I bought the 'O' tin-plate Christmas set last year and quickly found out that it can't handle 27" curves.  lesson learned so OK.

 

BUT.... I set up a little layout last night using MTH's RealTrax and the tender's rear truck keeps derailing going around curves.  I don't know the diameter size that RealTrax makes.  I looked at the catalogue for the recommended minimum curve but it doesn't say anything.\

 

Does anyone know what the minimum requirement is for this engine????  The engine is listed as a the 261E locomotive in the set numbered 11-5509-1.  This is frustrating to me that it can't run on the track that was included with the set.

 

as always, thanks - walt

 

11-5509-1

 

PICT0256

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Sorry, I don't have an answer to your question, but I do have my 2 bits to throw at you.

 

That would also annoy me to no end if the train can't run on the included track.  But having said that, I'd triple check the derailing truck to make sure it's not binding and has complete freedom of movement.  If it has an electrocoupler, I'd make sure the wires aren't catching something and keeping the truck from moving.  Also, did you try running the locomotive the other direction around the track?

Hi Walt,

Will follow along on this in the hopes of learning a little more about why cars derail when they shouldn't as in your case here. There is nothing less fun on a layout than having the nice consist you put together fall apart in route when some wheel set decides to climb over the rails.

 

I would think that the tender is nice and heavy so next maybe look at wheel spacing. I've had some cars where the wheel spacing is wrong for whatever reason. Also maybe look at the truck and make sure it is rotating freely on it's pivot point. And maybe even the car right behind the tender may be causing the issue. Good luck.

I have had quite a bit of trouble with the MTH electro box coupler. Most all the problem ones have the coupler pointing off center. Not aligned correctly at the factory. It is especially troublesome when two cars are together with the same issue. Look at each one as it sits on the track, making sure the uncoupling tab is not binding on the plunger (another annoying issue). If the truck is on the track straight, the coupler should line up nicely with the center rail. If it points to one side or the other, it may be causing a problem, especially on tighter diameter track. As mentioned earlier, not enough slack in the pick up wire can be an issue also.

 

Steve

Steve "Papa" Eastman

Yorba Linda, CA

Left Coast, Home of the lunatics

Walt, the set you show pictures of should have no problem on the curves you describe.  I agree with the previous answers that this is not a minimum radius curve issue, it's something with that rear truck on the tender.

 

In addition to the advice already given, a frequent problem I have found with new MTH tinplate is what I can best describe as a "gauge" problem with the wheels.  The wheels need to be a certain distance apart from each other to stay on the rails on straights and around corners.  The tolerances in tinplate are intentionally quite loose: you can't fine-tune it down to perfectly fit the flanges between the rails; if you do it will bind up on curves and in switches.  There has to be some "slop".  But if there is too much play, they will derail.

 

The wheels on tinplate axles are spaced by the crimps put in the axle.  Sometimes there is then a small washer between the crimp and the wheel.  A lot of rolling stock I have from MTH needed to have this spacing worked with.  Sometimes just putting another small washer between the crimps and the wheels has solved persistent derailing problems.

 

You'll want to take that tender and really get down close and personal with it as you roll it along various sections of track and see exactly what happens.  How does the derailment start?  What hangs up and starts the climb up off the rail?  From there it will be a matter of seeing what is too tight (not enough play) or too loose, or hung up, or otherwise amiss at that moment when the derailment starts, and adjusting the tinplate truck frame, wheels, or axles accordingly.

 

 

Walt,

 

I read your minimum curve size and rushed to come and see! I am thinking of purchasing a 2014 Christmas Pioneer Zephyr set but am perplexed when I saw that it runs on 072 curve track. I am ready to purchase it for a Christmas Train show in December.  I  better measure my curves first, huh?

 

Too much money to end up in a smashed heap on the concrete floor don't you think?

After all, this is not the Adam's Family! I am not Gomez Adams!

 

Best of luck!

 

Mike Maurice

I have the burlington version and it needs 072. I had to change one curve of my layout for it to make it around the lower loop. I have one section of flex track that is now slightly less than 072 and it makes it around without trouble. But it is very close to 072. Maybe 070.   

To your original question, O Gauge usually has a minimum of O-31 curves, with notable exceptions, but I'd say there's a problem with your tender truck wheel gauge if it only derails on curves. Always something, huh? I had a problem with 8/12 wheels on a MTH Hiawatha tender not moving at all -- the loco was having to drag the tender around the layout like a brick! I made sure they fixed it.

