why won't it work...

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by NCMRailroad, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

    Hi there,
    I have been battling my flex track now for two months plus! The problem I seem to have is this...
    The 3 truck shay being the pickiest set of wheels of all my locomotives has a problem with a 18" radius. The coal tender that contains the middle set of wheels somehow likes to jump the track. I have tried to use a small line level to level the track but somehow no matter how level both rails are from one another, it seems to hop the rails at that point. Going VERY slow will keep the shay from derailing. Not, in my opinion very prototypical of having to execute a corner.
    The rails are ballested with play box sand and wedged where the rails are out of adjustment. I have gone over the "derailing" track with a microscope and fine tooth comb. The 18" Tracksetta I use to design the radiuses on my layout also "agrees" that the rails are perfectly parrallel.
    I should also mention that the sand I used to ballast was carefully cleared of the inner
    What gives?
  2. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    If the track is good, maybe it's the wheels.

  3. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    it could be that 18" is just a tad too sharp for that locomotive.

  4. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Dumb question, but did you check the wheel gauge with an NMRA gauge?
  5. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

    No question is a dumb ?.... Come to think about it... No i didn't. Now how foolish is that????sign1
  6. Torpedo

    Torpedo Member

    As I understand it, the tender section of a three truck Shay is supposed to articulate. If it didn't, it would be very limited in its ability to negotiate sharp curves, which is what Shays were supposed to be able to do, along with handling rough track and steep grades. Yours may be derailing because the articulation coupling is binding. Check that out, and see if it is working OK.

    What make and model of Shay do you have, and what scale is it?
  7. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    In addition to checking the wheels, I would suggest using that NMRA gauge on the track also. I found out the hard way that when installing flex track you can narrow the gauge in so many ways. That will cause a wheel to ride up on the rail and derail. Something as simple as removing a track nail has cleared my derailment problems.

    Additionally, if you soldered the flex pieces together or have soldered a feeder wire to the rail you should definitely check that spot with the track gauge. Heat can cause the ties to melt just enough to give you derailment problems also.
  8. fsm1000

    fsm1000 Member

    In real life 18 inches is extremely sharp. If your model is a truly detailed one of good quality then it just might be that it won't do 18 inches, like the real one. :)
  9. NCMRailroad

    NCMRailroad Member

    Sorry for taking awhile to get back to you. The shay is a Bachmann Spectrum 3 truck HO scale. You sparked an interesting issue about the truck possibly binding. I assume you have had this problem occur to you as well? What could a person do to correct this problem?
    Kind regards,

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