Your worst layout/Train running mistakes

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Allstate81140, Aug 10, 2004.

  1. Allstate81140

    Allstate81140 Member

    Hi gang. Ouch. I used to be a tv technician many years ago, and I sure know what that feels like. Funny to me now, but sure hurt then. Yikes!

    I am not a geezer yet, (even though my signature line says it) but old enough to have used the soldering iron you had to head over the stove and run for it to get the job done before it cooled. This monster was almost 1" on each side. Was square, and the total copper area was about four inches long, with a handle.

    That was what I had to use on my train. Most of the time though, I would just twist the wires together.

    Can't believe I used to strip that wire with my teeth. Ugh.

    In my tv days, I dropped some solder on a lady's shag rug. Somehow it missed my drop cloth. She went out of the room, and I cut that part out. Ha ha.

    Boy, I guess I am not the only one with scars from solder. That ---- stuff stays hot for a few seconds. Way too long. Ha ha.

    Night all. Jack.
  2. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    Hi jack,
    first thanks again for this intro. worse desarster I had was when making the bench work I fitted/wedged a makeshift leg under one end of an 6foot by eitgheen inch board and was called away, and did not get back for a day or two, started to lay track bed, then track ,and so on just about to paint the seenary, when the make shift leg gave way, down came the lot three months work down the drain, OH' could have the lot , for the sake of a few screws.
  3. JBBVry

    JBBVry Member

    worst thing i have done was to look up and see my 2 year old son standing in the middle of the train layout holding an Engine saying Choo Choo. talk about attack of the 250 foot baby.
  4. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    hey paul.
    what did you grad first? the boy or the loco?
  5. CharlesH.

    CharlesH. Member

    My worst model railroading disaster was -howdya like this?- my first layout. It was awfully flawed. The trackplan came from a book called Building A Model Railroad With Personality, (those who read MR in the 80's might remember a series of articles about how to build the Jerome & Southwester) but since we didn't have much space, we had to compress it from 4x8 to 31/2x7. This resulte in lots of forced joints, curves as tight as 14", hardly any space for scenery, etc. My biggest mistake was to let my uber-perfectionist father (who knows as much about model railroading as I would know about how to build a Saturn V rocket), who more that building a model railroad, wanted to tinker with vastly complex electronics and woodworking... and only the woodworking did its job. Since I was so young and eager (I was about 13), I spoiled the layout even further with my then sloppy scenery. I dismantled it before I finished it.

    A couple of months later, I started the new layout and so far, it has worked without a hitch.
  6. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    I think we have a winner!

    I'm sorry Ron, I couldn;t help laughing, I really tried not to, as I still feel that shock 25 years later, as I once decided to see at 4 years old, what it'd be like to stick a hair pin in a socket, so I feel your pain (literally), but it was just too comical not to. I really tried, honest, I just couldn't help it, it was such a cute story. :cry:

    Take care,

  7. CCT70

    CCT70 Member

    1st (non) annual Steam locomotive speed trails

    I have a brother who is 8 years younger than me. I am the oldest of 4 kids, he's the baby. When he was 6, and I was 14, he had just got a train set with a Life-Like 0-4-0T in it, and my mom bought him a Bachmann SD40-2 and several more cars to go with it, as he decided he wanted to get into the hobby like his brother. Needless to say, I built a 4x8 table for his new layout and set the track up, and used all of the new track she'd bought to build a pretty nice setup, sans scenery (she did buy him several buildings, but scenery came later). She had even bought an extra power pack, as the neighborhood toy store was days away from closing forever, and had a sweet train and slotcar department. At any rate, she went nuts buying train stuff for Timmy. Yeah, I was jealous, she didn't buy me anything, lol, I had to use my lawn money to buy a couple of Athearn SD40-2's, but anyway, that little 0-4-0T was FAST.....and being a motorhead VERY into NHRA Drag Racing, we decided to have a drag race. SUNDAY!!! SUNDAY!!!!....anyway.....

    Timmy and I set up a long stretch of flex track in the front of the layout to paralell the mainline, and I let him have his pick of engines. (I knew he would take the Bachmann SD40-2 since it was bigger, I wanted the faster 0-4-0T anyway). We got a hold of several old Bachmann and Tyco power packs from my childhood days of getting a new set each Christmas since I was 4, as well as a coulple of Surge protectprs and some wire to wire them up to the track. We had about 7 or 8 power packs TO EACH LINE! He was on the main, I was on that long stretch of 2 flex tracks, and we staged those little dragsters like they were Top Fuel.

    You can use your imagination as to what happened next.

    There we sat with our finger on the on/off switch for our respective power strips and when my sister said go, we hit the button. It might as well have been a NOS button in a car. Luckily, the big SD40 rolled (barrel rolled like an old Slingshot dragster) on the curve, but that 0-4-0T LAUNCHED. It went straight off the table, and took flight. Right into the wall of the living room. Right before we were to have Thanksgiving dinner at our house that year with all of the family. Niiiiiiiiiiiiice........

