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> Pioneer update, Trials and tribulations
Oldbiker
post 2 Jun 2020, 10:38
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Some years back I purchased a FIA Trains pioneer diesel locomotive 10000, new from the distributor, for the first 2 years of its life in never came out the box, (big mistake), other than to glance at it when first purchased, when I finally got round to running it, I was sorely disappointed, the very first curve it jumped the track, and the next, It also did not like points, on straight track it run very smoothly, so Im guessing that when it was tested before dispatch, it had been only run on straight track, any guarantee it came with had long expired, so I set about sorting the problem myself, problems I found where: a) the inner end of each bogie caught on the under carriage, so I carefully filed the corners off the bogie to give it more clearance when the loco was negotiating a curve. That resulted in no improvement, B/ with the bogies removed I pushed them along the track and soon as it negotiated the curve the front wheel lifted! I concluded the because all 3 sets of wheels had flanges, there was not enough lateral play, so I removed the centre wheel flanges too both bogies, reassembled them, and felt confident that all would be well, err no, there was a definite improvement, but it was still up-to its old tricks of derailing for no obvious reason, at this point i put the model away in a display cabinet till another day, well that day was yesterday, when I re-looked at it again with an open mind as what to do, again I removed the bogies, placed them on a flat surface and noticed one was twisted, it was rocking on opposite corner wheels, don’t know why I didn’t notice this before,
so C) I gently twisted the bogie frame in the opposite direction until the twist was corrected, put it on the track, coupled it to another loco, pushed it and pulled it round the layout and surprise surprise, it stayed firmly on the track, however when I put the other bogie on the track that wasn’t twisted, and pulled it with the loco, it came off at every opportunity, at this point I was about to give up with this loco all together, but while staring at it I noticed that the leading wheel set looked like the where set narrower than the other two, and it was, D) using my back to back gauge, I eased the wheel out along the axel 1mm till the gauge fitted, reassembled everything, left the body off, placed it on the track, applied power, and watched in amazement as it travelled without any problems, the body is now on and I’m running it in, still cannot believe it’s working.
I have had model trains most of my life, and I have never had the difficulties I’ve had with this loco, no more will I take for granted that because a loco is new that it’s ok, from now on, it will be test run, and if not doing what it should, it will go straight back to where purchased.
Note: the tightest curve on the layout is a second radius, and it negotiates this comfortably now.
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Anthony Richards
post 2 Jun 2020, 13:03
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I seem to remember reading reports of poor handling when these first came out. The general complaint then - if I remember correctly - was that the diesel could only manage the most gentle of curves.

Pleased to hear that you have sorted your's out.

Tony
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Oldbiker
post 2 Jun 2020, 14:09
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Thank you for your input today Richard, I thought I would put my experience of this loco on here in case anyone has had similar problems, I must admit it is running perfectly now, even though its taken some years to rectify.
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34C
post 2 Jun 2020, 16:26
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QUOTE (Oldbiker @ 2 Jun 2020, 11:38) *
... no more will I take for granted that because a loco is new that it’s ok, from now on, it will be test run, and if not doing what it
should, it will go straight back to where purchased...

I know this will be difficult on occasions, but this is a very sound principle. Allow me to suggest that confirming that it runs and
stays on the track might just be the start in discovering whether it is 'good'. Ideally run the model for long enough to discover the
annoying 'infant mortality' failures of relatively low cost components such as gears and motors which are typically immediately
and quickly rectifiable by parts supply or simple exchange while the batch of models from which it came is new to market. My
opinion is that about ten hours running at mid speed finds these out (I usually go for 12 hours).

My data are not statistically significant, because a sample of a couple of hundred locos is by no means sufficient, but I have found
examples of the common 'infant mortality' failures reported by others by this method; and haven't had any subsequent failures 20
years on. (Evidence of significant wear on some specimens now appearing!)
QUOTE (Oldbiker @ 2 Jun 2020, 11:38) *
... the tightest curve on the layout is a second radius, and it negotiates this comfortably now.

This is the only account I can recall of someone removing the centre wheelset flanges on each bogie of this model to make this
possible. I feel most owners would have flinched from doing this on a relatively expensive item.
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Graham Plowman
post 3 Jun 2020, 01:54
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Many of the new models we are seeing today are serious models which are very accurate representations of their prototypes. As a result, they come with limitations on the curves they will traverse.

They are NOT toys.

I think the expectation that serious models should be able to go round train-set radius 2 curves is completely un-reallistic. People need to fix the problem (sharp curves) instead of blaming the symptoms (seriously accurate models which people have been calling for for years).

Having said that, there is no excuse for twisted chassis/bogies, wheel B2Bs which are under-gauge and poor mechanics.


