Forums » Problem Solving

List of newest posts

    • November 6, 2017 11:18 AM EST
    • un-Level track  side to side and @ switches ..... 

    • November 4, 2017 4:16 PM EDT
    • Howard, do a google search for Accucraft K-28 issues, there were some threads on the engine's issues when first brought in and the spring issue was discussed in MLS steam section and maybe here, and even websites other than these. Some people did suggest either shortening the springs or removing a spring or even two leaving the middle one in each driver...Mine were frozen, no movement whatsoever and thus, removal of one or two would not have worked, they and boxes had to be freed, then springs replaced or shortened. 

    • November 4, 2017 3:45 PM EDT
    • Each driving box on the K-36 is carried on three coil springs.  They seem very strong (stiff).  Would it help to remove one spring from each box?  Any thoughts on this?  I think I can do it one axel at a time.

      Howard Hoy

    • November 4, 2017 1:57 PM EDT
    • Howard, my first live steam engine is a K-28 and while it did well on the club's portable layout and the Stavers elevated layout in Portland, it continually derailed on my garden layout. For years, I blamed my gravel based tracks with its grades and descents, and slowly rebuilt and put in larger radius tracks. After doing that, this year the layout was in best still derailed. And only then, I must say to my disgust, did I check the springs on the drivers. There was virtually no movement. As a matter of pure chance, I attended a HO layout open house one night in the spring, and had been asked to bring the engine to show its size. The host was a retired mechanical engineer who immediately saw the problem and with pages of measurement shown afterwards, both unfroze some springs and replaced others that were too strong. The engine has not derailed since on my layout. My gratitude to him knows no bounds as I would never have had the skills to do same.

      Myron Claridge

    • November 4, 2017 12:58 PM EDT
    • Thanks for the input.  I inspected the drivers and found them to be in gauge with almost imperceptible wobble.  I suspect sharp flange maybe the problem or the side play is almost non-existant; stiff frame is a common cause of engines derailing 

    • November 4, 2017 10:52 AM EDT
    • Howard ,  I purchased a k-36 new several years ago and it would not run 6 feet without derailing . When I inspected the wheels I found 2 problems . The first problem was

      one that the stainless steel wheel flange was not centered on its hub and caused a severe wobble .The second problem was back to back spacing on both front and rear trucks .

      Fixing   both was not difficult . The flange is a pressure fit and could be pressed on the hub without removing the driver . I used  channel locks with a pad  . The flange slid into place .

      It has not moved again . Problem # 2 required disassembling  the trucks and setting standard back to back . I hope this helps . 


    • November 4, 2017 9:35 AM EDT
    • Howard

      I saw your comments in chat last night. 10' radius track is plenty big. You said #6 trunouts which should also work as they diverge rather than curve. This is exactly the combination I use. Assuming your track work is not damaged then the locomotive is the culprit.


      I have the K27 but two members here in the NMGR own the K36 both electric and live steam versions. One of the members runs on Code 332 with no problems and the other on code 250 also with no problems. That said all Accucraft engines will pick the points of a turnout if they are not closing completely.


      My thought is bent axle or damaged flange. This could be so slight that you do not see it on the track. Check it on a stationary roller or turn it over and look down the drivers for wobble effect. This will also give you the chance to see if their bind from being slightly out of quarter.


      You might also check the end swing over the pony truck. Run slowly through a curve and see if it is causing the front driver to lift up on one side.

    • November 3, 2017 11:58 PM EDT
    • I'm with John on this one..  

      First things to always ck.  

      Wheel gage..   Are all the wheels properly gaged, and running true on the axels?

      Track gage..    Is the track in gage, and if the derailment happens at a turnout,  is it in gage, and are the guide rails "in Gage" with the proper spacing for "Back to back" size?

      Track radius...  Are you trying to get it to go around to sharp of a corner.   Big engines need big curves.

      Lead or trailing truck causing the issue...  Check for clearance when they pivot,  and or are  electrical wires causing binding.


      All these things are the most common reasons for de-railing... on almost any engine,  and need to be verified first.




    • November 3, 2017 11:37 PM EDT
    • Hi Howard,

      Welcome aboard.

      Can you tell us a little more, like which wheels derail first and is there a situation where it happens? Do you have other locos that don't derail where the K does?


    • November 3, 2017 9:06 PM EDT
    • Anyone have experience with Accucraft K-36 derailing frequently.  Mine does.  Need help!

    • October 20, 2017 6:38 PM EDT
    • It was glued in so I couldn't easily pop it out. I was able to open a hole large enough in the rear of the unit to remove the old bulb and replace it with a 5mm LED. When I reattached it the front of the engine the opening isn't visible, works great.

    • October 20, 2017 3:36 PM EDT
    • Steve, was the lens glued in too strongly, or were you able to pop it out?



    • October 17, 2017 5:41 PM EDT
    • Had a problem getting the lens out so enlarged the hole at the rear and was able to remove the old bulb and insert the new LED works fine now.

    • October 17, 2017 1:35 PM EDT
    • actually, I think Rex is right all the time!

      Mine all had one spot of glue, but it was weak and the lens popped out easily when pushed from behind.



    • October 16, 2017 2:19 PM EDT
    • Several where glued in. If you damage it, let me know, I have several new ones !

    • October 8, 2017 3:26 AM EDT
    • pops out, can you insert a small rod from behind and pop it out? A lot of times, the back of the housing has a hole for the wire, and you can put a small drill (dull side first please) in an pop the lens out.



    • October 7, 2017 1:57 PM EDT
    • The headlight on my Pacific has stopped working does anyone know if the front lens is a screw type or just a press fit. Don't want to damage it getting the bulb out.

    • October 6, 2017 6:49 PM EDT
    • What happened with the motor and pantograph?
      Hartland equipment is usually pretty robust.

    • October 5, 2017 6:40 AM EDT
    • Three cheers for Phil!

      At some point I need to call him and order a Mack/Sparky motor and a pantograph.

    • October 4, 2017 2:12 AM EDT
    • Hey guys, 

      Didn't need to use any heat but Phil called and he said Epoxy is fine, but if for some remote reason it failed that a set of new drive wheels would be needed for the 4-4-0 & would be about $30.00 and  $12.00 for shipping. 

      It's working flaulessly now and I don't forsee any further issues. 

      The wheels seem REAL firm now!

      Thanks for the help!