HO Athearn SD60 RTR trucks

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I have acquired one of the latest releases of the Athearn RTR HO SD60. I have found over time through owning a few RTR models that they are very picky when it comes to track. I have several other models that traverse my railroad just fine, KATO, Intermountain, etc. The problem I seem to have with this SD60 is the same I had with a SD40-2 model where the front axle likes to find a slightly rough spot and hop off the rail. Same problem with the lead axle of the rear truck. I had a repair shop that is no longer in business alleviate the problem for me but the gentleman is no longer around for me to ask what he did to the loco. Is the best answer to modifiy the middle axle of each truck so that most of the weight of the locos rides and the end axles and the middle one just floats? Any suggestions? I checked the axles on a flat surface and there doesn't appear to be any bent axles or warped trucks. It never hops off in the same spot either so that makes me even more confident that it just needs to be tuned a little. Thanks everyone for their help!


Gomez Addams
Staff member
Check the sideframes to see if they could be touching something when they swing into the turnout.


I'm having the exact same problem with a new CSX SD60 I just got. I sent athearn an email in reference to it. Waiting on a response.


Gomez Addams
Staff member
It is very possible at least one wheelset is out of gauge in each truck. I have had a little success with adjusting the center axle to slightly narrower than recommended. The operative word here is "slightly".


Beach Bum
For sure, the Athearn SD truck will find your track's weak spots, better than any other detection method :rolleyes:. Seriously, I had a lot of problems with a RTR SD40, which gave me fits, The engine passes all the recommended diagnostics, and the truck swing was about the same as others, so I repaired or replaced the track on my curves and continued to test until it was able to make a trip over the entire layout without incident. My guess is that the closer the model is to the prototype, the greater the possibility of problems. Keep in mind that I also ran BB Athearn, Atlas, Bowser, Walthers and BLI locos with 6 wheel trucks over the same layout without incident, so I'm inclined to believe that it's something unique to Athearn. It's somewhat similar to my experience that Intermountain freight cars have a greater probability of derailing on my layout, than any other manufacturers.......and I cannot find any defect with them either.


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