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Atlas new curved turnout

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Atlas new curved turnout
Posted by John-NYBW on Sunday, June 19, 2022 9:17 AM

I recently had to replace an Atlas #8 curved turnout which was having frequent derailments when full length passenger cars tried to pass through the inside curve. I'm basing this on memory but I believe it was advertised as having radii of 36"/32". This past week I was in my LHS and saw their new curved turnout which now comes in a box instead of a blister pack. They don't present it as a #8 but do give the radii as 30"/22". I would need a side-by-side comparison to my #8 curved turnout to say for sure, but it seems to be the same size as what I had. If they are the same turnout, it would certainly explain why my passenger cars were derailing trying to negotiate a 22" radius curve. 

Does anyone know for certain if these two turnouts have the same dimensions?

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Sunday, June 19, 2022 2:32 PM

How old is this original curved turnout? Code 83 or code 100? I don't remember Atlas selling a curved turnout that big?. 

In fact Atlas never made curved turnouts in their regular track line until the current offerings. There was a brief time MANY years ago when they sold some ROCO track items, curved turnouts, slip switches, in Atlas packaging.

Are you sure the old one is Atlas? Again, how long have you had it?

The problem with curved turnouts described by number is frog angle only has a little to do with possible radius. 

If you need really large curved turnouts you can actually cut the tie connectors and bend an Atlas #6 or #8 into a nice curved turnout.

The other choice of course is to build it yourself.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Sunday, June 19, 2022 3:09 PM

I don't recall Atlas every having a curved turnout with 36/32" radius. OTOH, Walthers #8 has been labeled 36/32 inch from the 90's until they discontinued their old line made by Shinohara.  Those may be found on the secondary market if you hunt around.

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Posted by Medina1128 on Monday, June 20, 2022 6:26 AM

My go-to manufacturer when it came to curved turnouts is Peco. I have one installed on my layout and even my Walthers 85' passengers navigate the #7 turnout. Of course, they have Talgo trucks. I don't know think they'd make it with body-mounted couplers. I just checked on the Walthers website and it says the 85' Budd cars will negotiate 18" curves. I'm sure they look goofy with the overhang, but I'm sure with wider curves, they should look ok.

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Posted by riogrande5761 on Monday, June 20, 2022 10:59 AM

I use both Walthers/Shinohara #8 curved (36/32 nominal) and Peco #7 curved (60/36 nominal).  It depends on the geometry I need.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, June 20, 2022 12:50 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

How old is this original curved turnout? Code 83 or code 100? I don't remember Atlas selling a curved turnout that big?. 

In fact Atlas never made curved turnouts in their regular track line until the current offerings. There was a brief time MANY years ago when they sold some ROCO track items, curved turnouts, slip switches, in Atlas packaging.

Are you sure the old one is Atlas? Again, how long have you had it?

The problem with curved turnouts described by number is frog angle only has a little to do with possible radius. 

If you need really large curved turnouts you can actually cut the tie connectors and bend an Atlas #6 or #8 into a nice curved turnout.

The other choice of course is to build it yourself.

Sheldon

 

I use code 83 rail. I just checked the stamp on the bottom of the turnout I replaced and discovered that it is a Shinora turnout. What made me think it was an Atlas turnout is that it has an insulated frog. All my other Shinora turnouts have powered frogs that require special wiring to allow the polarity of the frog to be flipped. 

This turnout was on one of the earliest parts of the layout that I contructed about 20 years ago. What I find odd is that the Peco #7 curved turnout I replaced it with has broader curves than the Shinora #8. Even though it has been a long time, I'm fairly certain that it was advertised as a 36"/32" radius turnout. I checked the inside curve with my Ribbonrail gauges and the inside curve is not even close to 32". My smallest gauge is 28# and that is close to the inside radius of the turnout. 

If I had it to do over again, I would avoid a curved turnout on the approach to my main passenger station but a reconfiguration of the track at this point would be out of the question.

 

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, June 20, 2022 1:08 PM

Medina1128

My go-to manufacturer when it came to curved turnouts is Peco. I have one installed on my layout and even my Walthers 85' passengers navigate the #7 turnout. Of course, they have Talgo trucks. I don't know thing they'd make it with body mounted couplers.

 

All my passenger cars have body mounted couplers and most of them can take the inside curve of the Peco #7 that I recently installed. The exception is my Walthers Budd cars. I don't know why but these have been a major source of derailment problems for as long as I have had them. I don't have nearly as many problems with their smooth sided Pullman cars and I can't understand why. The Budd cars were all bought on ebay and I don't know how old they are. Maybe the more recent cars don't have the same flaws. 

