ACELA items arrived today

fatalxsunrider43 Dec 21, 2010

  1. eric220

    eric220 TrainBoard Member

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    I have no idea how many poles the motor has, and I couldn't find it on Bachmann's site. The problem is not the power of the motor; it's the friction on the rest of the set. My set tends to get stuck on curves with the powered wheels spinning. It also has a tendency to derail on any but the most perfectly laid tracks. If you cut a couple of cars out of the consist, performance improves dramatically. I also noticed that if you move the powered car closer to the front of the train, there was a significant performance improvement. This set was really a disappointment for me, as I also have the full HO set, and it works beautifully. Also, in something of a rarity for a model, don't expect it to be able to reach prototype speeds. I clocked mine at a max of around 70-80 SMPH, IIRC.

    The main pro of this set is that the detail is fantastic. I love the directional lights; I just wish the ditch lights worked (alternated). If you don't mind having a slightly shorter than prototypical train, and your curves aren't too tight (it really does want 19"+) it will be a decent runner.

    I'm going to keep my set, mainly because I rode the train a few times and watched them being serviced in the Philly 30th St. coach yard for several years. Now that I live in California, my models are as close as I'm going to get to an Acela. Unfortunately, it may be relegated to being a yard queen. (It certainly seemed that the prototypes were yard queens in the first year or two. Maybe I should model one of the nose cones open.)
     
  2. askclifford

    askclifford TrainBoard Member

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    Love 30th St Station! :mcool:
     
  3. Bernard

    Bernard TrainBoard Member

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    Eric220 - thank you for that assessment on the Bachmann Arcela. It seems to me what you're describing is a design flaw.
     
  4. Fredsmi

    Fredsmi TrainBoard Member

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    I agree with everything except on the speed. When mine was running, it was fast. Like a little bullet, but it was full speed or nothing (the wheels would start spinning). It also ran better with less cars.

    The overall friction of the set caused the engine wheels to spin. I think the traction tires burnt off mine until it would not move at all within a couple of days.

    It was pretty, and now if I had it, I would keep it, but at the time as a Bachmann-boxset newbie, I was quite frustrated.
     
  5. eric220

    eric220 TrainBoard Member

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    Bachmann quality.
     
  6. eric220

    eric220 TrainBoard Member

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    Out of curiosity, did you actually time it? My set looked like it was rocketing down the tracks, and I was very surprised when I timed it to discover that it was only in the 70-80 SMPH range. That's still pretty fast, but well shy of the 150 MPH that the prototype can do.
     
  7. Fredsmi

    Fredsmi TrainBoard Member

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    No I didn't actually time it. I agree, it probably wasn't at 150, but it was noticeably faster than my 4-8-4 that I have timed at around 100 ... how much faster Idunno.
     
  8. verse2damax

    verse2damax TrainBoard Supporter

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    I have always been interested in owning the Bachmann Acela but have always shy away from purchasing one on looks alone. It's a pity they don't run nicely straight out of the box. I wonder if the company is doing anything to correct the performance of this beautiful train. I know I will buy it eventually but for a lot less than the average price, due to the fact that I'm going to have to pull them apart to correct the issue myself. I can say that I'm happy for this thread because it contains some valuable info as to ways in which one can improve the performance of this model.
     
  9. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Supporter

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    The motor is a stiff 3-pole motor (unlike Atlas' smooth 3-pole motor they use in the MP15DC).

    The Acela set can be improved.

    I'm the author of the 9-page article in N-Scale magazine. If you can find the article it is well worth having for this set. The article is very exhaustive in it's coverage.

    The problem is it came near the end of Hundman publishing. Hundman had a fire sale on back issues (like 50 cents each). Any that did not get sold were supposed to go to the landfill.

    Thus you cannot get Hundman back issues from Pam. She only has back issues that belong to Platinum Rail-- i.e. when she took over.

    The bright side is that she still owns the copyright and she is nearing releasing two more CD-ROMs that will take the mag (I think) all the way through the Hundman years. So that would solve the back issue problem.

    And there are some really good issues that people want like this Acela issue, the Atlas Shay repair manual, the Kato F40PH repair manual.

    In short, I've already given some of the best tips from the article.
    Lower friction in the wheels.
    Reduce catching in the diaphragms on curves.
    Improve electrical conductivity.


    Those are the more important issues.

    There are a few others.

    Ron Bearden
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2010
  10. cKrowi

    cKrowi New Member

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    The Bachmann Acela Express N scale set is a unique and rare beast.

    I will always fondly remember the many hours I have spent correcting all the little flaws this set comes with.
    And I still tremble and get cold sweats every time i go to uncouple the wacky Bachmann couplers because if they break there are no replacements available.

    I have ONE Bachmann 89973 - Amtrak Acela - Business Class road number 3528
    car available for TRADE only
    and am looking for a different road number business class car, NOT 3517 that comes with the set.

    I believe Bachmann manufactured and distributed 89973 with road numbers 3429 and 3510.

    If You or anyone You know has multiples of some of the other road number business cars please leave a note here.
    Thank You for any help

    acela3528.jpg
     
  11. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

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    Ron
    Thanks. I'm gonna break out the wallet and buy that CD. It's ordered!. Any chance you ever found dummy loco wheels that didn't require cutting the gears off? (A 2012 Atlas forum post). I got the bug to want to run this again, after someone mentioned it, on the Bachmann forum.
    Folks
    Does anyone have a source for the couplers. i can post pictures, but my one end car actually has an undersized "female" coupler. It's smaller that the others and requires that I hold 2cars, at 90 degrees, to force couple. I'm afraid ill get through the rest and SNAP! no couplers.
    Also
    Has anyone tried doubling up on the power car? Prototype, be hanged, or swapping out the decoder, to improve motor control?
    Marty
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  12. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

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    Ron
    Great article. AND I found the Kato wheel sets I ordered in about 2012, when I first heard about your mods. (Hopefully, this goes better than a few of my recent projects. 2 things I'd like your opinion on, if you notice this.
    1) replacing the decoder. I've been swapping out my Bachmann steam decoders and performance is improved
    2) On the cars with wipers that run up to the light boards. i was thinking about cutting them back and making the connection with ESU decoder wire soldered in. My thought is that the very thin wire will allow the trucks to pivot better. The contact point is so far from the truck, I wonder if there is a torque factor in derailing, performance in turns. It should also improve pickup.
     
  13. u18b

    u18b TrainBoard Supporter

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    1. Absolutely. Modern decoders will be superior in every way.

    2. Yes- soldering wires will be more reliable. The down side will be that the trucks will not be as serviceable.
    If you leave a bit extra wire, there should be no problem with the trucks turning.

    Glad the article helped.
     
  14. kmcsjr

    kmcsjr TrainBoard Member

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    I think you actually just sold a subscription, for them.
    I am actually thinking the wire will let them turn more easily IF I can work out lengths that allow disassembly.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017

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