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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm finalizing a layout expansion that includes--I couldn't avoid it--a 5% grade. I run a new aristo Pacific, usually pulls three or four heavyweights, it makes it fine. And a Bachman Annie, usually pulls three Bachmann J&S cars with no problem. I have an Aristo Mikado that slips when it pulls 12 freight cars (all metal wheels). But it always slips at the same place
The grade begins on a 3 foot section of Split-Jaw "walk on" railbed--that's where the slip happens

The wheels on the Mikado, but not the pacific or the Annie, slip when they are on the walk on railbed. They don't slip when they get past the walk on, even though the same five percent grade continues. The Mikado is also inclined to slip on a second piece of walk on railbed which is dead level.
So why is it slipping here? At first I assumed it was the smaller Mikado drivers coming off the track because the grade was too sharp--in other words, that it was on the rails at the pilot and trailing trucks, but not under the drivers. I went out and carefully leveled and supported the railbed--still slipping. The place where it started to slip did change as I moved the supports around. But the walk on is much better leveled, and much more even, than other places on regular track at the same grade where it doesn't slip. Maybe the wheel treads are resting partly on the plastic bed, and not on the rail? It doesn't look like it

Any ideas?

here's a picture of the problem area:



It's on the lower right side
 

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Hmm... Is the plastic above the rails so the wheels are lifting off the brass?
 

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My guess would be the flanges are hitting the plastic, as you said, thus raising the drivers just a tad, enough to not get a good grip.
 

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Perhaps more likely than my guess.
 

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Could it be the track sags in the middle of that section slightly, in combination with the Mike having a bit too much support from the leading and trailing wheels?
 

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flanges are too tall. they are riding on the grey plastic in the bottom of the flangeway.
 

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Four things to check:
1. Are the grooves too shallow and lifting the wheels off the track?
2. Is the gauge of the center section too wide and creating drag on the back of the wheels?
3. Is the track gauge too narrow and creating drag?
4. Is the center section too high and creating drag or lifting the motor block?
 

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Check to see if all the drivers are making rail contact at that point. Try slipping a piece of paper between each wheel and the rail. A slight dip in the track and/or slightly different height on middle drivers could mean that your 2-8-2 is only a 2-4-2 at that point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks everyone--I used a dremel router to deepen the flangeways and take a little material off the plastic close to the top of the rail--that seems to have made a very big difference. The Mikado pulled the same consist it was failing to pull earlier
 
G

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nearly every possibility named allready, i see just one more possibility.
might the material of the rails of the "walk-ons" be harder, i.e. with a less "rough" railhead, than the rest of the track?

on my last layout i could better traction on grades by using sanding paper on the railheads. but not rubbing in the direction, the rails are laid, but sideways.
 

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So, the problem was solved by deepening the flangeways and trimming the plastic outboard of the railhead.

Any idea WHICH of these was the problem?

I was considering buying some of this from SJ, and I am now having serious second thoughts! I don't want to pay a lot of money for 50 feet of this stuff only to have to hand-finish it!

(Do you have any way to measure the flangeway depth on an un-modified piece?)

Regards, Greg
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think it was deepening the flangeways that did it, but it also seems more prone to bellying on a grade. It'a clearly not meant to go on a grade and supporting it well has helped.

I have a venier caliper and I'll try tomorrow to get a flangeway depth measurement. I have another unmodified piece that's level.

I noticed that at the factory they had already adjusted the depth of the plastic not on the flangeway side, but on the other side. I also noticed that in a couple places the plastic was still VERY close to the level of the top of the rail

It's good for walking on, works well.I use a stiff broom to clear tiny pebbles, maple seeds, etc. from the flangeways. One thing they di not do that IMHO would have been smart was cut a channel in the bottom for running wires. I cut one myself on a table saw
 

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Thanks!

Looking forward to a measurement, that will save a lot of grief.

I wonder if besides the wire channel, having some drain holes in the bottom of the flangeway would not be a good idea?

I might email them after I get your data and see if suggestions are appreciated.

Regards, Greg
 

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I had couplers hitting on the Aristocraft version. To fix mine, I removed the rails and added washers under the rails and now all rolling stock goes through much better.

The rails on the Arsito were below the level of the plastic. raising the rails fixed all the problems.
 
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