Mistakes made

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by George, Mar 22, 2001.

  1. George

    George Member

    Sorry you're having trouble Andy.

    I wrote an article about similar experiences you can take a gander at in The Academy regarding clearance problems that might help.

    Without tearing out something to remedy this is going to be difficult, if not impossible.

    I'm having trouble visualizing the whole picture, but it sounds like you have the bridge too close to the curve. You should have enough straight track, preferably no less than one foot (30cm) before going into a bridge or tunnel. Try and straighten out the lead into the bridge.

    Something else that scares me is that you say you have a steep grade leading up to the bridge as well? If you level that out too fast, you're in for a whole other set of problems [​IMG] you don't need to deal with.

    Can you be more specific about distances, elevation measurements in standard or metric grade percentages, so we can help you better?

  2. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Andy,
    Perhaps I might be able to help you better if I could see drawing of your track plan.

    If the angle of attack from flat to incline around a curve is too great, it will de-rail.
    Also I think by what I can read, is your bridge might be too close to the tracks also.
  3. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member


    I have made a few mistakes on my layout. I don't have DCC so I am using 2 independent track lines. Line 1, is fine. Line 2, I am not happy with.

    This morning I took off the switchers on it and place an FA on the line. What happen really got me upset. [​IMG] The engine hits the side of the bridge and derails! ;( I ran the loco around again and watchted what happens. There is a curb as it goes uphill to the bridge. The loco hits the side of the bridge and derails.

    The incline is steep. This has to be so that the train on line 1 can come under the bridge.

    Line 2 is off the table. In other words. It's raised. I have to do this so the bridge is high enough so that it clears line 1 when the train come to it. How can I fix this? Do I have to tear apart of the line 2? The area I have to work with is less than 6' x 10'. Any suggestions? I don't want to rip up line 1.

    I also forgot. Both lines goes through a large mountain. So what can I do?

    I am open to any ideas!

  4. George

    George Member

    Andy, what radius curvature leads to the bridge, and by any chance is the bridge one of the Atlas Warren Truss bridges?

  5. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Andy,
    Got your email and photo's, will try and explain A.S.A.P.
  6. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    George and Shamus:

    Hey guys! I fixed the problem by nothing nothing to the layout! All did did was run the train in the other direction! How simple is that solution? There is 6" of staight track on the other side of the bridge. That helps. Yes George, that is an Atlas bridge.

  7. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    I found adhering to the NMRA standards for clearances, radius track centres etc has helped immensely. I compromised on the "near enough is good enough" mode. No good. I found that a lot of rollingstock kits do not have a very good turning clearance of the bogies. The rollingstock keep jamming on tight curves. Ripped the whole thing up and started again..... Fo course, going the reverse direction sometimes helped, but I was not prepared to compromise my layout by single direction only. Curves are still a bit too tight for some stock, but... a file and craft knife soon saw to that! HACK HACK HACK at the bogie fittings to get them to run smoothly round the curves.
  8. George

    George Member


    Your solution is straight out of the book for the State Railways of Poland. I urge you to rebuild the bad approach to the bridge and give it a longer straighter lead. You'll change your mind about direction at some point and will be very glad you corrected the job.

    It's that little side support strut that catches the corners of the cars coming off the curve. You don't have to live with it. If you're determined to keep the track in place, try cutting that piece off the bridge, nobody except you, Shamus and myself will ever notice.

  9. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    George is funny!

    That is a good one. Mt girlfriend is part Polish and we have alot of Polish people in Central Wisconsin! I do have a tendency to make fun of them.

    OK, so I have to redo it. The BIG question is HOW????? I am waiting George! [​IMG]

  10. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member


    My motto? If at first you don't succeed, use a larger hammer!

  11. George

    George Member

    Hi Andy!

    Woodie is right. Take a BIG HAMMER and I promise you will be glad you did. Your only recourse is to tear the approach apart and rebuild it, or, thanks to the pictures you sent me, there's one other easier solution.

    Take the bridge section on the curve off and invert the truss placement so it is BELOW the bridge deck. This will eliminate the obstruction the train is striking when coming off the last curve.

    If memory serves me right, the instructions with that Atlas bridge kit give you the option of having an open deck bridge, or having the truss work sitting on top.

    If you can't do that, tear out the incline leading to the approach and pull that curve back at least six inches (15 Cm) from the structure. Like the article, enter your bridges and tunnels straight as an arrow.

