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As requested more info on the derailments. Running the Engine & coal car only, front 4 wheels derail going into 031 Real Trax curves, no kinks in the track. When running a F59PH Diesel or the K-Line F40PH Diesel there are no derailments. The Hudson 4-6-4 is rated for O31. I hope I answered everyones ?, & somebody will come up with an answer on why this is happening. Thank You.

          ROZY205

         

2 things
1) do the outer rails line up perfectly. I have had to bend or file a number of realtrax rails because the offset is enough to derail the lead truck on a steamer. Other wheels are fine because the weight above the truck keeps them from derailing.
2) If you are on Carpet, I found a spot near where my capet meets the fireplace where my MTH berkshire is heavy enough to cause the track to dip, then spark, then derail

a wild guess but see if all 4 wheels are spaced the same and are correct gauge for track.

 

also run engine slowly and watch to see exactly where the pilot wheels start to climb up the rails this will give you a visual as to what might be wrong with the track itself if anything.

 

hope this helps resolve issues.

as a side idea if you have any 0-36 or 0-42 curved track see how it works on them as this might be an issue of wrong rating for smallest curved track it can navigate.

Definitely check the pilot truck. If it pivots freely odds are that the truck is bent (twisted slightly) and/or the wheels are out of gauge and or you have a slightly bent  axle. With the train parked on level straight track, all wheels should be resting on the rails. If so, move the locomotive forward slightly and see if there is any odd rotation in any of the wheels.

As others have asked, do they (pilot and tender truck) slide easily from side to side? You can even place it on a table and move them to be sure they glide easily without any binding or stopping. (Just remember the dining room table may not be a good test table!) I'm sure the guys will get it solved.

 

(And it doesn't have Lionel Magna Traction so don't worry about that.)

Last edited by Lima

Maybe try spraying  just the pilot wheels with some of the new aerosol nickle silver  Magna  Traction??

 

Watch real close while someone else powers the engine over the site.

 

Try running real slow while carefully watching.

 

Manually push the engine's pilots wheels off the end of a piece of track with no pins at the edge of a table.  Do both wheels hang level?

 

Any derailment turning the engine around and run in the same East/West direction?

 

Fast tracks can have a rail head leaning sideways just enough to catch a lightly sprung pilot wheel.

 

If you have a derailment with three rail equipment there is an obvious gremlin.

 

Replace the two track sections at the point of trouble.

 

Is the curve's right of way truly correct geometrically. ( I have seen some folks use too many or too few degrees of track section combinations for the curve desired).  Just because one can kinda fudge slide the track together does not mean it is correctly assembled.

 

Most of all, relax, this problem is a pain but simple to correct.

@Dennis posted:

You may have to stretch the spring, if it has one, in the front truck to have it ride "heavier" on the rails.  I agree running it really slow to watch what it does will help decide what's happening.

.....

Dennis

Although this thread was started back in 2015, I recently had a similar issue with the pilot wheels of an early MTH Railking NY Central Mohawk derailing on one, and only one, of my sixteen 022 switches on my layout.

None of my other 60+ locomotives, modern and Postwar, derail on that switch, and at least half of those engines are steamers.

A couple of days before I read Dennis' above post, I think I stumbled on the same solution in his post, which is also one of the possible solutions that GGG mentioned.

First, I compared the front pilot of that Mohawk with the pilot of a similar MTH PS1 Texas & Pacific steamer. I thought of simply replacing the Mohawk pilot with the Texas & Pacific pilot, but decided not to because I really like both locomotives and want them both to run well.

I noticed a slight difference in the springs between the pilots and chassis of both steamers. The Texas and Pacific spring seemed perfectly even, whereas the Mohawk spring seemed like it needed to be stretched a little to be even. So I stretched it.

After stretching it and making it as even as I could, I ran it once over that 022 switch and there was no derailment.

So far so good. That switch is in a very hard to reach place, and when there is a derailment there, it's a project getting the locomotive back on the track.

I will run it again when, if necessary, I'll be ready to contort my body to reach a derailed engine in that location. I call this my model railroad yoga. LOL, Arnold

The early MTH NY Central Mohawk no longer derails any place on my layout.

When I first ran it this morning it did derail. I removed it from the track, unscrewed the front pilot and spread the pilot spring some more, repositioned the spring and screwed the pilot back on.

I also noticed the light in the 022 switch where the derailment occurred was not working. Whether or not that light in the switch works is not critical, but I decided to examine that switch as well as replace the light bulb. That is a big project because in order to get access to that switch, I needed to remove a portion of my removable river, which is on 1 inch thick styrofoam. I discovered my removable river was not very removable, but after considerable effort, I was able to dislodge it enough to get access to the switch.

I discovered the switch was a little sticky, not easily swiveling in one direction, so, in addition to replacing the LED bulb, I sprayed a little CRC electrical contact cleaner on the switch.

The upshot is that I ran the Mohawk many times through the switch in all directions and the engine runs beautifully without any derailments.

The root of the problem might have been the switch, the pilot spring or both.

