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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Merry Christmas everyone.

I got a Hornby Class 31 as a surprise for Xmas (31 174). I'd like to make a couple of comments about it.

I know it's been said many times recently about the way the bogie and wheels are set up for negotiating curves etc.

On the particular example I have, I notice that this lateral movement of the outer axles on the No. 2 Bogie is quite marked. ie. the 'A' part of the AIA-AIA arrangement.

This is to the point that, on No. 2 Bogie, this lateral movement allows the wheels to rotate quite freely, because the axle gear is disengaging from the drive-gear inside.

It is quite easy to see the reason for this. It's mainly because of the ends of the bogie side frames are not rigidly connected together. ie. they can flex outwards away from each other, allowing the outer axles on the Bogie to move more than they should be allowed to, and hence disengage from the gear-train inside the bogie.

Any comments welcome.

Best Regards
Scooter
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Dennis

Somewhere between OK and 'jittery'. Although that's more likely to be a connectivity issue, I wonder if its relates to the wheels being very off centre.

The most obvious thing you notice is the way it sits and moves on the track - askew and squint (esp. No.2 Bogie).

I posted this topic to find out if anyone else had found similar problems.

There's really only one thing to do that makes any sense - take it back from whence it came.
 

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Hi scooter
I've just dug out my class 31 31110 and noticed it does the same on one axle. If you squeeze the sideframes gently it seems to cure it and also squishes out a bit of what appears to be lubricant rather than adhesive. I don't suppose it is a good idea to glue on the sideframes but it may pay to remove them and remove the lube of course take care with it though.
Isn't it amazing how you don't always notice something until someone has a problem with theirs.
 

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While not adding any knowledge to the specific problem and cure, I do have a nasty (and some may justifiably say stupid!) habit of buying locos and stock and then not actually running them for months or in worst cases, for years!

It could be, and I do hope it is so that I don't feel so bad about it, that others do the same thing, and this might be why certain problems don't crawl out of the woodwork very quickly.
 

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For some reason it seems quality control takes a holiday when it comes to bogies and wheel sets. I guess it's a place where the manufacturers feel they can save a few cents. Unfortunately this often has a sever impact on operations.

In the US there are several companies that manufacture bogies and wheel sets to set things right since we have the same problem.
 

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In my case the loco runs well but possibly would lose drive to the affected axle rather quickly. I believe i read somewhere about the class 50 when ultrasclae were developing their wheelsets for the 50 they were going to make it to use the existing plastic gear from the old axle but found a similar thing and put metal ones on instead. Looking on their website the same is true for the 31.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks fellas.

spongebob said:-
>I've just dug out my class 31 31110 and noticed it does the same on one axle. If you squeeze the sideframes gently it seems to cure it and also squishes out a bit of what appears to be lubricant rather than adhesive.

Thanks spongebob - this is EXACTLY what is happening with mine! Given the high price that Hornby are retailing this at, it's just not good enough.

> I don't suppose it is a good idea to glue on the sideframes but it may pay to remove them and remove the lube of course take care with it though.

No, I'm not gonna attempt that. I've taken the coward's way out, and taken it back to the shop. I'll let you know how I get on.
 

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I don't blame you for not wanting to risk it scooter. I'll be taking my A3 back to the shop as well due to what i thought was a piece not glued together actually being broken in 2.
Its sad to say that out of all the loco's i have bought new the only ones that have caused trouble out of the box either with bits falling off or just not running at all every single one is from hornby. Admittedly most of what i buy brand new is from hornby but it doesn't speak good volumes for the QC procedure over in China or in the U.K.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah spongebob

After searching around online, I'm strangely rather "relieved", to discover there are other folk like yourself who have had similar findings of this particular model.

It must be a design fault or manufacturing fault.

What's bugging me is the retail cost of the thing - £89.99, which I admit I didn't pay, thanks to my local retailer giving excellent value.

Anyways, I've taken it back to him, and he said he's gonna look into it. He did offer a full refund, but I've held back on that, because I genuinely wanted one of these Locos, as a replacement for an old Triang one. I'll find out on 5th Jan. what's actually happenned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry to bring this up again, but if anyone's at all interested.....

As previously posted, I returned this Locomotive to the Stockist where it was purchased. This was on 28/12/2005. As I said, the Stockist offered me a full refund.

