Large Scale Central

USA Trains SD40-2 Derailing

Hi, I’m brand new to this forum and have been running G scale models for just over a year now (I have been an avid HO modeler for well over a decade).

I recently bought a brand new USA Train SD40-2 and it has been derailing on my club’s switches. I contacted USA Trains and they advised me to remove the skates, as the wheels have power pick-ups on them. After removing the skates, the locomotive barely wants to move. After contacting them again, they advised me to put the skates back on and “bend them up”.

Has anyone else had problems with their 6-axle USA Trains models derailing on switches? Their 4-axle models run fine.

How sharp are the switches ? Anyone else with same locomotives have that issue?

I can’t help you with the derailing, Alex, sorry. But I wanted to welcome you to the nuthouse. A lot of knowledge in our collective community. I’m sure someone will chime in shortly and get you pointed in the right direction. Glad to have you aboard.


I’m told they’re R3.

which truck derails? Front or back?
R 3"s are sorta tight for some 3 axle trucks.
If it is the rear truck, check to see if the couplers on the engine and car swivel freely.

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Do you know who makes the switches (turnouts) Aristo switched have a deep frog and our club has reworked them. If I remember there was someone selling inserts at one time. Also USA has a steering font axle on their motor block - is that what is derailing or is it the skate that throwing the whole motor block off. Some of our club members have carpet taped a strip of thin brass along the bottom of the motor block to keep the steering truck part aligned.


Skates are not bent at 90 degrees. USAT is correct. Take them off, put in vise and hammer them to 90 degrees.

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Just the front so far and I’m running it light power/solo.

I’m told the main track is LGB and the switches are Piko, which are interchangable (so I’m told).

Does anyone else’s 6 axle derail?
Turn it around and back thru the switch the same direction as when the front derails.
Approach the switch from the opposite direction, bot forward and reverse.
If the derailment stops with any of these tests, check the switch.
Go thru the switch really slow and with a flashlight, look real close to see when the wheel derails.

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Haven’t tried any other 6-axle power yet because it’s a new layout (my club is primarily HO scale). Someone or myself might get a Dash 9 or SD45 one of these days, but from what I gather on other sites is that USA Trains SD40/70s have derailment issues.

Update: I spoke to Robbie at RDL Hobbies and he told me 6-axle power needs R5 switches.

Our club layout had R5’s and no problems with any 6 axle rig.
Can’t help you with R3’s.
I thought you already had one with problems.