FlyerChief GP7's and Baldwins on postwar AF track, switches, and crossings

Do FlyerChief GP7's and Baldwins work well on postwar AF track, particularly through back-to-back switches?  Due to the slight bevel in the base of Gilbert switches there is inevitably some gap in the rails between them.  I realize that's not best practice and that you should put a short straight between them whenever possible, but that's not always the case.  Some folks have posted that these engines work well on modern track systems like FastTrack and S-Trax that have little to no gaps between sections, but I'm interested to know what they're like on the often less that perfect fitting tracks of our past - present for many, and probably future.   Thank you.  

PS Not to nitpick the tiny roller design.  Actually I'm hoping for good reports of course, but would very much value hearing objectively from those with experience running them on Gilbert track and switches.

Dave 

Dave

S happens

TCA, NASG, ACSG W&OD

x-Chief Wrench & Bottle-washer of Precision Flyer Repairs 

Original Post

As you would guess elimination of any track gaps is preferable with the pickup rollers.

My club's layout uses Gargraves track and over the years some gaps have appeared usually between sections where tracks join. I had an older Geep lose a roller in such a gap and a friend now has 2 engines so afflicted.

If your track is nearly gap-less I'd guess you will have no issues. We were thinking of using 3/8" wide thin metallic tape over the gaps during shows to eliminate the gaps.

Something like this:

Mark

 

Dave, I have exclusively Gilbert track on my layout. There are three back to back switches on the layout, l do have one of the GPs, Sante Fe, which has run quite a bit with no problems, and my track is not perfect.

Ray

My sample of the FlyerChief GP-7 runs beautifully (as does my Legacy and other recent model PA's) on my all-Gilbert track Flyer layout. By design I do have short relief sections between near-adjacent turnouts and have taken some care about leveling and joining the track sections. I am using original Gilbert rubber roadbed and wide radius Johnson rubber roadbed.

Have fun!

Bob

Mark,

Thanks for your reply.  Let us know if that copper tape helps.  Older Geeps (Gilbert AF and Lionel AF) have spring loaded contact shoes (no roller).  Gilbert original contact shoes are shaped slightly differently than Lionel units.  Gilbert shoes are pretty forgiving and work better in terms of traversing track gaps or irregularities.  Lionel shoes are more likely to get snagged.  Lionel shoes, however, are more available than good condition Gilbert.  Still I try to use them whenever possible.  

Dave

Dave

S happens

TCA, NASG, ACSG W&OD

x-Chief Wrench & Bottle-washer of Precision Flyer Repairs 

Do tiny-roller equipped Lionel AF engines run OK over Gilbert 725 90-degree crossings?  This pertains to most recently produced FlyerChief GP7 and Baldwin diesels as well as some earlier L/AF conventional Geeps, their last-run NH EP5, etc.  I asked previously about their performance over abutting Gilbert switches and some reported back that they're not a problem, but I forgot to ask about crossings.  The gaps on them are considerable.  Thanks in advance for sharing your experience with crossings as well.   See photos below.  

Dave

AF 725 90-degree crossingAbutting AF 720A switches - default gaps due to base bevels

Dave

S happens

TCA, NASG, ACSG W&OD

x-Chief Wrench & Bottle-washer of Precision Flyer Repairs 

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I am happy to report that initial tests indicate my new L/AF NS #661 BLW diesel switcher 6-44120 runs fine on my postwar Gilbert track layout -- #725 crossover, abutting #720A switches and all at slow and mainline speeds.  Actually, I'm quite impressed with this little engine and I've had 'em all from AF 371's, 470's, etc. to multiple Legacy u-boats, SD70's, ES44ACe's, etc.  Fortunately the app let me turn down the volume of the prime mover and cab-chat (both were too loud at first for my preference) and from there it looks, runs, and sounds very good - signature wrist-pin slack Baldwin engine, horn, bell, etc.  The directional LED lighting and cab light on when stationary and off once in motion are nice touches.  A lot of engine for the money.  I very much like having three LC-BT engines available at a time on the Universal Remote along with the Lion Chief app to dial each of them in individually the way I want them ahead of time or anytime.   It wouldn't be the same without the app.  Thanks for that Lionel and continuing to include AF as you develop new ways for us to have fun playing with trains.

Dave

NS Baldwin switcher 

Dave

S happens

TCA, NASG, ACSG W&OD

x-Chief Wrench & Bottle-washer of Precision Flyer Repairs 

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Photos (1)
Sgaugian posted:

 Thanks for that Lionel and continuing to include AF as you develop new ways for us to have fun playing with trains.

Dave

NS Baldwin switcher 

That's good news Dave. On the most recent Facebook "Ryan and Dave" show they talk about new developments in the boards that now control Lion Chief + engines.

The changes will allow control of Lion Chief + boards to be accessed by TMCC.

