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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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Last edited by walt rapp
Original Post

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

Last edited by Steve "Papa" Eastman

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.

 

 

Last edited by Former Member

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

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

Last edited by walt rapp

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

 

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.

 

 

Last edited by Pine Creek Railroad

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