Train jumping fixed track! Need Help!

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by PrairieTrains, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. PrairieTrains

    PrairieTrains Member

    Hey guys and gals - I need your advice. I have a section of new track that is elevated and on a 24" curve. At one PRECISE point all my locos - jump the front wheels. I have attached a photo to demonstrate. The frustrating (and hard to figure out) point is that this is on a FIXED section 0f 24" radius atlas track. Not flex track. I've tried several different ones (sections) - same thing. I have checked the gauge on both the track and wheels - all seem fine - what in the world is going on? Your advice is appreciated!I have been working on this for a month... wall1 Pat Disregard the nails - they are just temporary so I could push the track this way or that - track is otherwise flat.

    Attached Files:

  2. ed acosta

    ed acosta Member

    I love these puzzles! Given: ALL the locos jump the track; track and wheelsets have been gauged; and an assumption on my behalf is that the derailment occurred before the soldered rails just ahead of the loco. In this "S" curve, 24 inch radius ought to be adequate. So, unless my stigmatism has worsened, it appears that the track has dipped into a slight depression (maybe not as big as our current financial situation). The trucks on the loco may be limited into the amount of up/down movement that they can take causing the wheels to lift off the railhead as it either enters or leaves the depression. Perhaps you can level that section of the track since all locos are otherwise affected.

    Unless my eyes are fooling me, I also see a potential problem with the soldered section up ahead. The rail tops appear to be mis-aligned in the photo.

    I hope that helps.
  3. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Hey PrarieTrain
    The section of track between your nails in the second pic looks very much out of alignment. The section before the nails in the first pic looks like it has a lot of space between the track ties & the base. This could possibly cause your engine to dip down & hop off the rail. The engine actually looks like it is leaning somewhat. Check these out & keep us posted.
  4. PrairieTrains

    PrairieTrains Member

    Thanks guys

    As you two WELL know - when you work on something sooooo loooonnnggg
    you become blind to the obvious. Indeed, I have that track on unstable and un-level ground hamr. I know better. I am in the process of putting the track on some stable balsa and making sure it is level at least from side to side. I temporarily propped up that closer side of the track and it ran fine. So, I am sure the fix is at hand. I'll let you know and thanks again, Pat :oops:
  5. thedowneaster

    thedowneaster Brakeman

    Glad to hear the trains are moving! Looks like a nice layout coming together.

    My track tip:
    A flat metal ruler (like the one that comes with small framing squares) is great for finding problems like this.
    -Simply lay the ruler flat upon the rail tops and stoop down to see how your track lays under it. Obviously a curve like yours (by its very nature) will not lay perfectly flat, but you can use this method as a benchmark. Turning while climbing adds so many new dynamics to your trackwork.

    I learned this technique when I built my outdoor layout...(I used a 4ft long aluminum level!) rcrrhome.htm
    Keeping a climbing curve in alignment on live ballast can really keep you busy....especially with rain and snow!
  6. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Hello Downeaster. Enjoyed the pics of the RCRR. I seen some areas that could use a snow shed or two. That's a GRR that has some realistic views to it, a lot of them look like a giant toy with very little scenery that accents the train. Again a very nice GRR.
  7. PrairieTrains

    PrairieTrains Member

    ALL is well!

    Just a follow up. After stabilizing the track base with balsa and spackling, the locos do not "jump the track". I really appreciate the comments about "dips" - I really didn't appreciate the importance of that. My level and steel edge are now being used often. I could have saved a lot of previous grief by not concentrating so much about kinks (that's critical too!) and straightness. It is DIPS that were killing me. I hope this thread will be useful for other beginners. To celebrate, I threw on some scenic materials and will glue down and ballast the track after several runs. Here's a pic of the stabilized base and the NON-attached, non-balllasted track. Thanks again, Pat

    Attached Files:

  8. Sawdust

    Sawdust Member

    Hey Pat glad to hear your back on track with no dips. It looks good, keep us all posted.

Share This Page