Steam locomotive and cars derailing at crossing

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here)

#1
Hi every one. I'm having some problems with my Atlas HO 571 Code 83 track 12.5 degree crossing. Some of my cars (all plastic wheels) will jump the rail or rock side to side pretty bad and the new locomotive I got for Christmas will jump the track or have a wheel or 2 jump the track to some degree with every crossing. My 2 GP 40s don't do that and seem to go through smoothly. The new locomotive I got is the A1 OO scale Flying Scotsman from Hornby. What can I do to fix this? Can I modify the existing crossing or do I need to use a different brand crossing? Thanks.
 
#2
I had the same problem. The older plastic wheels have a longer flange that bottoms out on the crossing. I solved the problem by changing out the wheels on my freight cars to metal wheels. I had some locos that had the same problems, but just quit using them. You might be able to deepen the plastic bottom of the crossing so your wheels don't bottom out. But I was afraid I would ruin the crossing so I didn't go that route.
 

D&J RailRoad

Professor of HO
#3
You have the larger flange wheels on the rolling stock and loco. The code 83 is a shallower cut to the ties and plates.
Instead of replacing all your wheels, you might consider getting a code 100 crossing and some conversion tracks that take your track from code 83 to code 100.
If you are good at soldering you can make your own conversion tracks. Lay the track on a glass surface, rail head down and solder the rail ends together. The rail head will be level while the bottom side of the track will be offset.
 
#4
I had the same problem. The older plastic wheels have a longer flange that bottoms out on the crossing. I solved the problem by changing out the wheels on my freight cars to metal wheels. I had some locos that had the same problems, but just quit using them. You might be able to deepen the plastic bottom of the crossing so your wheels don't bottom out. But I was afraid I would ruin the crossing so I didn't go that route.
Hi Greg,

Thanks. I've been thinking of swapping out for metal wheels but just haven't pulled the trigger yet. I'm thinking that will help too with some of the wheels getting pinched in the rerailers.
 
#5
You have the larger flange wheels on the rolling stock and loco. The code 83 is a shallower cut to the ties and plates.
Instead of replacing all your wheels, you might consider getting a code 100 crossing and some conversion tracks that take your track from code 83 to code 100.
If you are good at soldering you can make your own conversion tracks. Lay the track on a glass surface, rail head down and solder the rail ends together. The rail head will be level while the bottom side of the track will be offset.
Hi Ken,

Thanks. That may explain why I hear a lot of clackity clack when the rolling stock moves, the wheels are hitting the ties. I do have code 83 track siliconed down. Never thought there would be an issue with the wheels and track size. I think I'll start by replacing the crossing with a code 100 crossing and go from there. The crossing seems to be where the biggest problem is. Next set up I'm going with code 100.
 

cajon

Active Member
#6
Hi every one. I'm having some problems with my Atlas HO 571 Code 83 track 12.5 degree crossing. Some of my cars (all plastic wheels) will jump the rail or rock side to side pretty bad and the new locomotive I got for Christmas will jump the track or have a wheel or 2 jump the track to some degree with every crossing. My 2 GP 40s don't do that and seem to go through smoothly. The new locomotive I got is the A1 OO scale Flying Scotsman from Hornby. What can I do to fix this? Can I modify the existing crossing or do I need to use a different brand crossing? Thanks.
Get down at eye level to watch the loco & cars go over the Xing. Run everything slowly so you can see exactly where the derailments occur. Once you see exactly where derailments occur, look at the tracks for anything the doesn't belong there. Also check the distance between the rail with a track gauge. Do the same thing with a NMRA track gauge.

Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
 
#7
Get down at eye level to watch the loco & cars go over the Xing. Run everything slowly so you can see exactly where the derailments occur. Once you see exactly where derailments occur, look at the tracks for anything the doesn't belong there. Also check the distance between the rail with a track gauge. Do the same thing with a NMRA track gauge.

Sent from my Moto E (4) using Tapatalk
Hi Andy,

Thanks. It looks like it starts to jump up at the beginning of the frog and then comes off the track just after the crossing center. It looks like the plastic base is a little shallower than the ties on the track. I don't have a track gauge yet but will check the distance once it comes in.
 
#8
12 degrees is a very narrow crossing. What the prototype does is have moveable points for that crossover. Get an NMRA gauge and check clearances. Code 83 is supposed to be deep flange friendly. Check your wheel gauges also. There could be some fault on the crossover so look for that. If you are able to change that crossing to a steeper angle do that.
 
#9
12 degrees is a very narrow crossing. What the prototype does is have moveable points for that crossover. Get an NMRA gauge and check clearances. Code 83 is supposed to be deep flange friendly. Check your wheel gauges also. There could be some fault on the crossover so look for that. If you are able to change that crossing to a steeper angle do that.
Hi dinwitty,

Thanks. The gauge is on the list of things to get and I'm looking for a different cross over. Also looking at getting some metal wheel sets. Looking at Intermountain 33" insulated brass wheel sets. By virtue of how I have my track set up I don't think I can go with a much wider cross over. I have 2 oval shape tracks, the inner one is flat, the outer track is elevated and is flat in one area where the 2 cross.
 