Thank you ALL for your insightful replies!!!

 

I got so frustrated that I put it away.  But after reading all of these suggestions I will get it back out and set up a smaller oval and pay attention to the details that are warned about here in these replies.  Better now than when I start on my Christmas display!

 

3 of the suggestions involved 'fixes'.  Can a guy that really doesn't tinker except for the common lubrication tasks really perform those fixes?  1) add a washer 2) change the wheel calibration 3) TinplateBob's sounded interesting: get right of the lift pin.  Are those easily done?  I'd like to try TinplateBob's idea since I never do remote uncoupling anyways.

 

thanks.

 

I'll check back in later, maybe tomorrow, after I examine the tender.

 

thanks - walt

Thanks to all of the suggestions above, I dug out the set again and did various tests.

 

The tender does NOT derail when no car is attached.

 

The rear truck of the tender seems to swivel the entire left-right path that it is allowed to (the body of the tender stops it from "over" rotating.

 

Here's what I found out that is really the culprit:

 

If a trailing car's link coupler is coupled to the LEFT of the tender's links, the tender's rear truck derails going around RIGHT turns.

 

If a trailing car's link coupler is coupled to the RIGHT of the tender's links, the tender's rear truck derails going around LEFT turns.

 

It's as though the link of the car pushes the tender's coupler too far out of range forcing the wheels to derail.

 

I tried the test with 4 different cars attached to the tender and got the same result no matter which car I used.

 

This is really a sad statement on the construction of these link couplers.  The train can't run on the curves included with the set!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How sad is that?!

 

I'm now thinking that TinplateBob's solution may or may not solve this problem.  I would say that it would if the car's link pushed on the tender's link but that's not the case.  The car's link pushes on the tender's box itself.

 

I have had nothing but bad experiences since I entered the tin-plate world last October.  I'm really regretting now selling off my entire collection to make this transition.

 

Sorry about the moaning but some may understand the frustration.

 

- walt

Walt,

   I'm 99.9% sure your problem is the latch lift pin sticking out the back of the coupler. It is attached to the underside of the die cast  hood. A small needle nose pliers should do the trick. I did not have to remove the pin on my tenders with the 2800 series truck. Again the couplers on the smaller cars fit together very tight. 

Bob M

Walt,

 

Have patience! even though I am not a tin plate guy myself, I know someone who is.

Like fine wine it is an acquired taste (so yo speak) I know because my friend has run his tinplate stuff next to mine at 4 successive Holiday Shows each year. There is always a derailment or two. Usually, the tinplate is so old, it overheats and he has to give it a rest, luckily he has loads of trains to run, else he, like you, would lose his patience.

 

Every scale has it's own problems it seems. As in O gauge, you learn to adapt (or work around a particular problem).

 

Anyway, you can always come here to "solve" your problems. Which other tinplate operators have probably encountered before. For some there is a slower learning curve but......wait for it ......you must be patient.

 

Or, if you've hit your last nerve with Tinplate, there are plenty of guys here, that would welcome you back to the Land of O(z).

 

You could be a bust in the Hall of Fame!

 

Mike Maurice

 

I have almost zero experience with the modern tinplate, but is the tender empty? Would it help to put weight in the tender? I've put weights in a few items that did not track right (prewar), and it has helped.

-Michael R.

 

TCA 10-65677

 

Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there.

-Will Rogers

Originally Posted by walt rapp:

Thanks to all of the suggestions above, I dug out the set again and did various tests.

 

The tender does NOT derail when no car is attached.

 

The rear truck of the tender seems to swivel the entire left-right path that it is allowed to (the body of the tender stops it from "over" rotating.

 

Here's what I found out that is really the culprit:

 

If a trailing car's link coupler is coupled to the LEFT of the tender's links, the tender's rear truck derails going around RIGHT turns.

 

If a trailing car's link coupler is coupled to the RIGHT of the tender's links, the tender's rear truck derails going around LEFT turns.

 

It's as though the link of the car pushes the tender's coupler too far out of range forcing the wheels to derail.

 

I tried the test with 4 different cars attached to the tender and got the same result no matter which car I used.

 

This is really a sad statement on the construction of these link couplers.  The train can't run on the curves included with the set!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  How sad is that?!

 

I'm now thinking that TinplateBob's solution may or may not solve this problem.  I would say that it would if the car's link pushed on the tender's link but that's not the case.  The car's link pushes on the tender's box itself.

 

I have had nothing but bad experiences since I entered the tin-plate world last October.  I'm really regretting now selling off my entire collection to make this transition.

