out of gauge track

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by green_elite_cab, May 6, 2006.

  1. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    I've been having issues with Walther Horizon commuter cars. normally i run the commuter type (NJT), but i bought undecorated Amtrak versions with different trucks.

    At first i thought it was the trucks bumping the side details (and they do) but it doesn't seem that the trucks are the problem anymore.

    I think my track somehow warped or got out of gauge. i know for a fact on one end there are 2 or the dips in the rails, and cars roll right off. there are also places where one wheel seem to stay where it should be, but the other rolls up on top of the rail and derails.

    most surprisingly, of all the track i used on my layout ( most of it old stuff) its the newer 22" curves on the outside with these problems. the other end of the layou on the 22" curves is doing the same thing, and now it s more apperent. I used to just think my Challenger was a litle off, as the front pilot would derail their alot. now these passenger cars do to, and when i try to roll them over, there is a grinding sensation at that area, and sometimes the cars even with the weight of my hands still jump the tracks.

    confusingly, my other rolling stock and locomotives seem to be able to take all of these bent and warped rails fine, but there is definitely something wrong.

    still , i'm not entirely sure if it is the curves either. i need to get a track gauge. does anyone know whats causeing these derailments?
  2. allan

    allan New Member

    Sounds like you need a good perway engineer!

    Model railways can have problems, but it is important to fix the problems that you know about, and are obvious, first. Then you can tackle the harder problems.

    Several things are obvious, here. Uneven track will inevitably create problems, as you have found, but the 22" radius is probably at the limit for long and complex locomotives as well as for 85' coaches. It is the interaction of these factors that puts your trains into the dirt - or, off the track.

    Set up some 22" curves on a tabletop to see if the radius is an issue in itself. If it is not, then start to even out your track, even if it means relaying the lot.

    Model railroading is no fun if the trains don't stay on the track!
  3. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    2 questions is the track nailed down and do you have a track gauge yet?
  4. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    well, the track isn't nailed anymore. It was, but when i went to go remove the bent sections, there were cracks around the ties were the nails were. the bent track is so clearly bent, and that is the reason that one corner was derailing.

    I have yet to get a track gauge, but i suspect some of my switchs and another pair of 22"radisout track are out of guage ( but atleast not warped up and down for no apperent reason). I'll probably go see if my hobby shop has one tommorow.

    I know these cars will run on 22" radius becaus they run on the rest of the curve, just not over certain section that i assume are damged or misalligned.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    If you can't get a track gauge easily, get a vernier caliper. This should have metric markings on one edge. You can use this to check track gauge -- set it at 16.5mm and see if it will run down the track, then see if there is a lot of slop. Also try a small level to see where the dips are.
    Also, check your new cars. see if there is enough rock in the trucks. You may have to back a truck mounting screw off by a quarter turn.
    Never nail track down. If you must, do not drive the nails tight. Pushing on the tie like that causes the gauge to narrow.
  6. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

    David point on truck being too tight is good also make shure the rail ends are lined up on curves.
  7. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    oh, i thought you were supposed to mount the track on the road bed by nailing them in. on the warped section i may have done that, as it looked like many of the ties started breaking around the track nails. however, the problem on that spot happened only recently ( in the past 2 or 3 months) that there was warping in the rails, and i hadn't fiddled with those sections since i laid them down 1 year and a half ago.

    the other end i'm pretty sure has misaligned rail heads, because there is a very very very slight gap in the outer rail of the curve, but it still seems to run everything but these horizon cars, and sometimes the front pilot of my challenger when i run it.

    SHould i just replace these section with flex trck, or buy new section track and plug it back in?

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