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  • Topic: Aristo-Craft Six Axle derailing issues

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    • April 3, 2018 5:30 PM EDT
      • Oley, Pennsylvania
         
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      Aristo-Craft Six Axle derailing issues

      Been having some serious issues with Aristo-Craft six axle locomotives derailing.  These are the only units in the fleet with issues.  USA & Aristo four axles run great, along with USA six axles.  Physical plant is not the issue, as railroad sits on 2" concrete subroadbed.  Anyone else have this issue, and have you found a fix to this issue.

       

      Thanks

      TJ Weber

    • April 3, 2018 6:38 PM EDT
      • Pleasanton, California
         
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      TJ,

      I had similar problem with my six axle Aristo passenger coaches trucks.  I ground off the flanges of center of the three wheels.  Haven't had a derailing since.  Not sure if your talking diesel or steam locomotive. 

      ____________________________________

      Dan DeVoto

      P-Town & West Side R.R.

      Pleasanton, California

      https://www.youtube.com/danstrains

    • April 3, 2018 6:44 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      So, several sources of derailments for this particular truck.

       

      Does the loco derail after "cresting" a grade? This is the biggest issue since the wheels cannot ride up or down (they can merely twist along the long axis of the truck). Many people do not realize this.

       

      If you are derailing on flat curves, then you probably have an issue with the axles not sliding side to side as they are designed. Put the loco on it's back and check that all 3 axles slide in and out of the motor block freely.

       

      In extreme cases, the axles become locked due to lack of lubrication, and the internal ball bearing pickup (not the axle bearings) wears a groove in the axle:

       

       

      Please double check if you have abrupt grade transitions, or locked axles, or a cross level problem on your track.

       

      Greg

      ____________________________________

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


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    • April 3, 2018 7:55 PM EDT

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      TJ,

      Whenever I have trouble with the Aristo 6 axle locos, be it SD45 or Dash9, it is usually a track problem.  Hump,dip or most common side to side level is off causing a slight twist in the track.  Are your derailments usually in the same place? After I have put down new track or repaired a section I will run a couple SD45's to test it.  If they are good then whatever else I run will be good.

      ____________________________________

      Paul Burch

      Sierra Cascade & Pacific RR

    • April 3, 2018 8:51 PM EDT
      • Shawn carries, A Purse 02B12,
         
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      Welcome to LSC  TJ !

    • April 3, 2018 11:51 PM EDT
      • San Mateo, California
         
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      TJ,

      Where do the SD45s derailments occur - on curves track, or straight track, or on grade transitions?  If on curves, what diameter is the curve?  For a given SD45, do both leading and trailing trucks derail?

      Thank you,

      -Ted

    • April 4, 2018 11:46 AM EDT
      • Deer Park, Washington
         
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      Following.

      ____________________________________

      Not only does my mind wander, sometimes it walks off completely.

       

      Some people try to turn back their odometers.  Not me.  I want people to know why I look this way.  I've traveled a long way, and some of the roads weren't paved.  Will Rogers.

    • April 4, 2018 1:34 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Waiting for enough information to solve the issue.

      ____________________________________

      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

    • April 5, 2018 2:46 PM EDT
      • Oley, Pennsylvania
         
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      Hello all,

       

      Most of the problems occur on curves, and have had some problems on switches.  I'd also note that most of our railroad is on a 3% grade, and a very solid subroadbed of concrete.  Greg, no locked axle issues.  I have Aristo-Craft six-axle locomotives, and they all suffer from this problem to varying degrees, and derail in different locations, although there are a few consistent locations.  And since the railroad sits on a concrete subroadbed and many area have been ground smooth.  


      Thanks

      TJ Weber

    • April 5, 2018 2:54 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      Is your Avatar, your railroad?

      I see ballast, ballast can allow the track to shift off level.

      We've found the digital levels can see tilts in what looks flat to us. For about $32 it is a great help maintaining the Right of Way.

      ____________________________________

      John

       

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

       

       

    • April 5, 2018 3:01 PM EDT

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      TJ,

      Have you put a level on those areas where you have consistent problems?  Side to side level with a small short level.  Some kind of straight edge maybe 2-3' long along the rail to check for humps or dips.   You know how my track is installed from your previous visits here with your father.  As careful as I am with the concrete pour for level I still need to make sure the track is level when I glue it down.  I just took up and reset a couple 6' sections that had moved a little this winter.  Found it when you can guess it, a SD45 derailed.

      By the way, how is that Tehachapi layout coming along?

      This post was edited by Paul Burch at April 5, 2018 3:08 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Paul Burch

      Sierra Cascade & Pacific RR

    • April 5, 2018 4:08 PM EDT
      • Oley, Pennsylvania
         
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      John,

       

      The railroad does have ballast, the track does not sit on it, and I have derailment problems in places where the units are on elevated splines with the track nailed in place, where there is not any ballast to interfere.  

