Just received and put into service my first (last?) Davenport. I was initially impressed with the construction and detail. I wired it for battery operation and put it to work. I was stunned when I found out it has the same flaw (with a single power truck) as do the two truck Shays! This flaw is - when going down hill (2-3% grade) the power train binds up releases, binds up release … etc. I won’t go into this as the Shay problem has been beat to death here on MLS and if you are interested I am sure you can locate a lot of it in the archives.
For its size the little sucker is a good puller on flat ground or up hill.
Hey Ted, thanks for the Update, it's the first I've heard of a "Surge"....I assume a "fix" or "procedure" will/may come to light soon.....My railtruck surges beyond any real usefulness on my current layout (those grades to be rectified soon)...but you may have just saved me $150+....
Dan, it's not a universal problem. After reading these reports and seeing George's video, I went back and checked mine. No troubles with surging at all on grades up to 8%. Obviously George's and Ted's do exhibit some level of trouble, so I'm not disputing the existence of the problem, just the prevalance of it. I have found on other models that a copious covering of a good, slick grease will at the very least mitigate the surging problem, and in some cases completely cure it.
George, Has your Davenport improved any in the time you've had it? I have one that I wired for battery power. I like it, but the surging in the downgrades is annoying. I followed you advice and packed the gearbox with lubricant. It improved somewhat, but it's still annoying.