Why, oh why, does this happen?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by DeckRoid, May 28, 2007.

  1. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    Hi there

    I have decided upon a 4x8 layout that can be expanded later that I found on the 'net. I am having issues with the rolling stock on one portion of the track, however. I have two turn outs butted against each other. When the train rolls over them coming from the inner track to the outer track, most the rolling stock jump track or the wheels end up not alligned properly.


    I have put a re-railer right after the outermost turnout where the problem occurs and it helps some, but not enough. The rolling stock still hops the track and either I wind up with grinding wheels on the track or the stock flops over.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Any poking fun at my plight is also accepted.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    Get yourself an NMRA gauge and check everything that you can check with it. Start though with a visual inspection (at track level) to determine if it is a specific part of the track or turnout, or if it is a particular piece of rolling stock.

    The gauge will be useful in checking rolling stock wheel gauge, track gauge, and all the different parts of the turnout(s).

    Good luck.


    PS - somewhere here there is a fairly comprehensive post about what to check after derailments (repeatedly) occur. Try the search tool... If I findi it, I'll post it.
  3. zedob

    zedob Member

    It may be your rolling stock's length. If the cars are long and the turnouts are sharp you get the dreaded "S-curve" effect.:cry: The only way to deal with that is to use longer turnouts (no less than #6), or shorter cars. Truck mounted couplers can help too.

    Regardless, get the NMRA's track gauge. For $10 it's well worth it.:thumb:
  4. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    Thanks for the help. I searched on derail, derailment, and derailments and found this...


    which gave me some info on why it may happen.
  5. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    I might just have to rethink my layout. (AGAIN!)
  6. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    You said you put a rerailer where the problem occurs. That sounds like it is only happening in one direction. Correct? If that is the case, I would check the trackwork like Andrew suggested.

  7. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    THe one I was thinking of is here -> http://forum.zealot.com/t115011/

    Between the two threads you have advice from Fred and Russ, two of the most knowledgable (and articulate) members here. You should be able to solve your problems following their suggestions. I am pretty sure I can't add anything to them... ;)

  8. DeckRoid

    DeckRoid Member

    MasonJar: Thanks SO much for that link. I now am on the hunt for NMRA gauge.

    grewsome: Hadn't thought of turning my train around and seeing what was happening... Now I feel silly.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    You didn't mention what brand of turnouts you are using. If they are Atlas, either Snap Switches or Custom Line, the guard rails built in to the switches are too far from the rails to do an effective job of keeping the cars on the track or from picking the points. If I remember correctly the fix is to glue a piece of .015" styrene to the guard rail between the guard rail and the rails at all guard rails on the switches. That should tighten the distance between the guard rails and the rails enough to keep the rolling stock from derailing unless the problem is simply that the rolling stock is too long for the size of the turnout you are using. One thing I didn't mention here is that it is absolutely essential that the turnouts be mounted on a level surface. They can be on grade or flat, but if there is any irregularity that would result in a twist being transferred to the turnouts, they will derail rolling stock first time, everytime.

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