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Thread: Kato Locos vs. Bachmann E-Z track

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    Question Kato Locos vs. Bachmann E-Z track

    I have a test track set up with Bachmann E-Z Track. It has left and right E-Z Track switches installed. I just purchased 2 used Kato N scale Alcos. I can't keep either one of them from derailing even before they get to the switches. If I take it slow they seem to be okay even through the switches. As soon as I speed up they derail. They keep running, but as soon as they hit the switch - bad news. What puzzles me is that all my other locos - Atlas, Bachmann & Life-Like give me no problems. Are Kato locos more sensitive to E-Z Track. I realize Bachmann E-Z Track isn't the best track in the world, but it's all I have for now. Thanks

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    the standard answer is to find which is out of gauge.

    my guess is that Kato's wheelsets will be just inside the wheel gauge

    from that one kinda has to assume that the flangeways are inside the no-go gauge.

    and all that is a guess... trying to point you at an NMRA track gauge for a definite answer.

    the practical answer is watch the loco closely and determine what derails the loco.
    walking over the frog or up the guard rail.
    with the usual 'fix' being adjust the wheel sets...

    I have to be different.... I file the flangeways as long as it is only a few turnouts.

    victor

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    I agree with the gauge answer. I've found that Bachmann locos can have issues on other brands of track......partly because they are set for Bachmann track. The E-Z track I have is all slightly wider than Atlas track and for the NMRA gauge, hence the Bachmann locos are gauged on the wide side and have problems on other brands of track. The trick is to adjust the locos to your track, not necessarily to the "standard". If your other locos don't have problems, don't mess with them. Just adjust the Katos to match your E-Z track.

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    How do you adjust the Kato locos to the E-Z track? I have a couple more Kato locos coming from ebay and this worries me. I never thought this would be a problem. Is there a way to adjust the wheels/axles on the Katos? Thanks

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    Get yourself an NMRA N scale standards gauge and use that tool to properly determine whether the back-to-back spacing of locomotive wheels is too wide or too narrow. A small jewelers flat-tip screwdriver can be used to make minor adjustments with gentle, gentle pressure on the wheels.

    B-mann track is junk, so you have good locomotives on track that is probably out of gauge as well.

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    I found gently filing down the sharp angles of the EZ track switch components help solve derailments.
    Mark

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    You'd think things like the NMRA standards would prevent stuff like this happening.

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    There could be lots of reasons for de-railing with Bachmann EZ turnouts (any other manufacturer as well).
    As suggested, start with wheel gauge, then track gauge.
    Both maybe correct and the cause is something different.
    We’ll go from there.

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    The Kato locos will derail before I even get to the turnouts. I did find an old Micro-Trains combination track gauge/ wheel gauge and coupler height gauge. The Kato loco wheels seem to be ok. As mentioned above - a lot of the E-Z track seems to be a little too wide. I would like to try and adjust the Kato wheels as Paul directed me to do by prying the wheels with a flat tip jeweler's screw driver. I' m just not sure where to apply the prying method. As everyone knows- Kato stuff ain't cheap - even used. I don't want to screw them up. I would really like to use the Kato locos on my E-Z Track as my situation is such that I am not going to have any other brand of track for awhile.
    My train board is only 36" x 53". If I were to convert to Kato unitrack (which I don't really want to do as I have a ton of E-Z track + addtl. cost) - would I have issues with running other brands of diesel and steam locos? Someone mentioned that Bachmann locos may have issues with Kato track. I have quite a few older Bachmann Sprectrum steam locos. Thanks to all for all of your input so far.

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    hooo boy....

    is there any chance you can go find/buy/obtain atlas true track?
    it is a bit less expensive than uni-track...

    you have diesels and that is good here.
    take the wheelsets out and carefull pull/twist the axle sets out to fit your new gauge.


