Steam locos and trackwork

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  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • 186 posts
Steam locos and trackwork
Posted by stuartmit on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 5:50 PM

I may not be the  ask craftsman in the world, but I doubt that I’m the worst either. I have all sorts of trouble whose cause I can’t ever locate keeping leading and trailing trucks on the rails.  I am using gargraves track and Ross turnouts in some stretches and 027 tubular track elsewhere. The difficulties are not at transition; they are at places like a junction an 027 straight and an O42 curve. Or entering a Ross double curve turnout  from the “wrong” end.


i do find my 2046 is better than my turbine on this score but it is really annoying.  Any comments on how to find these invisible (to me) problems.

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
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Posted by Penny Trains on Tuesday, December 26, 2017 6:42 PM

I have similar issues with American Flyer locos.  The biggest cause is probably that I run them NASCAR style in a never ending left turn but there are other issues.  Springs of the type used on pilot trucks are usually made from fairly thin wire and over time they just get weak.  Replacing them can help.  Older track (especially tubular) also tends to bend and spread with use as those heavy cast locos roll over them.  This too can throw a loco onto the ties or into a gateman's lap.  And you're right, some trucks are way more sensitive to minor imperfections than others.  Clean, straighten, tighten and strengthen.

Big Smile  I'm Cuckoo For Choo Choo Stuffs!  Big Smile

  • Member since
    June, 2002
  • From: Ohio Valley
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Posted by LL675 on Wednesday, December 27, 2017 8:57 AM

check the wheels for chips in the flanges, there should be (on some at least) a spring to push the truck down on the track. Check to see that the track doesn't have any low spots or dips. Out of 30+ steamers, most run without any hitches, but there is always a trouble maker in the crowd. 


It's a TOY, A child's PLAYTHING!!! (Woody  from Toy Story)

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    March, 2013
  • 412 posts
Posted by BigAl 956 on Friday, December 29, 2017 3:08 PM

I can’t ever locate keeping leading and trailing trucks on the rails

I have found that often the problem is the truck spring has worn out. Replacing the spring with a fresh one restores the truck pressure and keeps them on the rails.

  • Member since
    November, 2007
  • 186 posts
Posted by stuartmit on Tuesday, January 02, 2018 7:38 PM

Got rid of problems , Without actually locating them. I took the track up and relaid it. It must have been in some slightly different position and the problem seems to have vanished. It is annoying not to be able to see what's causing the problem. But I am glad it's gone. Thanks To all.

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