I am having a major issue of keeping the CZ on my O72 curves, they come off the rails every time. Currently pulling 10 cars (waiting for the observation, baggage, etc).  Most of the layout curves are, or will be larger than O72, but there are some critical areas on the layout that are not easily changed to a larger curve. The layout uses only Ross switches. They do not seem to be a problem.  It is the Gargraves sectional tracks that seem to be a problem, both wood ties and plastic. I have had some of the cars since 2010 but have never run them.  I am finally running them now because I sold my 21" K-Line CZ cars with the anticipation of the Atlas set finally being completed, I hope.  This has been the plan ever since the Atlas CZ announcement in 2009.  I have tried to increase the curves slightly by forcing the curve wider, it helped some, but not a cure. I thought of removing a little of the material on the car where the truck hits the inside of the skirt, it would not take much, but just doesn't seem like the best plan. I believe the sectional tracks I am using when laid and secured are actually closer to a O75 when measured center rail to center rail. If any of you are running these you might check to see if any of the your cars are lifting the wheels (inside axel) off the track. I have not had any issues running other cars or engines on these tracks, including the new Lionel Big Boy.  


My questions to the forum are:

1. Are others having an issue?

2. is anyone using Atlas O72 and not having an issue

3. is anyone using "Ross" O72 sectionals and not having an issue

4. is anyone using Gargraves, wood, or plastic O72 and not having an issue 

5. has anyone increased the inter-rail dimension on curves (the ID dimension of the outside rails). 

Thanks for any thoughts or comments.


Original Post

I have no issues on atlas O72, nor issues on Lionel O72 tubular. 

I've even tried running them on O72 with Kadees and they work just fine with no lifting or tracking issues. 

You can check that the gauge of the track is correct and also the wheels. 

The other thing you can do is adjust the coupler bar to see if that helps your problem, or at least eliminates the issue that one car may be pulling the one next to it off the track. 

Also, the coupler should swing back and forth a bit, make sure that it is free and able to do that.

I've run these cars in 15+ car trains with GGD and K-line aluminums and not had any issues with them tracking properly.


"Of course we know its O-gauge or no gauge." -- Sheldon Cooper

Thanks for the suggestions, emails, and Bill at the Atlas service department.  An additional issue was discovered with the Atlas CZ cars. Some of the uncoupler lever buttons hang way to low and only have a 1/64 clearance. The steam and air hoses also seem to be too low and catch on switches. The steam hose comes off easy, the brake line not so easy. It actually needs to be bent up.  The whole coupler needed to be raised. I did try to use nail polish to insulate it from  shorting, it wasn't sufficient. I found that several of the couplers had to have the whole adjusting bar removed to tighten the mounting screw that allow rotation along with changing the height adjusting screws to a higher position. Running better. 

Again thanks.


Yes I noticed the coupler "thumb tacks" were loose as well.

I had great performance from one car I purchased, the dome car.

However when I purchase 2 more and coupled them together, that's when all #*&$ broke loose.


The adjustable couple works but it will need some tweaking around the layout.

S curves they hate, and any switch less than O 100 seems to create issues.

The other track item is any up/down transition in the rails has to be so slight, or else the bolster of the truck will bind on the floor or skirts of the car....


On my upper deck, I had to make sure the minimum radius was 096.


To be honest 072 radius for these cars is just pushing the limit of your sanity.



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I have Ross 072 switches. No Problems. The uncoupler buttons are a problem for me when they droop and short out. Solution cover with electrical tape. The coupler length adjustment is critical. If they are not set correctly derailments will occur. Mine even run on a curve that is slightly smaller than 072.

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