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Graham Plowman
(British outline 00 - NCE PH PRO-R, Lenz 100 - DCC Sound and computer controlled signalling/interlocking of Ashprington Road with SSI software)
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hoonsou
post 3 Jun 2020, 05:40
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Not every one has the luxury of enough space to use prototypical curves. I have half a double garage 19 feet by 8' 6" and can't get the sort of radius you're talking about. Where does that leave me and others in the same boat? I don't want an end to end layout, so maybe I should give it all away?


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34C
post 3 Jun 2020, 16:41
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QUOTE (Graham Plowman @ 3 Jun 2020, 02:54) *
Many of the new models we are seeing today are serious models which are very accurate representations of their prototypes ...
I think the expectation that serious models should be able to go round train-set radius 2 curves is completely un-realistic ...


What I feel is missing is initiative from the RTR manufacturers in communicating how they tackle the issue. It is not beyond the
wit of man to have a plan whereby models which are intrinsically challenging are tooled so that overall exterior appearance is
uncompromised, with the compromise(s) to enable second radius operation as concealed as possible; and an alternative option for
a less compromised model (probably by fitting alternative parts) with an understanding of the minimum radius this entails. In my
opinion the market is sufficiently informed to take this on board; as some of this already happens, loco to tender spacing options,
alternative flanged wheelsets, alternative bogies with scale diameter wheels, optional detail parts that require testing against the
layout curves. (Out of the box it runs on R2, here's what you can alter if your layout curves allow, or for display purposes.)
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Graham Plowman
post 3 Jun 2020, 23:02
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QUOTE (hoonsou @ 3 Jun 2020, 15:40) *
Not every one has the luxury of enough space to use prototypical curves. I have half a double garage 19 feet by 8' 6" and can't get the sort of radius you're talking about. Where does that leave me and others in the same boat? I don't want an end to end layout, so maybe I should give it all away?


With 8' 6" and allowing for space either side, you should be able to achieve a radius of about 3' 9", possibly a little larger.
I note that Radius 2 is documented as 438mm which is about 17 inches ie 1' 5".

So why on earth are you using 1' 5" radius curves when 3' 9" curves will fit ?

The common problem I observe (unfortunately encouraged by 'track plan' books) is that people build what I call 'wall hugger' layouts where track literally hugs the walls of a room and curves round off each corner of the room.

Why not dispense with RTR toy train-set curves and use flexi track and put a proper 3' 9" radius curve around each end of the room ?

While 3' 9" isn't my personal choice, it's one hell of a lot better that 1' 5" radius!


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Graham Plowman
(British outline 00 - NCE PH PRO-R, Lenz 100 - DCC Sound and computer controlled signalling/interlocking of Ashprington Road with SSI software)
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Graham Plowman
post 3 Jun 2020, 23:13
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QUOTE (34C @ 4 Jun 2020, 02:41) *
What I feel is missing is initiative from the RTR manufacturers in communicating how they tackle the issue. It is not beyond the
wit of man to have a plan whereby models which are intrinsically challenging are tooled so that overall exterior appearance is
uncompromised, with the compromise(s) to enable second radius operation as concealed as possible; and an alternative option for
a less compromised model (probably by fitting alternative parts) with an understanding of the minimum radius this entails. In my
opinion the market is sufficiently informed to take this on board; as some of this already happens, loco to tender spacing options,
alternative flanged wheelsets, alternative bogies with scale diameter wheels, optional detail parts that require testing against the
layout curves. (Out of the box it runs on R2, here's what you can alter if your layout curves allow, or for display purposes.)


I think that at the end of the day, it comes down to compromise at a number of levels.

Since the 1990's, modellers have been calling for more accurate and better quality models. And the manufacturers have delivered.

Now we are telling them that these super-accurate models won't go round trainset curves and we somehow expect the manufacturers to 'un-accuracise' their models so that they will go round trainset curves!

Manufacturers are caught between a rock and a hard stone and have very little lee-way to manoeuvre !

I believe that the manufacturers are doing the right thing. If their model doesn't go round my Radius 0.5 curves, then tough, that's my problem and I should fix my track so that the model will go round my curves. I cannot expect to have a super-reallistic model, only to put it on toy trainset curves and expect it to look reallistic!

Having said that, I do think it is reasonable for manufacturers to do things like different loco/tender distance adjustments, expanding couplings (Bachmann MK1's et al) etc but there is a limit on how far compromise should go. Once a manufacturer goes past a certain point, they are not making models any more. They are making toys. The very thing that many people have been encouraging manufacturers NOT to do.

Anyone who has ever hand-built locos will be very well aware of the issues faced by manufacturers in terms of curve radii.


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Graham Plowman
(British outline 00 - NCE PH PRO-R, Lenz 100 - DCC Sound and computer controlled signalling/interlocking of Ashprington Road with SSI software)
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hoonsou
post 3 Jun 2020, 23:46
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QUOTE (Graham Plowman @ 4 Jun 2020, 09:02) *
With 8' 6" and allowing for space either side, you should be able to achieve a radius of about 3' 9", possibly a little larger.
I note that Radius 2 is documented as 438mm which is about 17 inches ie 1' 5".

