Athearn Maxi II running tips is a free Model Railroad Discussion Forum and photo gallery. We cover all scales and sizes of model railroads. Whether you're a master model railroader or just getting started, you'll find something of interest here.


I'm attempting to run the blue box Maxi-II's on my club's layout. I realize the principal problem in running these is the lack of weight on them. I have begun weighing down my containers, and I've got a decent amount of them weighed down. The ones that I do have weighed down are placed at the ends of the articulated sets.

However, despite this, I am still encountering problems running them. The biggest issue I seem to have is that the whole thing leans excessively on curves when the containers are double stacked.

Other than more weight in the containers and possibly metal wheel sets, is there anything else I can really do for these cars?


P.S. It's 33" on the ends and 36" wheels on inside cars, right?


Diesel Detail Freak
Actually, its 36" outboard, 38" intermediate (just recently learned this myself). How much weight are you adding? Shouldn't be more then 5oz~ for the maxi-III cars, per NMRA.

My thoughts, are the bolsters flat? Is the weight centered?


If this a long trail and they are a little heavy, on small curves they tend to be pulled towards the center, since the end is still on the opposing side of the curve and cars are heavy. It happened to me when I tried to hook all cars ( about 25 of them, and on the first curve they were just pulled off the rails.

P.S. Mine was an uphill curve.


Hmmmm, you're saying not more than 5 oz? That might be it then. I think I may have overweighed them, though I know that I was still having the leaning problem before I added any weight to them, so I'm not sure really.

The weights are as centered as I could get them in the containers, though I'll have to check out the bolsters. I do recall one car seemingly leaning while standing still. If that is the problem, what would be the best way to get them flattened?

Are you sure 38"? I could have swore it was 36" on the inside and 33" on the outside. At least that's what it said in the Athearn instructions.

Grande Guy

grande guy

I know you have probably thought of this but you do not want to have any weights in the top containers. Also if the cars are leaning and the bolsters are flat maybe you need to make some adjustments on your truck mounting screws. Hope you get it worked out.

Dave Dane


Coal Shoveler
I don't run with any top containers with weights. Weighted containers are only in the bottom position.

5oz total is a good target for each car.

Can't remember what the capacity of a Maxi II is. If the center trucks are 125ton, I think then you need 38" wheels, with the others at 36".

ANd, I do notice that some of my blue box well cars wobble a bit as they're heading around the layout. Mainly due to the bolster hole on the truck being a bit too big.



Diesel Detail Freak
If they're still funny, try some small lead shot, or bb's one or two at time to level the car off. NMRA RP20.1 says 1oz + 1/2oz per inch in length.

As for the wheels, check the paint, if the intermediate trucks say 125T above them, then yes 38" wheels. No matter what the outside wheels should be 36".


I had the same problems with my 4 sets as well. I asked another guy in my club what he did to they won't lean ( outside wheeel was actually picking up off rail) Said he actually enlarged the pin holes in between the cars themself. I think I used a .110 drill. Worked they did stop leaning. I also cut shorter those long screws athearn supplies to attach the trucks

hope this helps

Affiliate Disclosure: We may receive a commision from some of the links and ads shown on this website (Learn More Here) 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 - An online railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used railroad books. Railroad pictorials, railroad history, steam locomotives, passenger trains, modern railroading. Hundreds of titles available, most at discount prices! We also have a video and children's book section. - An online model railroad bookstore featuring a curated selection of new and used books. Layout design, track plans, scenery and structure building, wiring, DCC, Tinplate, Toy Trains, Price Guides and more.