For my birthday, I bought a used Lionel JLC Hudson, with tender, in near Excellent shape. When I put it on straight sections of my tracks, it runs very well in both forward and reverse, and the E-Unit functions property.
The "surprise" came when it came to the 031 curves.
Almost all of the curves in my layout are 031 Lionel track curves (they are half curves). I have a Post War Scout, a mid-70s switcher, and Sante Fe El Capitan, and all of these run smoothly and strongly around the curves, without hesitation or power loss.
Not so with the Hudson. When it starts around the curves, it suddenly cuts down to about half speed, as it struggles to make it around, and then rockets back up to full speed when it hits the straights.
Just by happenstance, I have one curve where the track sections mate absolutely perfectly. The ends of the rails butt firmly against each other, with zero gaps. On this one curve, the Hudson will travel through it with no slow downs.
My other curved sections are not perfect. Some have 1/16th to 1/8th inch gaps between the butts ends of the rails, but the pins are new and tight. For all of my other engines, this creates zero problems. For the Hudson, it seems that they are a killer.
I do have one curve that is 042, and the Hudson travels that smoothly without any problems.
Any ideas or suggestions here? Are the Hudson's designed so that they only run well on 042 curves? Although the JLC Hudson is really great looking, I sure cannot pull up my layout and try to force every section of 031 rails into perfect butting connections with the next.
Thanks for any ideas.