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Posted by wrench567 on Monday, June 20, 2022 3:07 PM

   John.

  I would suspect the trucks to be the issue. I have some Walther's B60 baggage cars and one was giving me fits. One of the trucks did not swivel freely and was warped. After a few emails and pictures with Walther's they sent me a new one. That one had flash almost blocking the mounting hole and needed a cleanup with a knife and file.

    Pete.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, June 20, 2022 5:08 PM

wrench567

   John.

  I would suspect the trucks to be the issue. I have some Walther's B60 baggage cars and one was giving me fits. One of the trucks did not swivel freely and was warped. After a few emails and pictures with Walther's they sent me a new one. That one had flash almost blocking the mounting hole and needed a cleanup with a knife and file.

    Pete.

 

There are two problems with Walthers passenger cars and they seem to be chronic, coupler swivel and truck swivel. It seems to me the problem is most acute with their Budd cars. I finally got fed up with trying to adjust them to make them work. With two of them I removed the reuseable parts, couplers and wheels, and smashed them to bits. There are a couple more on the chopping block if they don't start to behave. I'm tired of spending so much time trying to fix garbage. It just isn't worth the time or effort to do so. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Monday, June 20, 2022 5:40 PM

John-NYBW

There are two problems with Walthers passenger cars and they seem to be chronic, coupler swivel and truck swivel. It seems to me the problem is most acute with their Budd cars. I finally got fed up with trying to adjust them to make them work. With two of them I removed the reuseable parts, couplers and wheels, and smashed them to bits. There are a couple more on the chopping block if they don't start to behave. I'm tired of spending so much time trying to fix garbage. It just isn't worth the time or effort to do so.  

That's pretty extreme to smash those passenger cars to bits. The Walthers passenger cars can be finicky, but they are fixable.

To me, it is worth the time and effort, particularly because the cars are pricey. If nothing else, sell them on eBay and recoup some of your cost.

Rich

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Monday, June 20, 2022 9:09 PM

The age old lesson here is that minimum curves and maximum sized equipment is living model train life on the edge.....

The great Paul Mallery, aurthor of a number of books on the technical aspects of the hobby, and a primary founder of "The Model Railroad Club" in Union NJ, had some ideas about all this that are still resisted to this day.

https://www.themodelrailroadclub.org/

In his view, 48" radius was the desired mainline minimum in HO to model full length passenger cars and mainline Class I operations - The modular standards follow his recommendations.

In 1966, the young Severna Park Model Railroad club was wise enough to adopt 36" radius as their minimum for mainline and passenger terminal trackage.

WHY? because it works. There was once a web site full of model train info, it is gone now, and I was only able to capture some of it. I never knew the guy or his real name - on his site he identified himself as "bud". He presented endless technical documentation about curves, grades, trucks, couplers, motors, etc, etc - he too was of the opinion that an 85' HO passenger car, even on 36" radius, was working at "the hairy edge" of the engineering.

I know, we don't all have that kind of space. Even I could find no way to meet a reasonable number of my goals in my space with 48" radius as a minimum. I was able to stay at and above 36", with a great many of the curves being in the low to mid 40's.

Most of my passenger cars are 72' long........

Sheldon 

    

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, June 20, 2022 9:30 PM

richhotrain

 

 
John-NYBW

There are two problems with Walthers passenger cars and they seem to be chronic, coupler swivel and truck swivel. It seems to me the problem is most acute with their Budd cars. I finally got fed up with trying to adjust them to make them work. With two of them I removed the reuseable parts, couplers and wheels, and smashed them to bits. There are a couple more on the chopping block if they don't start to behave. I'm tired of spending so much time trying to fix garbage. It just isn't worth the time or effort to do so.  

 

 

That's pretty extreme to smash those passenger cars to bits. The Walthers passenger cars can be finicky, but they are fixable.

They aren't worth fixing. I spend too much of my hobby time trying to fix garbage merchandise. If I have to fiddle with something for more than 15 minutes to get it to work the way it should have right out of the box, it's going in the trash, in tiny little pieces. I then cross that company's product line off my list. I did that with Walthers passenger cars a long time ago.  

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Posted by John-NYBW on Monday, June 20, 2022 9:53 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

The age old lesson here is that minimum curves and maximum sized equipment is living model train life on the edge.....

