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  • Topic: WARNING: USAT intermodels need weights.

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    • December 7, 2017 7:36 PM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      WARNING: USAT intermodels need weights.

      I was running my trains today when a set of 4 intermodal containers came tumbling down.

       

      No serious damage though several of the metal grate walkways are now off. I have to glue some back, and find alternate nails for others as I lost some of the nails in the tumble.   One of my container doors had a small piece break at the top that holds it in. I can close the door and it stays closed but it sadly won't open right again. Couple of scuff marks on container cars too. 

       

      What I realized...the bottom containers need to be weighed down. Or more specifically the center of the car themselves. The cars are not very heavy.  On Greg Elmassian's site you can find the exact advice about weighing them down if you pull long stretches of them, specifically with the containers at the front.   See here  https://www.elmassian.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=542&Itemid=657

       

      Every time a tumble has happened for me it adds a bit of anxiety to sounds after that. A few of my falls have been due to not flipping turnouts.. I intend to put some guard rails around turnouts.   This one caught me off guard but became obvious once I saw how it moved around a curve.

       

      3 GP38's pulling 4 intermodal cars with shared trucks, 2 independent intermodals, 2 box cars, 4 4 bay hoppers, one modern tank car, 3 coal cars and a caboose. 18 Cars in total. It was going on level track around 120 degrees of 10 foot diameter curve.  All intermodal's had 2 containers per car.

      This post was edited by Nicolas Teeuwen at December 8, 2017 4:30 PM EST
    • December 7, 2017 7:58 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 7, 2017 8:14 PM EST
      • Shawn carries, A Pruse 02B12,
         
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      WELL (no pun intended) {meaning "well cars" for the challenged folks or the ones THAT JUST DON'T GET IT}.... if you are not happy with what USA trains offers then you could always build your own stuff and make sure it's without flaws. Mass produce it and sell it to the general public for a reasonable price. Then there would be no need for WARNING threads as such! When you decide to do such perhaps you could check out my website for the necessary mods needed to make YOUR trains that you manufactured correct!

      Thank you for the heads up !

    • December 7, 2017 9:05 PM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      Overall I am impressed with how they held up considering the falls they had.  Thankfully the ground is soft. No major parts failed or broke which is amazing. 

       

      I also realized I put the little black pins on the wrong side of the boxes.  Now to decide where to put the metal plates, and how to configure 40 ft and 50 ft pins such that I can put containers on in different orders without having to shuffle things around. With regards to the pins, where you put them on the longest containers dictates whether they can be stacked on a long container or a short one. Put the pins inset, and they can only be stacked on shorter containers. Put them in the last pins and they can only be put on long containers. If I glue them down I am stuck with that choice.

       

      I might just accept that I have a set of containers that are always on the bottom, and a set that are always on the top, and you can shuffle around between the top and bottom. 

       

       

    • December 7, 2017 9:15 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      I think Nicolas meant it more along "hey, I did not realize this and broke some stuff, so put weights in yours to avoid what happened to me"....

       

       

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 7, 2017 10:09 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Nicholas, use rubber cement or hot glue (reheat).

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • December 7, 2017 11:04 PM EST
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Can't you glue the pins on the bottom? What holes are on the bottom of the 48 footers? if they have pin holes at 40 and 45 then those are the best spots it seems... But I think the rubber cement might be the best idea, you just don't want to lose them as you change the stacks.

       

      Or could you put magnets in them and a metal plate inside the box?

       

      Greg

       

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


      ­Click HERE for Greg­'s web sit­e
      PLEASE NOT­E: Please do NOT use private messaging, i­f you have­ a questio­n, feel fr­ee to emai­l me priva­tely, u­se regular­ email onl­y: greg@el­massian.co­m

    • December 8, 2017 12:43 AM EST

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      Must be track or radius.   I have been running a 15 car set for years without problems.

      ____________________________________

      Paul Burch

      Sierra Cascade & Pacific RR

    • December 8, 2017 1:28 AM EST
      • San Mateo, California
         
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      It appears Greg E. posted one of my images showing weights added from "Vignette":
      "USA Trains Intermodal Container Car - Lowered & Fitted with Kadee 907 Centerset Couplers"

      Shown below are two modified cars on 8 foot diameter track.

      Modified USAT Well Cars on 8 foot dia. track


      -Ted

    • December 8, 2017 10:39 AM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      Yes, as Greg said. I am not complaining. I am simply sharing a lesson learned the hard way.

       

      I added the specific configuration that the issue occurred for at the top.

       

      I also noticed issues with a SD70 pulling 6 empty intermodals. The first car kept jumping.  I put a container in the first car and the problem went away.