 

Sorry about the moaning but some may understand the frustration.

 

- walt

Walt,
As a good friend of mine said that runs pre/post war "I am so sick of things that almost work!". You've probably had more than your fair share but in the 3 yrs I've been in 3R there were several times where I wondered if I would ever get any of this stuff to work. I looked at my engines, cars, track etc. and other than a few WBB cruisers nothing worked the way I wanted it to.

 

Today it does more or less but everything has it's quirks and needs to be tweaked here and there. Everything! Fortunately I've had this forum to lean on for technical help and repairs. And I enjoy working with my hands. A while ago I bought 10 of those RMT ore cars everyone raves about. They look great, sound great and jump off of my 036 Atlas switches like freakin popcorn! Arcing as they go and pitting the track in the process. So far all I have tried is for naught. Definitely a hard problem to fix if you have it.

 

So . . . what Mike says. Also, keep buying more tinplate! Sooner or later you'll stumble on to some that work!

Way to go Walt, good problem solving!  When there's a derailment, there's always something that is "hanging up" and preventing the wheels from freely following the track.  Sounds like you located it pretty precisely.  Now it's just a matter of applying the requisite tweak and you'll be rolling smoothly.

 

 

Walt,

    Lets look at this situation a little closer, exactly what track came wih your new Tin Plate Train, it very well maybe that you purchased a MTH reproduction Lionel that came with the wrong track, I have seen this happen before, and it drives the purchaser just about out of his mind.  Just exactly which track came with you Repro MTH Tin Plate train?  Is it original Tin Plate type track, and what size curves come with the set.   Some original Lionel Tin Plate trains only handled large curved track, however if your engine and tender run on the track that came with your train set by them selves, it may well be your rolling stock was made imperfectly, the men have advised you of some of the problems they have experienced, and how they corrected the problems.  I have returned several pieces of MTH rolling stock because they were not made correctly.  I will tell you this all my original Lionel and new MTH Repro Tin Plate trains run perfectly on my 036 and larger FasTrack with 072 Command Control Switches. 

Wish I lived closer to you Walt to give you hands on help with your problems.

Walt I have found thru years of experience that my Tin Plate Trains run best on 036 and larger track and do not run at all well thru Atlas Switches, excepting the newer Atlas Industrial Rail, similar to FasTrack.

PCRR/Dave

 

The Original Lionel 249E with Baby Ruth Box Cars & 1682 Caboose runs perfectly on 036 FasTrack with 072 Command Control Switches.

 

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

I have to be courteous enough here to respond to the various comments trying to help.

 

Lima asked "Does the front tender truck rotate freely as well?".  ANS: yes, it does.  The rolling stock (cars) are very short as well, 6 or 7 inches long tops.

 

TinplateBob: "I'm 99.9% sure your problem is the latch lift pin sticking out the back of the coupler.".  ANS: I don't know how to prove that though.  I hate to "break" the tender's mechanism without being sure, even tho' I never remotely uncouple.  I'd love to know how to find out for sure.

 

Mike: "You could be a bust in the Hall of Fame!".  Yeah, I'm headed there with this tin-plate stuff!  I really am regretting selling all of my 'O'.

 

Michael R: "but is the tender empty? Would it help to put weight in the tender?".  Mike, this is a PS3 set and the speaker and boards are in the tender.  It's rather light but not light like it's empty.

 

Scott: ANS: My tin-plate 2 sets are both modern LCT sets both PS3.  no old stuff.

 

hojack offered: "ow it's just a matter of applying the requisite tweak and you'll be rolling smoothly".  ANS: agreed but knowing what that tweak is doesn't seem easy to determine and the tweak itself may not be easy either.  But since I don't know, with 100% certainty, what that tweak is.........

 

PCR: the track is MTH's RealTrax.  I have a bunch of it still from starter sets that I bought that were Railking 'O'.  I don't know what it is, 36"???  The figure 8 that I set up uses some of the new and some of the old, both the same diameter though.

 

I'm going to set up an '8' using 42" curves since that's what will be on my Christmas layout.  It BETTER run OK on that!!!!!  BTW: I also tried my 'O' Baby Blue Comet and it's OK with the MTH RealTrax.  Funny because it's way bigger, cars and all, than the Christmas set (both are 2600 series stuff I think that's the right term).

 

thanks to everyone for offering ideas, one of which hopefully eventually is the answer.  TinplateBob, I'm not doubting what you offer, it's just that if I have to sorta ruin the coupler to find out I don't know how willing I am quite yet to take that chance!