The great Paul Mallery, aurthor of a number of books on the technical aspects of the hobby, and a primary founder of "The Model Railroad Club" in Union NJ, had some ideas about all this that are still resisted to this day.

https://www.themodelrailroadclub.org/

In his view, 48" radius was the desired mainline minimum in HO to model full length passenger cars and mainline Class I operations - The modular standards follow his recommendations.

In 1966, the young Severna Park Model Railroad club was wise enough to adopt 36" radius as their minimum for mainline and passenger terminal trackage.

WHY? because it works. There was once a web site full of model train info, it is gone now, and I was only able to capture some of it. I never knew the guy or his real name - on his site he identified himself as "bud". He presented endless technical documentation about curves, grades, trucks, couplers, motors, etc, etc - he too was of the opinion that an 85' HO passenger car, even on 36" radius, was working at "the hairy edge" of the engineering.

I know, we don't all have that kind of space. Even I could find no way to meet a reasonable number of my goals in my space with 48" radius as a minimum. I was able to stay at and above 36", with a great many of the curves being in the low to mid 40's.

Most of my passenger cars are 72' long........

Sheldon 

 

I established 36" as the minimum radius for my mainline with the outside curve of my double track mainline being 38". I compromised that standard for the approach to my passenger station thinking I could get away with it. That has proven to be a mistake. Most passenger cars I've seen sold claim they require only a 24" minimum radius but that is bull. So was the Shinora claim that their inside radius of their #8 turnout was 32". My gauges indicate it is about 28". You can see the passenger cars binding up as they take a curve that tight. Maybe if they had truck mounted couplers that would work but except for Rivarossi, I don't know who makes full length (80' or more) passenger cars with truck mounted couplers. 

I remember reading Allen McClelland's book about his V&O and he discussed this issue and showed pictures of how much better full length passenger cars looked on 48" radius track. This was long before I began planning my current railroad. I wish I had paid more attention to that. 36" works but if you go below that you are asking for trouble from your 80' passenger cars. I could have gone for broader curves when I planning the layout but it would take too much rebuilding to retrofit it now. The Peco #7 has proved more reliable for most of my passenger cars but not all of them. 

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Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 6:12 AM

I have established a 32" minimum radius for curves on my layout. If I could afford the space, I would move up to 36" minimum radius. The use of 40" minimum radius for curves would only be in my dreams. All that said, even if I had the space, a 48" minimum radius for curves does not seem to be necessary at all.

Rich

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Posted by Doughless on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 8:26 AM

John-NYBW
If I have to fiddle with something for more than 15 minutes to get it to work the way it should have right out of the box, it's going in the trash, in tiny little pieces.

Sidebar rant:

I sell it.  I've probably returned/resold 75% of the model railroading stuff I have ever bought.  Yep. Its amazing how many products simply don't work as you expect them to.

Not about passenger cars, but I just received 2 Atlas U23bs with Loksound V5.  They vibrate when they run.  I can see it, and I can hear the couplers chatter when coupled to a car and the sound is on mute, proving what I'm seeing.  Doesn't happen with other Atlas Loksounds, but it did also happen with Intermountain U18Bs back when they came out.

Oh well. On they go to the return bin or the resale market, like the majority of stuff I bought over the past two years.  

Its got to be because of changes in manufacturing processes/ third party vendors nearly each and every time a new run of something is produced.  No consistency.

- Douglas

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 12:13 PM

richhotrain

I have established a 32" minimum radius for curves on my layout. If I could afford the space, I would move up to 36" minimum radius. The use of 40" minimum radius for curves would only be in my dreams. All that said, even if I had the space, a 48" minimum radius for curves does not seem to be necessary at all.

Rich

 

But close coupled with working diaphragms, they look so good once you get around 40" and above. And when you start talking about double  track, your outer tracks get up around 40" pretty easily even with 36" as a minimum. Just look at my layout and consider the multi track concentric curves, and ones that are bigger, just because the room is there. Most of my 36" curves are viewed from the inside, another advantage of viewing the layout from inside the circle.

Yes, I have put a lot of thought and into all these details over the years.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by John-NYBW on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 7:06 PM

Doughless

 

 
John-NYBW
If I have to fiddle with something for more than 15 minutes to get it to work the way it should have right out of the box, it's going in the trash, in tiny little pieces.

 

Sidebar rant:

I sell it.  I've probably returned/resold 75% of the model railroading stuff I have ever bought.  Yep. Its amazing how many products simply don't work as you expect them to.

