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Let's face it, we occasionally mess up while running our model trains. Here's a place to post your embarrassing moments in model railroading.

My most recent embarrassing moment that happened last night while preparing to video for Western Roads Wednesday. I forgot to set a switch to through and started my Union Pacific/Western Pacific SD70Ace freight in motion. While I was messing with the camera the UP/WP freight slammed into a Santa Fe freight parked in the station! Fortunately no damage that I could see while cleaning up the wreck. Unfortunately, one of the track side mechanics next to the shed didn't fair well in the wreck!

You can see the UP/WP freight cowering in the bay window, although it wasn't the engineers fault. The switch being a Fastrack remote we can only blame the dispatcher, who will now be flipping burgers at the local Micky D's! Go ahead, laugh!

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That's a good one! Glad there wasn't any major damage.

I had a near high speed rear end recently. I too was filming and had an MPC coupler pop open. Luckily I had my finger on my Cab1 stop button, experience from past crashes. I saw the engine go by without the cars and shut it down in time, phew! Around 18 second mark.

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Last edited by PRRick

Years ago I left a tape measure on the track while running a brand new Williams New Haven EP5 AA set. The inevitable collision caused the set to jump the track and off the board. Four feet down it went to a luckily rugged floor. Only a non-operating marker light lens was the casualty. Still can recall my heart stopping as gravity took over!

Once upon a time during layout construction I wanted to test my new at the time K-Line Santa Fe F7 ABA set.

I started it up with the Cab1 with the set on the tracks in front of me. As it slowly rolled around the tracks towards the other side of the room I got distracted and heard the awful sound of trains leaving the tracks.

I watched in horror from across the room the B unit and leading A unit crashed into some tools I forgot that I left on the track while the other A unit stayed on the track but still spinning it’s wheels ripping the traction tires to shreds.

After that incident, all tracks are now cleared off before I turn on a transformer and pick up a remote!

Another incident, this time involving multiple cats. At one time I was thinking about building a subway under the layout that would rise up to the surface. I had only built the grade ramp and a couple feet of track on the surface to test it.

One day I let the cats follow me to the basement and had some fun with them running the subway train up and down the ramp. They were a bit afraid at first but then they got brave and started chasing the train down the ramp and running up ahead of it. It was hilarious.

Next time I went to the basement the cats followed me. As I was working on a different area I didn’t pay attention to them. Next day I tested the subway again and heard a grinding sound. I looked under the layout and saw the subway cars derailed, again stripping the traction tires off.  And some of the wiring was chewed!!  They decided the subway cars were now their toy and probably climbed on them knocking them off the track.

After that I made sure the cats stayed upstairs!

These are the only photos of a train wreck on my current layout.  This happened only a couple of weeks ago.  I had been doing some work on the layout and was doing some test runs to make sure everything was okay.  After several laps I was feeling confident and cranked up the speed somewhat.  Just as the locomotive reached the spot where I had been working it stopped dead in its tracks.  This was the result.  Only two cars, but I thought it looked pretty realistic, especially since I model Penn Central.

IMG_2669IMG_2670IMG_2671

I recently found some photos of a couple of wrecks on my previous layout.  Those were doozies!  I'll get them scanned and post them here.  These involved stupidity in both the engineering of the layout and operation of the trains.

Tom

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Given the money situationon the The Kansas City & Gulf (i.e. recent bankruptcy, and currently undergoing a "re-organization"), the "Casey" has had its share of spills. The Ozark Subdivision, with its steep grades, tight curves, and, in some places, horrendous track condition, is the worst of the KC&G's subs for such incidents.

Mountain railroading is tough enough without the added handicap of cash flow problems that sharply curtail large-scale upgrades such as rehabilitating nearly an entire subdivision, to say nothing about the rest of the KC&G's mainline and sub division branches/etc.

And so it was that an empty coal train running south on the Ozark Subdivision came rattling down off Buck Mountain, and was just passing Sawmill Spur, when a car split the Sawmill Spur switch and in the process almost dumped some of the cars into Possum Creek. Result: One car was on its side, and another cross ways... and an entire subdivision tied up.

Though it could have been a LOT worse, it was bad enough that the hook was called out to right the car that was on its side as well as lift the katty-wompassed car back onto the rails. Here's some pics of the recovery operations underway...



