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Discussion Starter #1
My loving wife got me a polar express traditional lionel 1225 loco and tender. Its a 2 8 4. I love it!! Im having trouble with the back truck dragging on track and shorting. Also having trouble with derails at my 027 switches. I have 3 postwar engines that have no trouble. Please advise
 

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The back truck is 'dragging'? Do the wheels sit flat on the track and do they turn?
What part of the engine derails on the switches? Going through the switch straight, or the diverging route?
Remove the rear truck if you can, and see if performance improves.

Larry
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The flat draw bar on very back of truck is basically touching track so it shorts. Almost as if the spring is not stiff enough. I dont believe i can remove the truck, there is a wire connected to it.
It derails when it is going over the switch straight. If i go extremely slow over them it seems to work. Ive attached pic of switch
 

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Is that engine actually rated for 027? The post war 736 Berkshire needed 031 minimum.

Pete
 

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Set the loco and tender on the track without attaching the drawbar. See if you can tell which drawbar is low. You should be able to gently bend it up using two pair of pliers. Sometimes the tender drawbar gets bent down overtime from hooking them up and lets the whole thing ride low.
Your probably derailing because the low drawbar is following the center rail into the curve on your switch pulling the truck off.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have all post-war engines running on traditional O gauge 3 rail track my other three have no issue with these turn out switches it seems that it is derailing because the front guide seems to be not swiveling I have figured out the drawbar tissue it is the little plastic clips that hold the truck again pictured in the last picture anyone know where I can order some of those are what they are called? I have also attached pictures have the turnouts that seem to be derailing the train it's always when it enters the switch not exits
 

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The pictures appear to show a bad misalignment with the straight coming out of the switch and maybe looks bad out of level over there by John Wayne. Did you lay that track before or after those Keystone Lights?:oops:
You can check Lionel for those keepers on the truck. If you know anybody with a 3D printer have them make some.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Haha, yur funny, no they were consumed after. I see the misaligned track, ill fix.
Also are these switches ok to use with this loco?
The manual says "minimum curve 0-54" what does that mean?
 

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If you have the starter set Polar Express locomotive then I believe you're looking at the incorrect manual if it says O-54 Minimum curve. O-54 is the curve diameter of 54 inches and the small Polar Express locomotives are capable of going down to at least O-31. They also did a version using their scale Berkshire tooling which would be what the O-54 rating is for. A past separate sale Polar Express starter size locomotive was rated at O-27 minimum curve according to Lionel's website so I don't believe your curve diameter is the issue.

One thing to check that I believe has been a problem in the past for truck swing is the ground wire that screws to the truck frame and then runs up to the electronics in the body. I believe I've heard of those arriving without enough slack to allow the truck to swing. This could be your problem. As I recall, the wire rides in a brass grommet in a slot just above the center of the truck.

Your part info is below and available from Lionel, although they're currently closed due to the virus. If you look up that part number you might get lucky with another shop that's still selling online or even eBay.

6208616339AXLE BEARING / PLASTIC / PILOT / TRAILING TRUCK
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Great!
Thank you!! Yeah i just download the manual from online, it was for a newer model im pretty sure. My tender is a traditional air driven whistle so its basically traditional o scale postwar loco and tender. It goes around the curves fine, its all in the switches. It is like the truck isnt swiveling right, ill check the wire.

I actually ended up emailing lionel a picture of what im needing and they are sending me some for free!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you, i couldn't find that manual anywhere.

Also, i got all figured out needed to tweek tweak track. Also, the traction that was on the rear drive wheels was too wide and caused derail. I took off and used electrical tape strips, problem solved. No derails at switches or track.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Is it just me or are the new locos not near as forgiving as the usa made ones from 50's?

I appreciate everyone's help!!
 

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Yes, I think the post war stuff had bigger wheel flanges. I have a bunch of locos from pre war to current modern and very seldom ever have a derail but I had a 2-8-0 with scale wheels that I couldn't keep on the track. It would derail everywhere and anywhere.
 
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