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I think that Lionel has it wrong with the minimum radius with some locomotives.  I suspect that Legacy ES44AC locomotives and Legacy SD40 can clear O-48 and O-36 track with no issues even though they are listed as O-54. My Legacy SD70 ace and Dash-9s clear my O-36 switches just fine. It seems like the other locomotives should as well.

Keep in mind that I have never seen Lionel use O48 as a minimum requirement on anything. Perhaps because it's a unique fastback size and not tubular.

So if it doesn't clear O36 cleanly then does Lionel auto stamp it with O54? I don't know and really only Lionel can answer that question.

@BNSF-Matt posted:

Keep in mind that I have never seen Lionel use O48 as a minimum requirement on anything. Perhaps because it's a unique fastback size and not tubular.

So if it doesn't clear O36 cleanly then does Lionel auto stamp it with O54? I don't know and really only Lionel can answer that question.

Lionel should just get rid of the O-54 designation and use Fastrack curves to designate turn radius.

Another thing that I've heard (probably on this forum or youtube) is that the engine will clear smaller curves fine, but the cars behind the engine will be derailed due to the kinematic pilot. I will likely stay away from kinematic pilots until I know what curves I will run when my layout is built. That is unless lionel forces my hand with a chessie fantasy es44, than all bets are off!

Lionel should just get rid of the O-54 designation and use Fastrack curves to designate turn radius.

Except for all the companies that provided or still provide O-54 track and switches, currently in use on MANY layouts across the country, including mine.

To name a few:    Ross, Gargraves, Atlas-O

Of course MTH RealTrax and good old Lionel Tubular.

Most of the people I know running the Legacy and more scale-like loco are using Atlas and Gargraves for track r.o.w., and/or Ross for switches.

Last edited by EscapeRocks

Since I’m new to the legacy locomotive world, I’m not sure I understand why the kinematic coupler is used versus the type of couplers on the ones I have which have the coupler fixed to the truck? Is it because of the C-C truck type or another reason?

That spring pre-loading on the kinematic coupler looks (to me) like it could be an issue, especially with a lighter rolling stock unit behind it. Maybe I’m missing something?

@Raven87 posted:

Since I’m new to the legacy locomotive world, I’m not sure I understand why the kinematic coupler is used versus the type of couplers on the ones I have which have the coupler fixed to the truck? Is it because of the C-C truck type or another reason?

That spring pre-loading on the kinematic coupler looks (to me) like it could be an issue, especially with a lighter rolling stock unit behind it. Maybe I’m missing something?

You can search the forum if there’s a issue there would sure be a post.

As for why this a preferred pilot is simply prototypical. In O scale we must accommodate sharp curves in small spaces. In order to make the locomotives fit and so the coupler doesn’t bind, the coupler and pilot are fixed to the truck. In small switchers you’ll see fixed pilots because it’s a smaller locomotive they can actually fix the pilot and the coupler for the most prototypical look.

this  kinematic pilot gives the fixed pilot look but when it needs to it can move so the coupler doesn’t bind.

@zhubl posted:

You can search the forum if there’s a issue there would sure be a post.

As for why this a preferred pilot is simply prototypical. In O scale we must accommodate sharp curves in small spaces. In order to make the locomotives fit and so the coupler doesn’t bind, the coupler and pilot are fixed to the truck. In small switchers you’ll see fixed pilots because it’s a smaller locomotive they can actually fix the pilot and the coupler for the most prototypical look.

this  kinematic pilot gives the fixed pilot look but when it needs to it can move so the coupler doesn’t bind.

Thank you Zachariah. Yep, I did a search and did eventually find quite a bit about them. I realized I was looking for couplers but I needed to research pilots.

Apparently there were earlier versions of the kinematic unit equipped locos that were less troublesome (or droopy) than later productions? Do you know where that occurred, production year-wise?

Thanks again.

Just a quick update to my initial post. I upgraded all the curves from 0-48 to 0-60 and changed all the mainline switches to 0-72s. I’m really happy with the look and function! It cost a few bucks but was definitely worth every penny.

I did consider 0-72 curves but that will be for another day when/if I expand the overall layout footprint any more. Right now I’m not running any steam units so 0-72 isn’t as critical but I do agree it would look even better.

i appreciate all the great info and advice to my original post. Thank you!

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