Locomotive jumping up Atlas Curved Turnout

asw2023 Jul 25, 2023

  1. asw2023

    asw2023 TrainBoard Member

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    Atlas Code 100 Customline Turnout Left

    Hi all, I am having a heck of a time nailing down why only one of my locomotives is jumping up and sometimes derailing. It's only in one direction, the direction where it's able to switch either, diverge or straight. The speed does not matter, slow or fast, jumps. It happens right before the frog.

    See the videos, hope someone can make some sense of it.....



     
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  2. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    I've had that problem early on, building my layout, with Atlas code 100 turnouts, and with six-axle diesels. That made me use two of my larger engines, an Athearn SD40-2 and a Kato SD45, to test every inch of track on my layout. If they survived going through all the turnouts, I was good to go.

    I've found that most derailments are either:
    • A stiff truck on the engine. Anything that prevents that truck from pivoting freely can provoke this. Sometimes it does that only in one direction. A misplaced wire from the truck up to the innards can do that.
    • A stray grain of ballast in the frog or the guides. I keep a small paintbrush handy for that.
    • Turnout points not quite tight against the rails. The passage of the engine might move them slightly, the rear axle of the truck being pushed off and thus throwing off the front one. I fixed that by installing ground throws, first on the critical turnouts (mainline), and eventually all of them. Almost all my derailment issues were eliminated.
    • A slightly loose point hinge. Had that happen to me on a yard lead. Changed out a turnout that cost me $15 new when I bought it, with a new one that cost $30!! Talk about sticker shock... :eek:
    • Wheel gauge ever so slightly off.
    • A kink in a rail joint upstream from the turnout, the joint is no longer a smooth transition but a very small angle. It slightly pivots one of the axles, so little that one doesn't hear the characteristic krrrrrrrrr noise of a derailed wheelset. I noted that this happens a lot with six-axle diesels. The turnout finishes the job of derailing the engine. Six-axle diesels tend to have a lower weight per axle than four-axles, and they have a longer wheelbase.
    Hope this helps.
     
  3. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    Looks like a set of wheels out of gauge to me. A common issue with older locomotives. I recommend buying an NMRA gauge https://www.micromark.com/NMRA-Gage...UXOVdWtpmeh5DYJwQWs1wzy5tcVpijqkaAlaNEALw_wcB to help with this and many other issues that may arise, with your model RR. It is a tool you can use for wheel gauge, switch clearances, coupler heights and many other operating clearance issues. Well worth the $$.
     
  4. CarlH

    CarlH TrainBoard Member

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    Train2 derailed, but Train1 showed a major rocking motion - look at 0:05. Just to make a point: You could change your question from asking why Train2 derailed, to instead ask why did Train1 not derail after such a major rocking motion? I would suggest looking first at the track (not the locos).
     
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  5. MichaelClyde

    MichaelClyde TrainBoard Member

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    Am 'aving same problem with an 'old, low-slung Yugoslavian built loco have you tried
    s l i d i n g-a l o n g & close observing the offending one by hand? With mine am fairly certain it's clipping the mounting screw(s) of Atlas' "universal", double-sided switch machines.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2023
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  6. glenng6

    glenng6 TrainBoard Member

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    I only use Atlas Code 100 switches. On many, if not most, the frogs are high. I usually slide my track gauge, lying flat, along the track in each direction, to see if the frog is high. When I encounter a high frog I file it down until the gauge no longer hangs up. I just installed eight new #6 switches, a few months ago, and they all had high frogs.Glenn
     
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  7. asw2023

    asw2023 TrainBoard Member

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    im going to look into many of these suggestions, but I think I will start with the pivot, see if it's free....the loco is from 1984 or so, blue box Athearn, it's been converted to DCC....(might be some wires hidering?).... This is the largest (longest wheelbase) of all three locomotives I have.

    The three I have, mentioned and shown Athearn, one Atlas from 1985-86 or so (6 axle) and a Bachmann 4 axle, about same year, 85ish. Only the Athearn is giving me grief and only in this one point, in only one direction lol!
     
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  8. asw2023

    asw2023 TrainBoard Member

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    Finally had some time to look at this.... it was a loose DCC wire from the decoder I installed hindering the front truck, it worked its way down and hindered the front truck movement. Glad it was a simple one!! lol... a damn 24 gauge wire is all it took. I zip tied it up out of the way now.
     
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  9. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    Yay!!!! That's great! :)

    I'll drink my next coffee :coffee: to that.
     
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  10. glenng6

    glenng6 TrainBoard Member

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    Another option and one that I use, is to hold wires using Aileene's Instant Tacky. I have done a half dozen locos, so it remains to be seen what kind of mileage I will get out of this option. Glenn
     
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  11. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    Oh! Fun Tack! I have nearly a whole package of that. Duly noted, thanks.(y)
     

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