Atlas New N scale Trainman Passenger Cars derail - Cars or Switch?

timhar47 Sep 29, 2020

  1. timhar47

    timhar47 TrainBoard Member

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    I just received my 3 Lackawanna cars, and while running them on the layout, they go around about twice (small layout) and then the last car derails from the rear while running through an atlas code 80 'new' switch (straight run, not thrown). I then find the switch points were moved. They also seem to 'bump' through the 'new' Atlas code 80 manual switches. These same switches would not handle older Atlas freight cars, they would ride up on the points. Do I have a batch of improperly made Atlas Code 80 Switches? Or is there an issue with the Passenger car wheels ?
    I did remove the coupler trip pins, that didnt help. I cant get the cars apart to put some weight in them, as I dont know how to get them apart, and am afraid of damaging them as my fingers dont work too well.
    I am very disappointed.
     
  2. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    If you place the cars in a different order, does the same thing happen with the last car?

    What I do in these situations is to couple another car to the bad actor and use it to slowly push and pull the bad actor through the switch. This allows the bad actor to do its thing without the weight of your finger interfering with the car's want to derail. Put on your best specs and perhaps place a flashlight on the points and frog, and watch the action. Eventually you'll see what's going wrong.

    These are great looking cars. I'd be upset too. Atlas has a good reputation for making things right, so you may wish to contact them.
     
    rhikdavis, BNSF FAN and mtntrainman like this.
  3. OlyPen

    OlyPen TrainBoard Member

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    Do you have an NMRA gauge? If not, get one soon. Then check the wheel gauge.

    Also, have you taken a needle file to the points of the turnouts to sharpen the blunt tips?
     
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  4. timhar47

    timhar47 TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, the observation car does it. I replaced the switch, no change. Then I turned the obs car around, no problem. So the wheelset must be the culprit. I cant do anything much with it as my left hand is a small mess from a mini stroke. Thanks for the info.
     
  5. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    You've identified the culprit, which is good work.(y) Out of curiosity, do both trucks on the car rotate with the same ease and do both trucks have freedom to rock a bit from side? If not, perhaps the trailing truck's movement is bound up somehow. It's worth asking Atlas if they would simply send you a replacement Observation Car if you explain to them that a mini stroke has left you unable to work with small objects.
     
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  6. BarstowRick

    BarstowRick TrainBoard Supporter

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    Right there with OlyPen. I'd check the gauge of the wheels on the rear of the car derailing. At the same time or shortly afterwards check the gauge on the points of the switch.

    If all that passes inspection then I'm right there with Hardcoaler.

    I'm not a real fan of Atlas Switches, preferring instead to use Peco Electrofrog or Kato #6 Switches. Atlas, having had less then desirable results.

    Sounds, like I'm a dollar short and day light and you have it figured out.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. brokemoto

    brokemoto TrainBoard Member

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    I had a similar problem.

    https://www.trainboard.com/highball...man-passenger-cars.116073/page-2#post-1139934

    Here is my experience from the topic to which I have posted a link, post number twenty-three:

    "I know that I am reviving an old topic.

    Has anyone else had this problem with the observation car?

    The body does not fit the chassis well. The chassis tends to bend down at the observation end. The shell does not seat properly on the chassis. I saw this, but, as I had bought two, I took out the other one from its box and compared. It had the same flaw.

    I put the thing onto the track and it kept jumping the track. I put my nose to the track and noticed that there was daylight between the rail and the wheels on one side. I made sure that the trucks were not warped. I looked at a few things, then saw that there was a little lip on the bottom of the shell at the observation end. I trimmed it down a bit. The result was that the shell now seated properly onto the chassis and the wheels made proper contact with the rails. It also stopped the derailments.

    Has anyone else noticed this?
    How did you address it?
    "
     
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  8. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    I have found that the cause of the derailment is not always the place of derailment. More than once I have had a car derail on a switch or crossing but the problem was farther behind when it set the truck in a bad location. I have corrected this issue in many ways. Sometimes it's the truck that needs to move a bit easier, so loosening the screw or a little lubrication to the rescue. Sometimes the wheelset is out of standards. Sometimes the truck needs a bit more downward pressure so a BB or 3 will cure that. It only one car does it then yes it's the car, if any car does it then it's trackwork. Also a slightly misaligned rail before this switch can set the last truck up for derailment.
     
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  9. porkypine52

    porkypine52 TrainBoard Member

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    I'd take the offending truck off the car. Then run thru the area that it keeps derailing. Use my FINGER to move truck and LIGHTLY press on truck to feel if/where the truck bumps or binds at the turnout. If I have any new track work or anyplace on the Railroad, this single finger on truck can be used to check out track work smoothness.
    You might need to use a small file to smooth out where the point's end contact the running rail. Lot of times the points don't fit real smooth and they leave a small bump. I like to recess the running rail, so the points fit in a small notch made on the running rail.
     
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  10. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    The one problem I have found using this method is the amount of pressure on the truck isnt the same as the car is providing as well as the characteristics of the pivot point in the car itself that could be causing the issue. But good news is if the truck derails with your finger then you know you have a truck issue :D
     
  11. timhar47

    timhar47 TrainBoard Member

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    I cant see the flash that the one writer mentioned, I also am not real sure on how to get the shell off. The wheelset seems to roll fine alone, other than sometimes it moves back n forth a tiny bit after giving it a push. I did send a note to Atlas, so will see what happens.
    OKAY - i just tried something, maybe got it - I held the truck assembly sideways, and finger spun lightly each wheelset. Spins fine. Then i turned the truck assembly to the other side up, and one wheelset will not spin other than maybe 2 turns n stops



    Thanks everyone
    Tim
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
  12. timhar47

    timhar47 TrainBoard Member

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    One last question - how do I get the shell off? I think the car needs more weight. The edges underneath seem to be extremely tight - thanks
     
  13. Massey

    Massey TrainBoard Member

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    Most N scale cars I have ran into the shell comes off with some gentle prying along the edge where the body meets the chassis. I have also seen some where only the roof comes off. I am not exactly sure on this particular model.
     
  14. S t e f a n

    S t e f a n TrainBoard Member

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    Just recently I read a description of a shell removal procedure using a whole bunch of toothpicks, inserted along both sides between the shell and the floor to keep the shell away while slowly wiggling it free.
     
    Massey likes this.

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