    Being the crafty (bratty) 14 year old I was, rather than have a Warner Bros. type hole in the wall the size and shape of the front of a Life-Like HO 0-4-0T, I *wisely* (yeah right) took a picture frame from a picture I figured "mom wouldn't notice missing", and carefully took the glass and picture out, leaving just the wood frame, stashed the leftover picture parts in the hall closet with a bunch of other pictures in a box of photos, and hung that sumbitch around the back 1/3rd of that steamer, and prayed no one would notice. :oops:

    It worked! :eek:

    Fast forward 2 days to Thanksgiving. Grandma was admiring the layout, and Dad was proudly showing it off to his mom, when she looked over and noticed my new "art work" adorning the wall. Grandma LAUGHED her butt off. Dad was a little "less than impressed". I spent the rest of Thanksgiving in my room, fearing the butt kicking that I *should* have got. :curse: Luckily, it was Grandma that noticed it though, for she told the whole family a few goofy kid stunt stories dad had pulled, my aunt rescued me from my "tv tray for one" in my room for desert with the family.

    Fast forward 24 hours to my first lesson (sigh..... wish I could say it was my last....) in DRYWALL REPAIR! JOY!! :thumb:

  8. Secret Weapon

    Secret Weapon Member

    After 4 months of building benchwork & track laying, I wanted to run trains. :thumb: So I put an engine on each mainline(2).2 SD-80's flying around my large layout. As they came up on a double crossover,I didn't realize it was thrown.As one engine slammed into the other,it knocked it off the track,off the layout, & about 50" to the hardwood floor. :eek: :cry:
    Luckily I only had to replace the rear truck,which was ordered within 5 mins. :wave: Mike
  9. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    model man, when it comes down to a choise between, my trains, or the boss the trains WIN.........oooooch,ooch,ooooch.:oops: sorry sweetheart.
  10. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    I dont know if this post belongs here: or on another thread:
    but here goes, I went to a friends place today and told him about the gauge, and some of the weird, and wonderfull things you lot have done, he got a larf out of some of them, and then he told me this story, A mutual friend off ours(who I have not seen for a few years)had moved to the mountains to get out of the rat race, and reasembled his layout, in the perpouse built shed, just got it up and running perfectly,that night a freek storm swept throu his neck of the woods, the next morning when he cheched for damage, he found that the roof of the said shed had been blown off, and away. He opened the doors and found the perfectly running layout, coverd in 4 inches of snow,(the real kind) (the most perfect snow scape he had ever seen, to bad it was a desert type of layout, the only part of his HO layout was the top of the station roof,.he took his leaf blower and blow the snow away over the next hour or so, and then ran his trains for the rest of the day, no damage, to the boards, the tracks, or the loco`s.... he fixed the roof the following day. by the way his name is and has always been LUCKY, just goes to show a name can realy fit a bloke... have a good one.....Steve...
  11. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Great stories everyone - I am wiping the tears from my eyes I'm laughing so hard!!!! Worst disaster I've had was when I teased the cat with an engine. She finally attacked it, and the engine jumped the tracks, bell flew off, cat jumped straight up in the air. I know as a disaster it's really not up there with some of the ones I've read, but I'm relatively new to the hobby, so give me time! :D

  12. thormax

    thormax New Member

    hi all , well to let you know about the worst thing that happin to me is I just got my frist bachmann pluse and I had a train roll over, well that is putting it mild ,Iwass testing the unit and pulling cars down the track ,went the the been in the track and train rolled over and down to the floor and it hit and now I have a scrap bachmann pluse ,the layout is 4' off the floor
  13. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    I was testing out my GP38 on a piece of test track and from it moving back and forth the track was slipping and i didn't notice until it was too late. My engine fell off my dresser straight to the floor. It broke the coupler off the front, and also damaged the shell. :( Now it is just a scrap locomotive that will sit in the scrap line.
  14. MilesWestern

    MilesWestern Active Member

    One day my friend kevin and I decided to set a string of cars ablaze, so we chocked them full of wood, sprayed them with WD-40. Keep in mind that we were "testing weathering techniques!" :D We lit them on fire ans WHOOSH! up they went. I still have those charred anamorphous blobs...maybe good canidates for my scrapyard...hmm...
  15. RevnJeff

    RevnJeff New Member

    I guess I have to answer this question twice. My worse "modeling disaster" happened while working on "distressing" the canopy of a B-24 Liberator airplane model. I was drilling bullet holes in the windscreen when the brand new, surgically sharp Xacto blade slipped and quickly slid into the side of my finger creating a 1"+ long gash. Bled like I had tried to cut off the finger, (which is basically what the cut looked like) but ended up with only steri-strips instead of stitches. Doc said the cut was clean enough that stitches would be overkill.

    My worst model railroad disaster was running my brand new Atlas MP15DC switcher off the end of the layout and watching in horror as it slowly nose dived to the concrete basement floor 52 inches away. End result is destroyed shell. I now have a decoder equipped chassis without a shell. (Atlas doesn't sell just the shells yet). I am still heartsick over blowing over $100 on a paperweight.

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