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My Kato's are driving me crazy (derailing)

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  • My Kato's are driving me crazy (derailing)

    I have two Katos, a SD90MAC and SD40-2, I run them with the SD90 in the lead. The like good at derailing stuff. they can't go to the inner loop of the two in the original part of my layout. each can go one at a time, but together the SD40-2 gets flipped off the track by the SD90 as it come off the switch (see my layout page on the line below) once I get them past, they derail the first car behind them. I have the MT long couplers on.

    I was just trying to drive them in to the switching yard and they decoupled the car just going through the switch, and it's not all that tight of a curver there.

    What is it about Katos that makes them like to derail stuff? I have Altas SD60 that I can drive full out through these same section ok.
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  • #2

    Sorry to hear about your Kato problem. My Kato experince has been with their original equipment couplers having too strong of a centering spring which would push off the trailing car or loco. I resolved it by using an MT coupler and the problem went away, but this was an RS2. A larger loco would add to the problem and you have already changed the couplers so that should not be an issue.

    Perhaps you should check the wheel gage since the locos may be slightly climbing the frogs or guard rails and creating a problem because of that. Another place to check in the case of the cars would be to see if their couplers are casing the problem.

    Hopefully others will add additional solutions for you to consider.


    • #3
      I got my MT gauge out and checked everything, all wheels; loco and box car in question are right on, the track checks out too. I think it's just the corners are too tight for them.

      I'm thinking about making some change to the area in question as long as it does mean rippin up the whol town.. As nice as the Katos run, I don't think I'd buy another one, unless it was a short model.
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      • #4


        I looked at the pictures of your layout.

        Seems to me it isn't much wider than 2 feet.

        If that is true, your curves may just be too narrow for multiple engines on the front of the train. Even in N-scale they may be pushing each others of the track by just hitting the pilots.

        Have a look at that.

        Hope you have some room for wider curves.

        Have fuN,

        Maarten Vis

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        • #5
          With the tight corners that it appears to me you have on your layout, you would be better served using GP locomotives (4 axle types). The smaller engines are much more forgiving of the "branch line" track characteristics. The SD's just do not negotiate track with tight curves or even slight kinks.
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          • #6
            Which, of course, is unfortunate since three axle units where originally created to more evenly distribute the load for the light rail on branch lines. Not that that really applies to an SD90 :-)}



            • #7
              I was getting ready to sell them. Took their pictures for ebay. I gave it one last try today, the one thing I didn't do yet. So I pulled the MicroTrains couplers and put on the Kato lon shank couplers that came with the SD90. The SD40-2 didn't come with them

              The Kato long shanks did the trick. They have far more flex then the MT coupler allowed, so the both locks have them on the rear, I'll have to get more for the front now.

              I'm just glad I didn't sell them and take a loss on selling new locos. I also means I don't have to worry about buying more Kato's in the future. If these didn't work, I'd have the same problems with other too... But it's just a coupler issue. Infact the pair are right now parked on the tighest inner town loop with a nise size cut of cars in tow!
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