New engine pulls cars off track...

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Mrplow123, Jul 30, 2006.

  1. Mrplow123

    Mrplow123 Member

    So I got my new Atlas Dash 8-40b, and I don't have any complaints about it, I will cover that in my other thread. Anyway, I got it running and wanted to pull some cars, what else is it for. Well it came with Accumates, and I have all rapidos. So I converted the engine over to rapido with the supplied coupler just until I can get some MT's or accumates for my rolling stock. So here is my problem. I got it all setup, started pulling some cars, first turn, the car behind the engine jumped the track. OK, must be a fluke. So I get it back on, next turn the engine pulls the front truck of the car off the track:curse: . Yes most of my rolling stock is Bachmann with truck mounted couplers. So I have been doing some reading around here and found people having uncoupling problems with similar setups, but not derailment problems. I want to convert a few of my cars over to one end rapido, and one end knuckle to use as a converter car. But I think the problem lies in the coupler being mounted to the truck, am I right? So I need to know, is there a truck/coupler set I can buy for my rolling stock? Or do I need to convert some of the cars over to body mounted couplers? I can see when the engine goes into the tighter turns that the back end swings way out. I will be going to the local train store tomorrow to buy a solution. SO any help would be greatly appreciated. And for the time being, I am only looking to convert a few cars to be converter cars. All the rest of my money is about to be tied up in lots of track for my expansion. Thanks in advance.
  2. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I hate being the bearer of bad new - but if the engine is consistently pulling varous cars (not just one) off the track at each curve, there are only 2 likely possibilities.

    1) (and simpler to fix) The coupler on the locomotive doesn't swivel enough.

    2) (diifficult to fix) You curves are too sharp for the locomotive's couplers.

    Running by itself, where is the loco's coupler in the middle of a curve? Is it over the outer rail? If it is, it's as I said above. If you make the coupler to pivot far enough and easily enough to stay inside the rail, then it should work. Otherwise, the loco is just pulling that first car over the rail with the coupler.

    Hope this helps
  3. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Hiya. Mrplow, ya, I think you should body mount the coupler on your conversion car. Use a long shank Kadee,
    and ditto on the locomotive as well. The Kadee should include a draft gear box to install on the body.
    You might want to get a #2 drill and tap for your mounting screw, probably make a better installation. :)
    Let us know what you come up with!!:thumb:
  4. Mrplow123

    Mrplow123 Member

    Thanks for everyones input. I made a trip to Just Trains today and picked up a set of MT trucks with Magnamatic couplers. And a pack of body mount Magnamatic couplers. I got home and picked one of my box cars an put one of the MT trucks on it, hooked it up to my Dash 8-40 and away it went. And with fingers crossed, NO DERAILMENT. So I converted one other car with the truck, and converted one flat car to a body mount. The body mount works quite well, and I really like the look of it. So long story short, the problem is fixed. I made a HUGH mistake buying the Magnamatic though. I don't have a problem with having to uncouple the cars manually, at least until now. I did a bit of playing around with the Magnamatic and a magnet, and now I want them on all of my cars. Now I just need to find a good source to get them in bulk at a discount. My LHS Just Trains has a pack of 10 sets of trucks with Magnamatics for $40. Anyone know any place that can beat that with shipping? If not I will just buy them locally. I need to convert about 25 cars. Thanks again guys.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    The problem that you stumbled onto is that truck mounted or "talgo" couplers track in the center of the rails when going around a curve. Body mounted couplers swing toward the outside rail when going aorund a curve.

    You might want to rethink magnetic uncoupling ramps. If you have them permanently mounted on the track, if a train hesitates crossing a magnet, whatever car is over the magnet will uncouple whether you want it to or not. There have been a number of designs that "trap door" the magnet so it is out of the way except when you want to uncouple, but the guys at our modular club saw an article in one of the modeling mags on making an inexpensive uncoupling tool. They took a piece of dowling about 4 inches long, sized to fit your hand comfortably. Drill a small hole in one end, and take a piece of piano wire about .015" or so, and bend a small "z" shape in one end. Glue the other end into the wooden handle. The "z" shape at the end of the wire easily grabs the uncoupling lever of either coupler when they are slacked, and "pops" open the coupler for uncoupling.

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