I'm Ready To Set My Layout On Fire

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Cannonball, Aug 25, 2007.

  1. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Stupid tiny N scale track.
    I've got two places that are giving me fits.

    For those that don't know or have forgotten, I'm doing the Scenic Ridge kit from Woodland Scenics.

    The first spot is right as the train comes out of the bottom tunnel just before it goes under the bridge. That one section of track got kinked just a millimeter or two sideways when I glued it down. It derails the front truck on my steamer about every 3rd or 4th pass. This is going to be fun to fix because it goes right into the tunnel where my hands don't fit and has been glued and ballasted already.

    The second one is just after the train crosses the bridge and enters the curve into the top tunnel. This spot has not given me one iota of trouble the whole time the track has been laid out until today. It's not glued down yet so it's easy to move around but no matter what I do, the engine wants to derail about every second pass.

    I should have stuck with O gauge. :curse:
  2. rhtastro

    rhtastro Member

    I know what you mean. With my Z gauge setup I'm always afraid of tunnels or places where it's hard to get to. Some of those prefab sets with the very long tunnels would freak me out. I've been using the Marklin versions of Z track and so far it's been ok. But with those tiny wheels there is not much room for error. I usually slow the locos down where there may be problems. I really enjoy my HO setup for that reason. No fear. Bob
  3. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I couldn't even imagine working in Z even though I think they're cool. (And expensive) I'd snap just trying to get the little buggers on the track.
  4. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Hey Cannonball, maybe those are heat kinks. If they are they should go away when it cools off there. Or you could cut some expansion joints.

  5. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    I don't think it's the heat.
    My wife keeps cranking the thermostat on the AC down when I'm not looking. :cry: It's never over 70 in our house.

    Aside from that, I've tried adjusting the problem area that's not glued down several different ways and it's still being a problem.

    The part that IS glued down going to be fun trying to fix without destroying that section of the layout. :(
  6. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I understand your frustration Cannonball, but I would suggest that you must fix that problem before anything else. Because if you don't I guess you'll end up completely disgusted with model railroading ( I know, it's a hobby after all ).
    Even if it means tearing down some piece of scenery , such as a hill or a tunnel, but fix that track problem first. You still can rebuild that scenery later. I'm afraid ( I hope I'm wrong ) there is no tip or magic solution here.
    Don't be discouraged , yesterday I completely rebuilt the hill on my small layout because I was not satisfied with the result.
  7. Gary S.

    Gary S. Senior Member

    You have my sympathy, Cannonball. I'm with Biased Turley on this one though. You absolutely must fix the track, even if it means ripping scenery up.

    I am slowly discovering that you can't be afraid to tear stuff out when necessary. And once you accept that you WILL have to tear a few things out, it gets alot easier. I think the "do-over" is a fairly substantial part of the hobby.

    Good luck with the repairs!
  8. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    If you end up...

    ...deciding to get your name in the papers- take pictures and video!

    Thank you,

  9. steamhead

    steamhead Active Member

    Cannonball...Remember that the "tolerances" you had with O gauge turn out to be 1/16th of that for N (roughly). So if a 1/8" kink in O gauge made the locos jump, a 1/128" will have the same effect in N....In the smaller scales "perfection" is almost mandatory. Hang in there, you'll get it right.
  10. Cannonball

    Cannonball More Trains Than Brains

    Well, I think I got it fixed and with minimal damage to the layout.

    Fortunately, I've used the tack glue on everyting and not the hot glue gun. The tack glue has proven a lot more pliable and easier to tear appart when something goes wrong.

    I took off the front and one side of the tunnel to get to the track and then pried up the two sections the were kinked up. I peeled away some of the old glue, straightened them up and put them back in.

    On the top level, I had to actually adjust the individual rails in each section of track but I got that one straightened out too.

    I've had the train running for almost two hours and only had one derailment when a piece of unglued track worked loose.

    There may be hope for this thing yet.
    Thanks for the encouragement, guys. :)
  11. berraf

    berraf Member

    That's good news and the patient one always win :thumb:
  12. Boilerman

    Boilerman Member

    You may want to check the wheel gage with a NMRA Standards gage to be sure that all the loco wheels are correct.
    Wheels that are out of gage will cause all sorts of problems especially if you are running the Atlas Code 55 track.
  13. Biased turkey

    Biased turkey Active Member

    I'm glad to know that you solved the reliability problem that was plaguing your track work.
    For me, reliability is on top of the list, before building and weathering structures. That's why I solder all the metallic rail-joiners.

Share This Page