       

      Paul,

       

      We did take a level to one of the areas with consistent issues, and found it out of level.  My father came in with the angle grinder and got the concrete smooth before the track was reinstalled.  We now once again have issues in the same location.  We do not secure the track to the concrete due to the temp swings we have in Eastern PA, in the range of 60+ degrees between winter and summer, and as a result have quite a lot of expansion and contraction on the mains, therefore we let the track float on the concrete.  The SD45/D9 units are the only units that have trouble staying on track, several USA six-axles run flawlessly, along with all of our four-axle equipment.  
      Despite these issues, we have been making progress Paul!  Tehachapi and Monolith are taking shape, and we are expanding the fleet of SP units, I'll have to post some photos soon!


      Thanks

      TJ Weber

    • April 5, 2018 4:43 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      So, the 6 axle USAT locos are really a 2 axle truck with a "pilot" or trailing truck depending on how you look at it.

      And 4 axle trucks work fine. (because they can take sharper curves and more erratic trackwork).

       

      By design, Aristo 3 axle motor blocks, with the ability to have the axles slide sideways in the motor block have no INHERENT problems with track, unless you go under a certain curvature, 8 foot diameter would be my minimum recommendation. Nowhere do you state your minimum radius/diameter. That is important information.

       

      Now, what is really different with Aristo 3 axle motor blocks? They have no vertical compliance, so even a little "hump" can derail these long wheelbase. The wheels can lift up off the rails and come down outside the rails and the loco will continue for a while before you realize it is derailed. I have had this happen a few times, could not see the problem where it derailed, only to get down on the ground and watch the loco and find out it actually derailed 6 feet earlier.

       

      Lastly, please take note, everyone here is trying to help, but if all your Aristo 3 axle truck locos are derailing, it IS your trackwork, whether crosslevel, grade transitions, curvature, etc.

       

      I have 3 E8's that not only run flawlessly through my Aristo WR switches, but will pull a 45 car train up a 3.4% grade and down a 5.5% grade for HOURS on end, even around a 9.5" 180 degree hairpin. (Videos on youtube gregeusa).

       

      Regards,  Greg

       

       

      This post was edited by Greg Elmassian at April 5, 2018 4:44 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      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

    • April 5, 2018 4:44 PM EDT

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      TJ,

      Then it does look like track issues.  I'm not sure how you can solve it. Have you tried securing the track to the concrete or just assumed that it won't work where you live? If the track is just laying on the concrete and ballasted then like John mentioned it will get under the ties and cause problems.  This will be an issue forever unless you come up with a solution.

      This post was edited by Paul Burch at April 5, 2018 7:34 PM EDT
      ____________________________________

      Paul Burch

      Sierra Cascade & Pacific RR

    • April 5, 2018 8:51 PM EDT
      • Shawn carries, A Purse 02B12,
         
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      TJ

      Located just west of Harrisburg Pa. My RR has been outside for all but 10yrs and no concrete. I will follow along with this thread. I welcome you to LSC once again.

    • April 6, 2018 12:00 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      So, would still like to know curve radii, and if you have curves on grades too...

       

      I know you have said that track is not an issue, but it must be in some way.

       

      Also, in one place you say the track lies on 2" of concrete, another you say you have ballast.

       

      I know from experience it's almost impossible to put track on a hard surface and then ballast and then stop the ballast between the hard surface and the track.

       

      Still hoping to hear the minimum curve information.

       

      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

    • April 6, 2018 5:03 PM EDT
      • Oley, Pennsylvania
         
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      Greg, 

      Track sits on concrete, with minor ballasting to give it the proper aesthetic look and hid the concrete.  Minimum radius is 10' and most locations are wider.  Railroad is a model of the Tehachapi pass and consequently 90% of the curves are on the 3% grade.  While it may be a track issue, it has no overall consistency, and with a mainline run that is now 500+ linear feet, and soon to be extended to nearly a 1000 feet, it would be much easier to modify the power trucks then well over a 1000 feet of track.  

       

      Thanks

      TJ Weber

    • April 6, 2018 5:14 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      well, curvature should not be an issue.

       

      Now, due to the pivoting gearboxes, Aristo actually does quite well with crosslevel, so my best guess is abrupt grade transitions. There's also an outside chance of narrow gauge,  but pretty rare.

       

      So, can you make it happen in the same place all the time, or most of the time? Can you make a loco derail if crawling? Those are the best debugging tips. And I really need to ask you one more time and do not be insulted, with the locos on their backs, do the axles slide in and out of the gearboxes very freely?

       

      Regards, 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

    • April 6, 2018 6:00 PM EDT
      • Vail, Az
         
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      You said the track is nailed down on splines for the grade. Any chance the nails are warping the ties (bowing) which could pinch the rails together? Doesn't take much to nudge a climb...

      ____________________________________

      John

       

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

       

       

    • April 6, 2018 6:19 PM EDT
      • Sherwood Park, Alberta
         
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      Is it possible the locomotives are too light?

       

      Shane

       

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