- 25 Apr 2020
Seems the Dentist Office decided to get a Thomas engine for their line. This is the overhead shelf style layout I have mentioned and ask for advice on here before. It sure looked like this engine would be short and able to navigate the R1 curves this layout was constructed with some 26 years ago. Alas, it squeals like a piggy when it goes round those pesky tight curves. The measure between the axles is only 5 5/8 inches (about 143 mm for our metric friends) but they are fixed and do not swivel at all. There IS some float back and forth on the end axles and the center wheels do not have flanges. However, it just sticks in the curves and slows down an amazing amount. The problem seems to be further compounded by the fact that the wheels do not seem to be very smooth at all. The casting is rough textured instead of a polished finish. This makes it even worse and even seems to be grinding off brass as it goes through the admittedly already a bit worn brass curves. What a major disappointment for the dentist who purchased it. After working on this for a while now, I sure would never build with those tight curves on any layout. I have considered widening all the curves in this establishment. The sticky point to that is all the lovely steel trestles a local company built that have the exact same curves as that R1 track. So, seeing as this is the electric loco thread, do any of you have similar stories? Anybody else running one of these Thomas locos that can chime in on minimum radius for this engine? What locos do you all love for this tight radius track? And, if you are reading this Greg, the 44 tonner runs beautifully on this layout and has enough swivel in it's truck mounted hook/loop couplers to pull cars around the R1 curves. So at least that was a win. The Forney steam locos also seem to navigate these curves just fine although it also recently started binding in the tight return loop curves also. But could it be that the track is failing and just not delivering enough power to the engine? There's nothing but LGB rail joiners on this layout and I'm thinking it's time for a major teardown/cleaning/overhaul. Any thoughts?