Railking Aerotrain UP 30-20043-1

I recently got back my Aeortrain from repair. If you look at the video provided, the loco will run fine without cars, but not with. The cars are not modified in anyway and are lubed. They roll fine. The engine runs fine solo, what could be the problem?

The repair tech has gargraves with grades and the groups I run trains at runs all atlas and it level.

It can pull all the cars when you give it a shove and run it over 75 smph. But won’t pull at low speeds

 

Tim Lewis

 

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Original Post

There are a number of things you can check.  First off, check the rear truck and make SURE the small idler wheels roll freely.  Also, makes sure the rear truck is sitting on the track with the rear wheels firmly in contact with the rails.  The common issue is the little arm that applies pressure is bent and the rear wheels have no traction.  If that's the case, there's no way it'll pull even the original four cars, never mind more.

gunrunnerjohn posted:

There are a number of things you can check.  First off, check the rear truck and make SURE the small idler wheels roll freely.  Also, makes sure the rear truck is sitting on the track with the rear wheels firmly in contact with the rails.  The common issue is the little arm that applies pressure is bent and the rear wheels have no traction.  If that's the case, there's no way it'll pull even the original four cars, never mind more.

I’ve done all of the stuff above. It sometimes will run at slow speeds. I have taken the side frame skirting off the sides to see if it helps. It seems to me when I have the shell off and I put pressure on the front, it starts to run like it is suppose to.

Tim Lewis

 

Well, almost anything will pull better with more weight, that's not much of a surprise.   My guess is the front truck is spinning while the rear truck sits there.

A lot of the traction typically comes from the back wheels, which is why I emphasize them.  Sadly, they put the tach on the front truck, a mistake IMO.  FWIW, Mine had a similar issue, I had very poor pulling power before I tinkered with the rear truck and got everything aligned and working properly.

Another thing to consider, you can always add weight, that almost always helps traction, and the Aerotrain locomotive isn't all that heavy. If you have verified the wheels are in firm contact with the rails and there's no issues with the power trucks, that's my next step.

This was my solution to a weight issue with the Lionel HHP-8, adding a bit over a pound of weight made this into a totally different engine, night and day!  It used to have issues pulling four 18" passenger cars, now it pulls the whole nine cars without any issues.

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This might not be related to the cause, but the 14 mph shown in the video appears to be slower movement than 14 mph.  If true, then you can confirm w/ a different PS2/3 loco; test coupled and uncoupled to your aerotrain cars.  Does the tach-reader positioned on the flywheel look properly spaced or aligned?  Maybe the shell or lack there of has bumped the sensor.

You can have a steam train ...If you'd just lay down your tracks.

I think I figured out a problem. 1. I weighed down the front end which seemed to help. I will put some more down to try to balance it out. John do you remember where you got your Weights from? I plan to use those on the back end to weigh that down too.

Keystone, while I add more weight I will check out the tach-reader.

Tim Lewis

 

Tim, did you look close at the weights?   I had a big box of lead 45ACP bullets that really didn't work that well as bullets, but they worked great as weights.

Keystone, I think it's running pretty close to 14 scale MPH in that video.

FireOne posted:

Gunrunnerjohn, you just combined my two favorite sports by using 45ACP for weight. Now I can store my ammo in my engines.  Hope I don't shoot my mouth off.

I didn't like the way the reloads shot, so I figured a new use for them.

SDIV Tim posted:

I have added 6.05 oz to the engine mainly in the front and a little in the rear.

Having the front motor with the speed control is a mistake.  If the front motor doesn't get traction, the rear motor is starved for power.  Since the weight transfer when you start pulling is naturally to the rear, the rear motor should be the one with the tach sensor, that would have made a lot more sense.

FWIW, I had similar issues with the old Lionel Phantom, it had a single motor in the front, and it couldn't pull it's original four car consist on level track well.  I added a second motor, and the thing is a totally different locomotive!  It pulls a ton now, and it doesn't even have traction tires.  The addition of all powered wheels and the weight of the extra motor combined to make it a different engine!

Improving the Lionel Phantom Locomotive

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