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Lionel 046, thanks for the response, I did get it working a couple of days ago without tinkering with it.  I have not run it since then though. It seems to have a mind of its own, but a short could account for unreliability of it starting up. I will definitely keep that in mind.  When it runs it runs great. Thanks again.

PRR Joe I was thinking similar but MTH could have tired all 6 power wheels and had a tether to the first car to use the cars 4 wheels for the ground or add power to the first car but that would have raised the price. My PS3 version is ok with about 6 cars but my old Locosound version pulls all 10 with no problem. 

Aerotrain Aficionados:

My Aerotrain set is the Rock Island version with PS-3. I bought if on eBay from a hobbyist who placed weights in the loco and  provided three add'l coaches (total of six) with figures installed in all of the coaches. When I placed it on my layout for a test run, I quickly discovered that the Aerotrain is "fussy" about trackwork and switches, especially its rear truck. The loco derailed at seven trackwork sites on my Lionel O-gauge O42 tubular tracks with K-line O42 switches (due to snags at the swivel rail).

Other locos in my collection ran OK on the trackwork, so I considered the issues with the Aerotrain as "Lessons in Trackwork 101" for my continuing education as a hobbyist/collector. Tips from GRJ at the OGR FORUM helped; however, he has applied more "tricks of the trade" to his Aerotrain set than I have done so far. However, I'm "walking in his moccasins."

My young helper and I fixed the trouble spots in two afternoon work sessions -- an exercise in humility for me from previously-laid trackwork and clearance spacing errors along my right of way. That adventure was the reason I wrote an article for publication in THE LION ROARS magazine. It's scheduled for publication in the October issue.

Later, I found and purchased three more Aerotrain RI coaches; now I have nine coaches. At the next operating session, I'll  find out if the loco can pull them all. I expect the greatest challenge to the loco will be pulling this consist around the O42 curves and through O42 switches (especially when set to the curved path). I kept the "wide" diaphragms in place, but I have the "narrow" diaphragms on hand -- just in case.

I'm willing to persevere with the Aerotrain because I was a teenage passenger when it was assigned for a while in the mid-1950s to Rock Island's PEORIA ROCKET route as "The Train of Tomorrow."  That was a memory-maker!

Mike Mottler     LCCA 12394

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  • MTH Aerotrain: A great "looker" - maybe not so great a "runner"

Aerotrain Aficionados:

My Aerotrain set is the Rock Island version with PS-3. I bought if on eBay from a hobbyist who placed weights in the loco and  provided three add'l coaches (total of six) with figures installed in all of the coaches. When I placed it on my layout for a test run, I quickly discovered that the Aerotrain is "fussy" about trackwork and switches, especially its rear truck. The loco derailed at seven trackwork sites on my Lionel O-gauge O42 tubular tracks with K-line O42 switches (due to snags at the swivel rail).

Other locos in my collection ran OK on the trackwork, so I considered the issues with the Aerotrain as "Lessons in Trackwork 101" for my continuing education as a hobbyist/collector. Tips from GRJ at the OGR FORUM helped; however, he has applied more "tricks of the trade" to his Aerotrain set than I have done so far. However, I'm "walking in his moccasins."

My young helper and I fixed the trouble spots in two afternoon work sessions -- an exercise in humility for me from previously-laid trackwork and clearance spacing errors along my right of way. That adventure was the reason I wrote an article for publication in THE LION ROARS magazine. It's scheduled for publication in the October issue.

Later, I found and purchased three more Aerotrain RI coaches; now I have nine coaches. At the next operating session, I'll  find out if the loco can pull them all. I expect the greatest challenge to the loco will be pulling this consist around the O42 curves and through O42 switches (especially when set to the curved path). I kept the "wide" diaphragms in place, but I have the "narrow" diaphragms on hand -- just in case.

I'm willing to persevere with the Aerotrain because I was a teenage passenger when it was assigned for a while in the mid-1950s to Rock Island's PEORIA ROCKET route as "The Train of Tomorrow."  That was a memory-maker!

Mike Mottler     LCCA 12394

This set sounds identical to a set I sold to a member a few months ago.  Are the weights black.  If yes, I did the work with help from Gun Runner John.     I sent them the shorter diaphrams.  I also put figutes in all the cars.  That is why this sounds so familiar.  FWIW, he had a tighter radius but was more for getting back in the hobby nand replacing the cars.    It ran flawless on 72 and larger atlas track and switches.  Even with the fender skirts on.

Tighter curves will challenge the Aerotrain locomotive more, the rear truck gets squirrelly on tight curves..  If I ever get time, I want to take my second Aerotrain locomotive and do some mods to the rear truck to see if I could increase the reliability of running.  However, that's in the list of 100 other things I want to find time to do!

I think it is my set I sold John.  Everything you suggested here was applied when I had it.  If the same, the diaphrams should be the only issue.  Actually weighted like a Premier and ran like one also.

Yep, weight and making sure the rear truck has the right balance and freely pivots was key in getting mine running better.  I've found that weight helps 98% of the diesels, a vast majority of them don't have sufficient weight.  The Aerotrain just has other liabilities that have to be addressed as well as the light weight.

I'm sure you remember my picture of my Lionel Amtrak HHP-8, the difference after adding the extra pound plus of weight had to be seen to be believed.  It went from struggling to pull four SuperLiners to pulling ten of them with no problem!  I marveled at the difference at the time, I really didn't believe that much improvement could be obtained!

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Yep, weight and making sure the rear truck has the right balance and freely pivots was key in getting mine running better.  I've found that weight helps 98% of the diesels, a vast majority of them don't have sufficient weight.  The Aerotrain just has other liabilities that have to be addressed as well as the light weight.

I'm sure you remember my picture of my Lionel Amtrak HHP-8, the difference after adding the extra pound plus of weight had to be seen to be believed.  It went from struggling to pull four SuperLiners to pulling ten of them with no problem!  I marveled at the difference at the time, I really didn't believe that much improvement could be obtained!

Well Gunrunner, At least that loco is legal in NJ. It isn't carrying Hollow Points!



BTW, HAs anyone attempted to add Ball Bearings to the coach cars for lesser resistance?

Well Gunrunner, At least that loco is legal in NJ. It isn't carrying Hollow Points!

Boy, I dodged a bullet on that one!

BTW, HAs anyone attempted to add Ball Bearings to the coach cars for lesser resistance?

I think that would be a major task and require extensive mechanical modifications.

In any case, if you really want to reduce the rolling resistance of the Aerotrain cars, there's a much simpler way.  Just run a one-wire tether between the cars for track power and remove the center track rollers from most of the cars.  The difference is astounding, about 50% of the rolling resistance is the center track rollers.  I did that for one customer for the four car set and just ran everything from the engine power.

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