Bachmann 4-8-4 Niagara help...
I just bought a brand new DCC equipped Bachmann Niagara steam locomotive off of a internet hobby shop. I also bought an E-Z track "Worlds Greatest Hobby" track pack. the Niagara came a little late because of a shipping mixup. by the time it arrived my track was all set up. I set the loco on the track, and it derails on every corner. after a google search, I discovered that I had 18" radius curves, and that the Bachmann required 22". so I went down to a local hobby shop (which is 20 miles away when you live in a farm town in rural Michigan) and purchased enough 22" curves to replace the 18" on my layout. Thinking I had fixed the problem, I was quite disappointed when I put the loco on the track, and it still derails at every corner (usually the trailing truck). I'm beginning to get a little fed up with it considering how much I've spent already any suggestions on where to go from here? please and thank you, any input is greatly appreciated.
This is not that un-common and I've had my fill of frustration with RTR locos.
When you at every 'corner' do you when the track goes from straight to curved?
How fast is it moving going into the curves?
If it happens at a very slow speed try watching very close to see why its derailing.
Is any part of the truck hitting the frame?
How about the wheels? do they hit the frame?
Is the pivot free?
Is the Tender hitting the Cab? If so is the pin at the very end of the draw-bar?
How about the wheel gauge did you check it and the track gauge?
A fix I did on an Athern Loco where the Lead track always derailed was to add weight to the truck. This finally cured the derailing.
I don't have experence with the Bachmann Niagara so hopefully some knows about this issue and has a fix.
Last edited by waltr; 08-27-2012 at 05:17 PM.
I've found some couplers have a tendency to hang down too far and they catch on the tracks at curves. You might also notice a dragging noise if this is the issue.
First, 22" track is still really tight for a 4-8-4. I recommend at least 30" if the space will permit. I have a whole bunch of 38" EZ track that Everything I have will run on.
Second, try weighting the trailing truck a little bit. I have noticed that that will help the tracking of recent Bachmann locomotives. Try to figure a way to stick about a quarter ounce of weight (sticky weight works great for this) on the top of the truck where it will clear the firebox.
If the drivers' axles are relatively fixed in the frame, you might try turing the flanges off the center wheels, making the two center sets "blind". If the drivers are sprung, that won't work, unfortunately. You might also check to see if the trailing truck is contacting the flanges of the last set of drivers. If so, you might be able to file or mill clearance cuts in the trailing truck frame.
If the Niagara drivers and leading truck make it around the curves, and the trailing truck does not, and the specs say 22" minimum while you have 24", it suggests to me that the fault lies with the trailing truck or its connection to the frame of the steamer. It might need weight, it might be grabbing on a burr or 'flashing' that wasn't cleaned up, either on the truck bolster or the frame where the truck slides. It might be getting hung up on overflow piping, too.
Use good light and try the loco on a handy curve where you have trouble. Forwards and backward, different speeds, and if it is consistent, slow it right down and have a good look at a scale 6 mph or so. Does the truck tilt, or pitch, maybe forward or backward or at an odd angle? It may not be sliding properly due to material or burrs. Does it slowly lift one wheel out of the rails on the outside rail of a curve? You have rail height disparities, and not under the truck...it will be further up the loco and will be causing the loco to tilt.
You have to put your thinking cap on and imagine problems, and then eliminate them. Have you unscrewed the truck and felt its sliding surfaces with light pressure on your forefinger? Is it lubed well with a light grease?
I have a similar locomotive.
It does not have any sort of 'slide' but rather a bar that connects to the top with a screw and another screwto the frame similar to a drawbar. I can't say it's the best design, but once I fiddled with it enough I could get it to run through the tightest spots on my club layout without the trailing truck derailing. Weight is what found to get it to work the best. The more the better.
These are all good suggestions, but this is also where I get my greatest fun, just TINKERING!
Add some weight to the trailer truck.
I had a very similar situation and on closer inspection found there was still a small piece of packing foam tucked into the front and rear trucks.