Not about passenger cars, but I just received 2 Atlas U23bs with Loksound V5.  They vibrate when they run.  I can see it, and I can hear the couplers chatter when coupled to a car and the sound is on mute, proving what I'm seeing.  Doesn't happen with other Atlas Loksounds, but it did also happen with Intermountain U18Bs back when they came out.

Oh well. On they go to the return bin or the resale market, like the majority of stuff I bought over the past two years.  

Its got to be because of changes in manufacturing processes/ third party vendors nearly each and every time a new run of something is produced.  No consistency.

 

One of the reasons I have regretted investing as much time and money into this hobby as I have is the overall poor quality of the products being sold. If I bought a toaster and it didn't work right out of the box, I wouldn't spend two seconds trying to fix it. It would go right back to Walmart. So why when we buy substandard merchandise in this hobby, we think it's our responsibility to try to make it work? It makes no sense.

I remember about a year ago making the statement in another thread that 75% of the merchandise in this hobby is junk and lots of people took exception to that statement. To me, any product that doesn't work perfectly out of the box, that requires me to tinker with it, is a piece of junk. One of the reasons my layout is taking so long to complete is that I have to spend so much time fixing things that don't work as they should. I'm done spending time fixing junk. I'm not going to buy much new stuff for my layout so I probably won't be returning stuff to my LHS but I'm not going to bother with existing junk. I suppose I could get a few bucks for it trying to sell it on ebay but who needs the hassle. I'd rather have the satisfaction of destroying it. At least I'd get something for my money.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 7:46 PM

John-NYBW

 

 
Doughless

 

 
John-NYBW
If I have to fiddle with something for more than 15 minutes to get it to work the way it should have right out of the box, it's going in the trash, in tiny little pieces.

 

Sidebar rant:

I sell it.  I've probably returned/resold 75% of the model railroading stuff I have ever bought.  Yep. Its amazing how many products simply don't work as you expect them to.

Not about passenger cars, but I just received 2 Atlas U23bs with Loksound V5.  They vibrate when they run.  I can see it, and I can hear the couplers chatter when coupled to a car and the sound is on mute, proving what I'm seeing.  Doesn't happen with other Atlas Loksounds, but it did also happen with Intermountain U18Bs back when they came out.

Oh well. On they go to the return bin or the resale market, like the majority of stuff I bought over the past two years.  

Its got to be because of changes in manufacturing processes/ third party vendors nearly each and every time a new run of something is produced.  No consistency.

 

 

 

One of the reasons I have regretted investing as much time and money into this hobby as I have is the overall poor quality of the products being sold. If I bought a toaster and it didn't work right out of the box, I wouldn't spend two seconds trying to fix it. It would go right back to Walmart. So why when we buy substandard merchandise in this hobby, we think it's our responsibility to try to make it work? It makes no sense.

I remember about a year ago making the statement in another thread that 75% of the merchandise in this hobby is junk and lots of people took exception to that statement. To me, any product that doesn't work perfectly out of the box, that requires me to tinker with it, is a piece of junk. One of the reasons my layout is taking so long to complete is that I have to spend so much time fixing things that don't work as they should. I'm done spending time fixing junk. I'm not going to buy much new stuff for my layout so I probably won't be returning stuff to my LHS but I'm not going to bother with existing junk. I suppose I could get a few bucks for it trying to sell it on ebay but who needs the hassle. I'd rather have the satisfaction of destroying it. At least I'd get something for my money.

 

John, there is one fatal flaw in your thinking, may I politely explain.

A single model train item does not exist in a vacuum - it must "try" to play well with products from dozens of other manufacturers, who may or may not be following the "recomended" standards and practices.

To get the result you are seeking, you should have bought Marklin trains - a single proprietarty system, thoughly tested against its own standards to provide total compatiblity and superior performance - and it does.

"American" HO model trains started as a "builder" hobby, a "craftsman" hobby, where items had to be assembled from kits, built from scratch, and adjusted to work.

The NMRA, which today so many are unwilling to support, worked for decades to create an environment where RTR HO trains could even begin to exist. 

UNDERSTAND, I am not "bashing" the current RTR trends in the hobby. 

But it is impossible for every manufacturer to test every product, under every condition that users will create laying their own track, designing their own layouts, and constructing these these things with various skill levels.

Are some products better than others? Sure. Are some products built to lower price points and thereby include compromises in performance, detail or accuracy? You bet.

Are some users completely inept?

Are other users highly skilled and experianced in the mechanics of these little machines?

