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crashing to the floor stories, post up

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crashing to the floor stories, post up
Posted by thomas81z on Sunday, January 28, 2018 6:15 PM

today i was running my 4019big boy & stupidly i left off theside guard along side the bridge , well it derailed at crashed to the floor , it runs but im going to spend some time 

bring it back to life with the plastic details .

I learned a valuable lesson today, [Expression removed by moderator] i know im not aloneCrying

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Posted by Heartland Division CB&Q on Sunday, January 28, 2018 7:20 PM

Floor model.

Been there; done that. 




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Posted by 7j43k on Sunday, January 28, 2018 7:33 PM

It's sort of a tradition.

Mine was a Mantua Pacific.



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Posted by selector on Sunday, January 28, 2018 7:43 PM

Been there.  It's like age spots on your'll get 'em eventually.  Duck, weave, flee,...makes no never mind, you'll get tagged.  And you'll drop at least one engine, or let it run off the layout.  In my case it was three of them.

Sorry for your pain.  It's a great lesson.  I guess...

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, January 28, 2018 7:43 PM

Oddball wants you knock it with them negative waves.

Rio Grande.  The Action Road

Silly Aspie's, I have NT syndrome

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Posted by zstripe on Sunday, January 28, 2018 7:50 PM

I had an all brass Balboa Mike take a nose dive from the second level of My layout in a tunnel to the concrete floor below. The tunnel interior was hollow, did not have any track guards installed yet! Expensive lesson learned. Was never able to get it right again.....too much damage to the boiler front and frame.....still have it though in pieces in glass jars....Dead

The train on the top level coming out of the tunnel.......the brass was going in:

I was going to paint it all rusted up and set it next to the roundhouse maybe some day......

Take Care! Big Smile


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Posted by SouthPenn on Sunday, January 28, 2018 10:10 PM

Too many to mention. 

I thought about putting a net beneath the roadbed.

South Penn
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Posted by doctorwayne on Sunday, January 28, 2018 10:14 PM

I've had a couple such mishaps.

This one, a Bachmann Reading Consolidation, with a pancake motor, dropped about 5' to the floor, on a former layout....

Despite its current appearance, it sustained no apparent damage, and is still a decent runner, although it's not currently in use.

On my current layout, I was doing a little switching in South Cayuga (see drawing below), but thought that I heard another locomotive running somewhere else....

I can't see the whole layout from that location, so I walked around the peninsula to check that all other tracks had their power switched off (straight DC operation, with all fascia-mounted toggle switches in the "OFF" position).

I returned to my switching, spotting and picking up cars, the locomotive shuttling back and forth as required.  I thought that I could still hear another locomotive moving, but because that wasn't possible, dismissed the thought.
After a while, it was time for the train to move on to the next town.  As it trundled out of town, I thought that I heard another locomotive running and a few seconds later, heard something hit the concrete floor.

Not sure of where the mishap was, I came around the peninsula and discovered that a locomotive, similar to the ones shown below, was on the floor near the entrance to the room.... the time, the area shown was a single track.  I usually parked my "coal train" there, as the power to that siding was controlled by the turnout, near the doorway, and it was always aligned for the mainline - no power to that staging track. 

Since I wasn't running any trains in that area, the lift-out at the doorway...

...was not in place. Bang HeadStick out tongue

On the floor was a modified Bachmann Consolidation, its front Kadee coupler broken off at the shank.   The tender, still electrically plugged-in to the locomotive, was otherwise separated from the loco, as the plastic pin which fit into the drawbar was broken right-off at its base, the tender's coal load scattered on the floor (loose coke breeze - made from coal and looks sorta like coal, but probably messier, dust-wise, at least.
Hanging over the abyss was the second locomotive, the lead truck and first three driver sets completely off the end of the rails.  The only thing preventing it from hitting the floor, too, was the hundred-ounce weight of the trailing train, and the fact that the drawbar and couplers had all held.
Since my switching operations involved a lot of back-and-forth movements, the coal train must have been moving in the same manner, never quite getting to the aisle until the train I was operating got back on the mainline, heading for the next town.

The locomotive on the floor suffered no other visible damage, and was quickly repaired and put back into service.  Crews dubbed her the "Lucky 26"...

Several years later, I began to have trouble with her, losing power and generally just not running properly.  Upon disassembly, I discovered some internal damage where the weight and motor connected to the chassis, and I can only assume that it occurred in that mishap.  A mounting boss had broken-off completely, allowing the weight, motor, and belt-driven worm to disengage from the running gear.

Once the problem was discovered, it was easily repaired, and the loco put back to work.  Perhaps a testament to the durability of Bachmann locomotives.