 

as always, thanks - walt

 

 

 

Walt,

    Here is what I believe maybe your problem, your RealTrax is probably the 031 RealTrax, that I also use on my inner most oval, your BB 263E engine will run on this but some of the rolling stock probably binds a might.  Your 261E Christmas train rolling stock will not run on the 031 FasTrack, is it made for 036 and above, your engine and tender may run on it however you will see it struggles on the 031 curves.

Walt I understand you are a new runner with your Tin Plate, however most all your problems will go away once you use your 042 RealTrax, infact if you plan on using any switches in your layout, engineer with the 072 switches, especially if you are planning to purchase any of the large Tin Plate Crane Cars, which are extremely cool.  Now here is the bad news, RealTrax

switches are not my choice for original Lionel or MTH Repro Tin Plate, some of the Tin

Plate coventional engines stall because of contact roller spacing.  The P2 engines, however do handle them better.  I use no switches on my inner 031 RealTrax oval because I want to run both my old Tin Conventionals and my P2 engines on it.   Walt the reason I like FasTrack so much is that all my Tin Plate trains run like glass on it, especially with the 048 & 072 curves, however with most plate you can go as tight as 036.  The 2600 type engines and rolling stock can be run on your 031 RealTrax and your 263E will also run on it.  With Tin Plate however I always recommend a min of 036 depending on the engine tender and rolling stock.  If you are going to constantly  run the bigger work train Crane Cars (810) type, I recommend the 048-072 for best constant runniing. 

Walt I hope this helps you a might, hate to see a new Tin Plate runner having problems.

PCRR/Dave 

 

The outer oval is 036 FasTrack the inner oval is 031 RealTrax, the inner oval accommodates all 2600 Tin Plate, the outer 036 FasTrack accommodates almost all other Lionel/MTH O guage Tin Plate engines & rolling stock.

 When usng switches with Tin Plate, I use the 072 Switches, FasTrack works well with all the different Tin Plate Engines and rolling stock, I use the command control 072's to accommodate everything.

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

All my MTH Tinplate runs OK on Realtrax 031 and Lionel Tubular 031! What more can I say? Again that lift pin is your problem. I got rid of it after the first lap around the track. Also to some of the other members here, my 260 and 263 engines run fine on 031 and their tenders still have the lift pin. The couplers on the small cars are not made properly.  The only other solutions are: get a 260 or 263 loco with 2800 series cars or buy 072 track.

Bob M

TinplateBob,

    If you want to alter your rolling stock to use your 031 track with it that is fine, many do but it does not mean that the rolling stock actually was designed for 031 track.  Infact your 263E will run on 027 track also, but it was not really designed for it.  Your suggestion to use the 2800 rolling stock or the 072 track is the better option. 

PCRR/Dave

 

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

PCRR: thanks again for helping clarify things.  For the record, I use tubular O27 track and switches (all 42" ones from now on).  I learned last Christmas that none of my stuff runs on my 27" curves so I will only use 42" and 54" and 72" curves now and only my 42" switches.  No more 27" curves or switches. 

 

PCRR: like I said, I think it's a very sad statement that the train won't run on the track that comes with the set.  Whether it's 31" or not, the track that works should be in the set.

 

TinplateBob: I took some pictures that I am including so show the connection.  I am NOT ignoring or forgetting your strong advice on the lift pin, be assured.  I would still appreciate some tips on removing it if you don't mind.

 

Allan: So much for me to learn!!!

 

- walt

PICTURES taken last night:

 

Both trucks are on straight track, even though the tender is slightly into the curve.  Even on straight track the 2 'boxes' don't line up - they can't really since the links are in the middle of the box meaning one, or both, has to be off to the side when coupled.

Coupling issue_1

On RealTrax: hopper's link is on the top in the picture.   You can see how it pushes on the inside of the box on the tender pushing the tender's truck outward

Coupling issue_2

 

 

 

This is on a 42" curve with the hopper's link on the top in the picture.

Coupling issue_4

 

This shows both layouts that I tested on.

Coupling issue_5

 

The engine runs well on this all 42" curve oval:

Coupling issue_6

 

The result on RealTrax.  Notice how the tender's trailing truck got pushed off of the rail.

 

Coupling issue_7

 

Notice how the hopper lands up 'leaning' going around even 42" curves.