Do some users like to tinker and make stuff work no matter what? 

Until two decades ago, this was without question a hobby for those who liked building models and had a good skill set with the same.

I will say this, I have no interest in paying extremely high prices for trains of "Marklin" quality - others will disgree.

Have some products disappointed me - sure. Broadway Limited is low on my satisfaction index - others will disagree.

Bachmann has made a wide range of quality, detail and different target customer products over the last 30 years - selectively, I am very happy with their products - yet some of their products are simply not acceptable to me.

There are no "track" police to make sure all track performs with all equipment.

Maybe what we need is layout construction police - no 85' passengers cars sold to people with 28" curves????

Despite the best efforts of Bachmann, Broadway Limited, MTH, Rapido, and now Walthers, Athearn, Scale Trains and every company selling this stuff - at its highest level, this will never be a completely "plug and play" hobby.

A passenger car does not track well? Figure out why, add some weight, learn the physics. 

I know a guy in this business who builds "perfect" layouts for those unable or unwilling to build their own - would you like his number?

This hobby is a broad tent, lots of differnt ways to approach it and enjoy it. But past a circle of EZ track, it reqiures some skills and some patience. 

I can honestly say in my 65 years I have never become "angry" at an inanimate object. Frustrated yes......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by nealknows on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 8:26 PM

John-NYBW

There are two problems with Walthers passenger cars and they seem to be chronic, coupler swivel and truck swivel. It seems to me the problem is most acute with their Budd cars. I finally got fed up with trying to adjust them to make them work. With two of them I removed the reuseable parts, couplers and wheels, and smashed them to bits. There are a couple more on the chopping block if they don't start to behave. I'm tired of spending so much time trying to fix garbage. It just isn't worth the time or effort to do so. 

John, I too get very frustrated with the Walthers passenger cars. However, I did find a 'fix' to make them run a little better on those tighter curves. 

I had ordered from Kato their HO KATO Passenger car Coupler Adapter for Kadee® Standard Shank Coupler, 2 ea so that their Superliner Cars will run around my 24" curves in one area. This part works great. I had an extra pair and decided to replace the Walthers coupler pocket with the Kato coupler pocket. I did this to one of the earlier Walthers Amfleet I cars. And it worked! I did it to 2 more cars and while the cars themselves don't run as well as they should, going around those tighter curves lets the cars run without coming off the tracks. 

http://www.katousa.com/images/85065K.jpg

Before you smash any more cars, try it. If not, don't smash them to pieces. I'll be more than happy to take them off your hands...

Neal

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Posted by Medina1128 on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 9:03 AM

John-NYBW

 

 
Medina1128

My go-to manufacturer when it came to curved turnouts is Peco. I have one installed on my layout and even my Walthers 85' passengers navigate the #7 turnout. Of course, they have Talgo trucks. I don't know thing they'd make it with body mounted couplers.

 

 

 

All my passenger cars have body mounted couplers and most of them can take the inside curve of the Peco #7 that I recently installed. The exception is my Walthers Budd cars. I don't know why but these have been a major source of derailment problems for as long as I have had them. I don't have nearly as many problems with their smooth sided Pullman cars and I can't understand why. The Budd cars were all bought on ebay and I don't know how old they are. Maybe the more recent cars don't have the same flaws. 

 

I guess I should have clarified. My Walthers passenger cars are all Budd 85' cars.

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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 10:30 AM

nealknows

 John, I too get very frustrated with the Walthers passenger cars. However, I did find a 'fix' to make them run a little better on those tighter curves. 

I had ordered from Kato their HO KATO Passenger car Coupler Adapter for Kadee® Standard Shank Coupler, 2 ea so that their Superliner Cars will run around my 24" curves in one area. This part works great. I had an extra pair and decided to replace the Walthers coupler pocket with the Kato coupler pocket. I did this to one of the earlier Walthers Amfleet I cars. And it worked! I did it to 2 more cars and while the cars themselves don't run as well as they should, going around those tighter curves lets the cars run without coming off the tracks. 

http://www.katousa.com/images/85065K.jpg

Before you smash any more cars, try it. If not, don't smash them to pieces. I'll be more than happy to take them off your hands...

Neal

 

Thanks for the suggestion but I'm tired of wasting time and money on inferior merchandise. I'm not going to throw good money after bad by trying to fix junk. It's easier just to throw the pieces in the trash and refrain from buying more junk in the future.

