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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have two Athearn SD38 engines and both tend to derail quite often, sometimes in different spots on the layout and sometimes in the same spots. All of my other engines and rolling stock seem to run just fine on the layout. I have a feeling that there is something not quite right with the wheels (or maybe it's not the wheels), they chatter a lot whenever the engine is turning. All my turns are 22'' radius and this particular problem occurs on a level part of the layout. This engine can navigate this turn in the "forward" direction. The problem is if I run it in reverse I get this derailment. I'm posting this because there are other areas on the layout that these loco's derail traveling in either direction.

Has anyone else had this problem? Any Ideas on how to stop that annoying and possibly problem causing chattering? Thank for any input, this problem is really frustrating :mad:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lmn--tpyk_A
 

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the peice of track or tracks where the train is derailing, the rails are to far apart and the loco's wheels are the minimum width apart from each other. Solution replace the bad track.
There is dirt sruck somewhere on the wheels of the loco or the rail causing it to jump the tracks. Solution clean all loco wheels and track all of the track not just the top.
 

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Well that is interesting especially seeing the BLI doing just fine. I also have a single diesel engine that loves to derail and it's an Athearn SD60M. All my other engines do awesome, including several Atlas sd70's and Bachmann C44W's.
 

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I had this issue on to locomotives. Both Athearn BB, one an sw1500 the other a DD-40. The the problem was not the wheels or track in my case. The contact on the SW1500 was binding when the truck turned close to an extrem. It would not easily come back to center. The bar that connected the trucks to the motor needed to be re-bent. In the case of the DD-40 the the prior owner had used wire to replace the bar. Unfortunately the wire used was not flexible enough to allow the trucks to turn fully, Thus on 22r and less turns it derailed. Replacing the wire allowed the DD-40's trucks to turn freely.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys for the input. I was really hoping to fix the problem without replacing the track but in the end that's what I did and the problem is solved. That was on the outside loop, now to the inside loop, there's a section of track there where even the BLI derails. I don't know if I ever had one of my 4 axle road switchers derail anywhere on the track...The six axle jobs seem to give me a lot of problems. I would like to pick up a Kato or an Atlas to see if those run better, now I just have to find the road names I want.
 

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Before watching the video, I thought it might be a case of the metal "hose" on the coupler hanging too low and lifting the front wheels off the track. After watching the video, I am not sure what to think. I would go with tkruger's idea that maybe the truck is turning to the left, but something is preventing it from coming back to center easily. Maybe just make sure it is not getting hung up on something after it turns to the left.
 

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A four axle loco will generally corner better in tighter radiuses than a 6 axle. This becomes even more of an issue with steamers. If the track is off a little bit you can have issues. I have also found that if the track is tilted twords the outside of the curve there can be an issue.
 

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yes 6 axle trains don't handle tigh turns and radiuses so you will either need to put larger radiused track in or just not run the loco's on the inside.
 
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