trouble with power at crossing

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by 2680, Jan 9, 2007.

  1. 2680

    2680 Member

    i am setting up a figure 8 layout with an atlas 30 degree crossing. i have a 0-6-0 steam locomotive i want to run on it. when it hits the crossing, it goes dead. i have to give it a push to get it going again. if i run it really fast, it will slide through, but i don't want that.

    any ideas on how to fix this problem?
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    I don't know if the rails in the crossing's "diamond" are powered (never used a crossing myself so I don't know).. But if they are not, that's probably why your engine stalls. You can power those rails by soldering some wires. That might solve your problem.
  3. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    If your 0-6-0 has a tender (i.e. it is not a tank engine 0-6-0T), you might consider adding or modifying the power pickups so the tender supplies power as well.

  4. 2680

    2680 Member

    the ties in the crossing are powered, but i think the wheels hit at just the wrong spots. powering the tender is a great idea..... but how would i go about it? anyone done a mod like this.

  5. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    The rails should be powered not the ties... ;)

    Can you get a picture of the loco for us? It would make it easier to help.

  6. 2680

    2680 Member

    yeah, that's what i meant...... i'll try to get a pic tonight.

  7. 2680

    2680 Member

    here is the loco and tender...... it is a cheapo bachmann that came in a "chattanooga" set. but it does run very well for what i need (except at this crossing!).


    and here is the crossing.......

  8. msowsun

    msowsun Member

  9. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I notice that you've soldered your rail joints, which is good, but you might want to clean the solder fron the top of the rails to lessen the chance of it causing a derailment.
    I believe that Atlas crossings are powered on all rails at all times: is the crossing new? If you have a continuity tester (if you don't, get one) you can check the crossing to see if it's at fault. They're cheap, maybe a couple of bucks, and very useful for finding out what's not working in a situation like this. Shut off the track power when using it. The tester consists of a tube, big enough to hold an AA battery, with a flashlight bulb in one end and a probe. On the other end of the body is a wire with an alligator clip on the end. If you touch the probe to the clip, the bulb will light (because the circuit has been completed). Attach the alligator clip to one of the rails at a point where the locomotive was running okay, then touch the probe to different points of the same rail as it passes the crossing. Repeat this for all rails. If the bulb lights, that part of the crossing is powered: if not, look for a bad connection somewhere between this point and the last point that you checked which was working. If all of the rails show continuity, then the problem must be in the loco.
    One other thing: I notice in your photo that there appears to be a piece of ballast stuck in the flangeway of the lower rail passing through the crossing horizontally. Any chance that this could be lifting your loco enough to cause it to lose electrical contact?

  10. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    It could be that not all of the pickups on the loco are making good contact. Do you run
    through any turnouts with no problem? Tender pickups would be a real good idea!!
    Just take a lot of care to minimize the contact pressure and any binding in the wiring.
  11. 2680

    2680 Member

    well, i check continuity and i have it on all rails. i checked voltage just for fun, and again it tests ok on all rails..... i think there may be a problem with the middle wheel on the loco not contacting the track. it has continuity with all the other wheels, but the loco stops when the front and back wheels are both on the frogs (i think that is the right term?). the center wheel appears to be on a track, but no movement.

    as for the solder, i just put it on heavy to fill in any gap, then filed it down smooth. seems to work well for me.

    also, i removed that small piece of ballast and it didn't have any improvements....

    thanks a million for all the suggestions..... will work on powering the tender over the weekend. i am sure that will help as i ran a diesel with two seperate pickups over it and it was smooth as butter.....

Share This Page