Why should it be the responsibility of the consumer to find a fix for shoddy merchandise. If Walthers can't make passenger cars that function perfectly right out of the box, I just won't buy any more of their cars. I could forgive an occasional lemon, but problems with Walthers passenger cars seem to be chronic based on problems that others have had and written about on these forums.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 11:55 AM

John-NYBW

 

 
Doughless

 

 
John-NYBW
If I have to fiddle with something for more than 15 minutes to get it to work the way it should have right out of the box, it's going in the trash, in tiny little pieces.

 

Sidebar rant:

I sell it.  I've probably returned/resold 75% of the model railroading stuff I have ever bought.  Yep. Its amazing how many products simply don't work as you expect them to.

Not about passenger cars, but I just received 2 Atlas U23bs with Loksound V5.  They vibrate when they run.  I can see it, and I can hear the couplers chatter when coupled to a car and the sound is on mute, proving what I'm seeing.  Doesn't happen with other Atlas Loksounds, but it did also happen with Intermountain U18Bs back when they came out.

Oh well. On they go to the return bin or the resale market, like the majority of stuff I bought over the past two years.  

Its got to be because of changes in manufacturing processes/ third party vendors nearly each and every time a new run of something is produced.  No consistency.

 

 

 

One of the reasons I have regretted investing as much time and money into this hobby as I have is the overall poor quality of the products being sold. If I bought a toaster and it didn't work right out of the box, I wouldn't spend two seconds trying to fix it. It would go right back to Walmart. So why when we buy substandard merchandise in this hobby, we think it's our responsibility to try to make it work? It makes no sense.

I remember about a year ago making the statement in another thread that 75% of the merchandise in this hobby is junk and lots of people took exception to that statement. To me, any product that doesn't work perfectly out of the box, that requires me to tinker with it, is a piece of junk. One of the reasons my layout is taking so long to complete is that I have to spend so much time fixing things that don't work as they should. I'm done spending time fixing junk. I'm not going to buy much new stuff for my layout so I probably won't be returning stuff to my LHS but I'm not going to bother with existing junk. I suppose I could get a few bucks for it trying to sell it on ebay but who needs the hassle. I'd rather have the satisfaction of destroying it. At least I'd get something for my money.

 

My opinion is a little less extreme.  I don't blame the producers per se.  I blame the nature of the market that we have all evolved to, for which the producers have to meet by developing new and better products....and still meet reasonable price points using current manufacturing processes.  Each new model is seemingly designed from scratch, not leveraging similarities between models or production similarities.  Atheran BB used the same basic construction of their products, for example.

I wont be specific as to the producer. I bought a new run of a boxcar.  It did not roll....it didn't roll...each of the three I bought, because the axle rubbed against the coupler box assembly.  Did I say that they did not even roll...MSRP $35...but they have GREAT detail, LOL.  I had to file down the coupler box assembly.  Ok, but...

Its a 50 foot boxcar, modern era.  This company makes several 50 foot boxcars.  I get that underbody details are slightly different amongst the prototype, but this boxcar's underbody has a different way of being assembled, causing the coupler box housing to hit the axle.  What, they have to change the way the underbody fits into the shell?   Why?  Its a 50 foot boxcar.

I have heard that the new Walther mainline 3281 2 bay covered hoppers have 33 inch wheels.  A problem that seems to stem from a manufacturing process that treats that covered hopper differently than other covered hoppers that all get the correct 36 inch wheels installed.

I buy locos with ditchlights.  Oftentimes they are installed crooked...the bulbs in the housing shine sideways.  Those are almost impossible to fix without rewiring the tiny housing.  I don't even try.  Back they go to the seller.  

Another loco has its ditchlights illuminated by a long bezel/light pipe where the bulb is attached to the chassis.  The light has to travel though a long pipe.  Can hardly see the light.  Not defective, just a poor design.   Back it goes to the seller.

My two new U23Bs vibrate.  I replaced the OEM Loksound 21 pin V5 with an aftermarket Tsunami2 GE sounds 21 pin decoder.  They still vibrate despite the decoder swap.  Lightboard design...its not the same as the other locos they just made?   Back they will go to the seller.

PreOrder...phooey. Can't see a real model, only an artist's rendering. 

Got 2 locos that got blue paint jobs so bright it would be fitting for a car-show hot rod.  Back they went.

Another one was silver.  Silver with metal flake, LOL.  Metal flake sparkly silver even on the hand rails.  Back it went.  

Scale Trains Rivet Counter series covered hoppers...the high end series.  Roofwalk painted silver..smooth...but so bright and mirror like finish I thought they were chromed.  Back they went. 

