Train Speed Has Dropped Suddenly

MrFred Nov 15, 2022

  1. MrFred

    MrFred New Member

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    I just got back into model railroads and completed mounting my N scale layout to the backboard and was working on scenery and planning future expansion when my locomotive suddenly began to run slower on the left hand side of the the layout. Typically I would run the train with the throttle set to just above the 1/2 mark , now I have to throttle up to max to clear the left hand turn. You can see the locomotive slow as it approaches. It was running fine previously ( a month) and I have not moved or otherwise changed the layout. The track is mounted to the board and has no flex no other movement. I have cleaned the track and the locomotive wheels and saw a minimal improvement. I am bit baffled by all of this, the track connections are good and I'm now wondering if my locomotive has developed a mechanical issue of some kind. Its a Kato based layout in including power supply and I'm running the Kato Amtrack P42 loco (Kato N 1066285 Intercity Express, Amtrak Phase VI) . Any advice or suggestions would be appreciated.
     
  2. tehachapifan

    tehachapifan TrainBoard Member

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    Many questions come to mind, but to start is it a DC or DCC layout, how big is it overall and how many track feeders does it have and in what wiring arrangement? Also, will it slow in the same area if you face and run the loco the other direction? How about when just reversing direction? Does it do this with just the one loco or others as well?
     
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  3. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sounds like a power supply issue. What track are you using and the track connectors?
     
  4. MrFred

    MrFred New Member

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    Its DC on a 7x3 board There is one power connection using the Kato feeder track and Kato Unitrack which coincidentally is located on the end that experiences the slow operations. If you reverse the locomotive and run it "backwards" it will run marginally better but still slows down in the same area. I only have one loco currently.
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2022
  5. MrFred

    MrFred New Member

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    Kate Unitrack and connectors.
     
  6. MrFred

    MrFred New Member

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  7. MrFred

    MrFred New Member

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  8. MrFred

    MrFred New Member

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  9. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sometimes there is a misconnection on the unitrack joiners. One rides up over the other and is not noticed. Power at first goes normal but a seasonable temp change or a sudden jar can effect the connection. Determine exactly where the power is dropping on the track and start looking at the connections.
     
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  10. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    If all locos do it, try attaching additional temp wires directly from the power supply to the dead area with alligator clips. If that fixes it you have a connection problem, best bet is add feeders to the dead area.
     
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  11. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    A 7x3 should have 2 feeders...minimum ! 4 would be better. Using Unitrack...a feeder every 3 sections of track...or roughly the length of a piece of flextrack would ensure best results...JMO

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  12. MK

    MK TrainBoard Member

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    As NthBasement suggested, do you have another locomotive to try? If the problem happens to another loco, it's your track that you can concentrate on. If not, it's your P42.
     
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  13. Shortround

    Shortround TrainBoard Member

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    He mentioned having only one engine. I have only one connector on my Kato layout of that size. All three run great even with a load.
     
  14. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I will have to agree. However...If there is a connection problem between 2 sections of Unitrack and you have multiple feeders...current would flow from the good connections back through towards the bad connection and trains would just go past the bad connection into the good section and continue on. A bad connection at 2 sections with a single feeder will slow or stop a train as soon as it got to that bad spot.

    * Excerpt from my personal 'Lessons Learned' notebook...(y)

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  15. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I would add a second power feed as a test. If that helps, then a track joint/connection is failing.
     
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  16. mtntrainman

    mtntrainman TrainBoard Supporter

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    I like the idea of using a temp power feeder. Heck...you could hold the 2 wires of a temp feeder to the top of the 2 rails to see if a train coming gets past the bad spot ! If there is a problem...it's Unitrack...change the track connectors at the bad spot. Those snap in track connectors are cheap enough. That and anyone who uses Unitrack has at least 2 spare connectors laying around...LOL.

    Same if it's a faulty drop feeder. Change it out or make a new one. JMO
     

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