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Running loco on smaller radius track

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Running loco on smaller radius track
Posted by Anonymous on Tuesday, December 3, 2002 4:39 PM
Hello, I recently purchased a loco that should be run on 22" radius track. I have 18" radius track. Can I cause damage to the loco or track, if I run it on 18" radius track. I can get it to run put is does bind a little at slower speeds in some of the curves.
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 4, 2002 11:24 AM
I remember I put an engine of the same size, and when I ran it on a short 18" curve, it fell off the layout
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 4, 2002 12:28 PM
Some of the 3 axle ho models will still run on 18" and a lot of it may depend on excess vertical truck swing.
I have often heard of de-railments but damage to the truck??
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 4, 2002 1:27 PM
Hello Ron,

Operating the locomotive on a tighter radius won't pose any problems for the track. As for the mechanism, that depends on the quality of the locomotive's construction. Of equal concern is keeping cars coupled to the locomotive. I assume the locomotive has a long wheelbase, and hence the ends will swing out wider on curves. That could force cars behind it to derail. If it's a steam locomotive, perhaps you can figure out a way to truck-mount the tender coupler. That would provide more swing for the rear coupler on curves.

Regards,

Paul Schmidt
Contributing Editor
Trains.com
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 4, 2002 2:09 PM
To Paul Schmidt.

Would installing a KD#26 longer shank coulper
on the lead car circumvent a possible de-railment?
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Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, December 4, 2002 9:21 PM
Hello Charles,

You bet, a coupler with a longer shank such as Kadee's no. 26 (or the 21 or 29, depending on the height of the mounting pad) would be a good solution, and the best one to try first, although I'd opt for installing the coupler on the locomotive. That way one car wouldn't be permanently playing tag with the motive power.

Dimensional data for Kadee's no. 26 can be seen at http://www.kadee.com/htmbord/page71.htm.

Cheers,

Paul

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