Running in the rain???

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Running in the rain???
Posted by Oakhurst Railroad Engineer on Wednesday, December 21, 2016 5:33 PM

What is your experience running in the rain?  A couple of people I have talked to say it is no problem.  Do you do it? What issues have you had?  Do you dry off the locos after use?  What steps to keep your powerpack dry?

Tags: rain

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Posted by ttrigg on Thursday, December 22, 2016 12:06 AM

On several occasions I have run trains after the onset of rain. Much more often I have continued to run the trains when the sprinkler system decided it was time to water the plants. As a confirmed 'analog dionsauer' I run my garden empire exactly as I ran HO and N scale years past, from a single control pannel. To keep the weather out of my controls, 3 power supplies, and banks of switches for 'hot/dead' rails and electric turnout control switches, I built a weather proof desk. Don't have a pic handy, think of a 1950's style school desk where the writing surface lifts up to a book & notebook storage area. The control desk also gives me a work surface to do any needed maintenance. Drying the engines is simple enough, inside my storage shed is a large workbench. I spread a beach towel across the bench and set the engines & cars there to self dry over night. Issues; a week after the first wetting by sprinklers one of my skeleton logging cars refused to stay on the rails. A quick exam showed that the lube had been washed out of the truck pivot and one axle. Since then a quick lube check after all water exposure have been effectvie. The one time I went out to run trains for two hours in the rain the prime issue was a three day fever and a massively running nose. Now that my age excedes the posted freeway speed limit I refrain from running the trains in both cold and wet days. Long story short, operation in the rain can be more detrimental to you than your trains. The digital guys may have issues with their onboard logic circuts I have no experience with.

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Posted by Oakhurst Railroad Engineer on Thursday, December 22, 2016 10:10 AM

"Long story short, operation in the rain can be more detrimental to you than your trains." - This is a great observation.  Thanks ttrigg!

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Posted by emdmike on Thursday, December 22, 2016 4:54 PM

LGB made thier stuff almost 100% water proof.  Sound engines were the exception.  Live steam could care less about rain as its designed to get wet and any RC equipment should in water proof enclosues.  That said, I usually bail indoors when it rains as the drops hitting my skin is like a knife blade being stuck in me due to sensory issues from autism.  Mike

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Posted by Oakhurst Railroad Engineer on Thursday, December 22, 2016 5:45 PM

I'm running DC with a Bachmann 3 T Shay.  No standing water (yet) to run through.

Sounds like I am good if I can keep the rain off the power pack with a large patio umbrella.  I only would need to do this if I had an operating session scheduled with people coming over.  I run a combination of indoor HO connected through operations with the outdoor g-gauge.  I wouldn't want to cancel the whole operating session just because of some rain ... and it sounds like I don't have to.

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Posted by emdmike on Thursday, December 22, 2016 6:48 PM

I should say in your operation manual or DVD if they shay is weather proof.  I dont know about Bman products.  Just LGB and Live Steamers.  Check out Accucraft's 2 truck 3 cylinder shays.  Its so much more satisfiying when its running on real steam.   I dropped track power 3 years ago, converting 3 engines to onboard battery and the rest is live steam.  I converted my LGB C&S mogul, LGB 0-6-2 Austrian engine and one odd ball Kalamazoo 4-4-0 that pulls my special Autism train.  I have a Roundhouse Argyll 0-6-2 live steamer.    Mike

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Posted by PVT Kanaka on Thursday, December 22, 2016 7:58 PM

Living in Hawai'r, rain is a given.  I asked the same question about a year ago, and got roughly the same answer from Tom!  My throttles are 1980-2 vintage and not waterproof, so I just made sure the wires were long enough to grab both, make it to the lanai, and let the trains keep going.   All that being said, I do note that for me I often have connectivity issues from track to track during and immediately after the rain.

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Posted by ttrigg on Thursday, December 22, 2016 11:32 PM

Oakhurst Railroad Engineer

I'm running DC with a Bachmann 3 T Shay. 

The Shay will require MUCH more care than any other engine. "Disconnect" the drive shaft expansion joints during drying time. The underside of the power block can collect moisture during run time. Run a 'Q-tip' up there. Maintenance time for other engines take 5~8 minutes, Maintenance time for my BMann 3 truck shay is closer to 35~45 minutes. 

For me, Shays and hysters fall into a catagory of "in such a rush to do it because we can, we forget to think if we should."

My other Bmann equipment has had no problems. One time the Bmann open side, 2 axle trolly fell from the bridge and spent about 20 minutes at the bottom of the Koi pond (about 5 feet deep) before rescue. The K-27 does not care, nor does the Connie.

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Posted by Greg Elmassian on Monday, December 26, 2016 9:59 PM

There are no really waterproof trains. There are ones that do not feed water into the insides, but water splashing will get into the bearings, etc.

So proper maintenance is important. I have sound in all of my locos, and many have unprotected speakers.

This speaker got wet from sprinklers in an Aristo RS-3+

 

 

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Posted by Curmudgeon on Tuesday, January 31, 2017 6:28 PM

We run in the rain. If it's raining when we are going to run, we run. Oh, and if it starts raining whilst we are running, we keep on.

In over 20 years, we have "called" the session due to raun when you could not see the next station. We get those types of rainfalls periodically.

I regularly lube my stuff anyway, nothing special after a rainy running.

I design my conversions to be as well protected from water as I can gtet it, up to and including siliconing the coal pile/oil bunker down tight to the shell.

Worst are diseasemals with open fan grilles. Sometimes I will cut and glue a plug under a fan that has electronics below that point.

You may want to consider voltage losses due to wet ballast on track power.

Can be a whole lot.

But nobody wants to hear that.

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Posted by emdmike on Wednesday, February 01, 2017 9:33 AM

Sorry Greg, your wrong again.  Just go watch the LGB videos from years ago of the first 2018d moguls running in basicaly a layout in a big dishwasher to test resistance to rain/moisture.  I have personal sent my 2020 Stainz into the pond, where it rested for over an hour before I noticed the wreck.  I took it out, shook it off and put it right back on the track to run.  These are NON sound engines.  And I can only speak of German era LGB with no sound.  Such as the Stainz and its variations, the moguls, Harz 2-6-2t and Austrian U class 0-6-2's.  That was one feature that LGB harped on, along with the elephant proof track, they the trains were totaly weather proof, rain/sun/snow.  But again, this is in the pre sound era.  Sound adds lots of electronics, and the early boards were huge compared to todays that could be, made water proof as is done on RC cars/trucks.  The old Radio Shack project boxes and common balloons tied off are a couple ways to water proof electronics that are smaller in size.  Or better yet, keep a couple older LGB engines or a manual controled live steamer for rainy day runs.   Next question is whether the operator of said train is waterproof???    Now back to running trains.   Mike

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Posted by Greg Elmassian on Friday, February 03, 2017 2:41 PM

If you did not lube your train after it sat in the water, then most likely bearing wear will be accelerated, and if you re-read my post this is what I mention.

Waterproof means immersion has no effect..

There are no trains with sealed waterproof bearings.. period.

Can you get them wet and then dry them out and re-lube them and not suffer damage? Yes, but that is not waterproof.

Greg

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