Legacy Alco PA Wheel Truck Interference

Recently bought new Lionel Legacy Alco PA powered and unpowered units ... AF48025 - D&H LEGACY PA AA SET (17AF).

Ran it for the first time today and the front truck/wheels derailed on some curves.  Upon investigating, I note interference between the side of front truck and the crew ladder on the inside side of my track layout curves.  Same for both the powered and unpowered units since the ladder is located identically adjacent to the front trucks.  My track is all original Gilbert R20 with rubber backing.  I took some photos of the side of the truck/ladder interference on a curve ... side view and front view showing the interference.  I also removed the truck and took a photo showing no interference.  I also ran the engine around the track layout without the truck  and ... no derailing on any curves.  It is the truck/ladder interference that causes derailing. 

Here's my question to other S-gaugers who may have had similar issues.  My options appear to be 1) file the outside details of the truck side enough to eliminate interference with ladder, 2) bend the ladder outward enough to eliminate interference, 3) remove the ladder all together, 4) mod the ladder by removing then adding shims to move it outboard to avoid interference with the truck.  I don't like options 2, 3, or 4.  But before I get out my file, thought I'd see what you fellows think.

Regards,

Tom

 

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Original Post

I have the PRR PA-PA set. It has been running on my layout with no problems but I have 30" minimum radius curves. I took a quick look at mine and it appears these will only run on 27"R curves or larger. Never noticed that until this post. I think I would just take off the ladders for 20"radius operation.

Tom

It appears that the front truck pivot point has been moved to the rear just enough to cause this problem. Notice the coupler doesn't seem to stick out as far as the ACG production ones. Also, the shell mold they are using is the late one designed for NO ladders, the tab the ladders are riveted to was added to replace the metal ladders for production economy. You will notice they hang down low enough now to hit accessory activation rails. Simplest solution--take 'em off. Wish big L would test operate their redesigns on a "real world" track layout--this would have become obvious!

S'incerely,

David "two rails" Dewey

I see rusty was posting while I was typing--well, there's two of us who think that's the problem! What I've had to do with the previous Flyonel engines was to bend the ladders inward to miss the accessory rails--but now you can't do that!

S'incerely,

David "two rails" Dewey

This is not new with the latest round of Legacy PAs.  This was the situation when the Texas Special set came out in 2013 and I wrote the review of locomotive for the S Gaugian.  I found by bending the ladders slightly the problem was resolved without any major effort.  And yes, this in on a layout with good old Gilbert track.

RE: Roundhouse Bill's post ... "  "I found by bending the ladders slightly the problem was resolved without any major effort."

Agree ... the engine makes it around most of my R20  90* curves just fine, but the truck bumps into the ladder on a couple of my curves that are likely 'R19' due to irregularities in the old Gilbert curve piece(s) at that location on the layout.  So, I'll take a pair of needle nose pliers and tweek the ladder outboard just a bit at the front edge.  I believe I can get enough wiggle room with that approach.  Looks like the ladder is thin metal vice plastic so it'll take a small bend ok.

Tom

Today I carefully twisted the front of the ladders open to give the truck more room in curves.  First photo is looking top down showing the twist I made to the ladders on both the powered and unpowered units.  Second and third photos show the engine on the same curved section as the original post photos.  The twist give me just enough room to maneuver around the previously troublesome curved sections.    I attribute the interference not to a Lionel design flaw, but rather, to my 65-year old Gilbert track that likely has irregularities on some curved sections that make the real radius something less than 20 inches in spots.  At these spots, the wheel trucks can't make the tighter curves and the wheels ride up on the rails ... and ... the engine derails. 

So, a little twist of the ladders gave me enough gap to get through the Gilbert curved track irregularities.  The twist isn't visibly noticeable from the side ... engine still looks quite good. 

Other than that minor quirk, the Alco PA AA set looks, runs, and sounds good on my 65-year old Gilbert track and switches.  Happy to have it.

Appreciate the OGR S gauger feedback from my original inquiry.

Regards,

Tom

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