ETS loco stops and starts erratically on FasTrack

I just got a new little tinplate ETS 0-4-0 loco from Czech Republic. (http://www.ets-trains.com/en/l...p;searchparam=french)

It will not run consistently on my 9' x 12'  Lionel O36 FasTrack oval with two 10" straights connecting each O36 curve section in the four turns.  I have a Lionel PA-1 diesel and a Williams 4-6-0 that run fine on the same track.  The ETS loco has relatively narrow flexible metal blades/shoes for 3rd rail contact.  The other two have relatively wide rollers.  When I loosened the ETS loco's shoes to hang further down, the loco worked better but still stalls several times in a circuit.   I use an MTH  AC Z-1000 to power all trains.  At their request, I provided that power information to ETS when they prepared the loco for me.  

ETS said the loco worked fine in their testing but they didn't have FasTrack.  Could the flat top of FasTrack have different contact effects on the blades/shoes than regular tube track?    Any suggestions?  I don't want to ship the loco back to ETS for warranty repair unless  absolutely necessary.  

Thanks, 

Dave

Dave 

USAF (Retired)

Original Post

Have you tried using the old style Lionel tubular or Gargraves track with your engine? I think you should give that a try before sending your engine back for a warranty repair.

FYI; a Williams engine will run on almost any track with no issues.

Lee Fritz

Philadelphia & Reading Railway, one of the first railroads in the USA, first to have a double track system in the USA.

Hi Dave,

Does the engine have issues at intermittent spots, or does the problem occur in the same general area? Have you tried running it the opposite direction? I have several ETS engines and have used them on various track systems. A couple are finicky runners and these need the track to be very clean. I had issues with the VW cars and traction tires fixed the problem. I have had issues with imperfections in a couple of fastrack pieces. My 249e would just stop and spin the wheels. Every other engine ran fine through that section,

Did you order directly from ETS? If so, how was the shipping cost? 

Thanks Lee and CP Bob.  

Looks like I'll have to pull my old Lionel tube track out of the attic and try it.  The loco stalls at intermittent spots around the oval with no particular pattern, forwards or backwards.  I routinely clean the track with a Northeast Trains track cleaning car using alcohol and dry pads.  

Shipping costs for a $500+ order (loco, 4 cars, and 6 wheelsets) was $35 direct from Czech Republic.  Fedex package made it to me in Ohio within 6 days.  Seems reasonable to me.  Great communication with Zuzana at ETS for this and previous orders of Merci Train cars.  

Dave 

USAF (Retired)

RIP VW posted:

Thanks Lee and CP Bob.  

Looks like I'll have to pull my old Lionel tube track out of the attic and try it.  The loco stalls at intermittent spots around the oval with no particular pattern, forwards or backwards.  I routinely clean the track with a Northeast Trains track cleaning car using alcohol and dry pads.  

Shipping costs for a $500+ order (loco, 4 cars, and 6 wheelsets) was $35 direct from Czech Republic.  Fedex package made it to me in Ohio within 6 days.  Seems reasonable to me.  Great communication with Zuzana at ETS for this and previous orders of Merci Train cars.  

I got rid of my Fastrack a few years ago, had enough for a small 3 foot by 9 foot floor layout. The track would not stay clean(it was used in the second floor bedroom, windows were hurricane proof) and I had to use 2 power connections for the 3 by 9 foot layout.

I can only say that some people love Fastrack and some people hate Fastrack. I am one who doesn't like Fastrack.

Lee Fritz

Philadelphia & Reading Railway, one of the first railroads in the USA, first to have a double track system in the USA.

I have a 0-4-0 (Gloria) engine (has a small tender) that I picked up on the forum.
I also was running this on Fast track .
When I first ran it (over the Holidays), I ran it with out the tender and it was very erratic, cleaned the track and bottom of the engine and it still the same.
I put the tender on and tried (no electrical pickups on the tender, just a tender light with a two wires to the engine) and it ran fine.
My ETS products have knuckle couplers (Lionel type) and 4-wheel trucks. You may want to add a car behind to see if this helps.
After that, the only problem that I had was the reversing of the engine.
Using a CW80 transformer it would ever go into reverse when throttaling on and off.
Disconnected the track power from the transformer and put it back on and this cause the engine to reverse.
Since this is a electronic forward/reverse switch (no neutral), the transformer may never go to zero volts and there may be a voltage still applied to the track when the throttle is off. Maybe a DC offset?
When I get a chance I will try it with a postwar transformer.

RonH

Don't Junk it, Make it Work!

 

Update.  Many thanks to all for suggestions and comments.  I bench tested the loco with live wires to 3rd rail pickup shoe and wheel.  It worked fine so I knew it was a 3rd rail contact problem.  

I cleaned the track and loco wheels/pickup shoes thoroughly.  On  ETS rep Zuzana's recommendation, I bent the pickup shoe,  or "spoon-collector" as she called it, down several times, testing it each time.  Finally the little French loco sped continuously around my oval multiple times pulling and pushing my five ETS tinplate "Merci" cars.   That's more than I expected.  With it being so small and light with only four driving wheels and no traction tires,  I thought it might "poop out" with three or more cars.  But it only began to spin its wheels when I added a sixth ETS tinplate car.  I'm now a happy camper.  

And I let ETS know that I remain a most satisfied customer.  

Best regards,

 

Dave 

USAF (Retired)

Hi Dave:
Glad all worked out. ETS is a great organization. 
Thanks for the update and I will try this on my loco and see if it will work without the tender.
The 0-4-0 loco (Gloria) that I have came with a single truck tender (small) and was missing the boiler front (2-doors).
Had a email conversation with ETS and pin-pointed the part (part $4.00 and shipping $16.00).
Had the part in 3 days.
Would I buy another? YES!

RonH

Don't Junk it, Make it Work!

 

RonH posted:

Hi Dave:
Glad all worked out. ETS is a great organization. 
Thanks for the update and I will try this on my loco and see if it will work without the tender.
The 0-4-0 loco (Gloria) that I have came with a single truck tender (small) and was missing the boiler front (2-doors).
Had a email conversation with ETS and pin-pointed the part (part $4.00 and shipping $16.00).
Had the part in 3 days.
Would I buy another? YES!

Made a mistake the name of this loco is Claudia not Gloria. It came with the tender.

When I got it the front doors were missing:

Inline image

RonH

Don't Junk it, Make it Work!

 

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