When I added a partial second level to the layout, with its own staging yard above the existing one, I double-tracked the one which normally held the coal train, and installed ON/OFF toggles for both tracks, readily seen at glance.  So far, no serious mishaps, but I do have several areas with potential.

About 4' to the floor here...

...only 3' here, same height as the coal train incident...

...almost 5' here...

...and 5' here, too...

...and a couple of opportunities here, although I might get a lucky bounce...



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Posted by gmpullman on Sunday, January 28, 2018 10:56 PM

Somewhat similar to Wayne's scenario, except that it can happen in DCC as well.

I was making a quick layout check of a newly acquired locomotive. Don't recall which one now but, of course, the DCC address was the default 3.

With the new engine on the main I prepare to "dial-up" address 3 and I make a quick mental note... "any other locomotives on the layout with address 3? Nah, can't be."

Well, after a minute or so I "think" I hear another locomotive moving, but I'm convinced this cannot be so. Then— I hear the dreaded crunch.

My one-and-only MTH locomotive, which had been giving me fits when trying to set a different address on it's Super Angry DCS decoder WAS still on address 3!

As Murphy would have it, the engine happened to be on one of the few tracks that curve close to the edge of the layout. That NYC Empire State Express engine took a hit square on her nose and mashed in the front cowling.

Pretty much 90% of the engine is die-cast zinc alloy. After a little disassembly I was able to carefully coax the bent portion of the framework right back into position Yes if I recall the tender's Kadee coupler took a hit, too.

Having the engine disassembled gave me the chance to yank out the silly smoke-puffer, too. I finally figured out how to change the address to the engine number, too, so all is well in that department.

Cheers! Ed

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Posted by Medina1128 on Monday, January 29, 2018 12:17 AM

This thread is exactly why I:

  • Have a 4" minimum distance from any track to the edge of the layout.
  • Installed drop guards in ALL of my tunnels.
  • Feed power FROM the lift-up and drop-down sections to the approaches. No power to the approaches prevents trains from falling into the great concrete abyss.

 With that being said, I've carried buildings to the layout and thinking that I cemented the roof on, had the rest of the building hit the floor. 

Yosemite Sam swearing

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Posted by Southgate on Monday, January 29, 2018 3:07 AM

Having a pretty secure layout as far as driving equipment over the edge forced me to find other creative ways to creat mayhem. This little scratch built freight car repair shop was in the harms way when a masonite back drop panel decided to fall into the layout. You can see the panel leaning up behind the flopped over train in the back of the picture.

 Hosted on Fotki

I picked up every last sliver of damaged wood from the building and sorted it all out.

And reassembled it.

It's been relocated for other reasons, but the panel has been secured so it can't do that again. Dan

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Posted by rrinker on Monday, January 29, 2018 7:27 AM

 I only had 2 of the 4 sides of my old layout done and was demonstrating a loco with a short train. In reverse. I killed the throttle but the loco coasted more than expected, dumping the last 2 cars right off the edge to the cement below.

 The good news, both cars were Kato covered hoppers. You may remember these came as kits, which more or less snapped together, no glue necessary. So, after locating all the parts, I basically got to build them all over again. They used a tough engineering palstic that most glues don't touch anyway, so even parts like the stirrup steps bench and detached rather then broke off. And since it was a springy plastic, returned to normal shape. Still have them, still run perfectly fine.



Modeling the Reading Railroad in the 1950's


Visit my web site at for construction updates, DCC Info, and more.

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Posted by Howard Zane on Monday, January 29, 2018 10:05 AM

This is a fun and possibly educational thread. Years back when I completed the line to Union Camp through a long tunnel which ran up to the ceiling, many of my cohorts came over for a mini celebration complete with beer and pizza. I assmebled a short work train with all scratch built cars headed by an OMI brass B&O S1 2-10-2. No sooner did the train enter the tunnel from the north side, we heard all types of screeching and the second worst sound on the planet.......a brass loco hitting concrete after a 600+ ft scale drop. This was then followed by probably the third worst sound.....5 scratch-built wood cars hitting concrete. During this period of complete mayhem, 15 of us witnessed the world's first HO scale earth quake as rocks, bushes, trees, and whatevers began cascading down from the huge slope.

Unknow to us, Sam, my 26 pound Maine Coon cat was in the tunnel sleeping right on on the mainline. The S1 most likely plowed into him driving Sam straight up to the inboard ceiling of the tunnel. Being the cat lover that I am, I did not cook Sam the cat that evening, but did devise a fool proof cat door which has served well for the last twenty years.

Enjoy and hopefully learn.........