#10
Due to inclement weather (6" of snow in SC) I got to stay home and do some honey do's and I got some time to work on the track and on the cross over. I ran a car over the cross over and noticed a very distinct rise in elevation of the car. There appears to be added plastic between the rails at the beginning of the frogs and immediately before and after the center of the cross over. That added plastic is pushing the wheels of my Flying Scotsman up and off the track and comes pretty darn close to doing the same thing with the cars. I'm planning on upgrading my wheels to metal wheels and add some weight to the cars to make them a little heavier. That may help the rolling stock but won't do anything for the Flying Scotsman. I'm thinking of replacing the cross over with a code 100 cross over but I'm curious to know it there are any other cross overs that don't have the added plastic.
 
#11
I sent an email to Hornby recently asking about information on the train asked about the derailings and and got a nice reply.

"Thank you for the inquiry. Your locomotive is from the ‘Railroad’ range- not quite as thoroughly detailed as the regular line. The best I can determine it is not DCC ready in that it does not have a pre-installed socket for a DCC decoder. The Hornby UK site does show how to install a dcc decoder in this locomotive- I have attached a link to this page for your convenience:https://www.hornby.com/us-en/r2675-railroad-flying-scotsman-decoder-installation

OO means a scale of 1:76 whereas HO is 1:87- for some reason the Brits decided to use regular HO scale track. The flange depth and back-to-back wheel spacing are an issue when running on less than code 100 track- on code 83 you will have to check each switch and crossing for flangeway depth and width to resolve your issue.

Kind regards,"


I also talked with Intermountain about their 40055 bulk 33" wheel sets and was told that it should help with the cars and if it doesn't then try getting a micro file and file down some of the built up plastic.
 
#12
Is this the original Flying Scotsman? Yeppers, deep flanges. A club member had me do repairs to his to run right on the club layout. I have taken a dremel cutoff wheel, spinning, and lightly edge nudge it on the flanges as they spin to grind down the flanges. The engine I had running doing the same edge nudging to grind the flanges down, did same on a rivarossi 2-8-4. The alternative is to file down the flangeways on the crossover which may be an easier fix, perhaps slightly widen the guardrails. If you do this, do it in steps, file some down, try the train, check, file again. Try normal cars to make sure they dont go flying down the wrong track.
 
#13
Is this the original Flying Scotsman? Yeppers, deep flanges. A club member had me do repairs to his to run right on the club layout. I have taken a dremel cutoff wheel, spinning, and lightly edge nudge it on the flanges as they spin to grind down the flanges. The engine I had running doing the same edge nudging to grind the flanges down, did same on a rivarossi 2-8-4. The alternative is to file down the flangeways on the crossover which may be an easier fix, perhaps slightly widen the guardrails. If you do this, do it in steps, file some down, try the train, check, file again. Try normal cars to make sure they dont go flying down the wrong track.
Thanks. Don't think I'm brave enough to grind on the flanges yet but I'll give it a try on the cross over. I have some files but I don't think they will be narrow enough. I'll have to see what I can find at some hobby shops. :rolleyes:
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#14
Look for jeweller's files or Warding files that are (or were) used by toolmakers. I would caution against grinding the flanges down while on the engine. You'll get grit and filings into the "works". It's probably the flanges on the leading truck that's doing the derailing before the drivers anyway.
 
#15
Look for jeweller's files or Warding files that are (or were) used by toolmakers. I would caution against grinding the flanges down while on the engine. You'll get grit and filings into the "works". It's probably the flanges on the leading truck that's doing the derailing before the drivers anyway.
Hi tootnkumin,

Thanks. I'll look for the files and see if I can find them locally. If not, there is always the internet!! I don't think I'll try grinding down the flanges. With my luck, I'll make them lopsided. I think your right about the leading truck causing the problem, when I run the train slowly over the cross over, the wheels on the front truck (pilot??) come right out of the cross over. Haven't tried putting them back to see what the drive wheels do at the cross over. I'll have to play with it this weekend.
 
#16
I have hand built doubleslip turnouts and special work, normal wheels will just mini-drop down and come back, the flange support on the prototype is important but not so crucial on the model, model makers want to be accurate but my hand built versions dont have the flange support at all. Doubleslips have a VERY narrow crossing and mine worked. You could go to any Walgreens etc and find nail files, or look up Michaels, Hobby Lobby..uhm well your hobby shop..maybe...hint...nudge...nail files may work on plastic but dunno on metal...
 
#17
I have hand built doubleslip turnouts and special work, normal wheels will just mini-drop down and come back, the flange support on the prototype is important but not so crucial on the model, model makers want to be accurate but my hand built versions dont have the flange support at all. Doubleslips have a VERY narrow crossing and mine worked. You could go to any Walgreens etc and find nail files, or look up Michaels, Hobby Lobby..uhm well your hobby shop..maybe...hint...nudge...nail files may work on plastic but dunno on metal...
Hi dinwitty,

Thanks. I think I know where my wife keeps hers. :D If not, Walmart is down the road and Hobby Lobby is near by.
 
#18
You might carefully try filing some of the plastic using a flat Swiss needle file. Your thought about using a Code 100 crossover might also be the solution. Of course you will have to shim the Code 83 track leading up to each end of the crossover, but that isn't all that difficult.
 

tootnkumin

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#19
Nail files don't usually have cutting teeth along the edges, which is where you will need them to make the grooves deeper, some might, but not often.
 
#20
Nail files don't usually have cutting teeth along the edges, which is where you will need them to make the grooves deeper, some might, but not often.
I'm not talking nail files; I refer to Swiss needle files which do have cutting surfaces on the edges as well as the flats. Generally, the ones I've used are the right thickness to cut flangeways in most HO scale turnouts and crossings.
 



ModelRailroadForums.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com