When I buy new, I know that there is a greater than 50% chance it will be sent right back.  I've been churning products until I find stuff that works correctly or resembles railroad colors, etc.  A minor file down of a coupler box I can handle...but still, none of them even roll?

BTW, I have heard that Peco designed and sold a type of turnout that would cause shorts from metal wheels running over it.....LOL.

- Douglas

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 12:43 PM

John-NYBW
One of the reasons my layout is taking so long to complete is that I have to spend so much time fixing things that don't work as they should. I'm done spending time fixing

John, I'll respond to this thought:

A few years ago, I bought two locos that I really wanted for my shortline.  Twins. They are diesels, DCC Sound.  They BOTH chugged badly right out of the box.  Lurched at all speeds.  The motors screeched to. 

A drivetrain problem.  I eventually had to disassemble them both, leaving only the motor on the frame and the decoder/wires attached to the motor.  The drivetrain was disassembled.

It took hours.  If I'm going to have to spend time assembling and repairing a loco I just bought, I'd just as soon by a used product from a seller on ebay selling it as junk/repair.

The hobby is supposed to be about spending time adding to the products you buy.  Detailing, weathering, modifying to personal tastes.  Even assembling kits has an orderly purpose to it.  It should not be about spending time repairing things first.

- Douglas

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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 2:48 PM

Doughless

When I buy new, I know that there is a greater than 50% chance it will be sent right back.  I've been churning products until I find stuff that works correctly or resembles railroad colors, etc.  A minor file down of a coupler box I can handle...but still, none of them even roll?

I'm in complete agreement but I wish I had developed this intolerance for shoddy merchandise years ago. For too many years, if a bought a loco or rolling stock that had flaws, I took it upon myself to fix it. A few years ago it dawned on me. Why am I spending my time trying to fix a brand new piece of merchandise. I wouldn't do that with any other consumer product I buy. Why would I do that with a flawed model railroading product? 

It's a little different when buying used. Most of the used merchandise I buy is on ebay and while I often have the option of returning it, it's usually more hassle than it's worth. I more inclined to try to tinker with an ebay purchase.

Ebay is a hit or miss proposition. My other hobby is golf and last year I bought an Odessy putter online that was described as having "cosmetic damage". When I received it, the cosmetic damage turned out to be a bent shaft which made the putter unusable. I immediately contacted the seller to get a refund. Not only did I get my money refunded, but the seller told me to keep it because even he realized it wasn't worth the shipping cost to have it returned. I ended up straightening out the shaft and put a new $20 grip on it, so for the cost of the grip, I ended up with a premium putter.

Then there is my recent episode with Amazon. I ordered one of those 50' expandable hoses. I received the 25' model. Amazon can always be counted on to make good on problem merchandise. They sent me a new one and I returned the other one at their expense. I just got the replacement and checked to make sure it was the 50' model. The label said it was. When I unpacked it and hooked it up, I discovered it too was a 25' model. Apparently somebody at the factory mislabeled a whole bunch of 25' hoses as 50' models. This one is going back too, only this time I'm getting my money back.  

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Posted by selector on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 2:59 PM

John-NYBW

 

 
...

Why should it be the responsibility of the consumer to find a fix for shoddy merchandise. ...

You would not be compelled by my reasoning, but I hope you'll give it some thought:

More and more, society is a system.  In systems thinking, what happens in one place affects others down the line.  If one part of a system process goes wonky, it should affect the rest of the system so that it can adjust.  When you don't offer feedback, or take the time to require a seller to compensate you for defective products, you lose, and so do they.  You lose the use of your money and the time you had in which to enjoy the product you purchased.  They lose the feedback that would, if they're the least bit responsible and interested in making you and others whole who might have similar complaints, induce them to examine their product and its processes in assembly and improve it.

Smashing a product is like kicking the tire after it goes flat.  It accomplishes nothing, and I don't believe you for a minute that it makes you feel better in doing it.  Instead, you continue to stew and seethe for the rest of the day.  The next morning, you're no further ahead, and the defective items are still for sale because nobody would rather ask for their money back than to smash the product and render it unsalvageable. 

I won't tell you I have never done as you did.  I have.  But I realized, in being honest with myself, that I had acted poorly and ineffectually.  I don't do it any more.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 3:14 PM

John, 

Because of how and when I came up in this hobby, I have never bought a locomotive or piece of rolling stock with the assumption that it would, or could, meet all of my needs and standards right out of the box - be it RTR or kit form.