I hope that Lionel will incorporate that technology into the S gauge line if the boards are small enough to fit in S equipment.  Having the combined technology of FlyerChief (2.0?), BT and TMCC in the same engine would make for some interesting operation of engines.

Another development is improved cab chatter which plays actual recordings of trainmen talking while at work. Sounds neat!

Watch the show here.

Mark

Thanks Mark for update and insights.  What I'd like next would be for the app to allow more than one engine linked to at a time, like the Universal Remote.  

Dave

S happens

TCA, NASG, ACSG W&OD

x-Chief Wrench & Bottle-washer of Precision Flyer Repairs 

I think I will add some new information that I learned in writing a review of the Baldwin for the S Gaugian.    Since there was criticism of the Flyerchief GP7 when it came out about it needing weights and the new Flyerchief Baldwin is weighted I put past and current GP7's and Baldwins on a scale to compare their weight.

Baldwins:_________________

Flyerchief      1 pd 10.5 oz

2003 Flyonel  1 Pd 4.8 oz

Gilbert            1 pd 2 oz

GP7 ___________________

Flyerchief           1 pd 11.5 oz

Gilbert #372      1 pd 14.5 oz

Gilbert #370 (Weighted in cab)  2 pd 5.9 oz 

I found it interesting that the Flyerchief GP7 was heavier than the new Baldwin even with its weights.  That sort of debunks the theory that its weight was a problem.  The two motors and all trucks powered with traction tires is probably makes it a real good puller.

I didn't remember that Gilbert weighted its original #370 until I grabbed it from its shelf.  The weight is painted red.  

It seems we all make assumptions on stuff like weight and then after a while we see if the assumptions really factor in performance.

This applies to to the new version of Lion Chief that lets you run trains with a Legacy.  I would like to hear more about this from O gauge people who have this capability.  And what is the cost of this upgrade over what we have now.  Many/most people don't have TMCC or Legacy so if the cost is significant then I am not in favor of it.

Roundhouse Bill posted:

 

This applies to to the new version of Lion Chief that lets you run trains with a Legacy.  I would like to hear more about this from O gauge people who have this capability.  And what is the cost of this upgrade over what we have now.  Many/most people don't have TMCC or Legacy so if the cost is significant then I am not in favor of it.

Bill, as of now I don't think anyone (O or S) has the ability to run Lion Chief, Lion Chief + or Flyer Chief with Legacy. What is available are Legacy engines with Bluetooth capability like the Lion Chief + engines have.

The introduction of Lion Chief + (2.0) will make it available that a user who has a TMCC controller will be able to operate a Lion Chief engine.  It must  be the newly proposed 2.0 versions.

When these new versions come out a person who has a Legacy controller will also be able to access the 2.0 versions but only in TMCC mode.

All of the above statements are what I gleaned from the Ryan and Dave show referenced above. Any incorrect statements are mine alone. Any corrections or clarifications are welcome.

I think Lionel will end up with maybe 3 categories of engines...

1. LionChief--entry level engines (sets) that include a controller. Works also with the APP.

2. LionChief + (2.0)--NO CONTROLLER INCLUDED. Higher level of quality, more sounds, operate with Bluetooth  APP or TMCC. (I suspect Flyer Chief will follow this category)

3. Legacy-- NO CONTROLLER INCLUDED. Full featured...quality, sounds, smoke, etc.  Operated with BT APP or Legacy Cab2.

 

Who knows? Maybe eventually all the engines will be operable with the BT APP that will allow multiple engines to be controlled at the same time. If the technology progresses perhaps ALL handheld controllers will be eliminated and the user will supply their own preferred controller...Phone, tablet, etc.

That would save Lionel lots of dough in production and repair costs. Hey! Then they could use the saved $$ to create new tooling for S scale!

Mark

 

banjoflyer posted:

As you would guess elimination of any track gaps is preferable with the pickup rollers.

My club's layout uses Gargraves track and over the years some gaps have appeared usually between sections where tracks join. I had an older Geep lose a roller in such a gap and a friend now has 2 engines so afflicted.

If your track is nearly gap-less I'd guess you will have no issues. We were thinking of using 3/8" wide thin metallic tape over the gaps during shows to eliminate the gaps.

Something like this:

Mark

 

Mark, l have noticed that you mentioned loosing the pick up rollers on a couple of engines. I am wondering how much travel the rollers on those engines had, when I pick up the GP the rollers movement down is almost inperceptible.

Ray

Rayin"S" posted:
 
 

Mark, l have noticed that you mentioned losing the pick up rollers on a couple of engines. I am wondering how much travel the rollers on those engines had, when I pick up the GP the rollers movement down is almost imperceptible.

Ray

Ray, The engine I lost one on was the AF Commemorative blue/yellow GP engine from a few years ago. I no longer have that engine so I can't measure the drop.

My friend lost one on the Christmas Docksider also from a few years ago. Maybe they have a more significant drop than the modern FlyerChief GP.

Mark

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