 

Coupling issue_3

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PCRR/Dave

     Where did I say I modified my rolling stock to run on 0-31 track. ALL Lionel 'O' gauge tinplate ran on 0-31, and MHT reproductions are exact copies of the Lionel originals, except for the couplers on the small cars (they fit too tight). 

 

Walt

     That lift pin is making the coupling too tight.

     For proof of good 0-31 tinplate running go to YouTube:

  O Tinplate Carpet Layout    (it's a Capital O not a zero)

Bob M

I'm looking at the photos and the lean on 0-42 curves is strange for cars that should run on 0-31. You're right: you should be able to run your train problem-free with the tracks it came with. But you cannot. If MTH can't/won't replace the cars, it looks like you are going to have to alter (or have someone alter) the truck/coupler assembly to be more flexible because you might as well upgrade to 0-72 curves with rigidity like that. I run originals (which have their own issues) but I've never seen that particular problem.

Walt,

    The 031 track will not work with your particular train with out modification, more than one person purchasing this set has had this problem, MTH should not have packaged the 031 track with this particular set.  As you see everything works quite well with your 042, the 036 should work also.  Walt you have to be one of the most unlucky runners I have ever seen, some of the things that happen to you are just amazing.  Wish somebody lived closer to you, so they could give you a hand on some of these problems, that is for sure, I can understand why you are frustrated.

 

Bob,

    This is one of the trains that has rolling stock that will not run on 031 track without modification, the MTH cars are not made exactly like the originals and they bind on 031 track, either you must use 036 and bigger track or rework the rolling stock.  MTH never tested this train to see if it would actually run on 031 RealTrax.

 

PCRR/Dave

 

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

Thank you all for your support and replies! 

 

SWANKO - you know me to well

 

TinplateBob: I looked at trying to remove the remote coupler's lift pin.  Looks like I would destroy the 'box' if I tried.  I tried taking a picture of how the lift pin is attached to the box's top side but it didn't come out.  The lift pin is not merely a pin as you probably know.  It's all one piece but the lift pin has a bracket shaped top part which then has 2 holes drilled thru it.  Those holes fit into 2 nubs on the top of the box.  How they are kept there is puzzling to me.  The nubs are metal it seems so trying to remove the bracket - well, I don't see how it would be done.

 

Captain Flowers: all of my 3 cars wobble, even on straight track.  I brought this up to the only tin-plate person that I know and he said that's normal an part of the charm of tin-plate, so I accepted that since I respect his opinion.

 

PCRR: Thank you for your continuing education of me!!!  I appreciate your supportive and informative comments very much.  Knowing information about this set, as you do, as sharing it with us/me is kind of you.

 

Now that I know it at least runs on 42" I feel a little better.  That circle shown about has one straight track on each side and I was able to motor the full train around it at a SMPH of 80!!!!  Now I have to hope that it doesn't balk at climbing a 4% grade, which I am planning for my 2014 layout.

 

- walt

Good morning

I don't have tin plate

But if the consenses is the curves are wrong for the set, then I would contact MTH and maybe they will get you the correct curves. If nobody tells them then they think everything is right.

 

Clem

TinplateBob: Iunderstand your frustration and why you are opting out - youf 100% feel that the link pin in the single problem and seem to be getting frustrated that it's not 100% sinking in.  I'm saddened that you are dropping out but understand.

 

TinplateBob: Thanks for tip on how to remove the link pin.

 

Clem: If I knew who to talk with at MTH I would.  I'm not one to settle!

 

TinplateBob: (If you're still around!): I'm not doubting your link pin solution but do want to ask: when you look at the photo of above on RealTrax, the 2 links coming from the tender and the one link coming from the hopper are no longer in contact with one another.   I'm sure you're tired talking about it, but that's the reality so how does removing the link pin help, asked in humbling way!

 

- walt

Bob,

   The tender is also rolling stock, if it does not run on the 031 then there is a problem

with it, MTH never tested to make sure the full train ran on 031 track or they made the tender wrong.   Alter it if you want or return it, the problem is the new tender will do the exact same thing.  The train will not run on 031 without altering the tender and probably some of the other rolling stock also, I do not care which couplers are on the rolling stock, Walt is correct it should run perfectly with the track MTH provides with the set without reworking the tender, or anything else. 

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

Walt,

   Bob's fix does work, removing the pin eliminates the binding of the trucks allowing them to move freely in a wider arc in both directions, to allow running on the 031 FasTrack.   Most everyone who owns this particular train either, removes the pin or runs on 036 and larger track. 

PCRR/Dave

Never worry about what other people think, be strong and walk in the way of the Lord.

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