Have I bought stuff that was defective? Sure. Did I return it or get some other reasonable remedy? In most cases yes. 

And I have recieved excellent service from Bachmann, Intermountain, Athearn, and others. Broadway Limited, not so much - not really something they could not control, but the atitude was pretty indifferent.

But there is not one locomotive, or one piece of rolling stock, in my roster, that is exactly the way it came out of the box.

Examples:

EVERYTHING gets genuine Kadee couplers.

ALL passenger cars get long shank body mounted Kadee couplers, close coupling and American Limited diaphragms. One standard so they all work together. Some get new trucks or wheelsets, many get extra weight.

Most freight cars get my trademark trucks  - Kadee sprung metal trucks re-equiped with Intermountain code 110 wheelsets.

No semi scale couplers, no code 88 wheels, performance over appearence.

EVERY steam locomotive gets extra weight in the tender and often extra weight in the boiler.

Years ago I published on this forum a detailed list of very minor upgrades that greatly improve the performance of a number of the older Bachmann Spectrum locos.

And nearly all my locomotives are kit bashed, or modified in some way.

Walmart is not really interested in taking the toaster back if you have rewired it.....

Why do I do all these upgrades? That's how you get reliable operation of 50 car trains.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by maxman on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 3:39 PM

Doughless
I have heard that the new Walther mainline 3281 2 bay covered hoppers have 33 inch wheels.  A problem that seems to stem from a manufacturing process that treats that covered hopper differently than other covered hoppers that all get the correct 36 inch wheels installed.

You heard this?  Do you know this for a fact, or are you just spreading erroneous information?  Out of curiosity I looked up that model on the Walthers website.  States that the model comes with "correct 36 inch rp-25 metal wheelsets".

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 3:51 PM

Doughless
 
John-NYBW
If I have to fiddle with something for more than 15 minutes to get it to work the way it should have right out of the box, it's going in the trash, in tiny little pieces. 

Sidebar rant:

I sell it.  I've probably returned/resold 75% of the model railroading stuff I have ever bought.  

I guess that returning/reselling beats smashing it up into tiny little pieces.

But, 75% ???

Both of you guys need MR therapy. Laugh

Doughless

When I buy new, I know that there is a greater than 50% chance it will be sent right back.  

Geez, I wouldn't want to be your seller.  Confused Confused

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by John-NYBW on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 5:16 PM

I guess I just have this goofy idea that a consumer product should work properly when it is brand new without the customer being required to tinker with it. It's called quality control and reputable companies practice it. 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, June 22, 2022 6:05 PM

John-NYBW

I guess I just have this goofy idea that a consumer product should work properly when it is brand new without the customer being required to tinker with it. It's called quality control and reputable companies practice it. 

 

Again, John, how are the manufacturers supposed to accomplish this with all the possible variables?

Have you ever designed and manufactured a model train? Or any product for that matter?

Aside from clear "defects" it seems to me some of your expectations are unreasonable - BUT, you are not alone based on a lot of what I have read on this forum in the last few years.

Did it ever occur to you that maybe hundreds or thousands of other people have bought that same product and had no problems? And maybe some number of people have had the same problems - it gets back to all those varibles.

For decades some people have spent a lot of time calling everything Bachmann makes junk. But I have 40 steam locomotives and 6-7 diesels of theirs that work great for me. And yes they did replace 3 locos for me that were not working correctly. 

I have only bought 7 BLI locos, two had major problems they did not have parts for, two others had minor problems I fixed - not a good percentage compared to Bachmann.

But look at all the people on this forum who would say just the opposite? How do we explain that?

You never seem to give a lot of details, but a lot of these problems sound like pretty simple coupler, truck and weight issues.

I've been doing this since age 10. I figured out by age 14 that different brands of passenger cars often did not play well with each other because of different truck/coupler designs combined with modeler attempts to run on too sharp a curve.

It was true back in the day with Athearn, AHM, Herkimer, American Beauty, Walthers, and it still true today with all these highly detailed models made in China.

In fact, I look at what passes for diaphragms on most of these $100 passenger cars and that ends the conversation right there.

I don't buy them because I know in advance they will not meet my standards.

But just because they don't meet my standards does not mean they are bad products.

As models become more detailed and more accurate, their features start to interfere with their opperation on our "selectively compressed" curves and turnouts.

Yet, this is possible:

With no derailments or problems...

But it will never be available "out of the box".

Sheldon

 

 

    

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