On Thursday 02/02/2006, when visiting the retailer, he presented me with a new replacement R2413A Class 31 which Hornby had sent to him. As part of the conversation, I asked if Hornby had informed him what they had found. He presented me with a supporting "Repairs Invoice" which clearly stated that Hornby had replaced the Loco. F.O.C. So far so good.

Replacement R2413A.
I took the Loco. home, and placed it on my Layout in an empty track in the Fiddle Yard. The responce to the controller was excellent in both directions, (it was not at all great on the returned Loco.) and the directional Marker/Tail Lights worked correctly, whereas they were extremely intermittent on the returned Loco. Again, so far so good. I ran the Loco. back and forth, a few times along the entire length in the Fiddle Yard. 10 seconds to bomb time and everything is A-OK.

I proceeded to run the Loco. a full run round the entire length of the Layout at Position 40 on the Gaugemaster. As the Loco. negotiated the first curves, it derailed and stopped.

I switched power to 0 and went to where the Loco. had derailed.

I found that on No.2 Bogie, the Bogie Sideframe (on the Driver's side) had completely detached from the central Drive Unit. of course the Axles on the Bogie were no longer in proper situ. and it derailed, but I coud see nothing untoward within the track area which would cause this.

I carefully picked up the Loco. taking it to the workbench. For those of you who aren't familiar, with this Loco. in particular, the Bogie Sideframes are attached to the central Drive Unit (as Hornby calls it) with 2 plastic studs which connect to small sockets on the Drive Unit. The obvious thing to do, was to try to re-attach the Sideframe to the Bogie by marrying up the 2 studs to the respective sockets. This looked simple enough, until I found that the studs on the Sideframe would not stay in position in the sockets, and the attachment was rather loose. I guess that 1 or both of the studs is damaged.

I was very puzzled as to why this had occurred, and you're not gonna believe what I found.

The Body of the Class 31 is attached to the Chassis by means of 4 Long Screws. The one on the Driver's side above No.2 Bogie had not been tightened - AT ALL !. So when the Loco. was upright on the Track, gravity allowed the Screw to drop finding it's way into the gap between the Bogie Drive Unit and the Bogie Sideframe. All is OK until the Loco. meets a curve. The Bogie pivots and the Screw within the gap acts as a lever, and forces the Bogie Sideframe and the Drive Unit apart. Now of course I can't get the Bogie Sideframe to attach to the Bogie Drive Unit correctly.

You've guessed it, it's going back, but I don't want to get into a slanging match with the Stockist, so I've sent Hornby an email.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After sending Hornby an email about this, I did receive a reply fairly promptly, but it didn't say very much.

Still nothing to report from my stockist as of last week, I decided to take the opportunity to talk to someone from Hornby at the Model Rail Scotland event at the SECC.

When I went to the Hornby Stand, I spoke to one of the Hornby staff, and was directed towards no other than Mr Simon Kohler.

Mr Kohler was very keen to listen to the problems, and took note of what had occurred. I had printed copies of the emails I had sent to Hornby and of their reply. He was able to offer some explanation of what may have happened in both cases.

What I appreciated most of all, was that he provided me with his personal contact details at Hornby and asked that I update him as to the progress. I intend to send him a summary of what has happened, because of the nature of the show at the SECC, it wasn't practical to discuss it any length. (it was packed and the Hornby staff didn't seem to have time to take a breath!).
 

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Simon represents the future for Hornby and from what I've seen of the man when we have met I'd say they're lucky to have him.

I'm not suggesting that they have got everything right yet but they are heading the right way.

60134
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What about this for timing.

Visited my local Stockist today, and he informed me that the Loco. had been sent to him fully repaired. According to the "Repairs" invoice with the Loco. Hornby had fitted New Bogie(s).

Tested the Loco. after getting home from work. Runs superbly in both directions, without any problems and doesn't derail. All axles gears appear to be meshed correctly.

It's either a strange coincidence, or a highly influential piece of work by Simon Kohler.

Thanks to all who took an interest.
 

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You'll be pleased to know that the sideframes on the class 60's are all in one piece so can't work loose. I believe the class 31 had a choice of 2 types of bogies though I may be wrong and the seperate sideframe may have been a cheap way enabling them to be swopped without having to make 2 full bogies.
Hope this one works OK for you anyway. The illustrious Mr Kohler certainly seems to be good for hornby from a PR point of view at least he always seems happy to talk to the model press and maybe one or two other firms might be starting to follow the hornby lead in that respect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have now received an email from Simon Kohler, after informing him of this. He's told me that he's gonna look into the matter.
 
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