Athearn Gondolas

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f1_indy2000

Guest
I have my layout up and running and have an issue with two of my gondolas. Everytime they go through two of my curves that have 22 and 24degree radius they jump track. I have tried loosening the screw that holds the truck and have tried turning the car completely around and still jumps. Are they lacking weight or just junk?
 

Alcomotive

Grandson of ALCO Bldr
Last edited by a moderator:

Joe Daddy

C & SF, my obsession
I have my layout up and running and have an issue with two of my gondolas. Everytime they go through two of my curves that have 22 and 24degree radius they jump track. I have tried loosening the screw that holds the truck and have tried turning the car completely around and still jumps. Are they lacking weight or just junk?
Here is what typically causes me derailments and what I do for it:
- Weight too low ~ 3 oz min. Postage scale
- Incorrectly gauged wheelsets NMRA gauge and learn how to use it
- Bad wheels Inspect for dirt and broken wheels
- Obstruction in the track Inspect track carefully and use NMRA Gauge on it
- Car is too long for the radius of the curve If longer than 80' 24' raidus or longer.
- Kinked track, Inspect and look at it from multiple angles with small mirror especially flex track improperly soldered
- Truck to bolster adjustment Ensure truck turns limit to limit without bind and no slop
- Coupler interference Check to ensure coupler height is correct

Usually one or more of these things is the culprit for me. Roll the car through the problem area very slowly and see exactly where it is detrailing, then examine that area very carefully per above list.

Hope this helps, it is what i do.

Best regards,
Joe
 
F

f1_indy2000

Guest
Thanks Guys I appriciate the help. Ok I got one of the gondolas working, but the other is asking to be flinged across the room against the wall. Ok i took both of their under bodies off, inspected the wheels and put them back together. I even got a close up look at the track and nothing appears to be out of sort. Well, one of the gondola's works now. I must have gotten the screw in just right, but who knows. The other just wants to jump any curved track. These are just the basic gondola. I can't recall the specific lengths for the average gondola (real car), but I will assume its suppose to be 45 foot long. I have other cars that are longer(cover hoppers) and they run through my curves with no problems. Fun Fun, Thanks again
 

GatorDave

Railroading Fan~Gator Fan
I bought a string of Athearn covered gondolas(twelve of them, I believe) at a show. They were blue box and after I had them assembled I ran them and half of them jumped track at some point... usually on a curve. I hot glued weights from an old Life Like "toy" diesel... you know the kind that they used to stack in the train set diesels... into the underside of the roofs. After that they all tracked much better. They were all weighted to NMRA standards. I also replaced the wheelsets with metal wheels. Everything that goes on the layout gets metal wheels, something that I learned way back.

The problem with open gons is the lack of a place to add weight. You might want to consider adding loads to the cars. Good luck. Dave
 

Brakie

Member
I have my layout up and running and have an issue with two of my gondolas. Everytime they go through two of my curves that have 22 and 24degree radius they jump track. I have tried loosening the screw that holds the truck and have tried turning the car completely around and still jumps. Are they lacking weight or just junk?
First those gons are not junk they operate derailment free even at stock weight with plastic wheels..Like ANY BB car kit CARE must be taken when assembling these cars.
Did you check to ensure the frame isn't warp? Did you check to see the weight is bent? Are the wheels in gauge? Trucks not to tight? Is the truck warp? Out of the many BB kits I built over the years I found this problem 5 times and still I check the trucks just in case.
As I have mention more times then I can recall,while these are simple kits one can not throw a BB car kit together without checking the parts.That is how many modelers stumble,trip and fall when building these cars.:(
 
Ive got a couple Open Gons on my switching layout.. havent had any issues Yet... 'yet' bein the keyword. I do wish they were a bit heavier thou, but that'll come when I get 'loads' into em..
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
You know whats odd? I have a Blue Box gondola thats heavy warped (intentionally) with Accurail trucks and P2K wheels and its making it through 22" easy.

I'd suggest checking the track, and replacing the plastic wheels.
 
F

f1_indy2000

Guest
You know whats odd? I have a Blue Box gondola thats heavy warped (intentionally) with Accurail trucks and P2K wheels and its making it through 22" easy.

I'd suggest checking the track, and replacing the plastic wheels.
The track checks out just fine. I do have metal wheels, however, the gondolas that work fine have wheels that are JB I believe. Its been ten years since I got those and put them on and I think thats the compnay name of those. They are obvioulsly heavier and have an insulator on one side of them, plus as I recall they were a bit pricey for a set of three. Also the diameter of the wheels is 33. Well with the ones that don't work have Kadee wheels and i didn't realize that they aren't metal until I thought i was saving a buck, therefor I'm sure that is part of the problem. I have look at them closely have found nothing really wrong with them. It just frustrates me that these cars cant make it through a 22" curve and will just jump if you look at them wrong, while my covered hoppers, which I assume are supposed to be 54feet long run through there just fine without any issues. Very aggravating.
 

jbaakko

Diesel Detail Freak
Kadee's are metal wheels. and Jaybee is a very nice wheel. I dunno whats causing it, I can't think of anything else but maybe grinding.
 

Brakie

Member
One question..Is the trucks or wheels hitting the frame? I found this problem on one of my problem children this morning..The car ran fine one way but derail when traveling in the opposite direction.I simply filed the side of the frame a very small tad to clear the 33" wheels.
 




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