    As for the Polish element, I have an old National Lampoon poster on my wall from the 70's that says "Travel Poland by Rail" There's an old time steamer riding the inside rails of two adjacent tracks below the banner. People love it. If you have Polish people in your area, I hope you're also lucky enough to have a good Polish butcher for Krakovska. I lived in the snow belt of New York state for several years which is predominantly Polish. Do you get Kummelwick rolls in Iowa, or is that unique to the Buffalo region? From what I've been told, it's a Polish American creation, they don't have it in Poland. "Beef on Wick". Mmmmmm! [​IMG] Next trip to Europe, Poland is at the top of the list. Is Iowa mostly German or what? Any decent Bratwurst?

    So which way do you want to proceed with the cure for the problem?

  12. kf4jqd

    kf4jqd Active Member

    Thanks George:

    I will probbly be tearing it apart. Maybe adding more table! [​IMG]

    As for the Polish. I live here in Wiscsonsin. During and after the Civil War, alot of Polish people came here for the logging jobs. I am sorry to say. That the rail lines that fed these logging camps are now snow mobile trails!

    I am German and British. What a messed up combination! I guess that is what being an American is all about. We are like the mutt. God they are ugly but the most loyal dog! [​IMG]

  13. George

    George Member

    Hi Andy!

    I'm the same combination as well. Our problem is when you give us a gun, we don't know which direction to shoot! [​IMG]

    I'm glad you decided to tear the approach apart and I promise that you'll be glad you rebuilt it from scratch. Adding more bench area is always a welcome solution to anything.

    Also, if you're giving yourself more room, make your grades climb gradually over a longer distance. It looks more realistic to the eye, and your mechanisms won't over heat as quickly as on steeper inclines. [​IMG]

    Happy Rails To Youuuuuu!

  14. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Hi everybody! well, I've been following this discussion, & Andy, there are some unwritten rules of model railroading (according to Charlie), one of which is:
    Only on completion of step 10 of any given project, will it occur to you that you screwed up, or completely ommited say, step 4. [​IMG]
    Suffice it to say that we all know exactly what you're going through.
    Woodie has the best advice here: adhering to NMRA standards before & during construction, will save you LOTS of headaches in the long run.
  15. Biggerhammer

    Biggerhammer Member

    Ooh. Long straight stretch before going onto a bridge, you tell me now. I think I've just gotten a step 4 vs step 10 experience [​IMG]

    I have a curved bridge (scratchbuilt). It's 22" radius and has no railings at all (just a two inch drop into 'water'). Now that the whole shebang is glued, nailed, ballasted and partly weathered, is there anything that I should've done to build a successful curved bridge?

    Thank you all for the help!
  16. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    Hi Guys
    There is nothing wrong having a curved bridge, so long as it built right, this trestle bridge of mine is 9' long and on a curve plus a grade. Nothing has come off it yet, and it's in use all the time. If anything did drop off the middle section, it would have an 18" drop to hard plaster.

    [This message has been edited by shamus (edited 03-30-2001).]
  17. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Shamus is right Biggerhammer, there's nothing wrong with having a curved bridge. On the contrary, it's very realistic.
    Since in the real world, the scenery is there before the track, they don't always have the luxury of being able to build a straight bridge.
    There's been some pretty fearsome bridgework constructed over the years too, without guardrails, handrails, or any provisions for stranded train crews.
    Thank God Shamus put that ladder there for his Beaver Creek crews! [​IMG]
  18. George

    George Member

    I agree that there's nothing wrong with a curved bridge, but make sure you have some thick pile carpeting on the floor nearby! [​IMG]

    I'm cranking an article for The Academy on this event with the help of pictures from Andy which helped resolve the problem (with a little help and motivation from Jessica) in a hurry. Hopefully I'll have the article finished within two days, given other distractions.

    A point I'm pushing in the article is; If you have a problem, and the means of supplying us with a picture, there's no stopping us from all agreeing rapidly on the best solution. [​IMG]


  19. shamus

    shamus Registered Member

    George & Charlie, Badger Creek has a thick carpet, but all it does is collect dust.
  20. Drew1125

    Drew1125 Active Member

    Did I say BEAVER Creek?
    Sorry Shamus, I guess I'm still thinking about that picture you posted of Susan on the flat car! [​IMG]

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