Large Scale Central

Identify this engine

Trying to help a local restaurant get their ceiling train working. They say it keeps derailing. My guess is the curves are too tight for this engine but I don’t know the make or model. Tender looks just like my Bachmann Annie’s.

Can anyone identify this engine? What is the minimum radius it will run? Are there known running issues with this loco that might cause it to derail?

Here is a pic of the track. Not sure of the brand. Looks like it may be Stainless or Aluminum? Its the best photo I could get with my phone without a stepladder. I was there at lunch so couldn’t do much. I plan to go back later this week when they aren’t busy with one of my Stainz’ to see if that will run on it without issues. I also want to take a track gauge tool to check the track and wheels. And an LGB R1 to see if this is the same or tighter radius. It looks tighter than R1 but could just be an illusion.

It sure looks like a Bachmann loco that has been mildly customized.

It sure looks like a Bachmann loco that has been mildly customized.

I have one like it up on a shelf… Its a older Budd-L Looks like Bachmann took or used some of the same mold.


That’s it. Have you noticed any issues with it running on tight track?

It seems the track is the same radius as LGB R1 so that shouldn’t be an issue. I say shouldn’t, but who knows if there was a gross design flaw with this engine or the track.

I don’t own one, but the loco may not be the issue in and of itself. First consider that these are all hobby items not intended to be operated over extended periods of time. Most businesses that run trains in this fashion rarely do any form of maintenance on them until they quit running. So let me run down a list of things I have found in doing investigations exactly like you are doing.

First, look the locomotive over carefully. inspect the drivers and pony/trailing truck wheels for excessive wear both on the tread and the flanges. Once the flanges start to wear, the back to back on the wheels may be OK, but as the flanges wear the gauge of the wheels gets wider.

Looking closely at the track picture you provided, the track appears to be Bachmann stamped steel track. From the photo I don’t see any wear or abnormalities that would cause a derailment, but consider that is only one picture it is certainly not an overview of the total picture. Also consider that conditions before the curve in question could be contributing to the derailments as well - ie, an ‘S’ curve of 4’ diameter track can cause a lot of rollingresistance which could be putting excessive side load on the rear of the engine/tender.

Inspect the trucks on all the cars as well. Have they been kept lubricated, if not this will add to the rolling resistance in general. Be sure the journal boxes on the trucks do not have excessive wear, a steel axle will wear a plastic journal box even when well lubricated. Do the cars have plastic or steel wheels? Plastic wheels will also increase rolling resistance.

Without a personal inspection where one discovery leads to another not necessarily anticipated, I don’t want to go any further into speculation that may be fruitless. Visually watching the loco derail, and at speed, can sometimes tell a lot. Then slow the train some and try again. Keep watching, you will likely observe the cause. I hope this has given you some direction to start a comprehensive inspection and hopefully a solution.

Derailed I don’t own one so have no answers from personal experience. These where labeled under a number of different marketers. most sold in the $89.00-$149.00 range. I have heard that BuddyL were better than most of the line but all ran on standard G track. The track you picture looks like the hollow tube type associated with Bachmann or indoor use only. Most are light in the leading truck area and a bit of weight on the lead truck should help.

Noting the track in the picture the brackets could be causing issues depending on surrounding track. Level rail to rail does help. Excess speed and a slight bump in the track can derail them but extra weight does help though over weighing them can cause drive issues. Others with experience with these can chime in with more advise. Noel seems to have one and I seem to recall Vic Smith talking about these t times.



Does it derail in the same spot or anywhere on the layout?

Thank you. It is a basic oval around the room. I don’t know how many miles are on the train. The current owner said it came with the restaurant but they haven’t run the train in years because of the derailing problem. It just sits there looking pretty.

Since it seems similar to a Bachmann in some ways, I will check the pilot, as you said, for typical early 4-6-0 issues. I will also do a lube order on it. The hard part will be getting in there when they are not busy.

They couldn’t tell me if it were derailing in only the one curve or all of them. It hasn’t been run in years. I haven’t had the chance to do any troubleshooting. Right now I am in the gather information phase.

Another thing to consider is when an engine is run for a long time on a public display in the same direction, is the outside flanges will wear or the track rail will wear so it becomes out of guage.

check the wheel guage and track guage at the curves.

tell the owner he should reverse the directions every other week.

It would also be advised to have a second engine and swap them out.

A diesel engine would be less likely to derail


I agree on all points Scott. I was going to recommend a simple two axle diesel since it has fewer moving parts.

The LGB 20231 2-4-0 came iin a Rio Grande version #1218. I have one with a zimo decoder installed and it runs real nice.