KC&G GP7 #409 has shoved up from Ozarka to the wreck scene to start the process of cleaning up the mess:

Wreck_1



#409 easing into position so the crew could start cabling the errant car prior to attempting to right it:

Wreck_2

The car on its side back on the rails, #409 eased south with it at 10 MPH so it could be set it out at Ozarka for the Car Department to start getting it road worthy again.

By the time #409 was back at the scene, KC&G GP7 #412 had arrived from the north. #412 was there so that once the car straddling the main and Sawmill Spur was on the rails, it could back haul the north portion of the train (at 10 MPH) in order to set out the bad order car at Piney. Later, the Car Dept boys would arrive and commence to patch it up to where it could move over the line once more.

Wreck_3

All of this was inconvenient, delayed several trains... and for sure adding to the expense side of the ledger. Unfortunately though, of such is all part of mountain railroading... KC&G style!



About the above incident:

The above happened while I was doing some solo operation. Seeing as it did, I decided to play the hand dealt, and treat it as if it were part of the actual operational scenario. Of course, the first thing that happens is that all the trains in vicinity are stopped at siding locations where a wreck train can get past them so as to make its way to the scene.

Seeing as I have a couple of wreck cranes, I dug one out, set it on the rails at "Clarksville" (the south stage), and dispatched an engine to haul it up to the wreck sight. After running around the crane at Ozarka, it gingerly shoved up to the wreck scene.

I actually used sewing string "cable slings" and the crane itself (using it's removable crank knob) to set the cars back up on the rails.

Yes, I had way too much time on my hands that day, but...

It was surprisingly entertaining fun!

Andre

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Nice stories and photos, I don't have any photos of my incident but here it is. This week I stripped and repainted a prewar water tower I have. I reassembled it and placed it back on my layout. This water tower did not have the water spout on so I made one from a flexible plastic straw painted it black and attached a thin diameter copper wire to simulate a chain or rope to raise lower the spout. At the end of the wire I made a loop as a grab for the chain. I then decided the run my SF Super Chief for a lap of two. When the loco passed the water tower it tipped over and started chasing the loco. The B unit and baggage car derailed and the train stopped right before entering my tunnel. What happened was the loop on the wire caught the horn on top of the loco causing the mishap. Being a wire it does not hang straight down and was curved just over the height of the train but unfortunately not the horn. No damage but something I will check before running the trains.

@RickO posted:

The result of a switch not returned back to the straight position on the inside loop. After the reefer train was made up and set out on the outer loop.

If you like the " thunk" of diecast this ones for you.

Nice solid thunk! Hopefully not too much damage. It looked like the impact reverberated to the platform and shook the camera at films end.

Last edited by EJN

I dont have video but Brand new Legacy Big boy 4005..(the only real Big boy to end up on its side)..After I Told my grandson the dangers of not paying attention .I backed it up and wrong switch thrown ..right into his John Deere train ..BOOM on its side it went ..no damage other than Papa's pride ..and when i say Brand new i mean it had done 1 loop total

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snkbittin, ouch! Thank goodness no damage to that hulk! I'm surprised it fell on it's side considering its weight. My LionMaster Big Boy #4006 weights just short of 13 lbs including the tender, so a scale Big Boy must be at least 15 lbs! That must have been some heart stopping collision!

CSXJOE, first that would not be a members most embarrassing moment, and Gomez blowing up the train has been posted on YouTube so many times everybody has seen it. LoL I admit, I love the look on Gomez's (John Austin) face when pushes the plunger! Classic! :-)

Last edited by WesternPacific2217
@laming posted:

Given the money situationon the The Kansas City & Gulf (i.e. recent bankruptcy, and currently undergoing a "re-organization"), the "Casey" has had its share of spills. The Ozark Subdivision, with its steep grades, tight curves, and, in some places, horrendous track condition, is the worst of the KC&G's subs for such incidents.

Mountain railroading is tough enough without the added handicap of cash flow problems that sharply curtail large-scale upgrades such as rehabilitating nearly an entire subdivision, to say nothing about the rest of the KC&G's mainline and sub division branches/etc.

And so it was that an empty coal train running south on the Ozark Subdivision came rattling down off Buck Mountain, and was just passing Sawmill Spur, when a car split the Sawmill Spur switch and in the process almost dumped some of the cars into Possum Creek. Result: One car was on its side, and another cross ways... and an entire subdivision tied up.