So why on earth are you using 1' 5" radius curves when 3' 9" curves will fit ?

The common problem I observe (unfortunately encouraged by 'track plan' books) is that people build what I call 'wall hugger' layouts where track literally hugs the walls of a room and curves round off each corner of the room.

Why not dispense with RTR toy train-set curves and use flexi track and put a proper 3' 9" radius curve around each end of the room ?

While 3' 9" isn't my personal choice, it's one hell of a lot better that 1' 5" radius!

I didn't say anything about 1'5" curves! My mainline curves start and finish in the centre of each board, so not a wall hugger. I was actually talking about people that live in houses that are a lot smaller than we're used to. I agree that flexi track is the way to go, but you still have the same problem with space.


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Cheers, Peter.
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Richard Lee
post 4 Jun 2020, 05:52
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Whilst I agree that large radius curves are desirable, both in terms of aesthetics and running, I think a lot of people would be hard put to have a minimum radius greater than 3'. In fact, 2' 6" (30") would probably be nearer the mark for many. My 'L' shaped branch line has a 30" radius curve at the angle of the 'L'. The layout uses 1 3/4 sides of the largest room in the house (which is about 13' square). If I ever replace the track, then I might consider making that curve 3', but any more would reduce the running line between the stations too much. There has to be a reasonable amount of running line between the stations, as compared to train length. One of the regular trains is an E4 0-6-2T pulling a rake of 3 x 60' ex-SECR coaches.

In fact, if I did re-do the layout, I would probably use small 2' radius points for points from loco-releases to the run-around loops, where it would only be the locomotives using them. (Largest locomotives used are the 0-6-0 tender 700 class, with occasional visits from a 4-4-0 tender Midland Compound.) Currently all points are 3' radius.
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Graham Plowman
post 4 Jun 2020, 07:19
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QUOTE (Richard Lee @ 4 Jun 2020, 15:52) *
Whilst I agree that large radius curves are desirable, both in terms of aesthetics and running, I think a lot of people would be hard put to have a minimum radius greater than 3'. In fact, 2' 6" (30") would probably be nearer the mark for many. My 'L' shaped branch line has a 30" radius curve at the angle of the 'L'. The layout uses 1 3/4 sides of the largest room in the house (which is about 13' square). If I ever replace the track, then I might consider making that curve 3', but any more would reduce the running line between the stations too much. There has to be a reasonable amount of running line between the stations, as compared to train length. One of the regular trains is an E4 0-6-2T pulling a rake of 3 x 60' ex-SECR coaches.

In fact, if I did re-do the layout, I would probably use small 2' radius points for points from loco-releases to the run-around loops, where it would only be the locomotives using them. (Largest locomotives used are the 0-6-0 tender 700 class, with occasional visits from a 4-4-0 tender Midland Compound.) Currently all points are 3' radius.


Once I saw 'two stations' in the distance of around 17 feet, I realised that this is an example of 'compromise' that I wouldn't be making myself.

Personally, I wouldn't be trying to fit two stations into such a short length. I'd be making one end of the layout as a fiddle yard and have the exit come out through a scenic break onto a large radius curve (4-5 feet) across the corner of the room and then into the station. Tetbury would be an example of what I mean with the curve on the station approach. Use the curve as part of the station layout to add interest.

Anything under 3 foot is really 'wall hugging'.


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(British outline 00 - NCE PH PRO-R, Lenz 100 - DCC Sound and computer controlled signalling/interlocking of Ashprington Road with SSI software)
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Richard Lee
post 4 Jun 2020, 09:53
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Hello Graham,

I wanted 2 stations, or rather a portion of the larger one and a very small BLT (with just one goods siding). I believe that you have slightly underestimated the length. The 'L' is about 13' by 10', but the boards on the long side are 2' deep. 13' plus 8' is more like 21', assuming that you use base ten rather than base eight in your calculations. The BLT takes about 5' and the partial junction station about 6'. Knock off about a foot because the track doesn't go all the way to the wall at the angle of the 'L' and that gives roughly 9' of running line, close to 3 x longest train length.
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spet0114
post 11 Jun 2020, 22:32
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Just worth noting that sometimes you can 'have your cake and eat it' in this respect.

Recently, I bought two US-outline diesels from Rapido Trains (for those interested, Missouri Pacific FA-2 and FPA-2). Those who know Rapido will hopefully agree that they're right up with the best in terms of fidelity to the prototype and lack of compromises. Anyway, they arrived and I was eager to test them out. As club running nights are currently suspended, I had no choice but to commandeer the dining table for a temporary layout.

During the subsequent running session I discovered that FA-2s can go around first radius curves!

Video!



Cheers
Adrian


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hoonsou
post 11 Jun 2020, 22:38
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Nice looking loco. I notice you didn't pin the track down. wink.gif


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Cheers, Peter.
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