In the continued tested of my new layout, I have been trying out several of the locomotives I have purchased over the past couple of years.  Some are post-war Lionel, some are K-Line and also RMT.  When the K-Line and RMT locomotives pass over an O-Line O72 switch track, they will stall.  Unless I move the loco by hand, it will not regain power.  You can imagine my dissapointment.

The RMT locos I have tested are a pair of Beefs (tethered together) and the #51 Navy switcher Beep.  The Beefs fair slightly better if I run them faster, but I don't care to.  

The K-line locos are the box cab and the RDC set.  Both stall on the switch track.  Again, the RDC set is slightly better, perhaps due to it's length.    

On the other hand, my little #41 and 51 switchers run just fine.  I figure it because they do not have traction tires to interrupt any power.  

The rails are clean on the switch tracks.  

 

Original Post

I've just done more testing with a post-war 624 switcher, a post-war celebration series Western Maryland switcher and a Western Maryland GP-7.  All works flawlessly, so I am pretty sure that the O-Line switch tracks just don't like some locos with traction tires.  Or is it the other way round.....LOL

I feel your pain. My Ross switch triggers the auto-couplers on my MTH 2800 series cars and my train separates in half. I haven't figured it out yet. I also have a couple of engines that won't go through any of my switches. I have a Merkur switch on order to see if it solves my problem.

George

I just unboxed my K-Line Fleet of Modernism passenger cars.  They uncouple going over one particular UCS operating track, that isn't even wired yet.  I am relearning an awful lot having been away from "O" gauge for so long.  

At this point I should retitle my post.  While the O-Line switch tracks have some glitches of their own, it not entirely their fault.  

Last edited by Dan Padova

I am not familiar with those switches, but might it be something to do with pickup roller spacing? If they are too close together they may not fully bridge the dead spot in the center rail running through the switch. Do some measuring and that may shed some light (or tears!) on it.

Rod

We are never too old to learn something stupid....

A short space between the rollers are the main problem on stalling on switches. 

I would follow what Rod suggested, you will find most short powered units have problems as you found out.

Dave

I believe you hit the nail on the head, Rod & Dave.   So for this layout I will be using my post-war locos.  Perhaps in the future, if I ever build a layout where I have more space, I will include some switchless mains to run those trains that are not happy running over switch tracks.  

Sounds to me like it could be the spacing of the rollers. I'm using the same switches and have had a similar issue with some of my prewar locos. Thanks to Gunrunner John's idea, this is solved by adding an extra pickup roller. On steamers, this can be done by putting a pickup roller on one of the tender trucks and running a tether from the tender to the loco. On a diesel or electric, you could designate a car to always be behind your problem loco, install a pickup roller on one of the trucks, and run a tether forward to the loco.

Or, it could be you have a dead pickup roller on the locos that are giving you trouble. I'd recommend checking those as well. 

How far do you have to push the loco before it picks up power again? Is the center rail "hot" all the way through the switch? You might also try putting a meter on all the center rails to make sure you have power all the way through the switch. A "weak link" that I recently discovered is the center rail at the bottom of the switch. Unlike their Lionel counterparts, the center rail on the bottom of the O-Line switches is in 2 parts. The connection between the center rail at the very bottom of the switch and the center rail as the train approaches the frog is very weak. If that connection fails (it has happened on 3 of mine),  you can lose power through the rest of the switch if you have the other ends insulated for blocks. It may not be a very pretty fix, but I found that soldering a short jumper wire between the 2 rails solves this problem and ensures continuity through the entire switch. 

OLRjumperwirerepair

 

Good luck!

John

 

 

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Steve,

   You are absolutely correct, however the original K- Line SS design allowed Tin Plate running with no problems, where O-Line and RMT are just slightly different designed Switches and they have problems with some Tin Plate Trains and post war/modern also.  

I have talked to a gentlemen several times who returned a bunch of them to RMT, because they did not operate correctly, like the original K-Line.  My understanding is O-Line copied the RMT.

PCRR/Dave

 

 

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

Pine Creek Railroad posted:

... My understanding is O-Line copied the RMT.

O-Line never made anything, it was just excess RMT stock packaged for Heartland Hobbies distributors.

Rob

Pine Creek Railroad posted:

Steve,

   You are absolutely correct, however the original K- Line SS design allowed Tin Plate running with no problems, where O-Line and RMT are just slightly different designed Switches and they have problems with some Tin Plate Trains and post war/modern also.  

I have talked to a gentlemen several times who returned a bunch of them to RMT, because they did not operate correctly, like the original K-Line.  My understanding is O-Line copied the RMT.

PCRR/Dave

 

 

 

Dave, that was me you spoke to a couple of years ago--thanks again or all the help. 

From a wheel compatibility standpoint, these switches still are fantastic. I haven't had a single derailment, even with my prewar Lionel trains. Everything, new and old, rolls right through. About the only loco I wouldn't expect to go through is a Marx loco with the large-gear drivers. 

The big flaw that I've seen is on the RH switches where the curved lead rail touches the frog, causing shorts when locos go through. This is fixed with electrical tape on the curved lead. The other fix I noted above is fairly recent. The OLR switches all say "K-Line" on the underside. 

Like Dave, I wish the Rossplate switches lived up to their name. I'd buy them in a heartbeat, especially the #4s.

John 

 

 

Last edited by BlueComet400

Z stuff makes a relay, I think it is the 1008, that would probably fix your problem.  I used it on one Ross switch that one engine stalled on and it worked great.

Rob,

  You are probably correct, I was giving them the benefit of the doubt, the switches do look identical.  I was told that O-Line was going to produce their own version, that probably never happened.

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

Last edited by Pine Creek Railroad

I had similar problems with my k-line plymouths and a gp38 jerking and stalling on k-line/rmt o72 turnouts. It turned out to be a dead pickup roller on each. Lubing with graphite infused conducting oil solved the issue, after a few laps around. 

Dan,

In addition to the shorting problem with these switches noted in another thread (and solved with electrical tape), I have had the same problem with some locos losing power on the switch (either too much or too little power!!).  As noted by John (Bluecomet400) above, there is a faulty contact with some of the rails. I tried to stick bits of aluminum foil in the gap as a bridge, then noticed that if you slide the rail to make a tight contact, that solved the problem. Of course, a solder link is more permanent. And yes, these OLR, K Line, and RMT switches are identical, just boxed differently.

Hope this helps.

Michael 

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