Though it could have been a LOT worse, it was bad enough that the hook was called out to right the car that was on its side as well as lift the katty-wompassed car back onto the rails. Here's some pics of the recovery operations underway...



KC&G GP7 #409 has shoved up from Ozarka to the wreck scene to start the process of cleaning up the mess:

Wreck_1



#409 easing into position so the crew could start cabling the errant car prior to attempting to right it:

Wreck_2

The car on its side back on the rails, #409 eased south with it at 10 MPH so it could be set it out at Ozarka for the Car Department to start getting it road worthy again.

By the time #409 was back at the scene, KC&G GP7 #412 had arrived from the north. #412 was there so that once the car straddling the main and Sawmill Spur was on the rails, it could back haul the north portion of the train (at 10 MPH) in order to set out the bad order car at Piney. Later, the Car Dept boys would arrive and commence to patch it up to where it could move over the line once more.

Wreck_3

All of this was inconvenient, delayed several trains... and for sure adding to the expense side of the ledger. Unfortunately though, of such is all part of mountain railroading... KC&G style!



About the above incident:

The above happened while I was doing some solo operation. Seeing as it did, I decided to play the hand dealt, and treat it as if it were part of the actual operational scenario. Of course, the first thing that happens is that all the trains in vicinity are stopped at siding locations where a wreck train can get past them so as to make its way to the scene.

Seeing as I have a couple of wreck cranes, I dug one out, set it on the rails at "Clarksville" (the south stage), and dispatched an engine to haul it up to the wreck sight. After running around the crane at Ozarka, it gingerly shoved up to the wreck scene.

I actually used sewing string "cable slings" and the crane itself (using it's removable crank knob) to set the cars back up on the rails.

Yes, I had way too much time on my hands that day, but...

It was surprisingly entertaining fun!

Andre

I do know what you mean, if it happens try to make it at least entertaining!!!¡. RP

No major derailments in years, last one was about 10 years ago, Older grandson took a 80" curve to fast with a K-Line TOFC in a corner that was under the main layout ( I planned for problems in the corners and had an opening to get to the cars).

I keep the "Big Hook" ready if needed,

100_2294

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No major incidents on the rails but I did have a Lionel 0-6-0 tank take a swan dive to the floor one day. I was reaching over the layout while working on something and the sleeve of my shirt caught the engine and sent it flying. Fortunately, it landed flat on one side and survived with minimal damage.
I do believe the engineer and fireman needed a change of undergarments after though.

2017-11-05 18.22.49

Bob

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@Tom Densel posted:

These are the only photos of a train wreck on my current layout.  This happened only a couple of weeks ago.  I had been doing some work on the layout and was doing some test runs to make sure everything was okay.  After several laps I was feeling confident and cranked up the speed somewhat.  Just as the locomotive reached the spot where I had been working it stopped dead in its tracks.  This was the result.  Only two cars, but I thought it looked pretty realistic, especially since I model Penn Central.

IMG_2669IMG_2670IMG_2671

I recently found some photos of a couple of wrecks on my previous layout.  Those were doozies!  I'll get them scanned and post them here.  These involved stupidity in both the engineering of the layout and operation of the trains.

Tom

Tom,

Who makes those PC hoppers?

Dave

The most significant wreck on the G&O occurred at 3:56 pm September 21, 2014 at San Leandro Junction when the Union Pacific Overland pulled by a borrowed N&W Class A ran the red stop signal and broadsided the SP Daylight.  The wreck destroyed the San Leandro crossing tower.  Fortunately, there were only minor injuries on both trains and in the tower.  NH Joe

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snkbittin, ouch! Thank goodness no damage to that hulk! I'm surprised it fell on it's side considering its weight. My LionMaster Big Boy #4006 weights just short of 13 lbs including the tender, so a scale Big Boy must be at least 15 lbs! That must have been some heart stopping collision!