      This post was edited by Nicolas Teeuwen at December 8, 2017 10:39 AM EST
    • December 8, 2017 10:52 AM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      Greg Elmassian said:

      Can't you glue the pins on the bottom? What holes are on the bottom of the 48 footers? if they have pin holes at 40 and 45 then those are the best spots it seems... But I think the rubber cement might be the best idea, you just don't want to lose them as you change the stacks.

       

      Or could you put magnets in them and a metal plate inside the box?

       

      Greg

       I was originally putting them on the tops. I do not know why I thought to put them on the tops. 

       

      On The Top

       

      If you put the pins on the top you can support any configuration of container.  The bottoms of the longer containers contain all the holes to fit smaller containers underneath them.  The disadvantage of this is then you see the pins.  It can also take more pins because now you have to put pins in the well of the car, and on each of the containers.

       

      Alternatively you can only put pin's in the well and the first level of containers.  Advantage is you never see the pin's on the top.  Disadvantage is you can't change which containers are on the top and which are on the bottom.

      On The Bottom

       

      If you put them on the bottom, you don't see the pin's unless you flip over the container.  It will take less pin's.

      The disadvantage

      • You cannot stack the 20 foots on top of anything longer unless you leave 2 pins off.  If you only put 2 pins in, the container can only go on in one direction when stacked on top of 40 foot containers.
      • For 48 foot containers, you have to decide if it will stack on top of another 48 foot container or 40 foot/2 20 foots. You can only configure the pins for one or the other.  A work around for this is to stack the 48 foot container on the 40 foot container with it not centered.  In this case the pins go on the outer most spots.

       

      The pin's in the well of the cars re very loose and I think that is how I lost most of them. On containers it is hit and miss.  If putting in the well's glueing should definitely be done.  It won't matter much which of the spots you glue them in (or all of em).

       

      I have found that only 2 pins can be pretty sufficient to keep the containers in place regardless of container size.

      This post was edited by Nicolas Teeuwen at December 8, 2017 11:00 AM EST
    • December 8, 2017 11:01 AM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      What is the advantage of rubber cement? Is it removable if one really wants to move the pins?

    • December 8, 2017 12:18 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Nicolas Teeuwen said:

      What is the advantage of rubber cement? Is it removable if one really wants to move the pins?

      Never really sets, meant to be temporary, thus safe for kids.

      Yes.

      Used on a hard surface, a finger can roll it up to remove it, or a pencil eraser will. I've carved erasers to get into tight spots.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • December 8, 2017 12:22 PM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      I was thinking of using Sugru, but this sounds like it should work. I have lost quite a few already from a few falls with the cars and the pins are not cheap.

    • December 8, 2017 12:31 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Paul Burch said:

      Must be track or radius.   I have been running a 15 car set for years without problems.

      With the recent battery chatter, methinks Speed may play a part along with 10d curves ...

      HO ... 15"r a minimum radius for small Mantua locos

      O ...  30"r (doubled half O) 1:48

      G ...  60"r (doubled full O) , 60"= 5' R = 10D A minimum radius after all!

      I wasn't fooled, I run creepers and my pike seems huge... with min r.

       

      I think it was a manufacturer's deception to make this scale fit gardens...

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • December 8, 2017 12:37 PM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      I should also note, that when they came down, I had stopped the engines just past the curve, and then started it up again so they weren't going fast but there was acceleration.

    • December 8, 2017 2:59 PM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      I am curious how it was decided how much weight was added. It looks like about 2 lbs of weight was added which is about the weight of a single container.  I could buy slighter thinner steel.  The added weight is gonna reduce engines ability to pull up a hill so it'd be nice to find a good compromise.

    • December 8, 2017 3:11 PM EST
      • San Mateo, California
         
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      Nicolas,

      From my experience with car operation on tighter curves, the longer the car the heavier it should be. In my case cars with the length of the USAT Intermodal are good when about 4.5 to 5 pound overall weight. Also, placing a weight plate in the well below the container is best for low center of gravity. In your case, use the "trial & error" method.

      -Ted

      This post was edited by Ted Doskaris at December 8, 2017 3:13 PM EST
    • December 8, 2017 4:17 PM EST
      • Vail, Az
         
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      With a net!

      ____________________________________

      John

       

      The older I get, the less I know, please don't make me prove it.

       

       

    • December 8, 2017 5:35 PM EST
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      I'll go for the 5 pound per your recommendation. I do not want to have it fall again.

       

      I do have it on my list in the spring to add railings in key areas where derailment and such occur to ease my worry when I run.

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