    I am surprised your cars are staying on the rails if your diesels are falling in.

    victor

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    I'm one of the few folks here who uses Atlas True Track (most go with Unitrack because it has a better selection), and I run Kato, Atlas, Bachmann (both diesel and steam, specifically 2-6-0 and 2-10-2) and MRC/Model Power locomotives on it with no issues. Tuning a good locomotive to match questionable track seems like it might be more trouble in the long run, but only you know your current situation and what is best for you.

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    Ho OTFan,
    I run a loop of truetrack.
    I think it a good value, and much the same, so far, as unitrack
    I am going to test the turnouts and my various equipment soon.

    It looks more us prototype.

    victor

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    Quote Originally Posted by smittykid View Post
    If I were to convert to Kato unitrack (which I don't really want to do as I have a ton of E-Z track + addtl. cost) -
    @smittykid,
    I am not using KATO or Atlas True Track. I'm using the traditional track by Atlas and PECO.
    But my advice is to switch to one of these and dump the Bachmann stuff.

    I understand about the amount that you have and the additional cost but.....

    My father had a sign in his Custom cabinet shop that always rang true to me, "The cost is soon forgotten but the quality lingers on."
    If you plan to model railroad for a lifelong hobby and you stick with Bachmann, the problems will always follow you, if you drop the extra coin now, most of those problems will disappear leaving you with years of enjoyment instead of years of headaches. I would think that if you look around you should be able to pick up some good used Uni Track or True Track at a decent price.
    Someone here on NSN might even have some that they would be will sell their extra stock?

    Just something to think about.
    The Little Rock Line blog


    “Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience." George Carlin

    Support the natural selection process, remove the warning labels....

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    It's a ''pay me now or pay me later'' deal with the Bachmann track....dump it!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Allen H. View Post
    My father had a sign in his Custom cabinet shop that always rang true to me, "The cost is soon forgotten but the quality lingers on."
    Absolutely spot on.

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    hi smittykid,

    do you have this same problem with all your eztrack turnouts?

    onward
    What you are getting as advice stands on an observation.
    You have decided to purchase another loco and I can see you have a track problem.

    the next time you decide to get a loco, redirect that money to buying track.

    the NMRA standards are as loose as is possible and have reliable operation.
    eztrack does not meet that standard, and you are now looking at what happens.

    the good news is that you will learn how to re-gauge n-scale locos to meet b-mann's gauge.

    if you go to a train meet there is a chance you will need to
    un-do the wheelset re-gauge work.

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    DON'T mess with your Kato locos wheel gauge . They are not the problem here , the track is . Fix the problem , in this case get rid of the track . Like Allen said , this is a life long hobby , dont start off on the wrong foot and pay for it for the life span of the hobby . Unitrack plays well with every brand of locos and cars . Its readily available new and used , go that route if you want sectional ballasted track .

    Steve
    Last edited by aflica; 13th Apr 2019 at 06:16 PM.

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    It's true that the track is likely the issue, but you don't need to "dump" the Bachmann track. However you do need to understand the fact that the Bachmann track is not the route you want to go as you continue in the hobby. A major factor isn't even the track quality...….it's the variety of components. You won't find a lot of things like crossings, various sizes of turnouts, and more importantly, Flextrack, with the EZ-track. You mentioned this was a test track, and it's probably fine for that. Just be aware of the problems that are a result of the track...…..for example in this case you need to be aware of the gauge issue. After that it's up to you whether you adjust your equipment, or wait till you start a layout and have better track.

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    I have to agree with the above advice; modifying a Kato loco's wheels to match the track makes no sense.

    I've never used EZ-track. Make sure the rails at the joints are not only tangent left/right, which I assume EZ-track takes care of for you, but also tangent up/down, which depends more on the surface that it is laid on. If you lay a flat steel ruler edge across a joint you shouldn't see any daylight under it on either side of the joint, not even enough for a sheet of paper to fit thru.

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    I think we lost him...

    victor

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