Not a beginner but feel like one DERAILMENT HELP

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by Wimpy, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. Wimpy

    Wimpy New Member

    I went out this weekend and bought a two foot by eight foot piece of pink 2” foam board. I had Lowe’s cut it into 2-two foot by four foot pieces so I could get it into my P/T Cruiser. When I got home I placed the tongue and groove sections together, making a four foot by four foot by 2” thick test board. I held the two pieces together by using good old duck tape. I then dug out the track and transformer that came with my On30 Spectrum Roaring Ridge Passenger Set. By turning the track cattycorner I could get two half circles with a straight piece of track in between. (I used Tee headed straight pins 1-¼” long to hold the track to the foam board. These pins come 1" to 2" long, in quarter inch increases. I found these pins in the quilting section of Michaels arts and craft store.) This test layout is very light weight and can be carried around the house and placed just about anywhere. When not in use I store it behind the couch in the den. Nothing special about the track. The new Bachmann new sectional track went together fast. It took no more than 45 minutes from start to finish. I checked all the joins to make sure I got all the connectors hooked up right and I had smooth joins. I think I could have been quicker if my 2 year old grandson didn’t want to help. A one foot piece of duck tape kept him busy for most of the set up time. Funny what a 2 year old can do with duck tap and think it is fun.

    Anyway, I ran my 2-6-0 around and around to break it in both backward and forward, slowly and fast as I dared. My grandson Griffin and I had a lot of fun watching the engine chase its tail. I slowly added the passenger cars without very little voltage drop. This engine ran extremely smooth right out of the box. Then I put my HO scale Bachmann GE 70-ton switcher on to run. I want to makes sure this was broken in and ran smoothly before I start kit bashing it into a 30 ton switcher made by BVM. Well it started to derail right away. I checked the track where it derailed. Everything seemed smooth in the area that the derailing took place. So I re-railed it and ran it over the same area and it derailed before I could get over to where it derailed again. So I skipped that area and started to run it again from the derail point on. I ran over to watch where it derailed to get a closer look, but it derailed at another place on the track. After half hour trying to find out what is causing this engine to derail, I gave up. We had company coming over so I had to pack everything away. I haven’t had time to set up the test track again. What should I be looking for? It doesn’t derail all the time in the same place every time. It seems to be derailing as it goes into a curve or coming out of a curve I think, looking back at the session with this engine. I did notice that some of the On30 passenger cars coupler hose thing that hangs down did drag on the rail top and actually flipped inside and outside of the rail head as this train went around the track. It didn’t seem to affect the train running forward or backward. Would this might be causing this engine to derail? Funny how sometimes the back trucks would derail or sometimes the front truck would derail. Anyone out there ever have this experience with their engines? I’m not sure what is causing the derailment. When I sit to watch it real close to derail, it fools me and derails in a different place. Like it has eyes and is making a fool out of me. HELP!!!!!


    Wiscasset & Carrabassett Ry.
    The biggest, littlest railroad, down east
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Wimpy: first off, the uncoupling pins on your coaches should not be conacting the rails. If these area Kadee type coupling, you can use a pair of long-nose pilers to gently put a bit more bend in the pin. It should hang so that you can just see light as you look across the track (or slide a piece of thin card under it).
    The derailing loco sounds like a loco problem. You need to check truck swing, and then look at wheel gauge.
  3. Raistlin

    Raistlin Member

    Hey Wimpy. Do you have any S-Curves in your layout? I just discovered today that this was the cause of all my derailments.

    I am hardly an expert, and I hope I don't come off as condescending, cuz i sure don't mean to be.
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    I'll go with David on this one. have you tried running the loco other end first or run it in reverse ?
  5. webmaster

    webmaster Member

    I don't know the loco. Does it have two sets of powered trucks? If so, it could be that it just needs a clean.

    What tends to happen when 2 trucks are powered is that one set looses power (usually due to a bit of dirt) & because it is geared the wheels lock solid & then jump the track, usually on a curve.
  6. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    You've got one loco that doesn't derail, so it's most likely not a problem with the track, especially when the other loco seems to derail anywhere, at random. It sounds to me like you've got a problem with wheels being out of gauge. If you don't have one of those NMRA gauges, get one. You can use it to check track and turnouts as well, but you should use it to check the wheels of every new car you get, before it even goes on the layout. Another thing to look for is obstructions that could limit the degree to which the trucks can pivot. This could be something as simple as excess flash on the frame, body casting, or truck sideframes. While I'm not familiar with that particular loco, I have seen some where the pins on the plastic sideframes work their way partially out of their holes on the trucks, allowing the sideframe to twist horizontally. This results in one end of the sideframe dragging on the ties: if that end is on the front, it can cause a derailment. Also, sometimes drive train parts can get out of whack. Couplings that have slipped lengthwise on their respective motor or worm shafts can result in the drive train becoming too long between the motor and the truck's gearbox. This has the result of limiting the amount of pivot of the truck on the frame. It can also force the gear towers away from the motor, thereby causing the outer ends of the trucks to tilt down. This problem is usually caused by improper assembly, either at the factory, or after an attempted repair. Still, I think the most likely cause of your problems is out-of-gauge wheels.

  7. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    One other problem that can happen with a locomotive is having the wires between the rucks and the motor (if it has wires) routed wrong, either restricting movement of the truck or interferring with the truck and the frame.

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