Howard Zane
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Posted by GP-9_Man11786 on Monday, January 29, 2018 10:06 AM

This happened a few years ago when I decided to wire up the two new staging yard tracks  and unfortunately it did not go smoothly. Wiring up the track itself went fine. I ran the wire to the control panel and soldered it to the track feeders. The problems started when I went to run a test train around the new track. I noticed the train (really a light engine) would stall on the second turnout in the yard ladder. I took out my multi meter and checked the turnout. I ultimately came to the conclusion the common rail wasn't getting power.

At any rate I decided to solder in some new feeder wires to the short spacer tracks between the turnouts. One soldered on with no problems. The other? Well, see for yourself...

The second feeder wire decided to put up a fight and refuse to solder to the rail. I ultimately ended up causing the ties to melt and the wrecked the whole spacer! So I spent the next hour cutting a new track and then gritting my teeth and cursing under my breath trying to get it in place. 
If that wasn't bad enough, in the process of fighting with the track, I manged to give the table a bit of a bump. This resulted in the N Scale equivalent of 10.0 on the Richter Scale. Several cars of a freight train parked at that end of the layout derailed and the engine, my I1sa 2-10-0 took a tumble to the floor.
The I1 did not emerge unscathed. The tender drawbar was broken. That was easily fixed with CA. The bigger problem is the valve gear crank pin. It had sheared off on impact. These old Minitrix engines have been out of production for quite some time, so replacement parts are nearly impossible to come by. The engine ended up out of service for few months until I tracked down the needed parts.
After all that consternation I didn't even manage to solve the problem. Engines are still stalling in the same spot. Anyway lesson learned, when the universe is against you, just toss in the towel. It's not worth fighting because you ain't gonna win.

Modeling the Pennsylvania Railroad in N Scale. 

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Posted by BroadwayLion on Monday, January 29, 2018 10:32 AM


Give the traian crew one last chance to pay attention before their train runs off the edge of the bridge...

Make them strong enough tosop your train. : )


On layout of LION:

Train ain't getting past this station.!



Smile, Wink & Grin


The Route of the Broadway Lion The Largest Subway Layout in North Dakota.

Here there be cats.                                LIONS with CAMERAS

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Posted by Pruitt on Monday, January 29, 2018 10:47 AM

For many years, I wanted a brass model of the Great Northern P-2 mountain locomotive. When I finally got one, I had it pulling a train of tank cars across an unscenicked area of my layout. It hit a dirty section of track and stalled.

Since it was not within easy reach, I nudged it with a piece of flextrack - right onto the cement floor below!

The thud when it hit almost made me sick. I still remember that sound.

It cost me a couple hundred dollars to get it repaired.

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Posted by tin can on Monday, January 29, 2018 11:07 AM

This has happened to me twice, you could say i am not a fast learner.  I don't even remember details, except that the first incident involved an Atlas GP7; broke the couplers, bent the frame.  Before I could fix the loco, I found a replacement at a train show.  Second incident involved a Kato C44W-9.  Several parts were broken, but a phone call to Kato had replacements on their way, and today the locomotive is good as new.

I remember an incident at a modular set up at an early Dallas train show at least 35 years ago.  We were building a layout that today would be best classified as Free-Mo, all handlaid track, and using the Onboard control system.  During setup, when no locomotives were to be run, someone just had to run his brand new brass steamer. He was told to stop running several times.  He didn't listen. It nose-dived off one end from about 4 feet onto bare concrete.  Ouch!

Remember the tin can; the MKT's central Texas branch...
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Posted by rrebell on Monday, January 29, 2018 1:50 PM

Never had the happen, however I have knocked plenty of good stuff off the layout etc. Got some damage from some of those too.

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Posted by marksrailroad on Monday, January 29, 2018 4:22 PM

So far I've been lucky but then I run my trains very slow and never turn my back on them. I do however have a friend that had a French TGV fly off the layout and hit the floor. It cracked the wind screen and dinged the engine shell all up...

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Posted by cowman on Monday, January 29, 2018 5:44 PM

As a youngster, for some reason I used a turnout as a section of curved track.  No known reason why.  Somehow it got turned to straight and pre-war Lionel 0-6-0 dove to the floor, damaging connection with tender.  Dad was able to repair, but have been cautious about dives ever since.

Good luck,


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Posted by Drumguy on Monday, January 29, 2018 8:51 PM

I managed to crash a loco into a Tortoise switch machine. Beat that! I was reinstallmg a poorly aligned tortoise, when my dog came down and started barking like crazy. OK, the weather is nice, so I run Bonzo out, and decide to throw him some balls for awhile. When I get back to the layout, I throttle up a loco—spacing off that I had not reinstalled the tortoise and it was laying across the rails about a foot from an unscenicked area of spline roadbed—-that will eventually be a fairly high bridge. Loco hits floor. Tortoise does not. Go figure.

