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Author Topic: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?  (Read 527 times)

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Offline Invicta Alec

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Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« on: June 30, 2019, 05:48:06 PM »
Guys, I'm a big fan of Kato track and I've had very few issues with mine, however a question .........

Do you have any stock that grounds? The Dapol 153 rail car is very low slung (or at least mine is) and when new I regarded it as a poor runner until I recognised it was scraping over the plastic check (guard) rails on the turnouts. A recently acquired Dapol class 52 (Western) which also appears to have very minimal clearance is prone to the same thing.
All of the rest of my stock runs absolutely fine over the track.


Alec.
You can't beat a nice drop of Southern.




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Offline Lawrence

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2019, 06:57:18 PM »
I only run Japanese and American and have had no issues and as you say it is just one of your locos that does it so I guess you answered your own question really  :thumbsup:

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2019, 06:58:13 PM »
Alec, I can not remember off hand which pieces of rolling stock do it, but I have noticed a few pieces do catch on the check rails. So it is nothing you are doing @Invicta Alec
David.
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Offline Invicta Alec

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2019, 08:02:23 PM »
I only run Japanese and American and have had no issues and as you say it is just one of your locos that does it so I guess you answered your own question really  :thumbsup:

Thanks for that Laurence, but the bottom of the wheels on a 153 is a proverbial gnats Large Chicken :) lower than the frame of the bogie. I'm hoping that someone who uses Kato and has exactly that model might be able to confirm. I have of course checked to see the axle ends are properly seated in their locating holes.

Alec.
You can't beat a nice drop of Southern.




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Offline Invicta Alec

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2019, 08:03:26 PM »
Alec, I can not remember off hand which pieces of rolling stock do it, but I have noticed a few pieces do catch on the check rails. So it is nothing you are doing @Invicta Alec

Thanks David.


Alec.

You can't beat a nice drop of Southern.




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Offline Lankyman

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2019, 08:13:19 PM »
I have not really had the problems described but have noticed that the wheels lift up a little when passing over points due the wheels running on the flanges through the frog. I have not noticed any problem with the check rails. However, about a month ago I purchased a "Tencommandments" track cleaner wagon which I had seen reviewed in Railway Modeller. This has a small cleaning pad under the wagon held down by a very interesting weight arrangement. The first few circuits were OK but then the thing started to jam when passing through points in one direction but not the other. This caused a major derailment and I then noticed that the cleaning pad had been ripped off. I have put this down to the raised frog. I cannot blame the wagon and really don't want to replace all the track with another make. My Scharge cleaning wagon does not have this problem because the cleaning pad is much larger but this , in itself is a problem in that it makes the wagon out of gauge and has a problem with platforms and other lineside infrastructure. I presume the frog is designed with a shallow flangeway for a particular reason but it escapes me.
Ron
Ron

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2019, 08:20:48 PM »
...I presume the frog is designed with a shallow flangeway for a particular reason but it escapes me.
Ron

Usually so that stock doesn't "drop" as wheels pass through the rather wide gaps found on typical trackwork. The flanges are expected to ride on the bottom of the flangeway.  So with older deeper flanges stock may rise and bounce a little through the frog.  With a cast metal live frog like Kato, if the flanges of pickup wheels can ride the flangeway it improves pickup.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2019, 08:22:00 PM by ntpntpntp »
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Offline Leon

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2019, 09:02:33 PM »
I'm ill-informed (don't even fully understand flanges), but my Kato points are a problem for a few of my locos and other rolling stock. I'm a long way from completion of my layout and will discover more when I'm free to run my trains, but I think it's clear that Kato points do provide a few challenges. Not enough for me to replace them, and from what I read on the Forum no track is perfect (nor anything another component of this hobby, it seems to me). Part of my problems is probably due to poor track laying.

Leon
"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2019, 09:18:23 PM »
Part of my problems is probably due to poor track laying.

