Looking for tips on Rokuhan track

Cactus Sep 2, 2019

  1. Cactus

    Cactus TrainBoard Member

    I'm just getting into z-scale. Wanting to see some, I took a trip down to my friendly neighborhood supplier (40 miles each way) to see what sort of equipment would be available. For track, I settled on Rokuhan because, although I preferred the appearance of Micro-trains track, a much wider variety was available with Rokuhan.

    A little time has passed. I have made several more track purchases and operated trains a bit. Now have questions. I must say that I am a bit disappointed with Rokuhan (see my post about their controller). I modeled n-scale previously, and atlas flex track with Peco turnouts were a breeze to set up for flawless running. Not so much for Rokuhan sectional.

    I am currently set up on a foam base, with track held in place with those wonderful Marklin screws. It is what I can set up in the space available, and it makes a solid setup that can hold me for a while.

    I have purchased 5 Rokuhan turnouts. Three of them work quite well, accommodating an AZL GP38-2 and a Microtrains SD40-2. The other two are another matter. The SD-40 navigates them poorly, requiring a throttle boost to be sure it doesn't stall, and derailing about 20% of the time. The GP-38 has a devil of a time with those 2 turnouts. It stalls every time and if I boost the speed enough to have a chance to pass through, then it derails 80% of the time.

    I am looking for advice on how to tune up these turnouts for better operation. I don't want to screw them up even further with blind action when there might be some tips that I can glean from the experience of others.

    Also, is there some polishing/filing that I ought to do where the sections join each other to make a smoother ride over the joints?
  2. Cactus

    Cactus TrainBoard Member

    Back again. I did what I should have done before posting about this——I did a search. In 2013, Curn posted a photo and description of how to repair a poorly-made Rokuhan turnout. His photo is here:


    I removed the frog of one of my bad turnouts, and found that I didn't even have to file it, as Curn had done. The thing was simply assembled poorly at the Rokuhan factory, with one of the inner parts blocking the proper seating of the frog. I don't know which part because it fell into place internally when I loosened the frog retaining screws.

    I do wish Rokuhan exercised better quality control at its factory. My controller came with a shoddily-assembled circuit board (I still haven't repaired it because I converted to DCC). Now this.

    Anyway, the job is done. The turnout works. I am a happy camper. Now to take apart the other turnout....
  3. shortpainter

    shortpainter TrainBoard Member

    Glad to hear you fixed it. I’m surprised to hear Rokuhan having poor workmanship on the their turnouts. I have never seen any bad track from them.
  4. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

    Same here. Yes we are the distributor. But we also handle all customer support in North America. The quality has been very solid and I have not seen the issues as you described on the turnouts. But things can happen. If you purchased the turnouts from us directly, or from one of our US dealers, we will review them for you and replace them if they are defective.

    One note I found. On the MTL SD40-2, the front plow is very low to the tracks. I have had problems with it catching or rails. Check to see if it is indeed catching somewhere. A little filing would do the trick.

    You can reach us directly through the forum or at sales@ztrack.com

    Cactus and bostonjim like this.
  5. bostonjim

    bostonjim TrainBoard Member

    That is good to hear. I have purchased some but haven't used them yet. I've heard only good things about them. My test track is Rokuhan and I don't have any issues. Jim
  6. tracktoo

    tracktoo TrainBoard Member

    Track has been fine, zero issues. I have had issues with turnouts, generally fixable as described.

    If you want to be sure of the installed performance, measure at various points with your dial calipers and then roll test with a few pieces of track assembled on the bench before to install. For me, with limited experience (six 55mm turnouts), two were really bad requiring filing to fix, two had issues with seated parts and screw tightness, and the other two had minor gauging issues easily fixed with some minor bending or exit rail tightening. Some gauging issues requiring rail bending, others requiring aligning and tightening screws, especially at the center two rails at the diversion exits.

    I have also had a few with rail height issues which can be in several places but, if at the two short exiting rails, possible indication that the screws aren't tight or the rail stub piece is not fully seated internally. Loosen screws, do not remove, and then carefully retighten making sure that the part is seating. The height measurement can be taken across the full height of the rail and bed, compared to a track piece measured the same way.

    Yes, it's disappointing to write this.
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019
  7. Cactus

    Cactus TrainBoard Member

    First, thank you to everyone who replied here. Your comments were both helpful and comforting. I no longer have to second-guess my track choice.

    To ztrack: I purchased from a large dealer in the Baltimore area, one to which I could drive to see some z equipment in person. I don't know if they are one of your dealers or not. In any case, the problem is resolved. It is comforting to know that your are out there. Thanks for your information. Also, you can bet that I will have a look at my SD40-2. :)
    bostonjim likes this.
  8. ztrack

    ztrack TrainBoard Supporter Advertiser

    Yup they are one of our dealers. We cover all of their sales. :)

    Interesting on the comments on the 55mm turnouts. These turnouts sell in smaller qtys then the R039s and R040s. They are a tight turnout and really only the smallest of Z locos will go through them reliably. Depending what you are running, some tweaking may be required.
    Cactus likes this.

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