. I also solder every rail joint, including turnouts.
  13. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    Lima made steel flex track.

    But theirs was known as semi-flex track since it doesn't bend when you shake it side to side, in fact their are quite a few brands who sell semiflexable track, where you have to use a little bit of force.
  14. MadHatter

    MadHatter Charging at full tilt.

    If it is steel track, and since its pre owned, you should take a Dremel hand tool, attach the thick blue disk to it (I think they use it to buff) and gently go over the top of your tracks thus polishing them, but do not press too hard down or you will create bupms in your tracks.
  15. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    Nickel-silver track (or any track) has a certain amount of resistance to it. The farther your locomotive is from the feeder wires, the more resistance the electricity has to overcome before it reaches the motor in the locomotive. So if you only have one set of feeder wires from the power pack to the track, your loco receives the least juice at the point farthest from the power--which is, I bet, where your locomotive runs the slowest. If your track pieces are only held together with rail joiners, rather than solder, this adds to the problem of resistance. If rail joiners are loose this can cause intermittent losses of power.

    The solutions: First, add more track feeders at various points around the track, and make sure track is securely glued or nailed down. Second, solder your rail joints, at least in between the points where you have track feeders, to ensure good electrical connection.
  16. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    What size wire are you using for feeders? You can use #22 ga for feeder wires, but they should never be longer than 6 inches. For feeders farther than 6 inches from your power, you need to run buss wires of #18 ga or larger. Then solder your feeders that are no more than 6 inches long to the track and the buss wires.

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