Issue with O-Line Switch Track

I have all of my track laid and powered.  I was doing some test runs this evening with various locomotives.  All runs very smoothly.  However, when the four locos I was using as test cases were passing over an O-Line o72 switch track, I noticed sparking between the track and the center pick up rollers.  The locos I was running are a Lionel #51 Navy switcher, an RMT #51 Navy switcher, a Lionel Western Maryland GP-7 ( the one with the horn from the set ) and a set of RMT Pennsy Beefs.  

The outside rails of the O72 switch track are metal, even in the frog area.  The pick-up rollers are hitting these rails.  Normally the locos would run right through the switch track, but still spark.  If I stop a loco on the switch track it will not run again.  I don't get a short however.  

If I recall, Lionel O72 switch tracks have plastic outside rails in the frog area.  I thought about covering the offending rails with clear packaging tape.  I may experiment with it tomorrow, to see how it would work and how well the tape would hold up.  

Anyone else experience similar issues ?

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Original Post
MerCrewser posted:

Yes, try a search on this topic. K-line, rmt and o-line ; right hand turn outs only. 

Yes, it is a RH turnout.  I'll try the search.  Thanks.

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

Dan,

I've had similar problems with some of my OLR switches, and with only certain locos.  As noted in some other threads on this subject, a quick fix is using black electrical tape on the offending rails. Blends well with the black rails. 

I had originally refurbished lots of reliable 022s, but then needed something with a smaller profile in tight areas, so went with the OLRs.  So far pleased. 

Michael

This is a known flaw with the RH O72 OLR/RMT switches. There should be a small air gap between the curved lead and the frog, but there is none. Check for continuity between the lead and frog, and if there's continuity, as Michael Pags says, a strip of electrical tape does the trick. Or, you can remove the curved lead, grind the end down to create the air gap that should've been there, but then comes the issue of how to re-secure the lead rail. 

Every RH O72 switch of this brand that I've tested has this issue, and I've tested about 25 of them. The good news is the electrical tape fix works very well. Keep us posted with your results.

John 

 

 

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Oddisheru,

Have you tried running any motorized units on the switch?  I have found that the problem does not occur on all units, but seems to impact more modern units (I have post war locos, and modern TMCC units.  It's the latter that spark.)

I would also add that I purchased 3 more of these switches in November at a great sale price, 1 of which was a RH 072 hoping to eliminate the problem - same problem with new switch. Back to electrical tape. 

Michael

 

OddIsHeRU posted:

Question for those who have had success with the black electrical tape fix: do you (1) insert the tape vertically down into the should be gap, or (2) do you lay it over the top of the rail/frog "non joint?" 

Cut the piece of tape the length of the rail and lay it over the top of the rail. OLRO72RH

On one of my spare switches, I removed the curved lead, ground it down and re-installed it. No difference in performance, other than maybe having to replace the tape. The results were the same, so I opted for the tape fix and kept the switches intact. 

John

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  NJ HiRailers Associate Member

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