Incidentally, that early Pre-Protosounds MTH Mohawk is one of my favorite engines. IMO, it looks great, pulls well, and is a smooth and quiet runner. As much as I love the wonderful sounds of the more advanced and  recent MTH and Lionel locomotives, there are times when I prefer a quiet runner like this Mohawk.

Arnold

PS: As often happens in our hobby, fixing something on the layout can lead to the solution of another, totally unrelated, problem. In this case, I need an access hatch so I can more easily access an otherwise impossible to reach section of my layout. That will be my next project.

The early MTH NY Central Mohawk no longer derails any place on my layout.

When I first ran it this morning it did derail. I removed it from the track, unscrewed the front pilot and spread the pilot spring some more, repositioned the spring and screwed the pilot back on.

I also noticed the light in the 022 switch where the derailment occurred was not working. Whether or not that light in the switch works is not critical, but I decided to examine that switch as well as replace the light bulb. That is a big project because in order to get access to that switch, I needed to remove a portion of my removable river, which is on 1 inch thick styrofoam. I discovered my removable river was not very removable, but after considerable effort, I was able to dislodge it enough to get access to the switch.

I discovered the switch was a little sticky, not easily swiveling in one direction, so, in addition to replacing the LED bulb, I sprayed a little CRC electrical contact cleaner on the switch.

The upshot is that I ran the Mohawk many times through the switch in all directions and the engine runs beautifully without any derailments.

The root of the problem might have been the switch, the pilot spring or both.

Incidentally, that early Pre-Protosounds MTH Mohawk is one of my favorite engines. IMO, it looks great, pulls well, and is a smooth and quiet runner. As much as I love the wonderful sounds of the more advanced and  recent MTH and Lionel locomotives, there are times when I prefer a quiet runner like this Mohawk. Here it is hauling a Postwar milk car unit train. In this video taken a few years ago, the Mohawk is not so quiet because I'm running it fast, and simultaneously running an MTH PS 1 diesel:

Arnold

PS: As often happens in our hobby, fixing something on the layout can lead to the solution of another, totally unrelated, problem. In this case, I need an access hatch so I can more easily access an otherwise impossible to reach section of my layout. That will be my next project.

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Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

I also had a derailing problem.  As mentioned above, visually seeing the wheel movement at the exact point of derailment let me understand what the cause of my problem was.   My issue was the wheel flange was catching on the approaching switch point compounded by a slight track tilt which pushed the flange towards the misalignment.  The switch point issue was bad design.  I solved by problem by adding a shim to the rail which provided an easement for the wheel flange.

Take a rectangular piece of clear plexiglass the width and size of any car. Attach a truck to both ends of the piece.

run the plex along the area of problem track or switch, you can see where the derailing is occurring.

add a small "level tube" to the plex and see how level the track is at that point.   

level car

this is an HO version sold by MicroMark. no level-tubes shown.

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There are some brilliant solutions to derailments, including those by Steve and Alan mentioned above.

IMO, it's about considering all the logical possibilities for solutions and going through a process of elimination.

It's hard to think of a repeated derailment as an opportunity instead of a PIA. Again, IMO, it's is an opportunity, or, at the very least, both. That is because the solution to a derailment can lead to a layout improvement, but not every time.

A few months ago, I had the weirdest repeated derailment I've ever had, could not solve it, and now the problem is in the hands of an expert who, hopefully, will be able to fix it.

I posted this derailment on another thread several months ago.

I bought a beautiful, used, Legacy SW1 Susquahanna diesel from a friend. Minimum radius is 031, which is what I have on my layout. The engine did not derail. However, the front truck of the 1st freight car behind the engine would derail on curves. And, to intensify the mystery, if the 1st car behind the locomotive was a passenger car, it would not derail.

I provided the technician with 2 locomotives: a TMCC SW1 Lehigh Valley with no derailment problems that could be used for parts, and the above Legacy Susquahanna. If the Lehigh Valley is used for parts to fix the Susquahanna, then replacement parts will be ordered for the Lehigh Valley, and that engine would be fixed later.

The verdict is still out on this one; when I get it, I will post it.

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

Possible reasons on the cars and locos are wheels out of gauge, trucks not square and flat, or trucks that do not swivel easily.  

On the track, you also track gauge and flanges picking gaps in the rail.    ON switches  the gauge has to right through both directions, and the guard rails have to really guard to keep flanges from going the wrong way in the frogs.

I bought a beautiful, used, Legacy SW1 Susquahanna diesel from a friend. Minimum radius is 031, which is what I have on my layout. The engine did not derail. However, the front truck of the 1st freight car behind the engine would derail on curves. And, to intensify the mystery, if the 1st car behind the locomotive was a passenger car, it would not derail.

The verdict is still out on this one; when I get it, I will post it.

Move the lightest freight cars to the rear and the heavier ones just behind the engine.  I ended up adding weights to solve that problem with the WBB 44-ton switcher.  First car behind it would derail on 031 curves.

John

Does the SW1 have a centering spring on the coupler connecting to the train? If so, the centering force might be a little strong and is dragging the lightweight car's wheels over the railhead just as it enters the curve. Another possibility is that the coupler on the SW1 just resists swinging a little too much regardless of any centering tension, so again, it's dragging the lightweight car off-center and causing it to derail.

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