why is that??????

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by XavierJ123, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    I have an HO box car that derails on a particular flextrack curve that I just laid down. It runs just fine if I turn the whole train consist around and run it in the opposite direction. Why is that? I can't seem to notice anything suspicous about the track.
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Just the one boxcar at just the one place? and just in one direction?
    Does it derail if you run only the boxcar?
    Sounds like a combination of two problems.
    Check the joint at the end of the flextrack.
    There may be a kink in the curve. Take a piece of paper, layit over the rails and rub a pencil across it until you have an image of the curve. Use this to check if all the curve is even.
    Turn the boxcar upside down and see if the trucks can turn equally in each direction. Check for obstructions of the wheels, coupler boxes that interfere. You may also want to test with the car rightside up.
  3. KCS

    KCS Member

    If the car has metal wheel's you might wanna check and make sure they are in the correct gauge.
  4. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    It's a 40' boxcar with plastic wheels. I checked the curve radius at 18". I suspect it has something to do with the coupler. It "appears" that the coupler will not pivot equally in both directions. Those little plastic horn couplers are spring actuated to one side but I will try all your suggestions and keep you posted. Thanks for taking time to jot down your thoughts. Do ya'll have the same problems with Kadee couplers?
  5. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    I played with the train some more this morning trying some of your suggestions without coming to any conclusion. Now I am wondering if it is the coupler on the Atlas RS-40 that doesn't move enough in one direction. This evening, after work, I will try a different engine and see what happens. Hmmm, boy this can you up a wall.
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    You might check the trucks on the boxcar. Even if they are in gauge they may be offset to one side on the axel. This will cause the truck to travel "sideways" down the track, and jump off at any opportunity.

    See the "Check and Adjust Wheelsets" setion of this article from trains.com

  7. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    I fixed it! I loosed the track on the curve and let it take up its' own natural position. It's hard to explain but when you bend flextrack, I guess you can bend it even or uneven. It certainly looked even. Apparently, a section of that curve was not acceptable to the engine and consist. After letting it reposition, I took some small nails and nailed them in a couple of place outside the ties on the curve to hold it in shape while I ran the consist around again. Walla, no problemento. That's Spanish and means all when well. It must be heart wrenching to glue your cork roadbed and track and then have the problem I did. I guess I will nail mine in place before gluing it permantly. How do you all avoid this problem?
  8. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Often, just the way you did.
    I try to draw curves on the roadbed, but that's often impracticable.
    I have a set of metal templates (British made "Tracksetta") that force the curve into shape. Unfortunately, only come in widely spaced radii. Have some American ones that are shorter, but more variety.
    Cars next to long locos are likely to be pulled off the track. Coupler should swing over -- may be problems inside the box.
  9. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Glad you found the problem. Heart wrenching, no, frustrating, yes. The first time I laid track, I did the same thing. Got everything in place, then ran trains only to find I had to make adjustments. Fortunately, I was able to get the track up by soaking the balast and removing the nails. It took a bit more work to get the roadbed to look right though. I'm laying more flextrack right now and I think I'm going to run some trains before I do the balast this time.:D:D
  10. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    You know, I think I am going to cut my own templates on some 3/4" plywood. I remember looking at Model Railroading with John Allen and there are lots of pics of his building process. And if you pay close attention, in the background, you will notice huge curves of wood leaning up against a wall. Somewhere in that book I read where he owned a bandsaw so I suspect he precut the roadbed on different radius that he used. That would probably be a good way to take some of the guess-work out of the building process. I was looking for that book this morning and it seems that I have misplaced it. Darn it!
  11. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member


    For my curves I use a nail, string, and pencil. I measure the radius I want, find the pivot point for the nail, and swing an arc. Then just freehand the easement. Works good for me.

  12. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    I generally tack my track down and then leave it for five years before ballasting. :D :D :sleeping: :oops:
  13. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    David, we must have went to the same MRR school.
  14. CN1

    CN1 Active Member

    Interesting read

    I had a similar problem, but the culprit was a woobling axle on a metal wheelset
  15. XavierJ123

    XavierJ123 Member

    It's been a while since we did this thread. It appears that the problem was a number of things: flextrack laid wrong, trucks needing adjustment, and finally lubrication. With a very very close up inspection using a flashlight as the boxcar slowly moved past me on the track, I noticed one wheel not turning. It was a boxcar that was given to me, probably out of storage. I lubricated that one wheel with WD-40--just a drop--and worked the lubrication in until the wheel turned freely like the others. It has been doing fine ever since.
  16. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Thanks for the follow-up information! Always good to have resolution. :)


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