@Leon

Leon, the above is a possibility, but before I fastened my Kato track down, I noticed a few joins where one piece of track was marginally higher than the adjacent piece. Swapping track pieces around or with different pieces, did cure some of this. However, (and do not tell the 'purists'  ;)), what I ended up doing was taking a small flat file and running it over the raised bit - it only took a couple of passes with the file. Whether this solution would work with the points problem, I don't know and (un)fortunately, I can not test any theory out for a week or two as my brother and his wife are coming to stay for a few days and I have had my instructions - "make the spare bedroom look like a spare bedroom, not an 'overspill' for the train room" etc etc.  >:( :( . Women!
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline ntpntpntp

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2019, 10:05:18 PM »
.... I noticed a few joins where one piece of track was marginally higher than the adjacent piece. Swapping track pieces around or with different pieces, did cure some of this.

This is one of the problems with the Unijoiners - they can be a little loose. I've noticed this with my small test oval of Unitrack.  It's the price you pay for a track system that's designed for rapid and repeated assembly and disassembly.   Properly securing the track to the baseboard should improve matters and level the joints.

Quote
However, (and do not tell the 'purists'  ;)),  what I ended up doing was taking a small flat file and running it over the raised bit - it only took a couple of passes with the file.
Hmm... don't think it's a good idea to go too mad with a file be honest, other than if you've got a slight burr on the rail end of a piece.
Nick.   2016 celebrating the 20th anniversary of "Königshafen" exhibition layout!

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2019, 08:29:03 AM »
I am sure that everybody is aware of the need for properly secured track. And as I said earlier, "a couple of passes" with a file is usually all that is necessary.
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline NeMo

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2019, 08:37:18 AM »
This is one of the problems with the Unijoiners - they can be a little loose. I've noticed this with my small test oval of Unitrack.  It's the price you pay for a track system that's designed for rapid and repeated assembly and disassembly.   Properly securing the track to the baseboard should improve matters and level the joints.

Quick PSA: you can buy replacement joiners for a few quid, e.g., here:

https://www.traintrax.co.uk/24815-unijoiner-p-323.html

There's a tool that comes with many if not all Unitrack starter kits specifically for removing the joiners, should you need to do so. It's not really worth struggling with poor connections when a fix is quickly delivered by using new joiners.

Cheers, NeMo

PS FWIW, @Invicta Alec, I've never had problems with 'Westerns' on Unitrack, but neither of my 9Fs (despite having the pony truck spring kit fitted) will ride through Unitrack points reliably, either then #4 or #6 designs.
NGS Journal Editor

Offline Bealman

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2019, 08:56:22 AM »
I have hummed and haaahed about Kato track over the years, meaning maybe yes, maybe no, but this thread is starting to put me off a bit!
Vision over visibility. Bono, U2.

Offline dannyboy

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2019, 09:04:15 AM »
Don't let it put you off, problems, certainly as far as I am concerned, are few and far between.
David.
I used to be indecisive - now I'm not - I don't think.
If a friend seems distant, catch up with him.

Offline NeMo

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Re: Any grounding issues on your Kato track?
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2019, 09:41:19 AM »
I have hummed and haaahed about Kato track over the years, meaning maybe yes, maybe no, but this thread is starting to put me off a bit!

As @dannyboy says, don't be put off by Unitrack's rare incompatibilities.

Provided you understand its limitations, it's quite possibly the best invention ever for the running of toy trains without problems. It's not the ideal for a realistic model railway for all sorts of reasons, but I'd suggest that even the most hardcore modeller has a place for Unitrack. It's obviously great for running in new stock, and it's perfect for exercising repaired or kit-built locos and rolling stock where you want all the other variables (like dodgy ballasting or flaky points) evened out. I use Unitrack whenever children come to visit and they just want to play with my trains.

I'm also pleased to say that it's also remarkably cheap. You can get the starter kit including a power pack for around 50 quid. Perfect for your running-in / having a play tabletop set!

Cheers, NeMo
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