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Thread: Kato Locos vs. Bachmann E-Z track

  1. #21
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    Nope, you haven't lost me. Just an update - I pulled a couple of my old Kato Mikados from my "archives" and gave them a run on my E-Z-Track. To my surprise, they ran great with no derail problems whatsoever - even through the turn outs. Over the weekend I received a used Kato EMD SD 45 loco. I tested it as well and low and behold it also had no derail problems. I'm beginning to think that my problems with the 2 locos I first mentioned might be the loco's trucks and not the track. Anyway, long story short - I'm going with the majority here and I ordered a Kato M2 starter set and some extra track pieces. Thanks again for all the input. Smitty

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  3. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by smittykid View Post
    , long story short - I'm going with the majority here and I ordered a Kato M2 starter set and some extra track pieces. Thanks again for all the input. Smitty
    But do invest in an N scale NMRA standards gauge. It's kinda one of those some-day-you-will-thank-me/us things. $12 and it saves a lot of headaches down the road.

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    Yeah I had 12 brand new atlas turnouts installed on my layout and tested everything with 2 of my most fussy locos. Later though running some other locos I found they consistently derailed at the same turnout every time. Was it their wheels? The turnout? Something else? With my NMRA gauge I was able to see the points on the turnout were like 0.25mm off AND the wheels on a couple of these locos were a tiny tiny bit out of gauge the other way, which combined to cause the problem. The gauge is a real essential tool to have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    and it saves a lot of headaches down the road.
    Yeah, I'm a chump for quoting myself. ...

    I said the NMRA standards gauge saves headaches. It does.

    It can also be associated with a headache, viz. "Where did I leave that doggone gauge now!"

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    I have a layout I'm working on, the Kato Amherst 2005, slightly modified.
    I't's mainly modified because I also wanted to use my existing Bachman EZ track, so the inner loop is Bachman and the rest is Kato unitrack.

    It took a bit of fiddling but they are now playing nice together.
    I had a little trouble with one Bachman steamer but that is all fixed now. (The frogs on the Bachman track are sometimes a bit higher than the Kato turnouts.)

    I have already made a pact with myself to buy only Kato track from now on, as the quality difference is obvious, but the Bachman track is still quite usable.
    To join the two types is just a matter of pulling off the connector clips on the Kato track (an easily reversible option), and cutting of the plastic protrusions on the Bachman
    connectors with a razor saw (not a reversible option), and then using standard track joiners, in this case code 100.

    The tracks line up well in most cases, you might have to do a bit filing at the joints occasionally, but it can be done.

    BTW, I paid $39.00 each for my Bachman turnouts, and but only $29.00 for the Kato units.
    If you shop around you can find pretty good deals on Kato track for the most part.

    So smittykid, don't let us discourage you from using what you have.
    If you are on a strict budget, make do, and learn from it.

    As for the derailing, I had a problem with one or two pieces of rolling stock derailing on turnouts.
    On close inspection with a flashlight during VERY slow motion through turnouts, I was able to ascertain that one truck in particular when being pushed through the turnout was
    catching on the INSIDE of the open turnout rail because the wheels were too close to each other (out of gauge), so I turned the unit upside down and applied some gentle pressure
    to the inside of the wheels to make them track just a little bit wider and voila!
    No more derailing! Sometimes it's that simple.
    I didn't have an nmra gauge at the time, but one is on order now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    Yeah, I'm a chump for quoting myself. ...

    I said the NMRA standards gauge saves headaches. It does.

    It can also be associated with a headache, viz. "Where did I leave that doggone gauge now!"
    Is it steel? if so, stick a magnet on it and attach it somewhere safe.

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    I need an 'embarrasssed' and 'chagrin' emoticon.

    I have two gauges.
    I keep them together in the same envelope.

    It is not exactly that I lost one ... I know it is in here somewhere...
    it is that I needed it at that time.

    when I 'lose' one now, I guard the second one carefully until the first surfaces.

    I've been known to lose whole locos also...

    victor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Schmidt View Post
    "Where did I leave that doggone gauge now!"
    I've lost and found mine more times than i can remember . Its gotten to the point that its like getting a gift everytime it turns up . Having a bit of a forgetful mind does have its little pleasures lol

    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by smittykid View Post
    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 Spectrum steam locos. Thanks to all for all of your input so far.
    I have a 2 loop track on a 36 x 60 board.
    The inside track/loop is Bachman and the outside track is Kato. I do prefer the Kato track but I also had a pretty good investment in Bachman track that I didn't want to waste.
    I have two Bachman locos and both run equally well on both loops. Don't have any Kato locos.
    I do have a few pieces of rolling stock that like to derail sometimes on the switches (both makes), usually when going in reverse, but I'm pretty sure that's wheel/gauge/truck problem because the other cars are fine.
    I have new wheels and trucks on the way so I'll be testing that theory soon.

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    A lot of derail problems when pushing cars , can be solved with properly weighted cars . If a car is too light it will want to ride up on things .
    And you are also correct , good wheels and trucks make a difference too , as well as body mounted couplers

    Steve

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    I would add a caveat to body mounted couplers. If you have a larger layout with big, large radii curves, fine. I have a smaller layout with tight-ish radii and don't care for the body mounted couplers, particularly in backing. I'm not sure at what radius point they become a detriment rather than an enhancement but it would seem that that point does exist.

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