CSXJOE, first that would not be a members most embarrassing moment, and Gomez blowing up the train has been posted on YouTube so many times everybody has seen it. LoL I admit, I love the look on Gomez's (John Austin) face when pushes the plunger! Classic! :-)

Lol ya it’s a biggin.. was just the angle and all the crash stars aligned.. he’s usually the one calling out potential problems.. in his 4 yr old eyes .. I’ve hit the emergency button more than a few times from his yells to stop .. some legit and some not so much .. it’s all good! I wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t for him and I hope he will someday be the one running Papaville RR

A couple of years ago, I finally found a 4 unit set of MTH Milwaukee Road boxcar electrics at York TCA.  As soon as I got home, I put them on the mainline and all was well until they reached the back corner behind a mountain.  The noise was indescribable:  Pop, screech, crunch.  I powered it off and what I saw hit me in the gut.  The front pantograph hit a low overpass and was dangling from the lead unit.  Since it was an automatic powered pantograph, I was sure that it was wrecked beyond repair.

There was a happy ending thanks to the engineers at MTH who must have anticipated acts of stupidity.  It was undamaged and I was able to snap it back into place.  It worked!

Now the units run safely under wire on my high mountain electrified track.   No more testing on the mainline!

Bob

Here are some photos of a couple of wrecks on my old layout:

The first picture is a case of stupidity in the engineering of the layout combined with operator error.  There is a fairly steep grade coming out of the tunnel that leads right into a curve.  I apparently stopped the train suddenly and the cars on the grade didn't get the message. Lesson learned... No, wait, there's more!

003 [2)



The next two photos show the aftermath of operator inattention combined with the aforementioned poor engineering.  I was running a train with a NH F3 A-B-A on the point.  The coupler on the first car behind the consist let go and the locomotives took off unrestrained.  Now, the layout is a single track, thrice-around that passes over itself twice.  When the locomotives went "Unstoppable" on me, I was out of the room doing Lord knows what.  The locomotives had to traverse the room twice before descending the grade leading to the sharp curve.  With no load, they were moving at a pretty good clip when they rounded the curve and slammed into the caboose. The caboose and first two locomotives immediately flipped on their sides while the rest of the train was driven several feet down the track.  The third diesel, a dummy unit, remained on the track and proceeded to plow into the remainder of the train, derailing a gondola.  Luckily, there was no damage to any equipment.  I did learn a few lessons, however.  My current layout has no grades and I am always present when the trains are in motion.

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Tom

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@Tom Densel posted:

Here are some photos of a couple of wrecks on my old layout:

The first picture is a case of stupidity in the engineering of the layout combined with operator error.  There is a fairly steep grade coming out of the tunnel that leads right into a curve.  I apparently stopped the train suddenly and the cars on the grade didn't get the message. Lesson learned... No, wait, there's more!

003 [2)



The next two photos show the aftermath of operator inattention combined with the aforementioned poor engineering.  I was running a train with a NH F3 A-B-A on the point.  The coupler on the first car behind the consist let go and the locomotives took off unrestrained.  Now, the layout is a single track, thrice-around that passes over itself twice.  When the locomotives went "Unstoppable" on me, I was out of the room doing Lord knows what.  The locomotives had to traverse the room twice before descending the grade leading to the sharp curve.  With no load, they were moving at a pretty good clip when they rounded the curve and slammed into the caboose. The caboose and first two locomotives immediately flipped on their sides while the rest of the train was driven several feet down the track.  The third diesel, a dummy unit, remained on the track and proceeded to plow into the remainder of the train, derailing a gondola.  Luckily, there was no damage to any equipment.  I did learn a few lessons, however.  My current layout has no grades and I am always present when the trains are in motion.

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Tom

Tom, oh yeah, that's a good one! Carnage and chaos galore! I'm glad there was no damage, good thing these models are pretty darn tough!

Back I the Spring of 75 My Father and I picked up a Miller S scale  SW2 switcher, and hosted our first meeting of the Badgerland S Gauger's.  The Miller switcher had no reduction gears, the motor armature, was the axel, and there were 4 of them .  Well we turned on the power, well it crawled , then faster and faster, hit the curve at full speed, then OMG , the lift section ( over the doorway) was still up in the air. As it flew off the table , it seemed to arch in slow motion, just before it hit the floor . and exploded!

During the previous Science Museum show my modified LegO gauge train got involved in a head on collision with a Lionel turbine snowplow I forgot was still on the track. The resulting collision was probably the most realistic crash I've ever seen on a model railroad since the train was literally smashed to (lego) pieces. As you'd expect with a Lego train, it was fixed and back in service within minutes.

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