surprise noise problem - need help

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by Voice2, Nov 12, 2005.

  1. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    I tried running trains for the first time today and encountered very noisy running conditions on only some of my track. Here's what I'm using:

    All Atlas Code 55
    Flex for the straight sections
    Snap track for the curves
    #5 turnouts

    I tried all three of my new engines today for the first time (just started a new layout). All track is glued to cork roadbed over 2" rigid foam insulation on an L-girder frame.

    Atlas SD-24
    Atlas GP-38
    Kato P42 (Acela)

    All three engines were noisy only on the curved snap track. So far I have only used 18.75 radius curved snap track in two areas with about 4' of flex and some turnouts between them. When the engines hit the curves the noise level is ten times louder over what it is in the straight area. It's as though the flanges are hitting the little molded spikes on the inside of the rails.

    Is this normal for Atlas snap track? If so, should I stop being a lazy newbie and use all flex everywhere, or am I missing something?
  2. Delamaize

    Delamaize Member

    are your engine fairly old? like older than manufactured code 55 track? probally the flanges on the wheels interfearing witht the "spikes" on the track. if that is the case, switch to low-profile wheelsets. there are companys out there that make low profile wheelsets for alot of difffrent locos, I think Northwest shortline has them.

    if you can't find anything, you can always turn the flanges down with a dremel tool small flat file and ALOT of paitents.

    good luck and ask lots of questions.
  3. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    These 3 engines are only 2 years old. I believe that they have low profile wheels, as they are of very good quality and are relatively new.
  4. Delamaize

    Delamaize Member

    hmmmm...... welll what dose the noise sound like?
  5. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    also - it only does it on the curved snap track - not the flex or turnouts.

    Hard to describe the sound - it's like when in my HO layout the trains move from the track/cork to a bridge. The bridge is dead quiet and the track is 5 times louder (but normal). It happens here too. The non snap is what I would call normal or acceptable, and the snap is much much much louder. So far I've only used snap for the curves. At first I thought it might be a bad batch - out of guage or something. I checked it and it is ok however. Weird!! It sucks because I've already soldered it and dropped feeders - a lot of time potentially wasted.
  6. Delamaize

    Delamaize Member

    so it is like a amplyfied nrmal loco soundd then? what is the cork attacked to? it isn't a hollow core door by any chance? it sounds alot like the problem I had with my first layout, and it was because the sound ws traveling thought the cork and into the hollow part of the door, and amplyfy it. justa thougt.
  7. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    it's the same 2" rigid foam insulation everywhere under the cork. There are no elevations anywhere yet. The cork and track are simply glued with white glue to the foam.
  8. siderod

    siderod Member

    Common problem with the C55 snap-track.....go with the flex-track everywhere, if your dead set on Atlas C55. OR, if your open to change, go with Peco C55, which is really C80 burried into the ties a bit, so it looks like C55, but operates as C80, just in case you ever get some locomotives that have larger flanges.

    Again, the snaptrack is the problem, not the locomotives.
  9. Delamaize

    Delamaize Member

    thanks siderod, I was running out of ideas ;)
  10. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    thanks guys!

    I just did a test with some extra high profile wheels from a micro-trains boxcar (the ones they give you as extra). Just holding a wheel pair in my fingers and running it over the track they obvioulsy bottomed out everywhere on my c55.

    However - it was much more pronounced on the snap track! So - the stuff is inconsistant at best. I've already ripped up the stuff. I'm going with flex everywhere.

    Thank goodness I was a little impatient and tried running some trains today even though I only had about 8 feet laid. Would have been horrible if I had to rip up even more!!

    Thanks again!!!
  11. b28_82

    b28_82 Member

    I would say redoing it with flex track would be a wise choice. The snap track is just too many joints to mess with.
    Just remember to solder the pieces of flex together before you lay the curve if you need more than one piece otherwise you will get a kink in the rails.
  12. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    I started re-laying the track today with flex. I will run trains again in the AM after the glue dries and I pull up the pins now holding the track in place. I'm anxious to hear the difference!!

    I did solder two pieces of flex together before I put them down on the curve between two turnouts.

    To do that I needed to remove 2 ties from each piece (4 all together). I hope the track holds it's guage. I was careful, but was this the right thing to do? I slipped the ties back under the rails after I glued the track down. I removed the little burs from them first.

    Also - it was tough to cut it in at the ends where it met my already mounted turnouts. Getting the length just right is what I mean. I guess practice will make perfect!
  13. Voice2

    Voice2 Member

    I ran an engine over the new flex this morning - all is OK now!

  14. Delamaize

    Delamaize Member

    no problem, enjoy!

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