runaway trains in yard

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Kevinkrey, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    My layout is not on level ground, and Ive done so much as to lift legs 6" to level it out, and its still not perfectly level. In the yard is the main spot. I pride myself in maintaining a good freight car fleet, which means they have a tendency to attemt to make the soutbound departure trip on their own. Any suggestions as to how I can stop that from happining. I have been sticking nails in the ground at the end of trains, but I think there might be a chance for more realistic operation. I know railroads use wheel stops on spurs, and Ive even gone so far as to think about how I could design a operating brake wheel. Any ideas before I just level it out?
  2. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    Well, I think levelling it out would probably be safer for the rolling stock... sooner or later something's going to take the "big plunge" off the end. ;)

    If you like the rolling effect for kicking cars into your yard, you could try gluing toothbrush bristles (or heavy fishing line works too) between the ties every few ties over the last foot or so of the track. Cut them off just above axle height, and they'll slow the cars down as they approach the end of track, (rather than speeding up as they roll downhill).

    Have a bumping post or wheel stops at the end for looks (nicer than nails or map tacks).
  3. ZeldaTheSwordsman

    ZeldaTheSwordsman Thomas Modeler

    If none of that works, try blocking the turnouts with an engine.;)
  4. Kevinkrey

    Kevinkrey Member

    Well they dont roll out of thae yard to a point where they can fall. I think I will just try leveling it out. But I got to thinking that I could put a small screw in the bottom of my ore cars that came out the bottom and pushed down on an axle to act like a brake, but Im not that ambitious.
  5. Santa Fe Jack

    Santa Fe Jack Member

    I've got the same problem with my layout-on-a-lift. Leveling is bedeviling. :) I like the bristles solution!
  6. Hmmm i think there is a thread on here linking to a problem in that nature to what you got. Someone said to take a wire and install it in a fashion to make it stick up by way of a lever or knob in order to stop them. Im sure someone on here knows what i talk of ( hint hint )
  7. There a few methods I've seen used to successfully combat this - "whiskars" of fishing line were already mentioned, and if you want to model a less well maintained yard, weeds made from paintbrush bristles will do the trick.

    The method I'd be more inclined to use would be a brake system with fine blackened wire sticking up. The wire could simply be the exposed rod of a choke cable, similar to the switch installation seen here:
    These could be left in the open position, and when a cut of cars is spotted, the brakes "set" by pushing in the nob.
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I think for practical purposes, leveling the yard would be the best solution. I find it frustrating when I want to spot a car in a location, or couple up to one car and leave the others, to have to play a bunch of games to get the rest of the cars to stay put.
  9. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    I have an idea for a somewhat practical braking system that I'm going to try to develop that could mount on a car truck. The brake would be actuated by a DCC decoder. Drawback is that brake modulation would be impractical - brake would be on or off. And braking force would be limited to the sliding friction of the 2 wheels that are locked. Several brake-equipped cars may need to have brakes set to hold a string of cars on a grade - just like the prototype!

    just my thoughts
  10. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    I think the problem is solved basically with
    one] leveling or
    two] the "whisker" solution already put forward,
    three] weeds [same as whiskers] already mentioned or
    if it is not TOO bad, then roughen up the ends of the axles so that they don't roll as freely.

    Not too much though because you still want to run them. That might help. :)

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