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Posted by ricktrains4824 on Monday, January 29, 2018 10:07 PM

I had just installed a turnout near my old layout edge, to extend the yard by one extra track. 

Test running a train into said track, no problem. 

Switched to another train, on the track alongside, no problem. 

Then I attempted to pull the test train out, and forgot to reset the turnout...

It stopped, as it was slow speed, but silly me, I just spun the throttle up a bit more. 

Yup... The loco jumped the rails, and the layout. Indifferent

Fortunately, as I was close to that spot, when I seen the loco derail, I dove. I hit the floor.... But I had caught the loco in my hand. Only damage was some bent handrails. 

The first railcar, I missed, but it simply needed a new coupler, and a replacement wheelset. The second car, dangled off the layout edge.

However, my family was asking what in the world that big thud was! Laugh 

After that, before any trains got ran, the layout edge guards were in place. 

Those guards also kept my "cat-zilla" from being able to go "cat-zilla" on the layout as well, so it's a win-win! 

Ricky W.

HO scale Proto-freelancer.

My Railroad rules:

1: It's my railroad, my rules.

2: It's for having fun and enjoyment.

3: Any objections, consult above rules.

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Posted by nealknows on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 8:44 AM

We've all been there at one time or another (well, many of us..). I was building my O scale around the top of the wall track and adding some 1"x8"x8' sections of wood to the supports and needed to check some clearance, so I brought out my full length 85' passenger car, not realizing that the where i put the car, the wood was not secured to the supports. The wood started to dip and the car did a Peter Pan right off the wood from 8' above... Needless to say it was beyond repairable. 

Live and learn..


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Posted by Howard Zane on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 10:51 AM

Well I guess I could add another tale...........During early days of construction I had built a huge viaduct from plaster which I fashioned from a sheet styrene mold. Then I spent countless hours carving in stones and other details. I rarely brag about my work, but this thing came out almost perfect and after staining and highlighting stones....even better! during this period layout was still mostly open frame and roadbed. I had placed the viaduct on a scrap of plywood supported by two crossmembers of the open benchwork. All seemed fine an secure as I was preparing for installation when one of my cats jumped on the cat did not knock over the viaduct, I did by trying to remove the cat who was considerably more coordinated than me and probably would not have damaged it of even touched it.

Well the viaduct was so destroyed that it seemed like I could have put the plaster powder back into the bag and start over. I did not, and since, all viaducts on my pike are built from .040 styrene and are of concrete prototypes. I love the stone look, but I'm chicken to again try to carve one.



Howard Zane
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Posted by selector on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 11:53 AM

A very skilled modeler who hasn't posted here in perhaps 10 years left the forum shortly after his wife destroyed his nicest scene.  On purpose.

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Posted by csxns on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 3:35 PM

Zip it!

10 years left the forum shortly after his wife destroyed his nicest scene. On purpose.
Wonder if he went to jail


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Posted by richg1998 on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 3:39 PM

Been there, done that, have the T shirt.

It's a Male thing.



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Posted by hornblower on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 7:09 PM

While I, too, have had a train car or two hit the floor, the worst instance of a model hitting the floor occurred after I spent a ton of time creating a slot car from a plastic scale model Ferrari.  Once I got it running the way it should, I took it to a local hobby shop that had a HUGE multilevel track.  The track climbed up to the ceiling and back along one side of the store. Because many of the turns were banked and slot cars do tend to come off the track, the shop owner had installed catch nets to keep cars from hitting the floor so I thought I was safe.  Wrong!!!  My car was running surprisingly well on one of the upper levels when it suddenly leapt out of the slot, like the guide shoe had hit something stuck in the slot.  It slid into the nearest banked turn then down the bank and into the catch net, or so I thought!  Murphy made sure it landed in the only place where there was a tear in the net.  My model fell about 12 feet to the floor with obvious consequences.


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Posted by PC101 on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 10:01 PM


Too many to mention. 

I thought about putting a net beneath the roadbed.


A friend needed something to catch a train, just in case it fell off the track. He looked a Onion bags and the likes. One day I was driving past a Golf Course and saw that wall of a net to catch golf balls so they would not hit cars going past, BINGO! Went to a W-M store and looked a minnow netting that would be used to catch minnows in a creek. That was the ticket, cheap and plentyful. 

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Posted by Bayfield Transfer Railway on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 12:21 AM


Oddball wants you knock it with them negative waves.


I been thinkin' nothing but good thoughts about that bridge for the last three days!

Disclaimer:  This post may contain humor, sarcasm, and/or flatulence.

Michael Mornard

Bringing the North Woods to South Dakota!

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