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  • Topic: AMS Tank on Wood Flat

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    • August 14, 2011 6:42 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      It was rainy today and not much to do, so I decided to mess with the troublesome tank one more time. I never did send the trucks back to Cliff for replacement. The car has been sitting on the RIP track for a few months.

      I thought I had been through this before, but I decided to check the back-to-back wheel spacing one more time when I noticed that that a wheel was dropping inside the gauge on a switch that is a little over-gauge. I found several axles that were under gauge.

      Setting the back-to-back to 1.575" +/- .002 got me to the point that I can track (slowly) through all of my switches. I still get an occasional derailment, but think I'm much closer now :)

      Time to take it out on the main line for road trials.
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    • August 15, 2011 7:13 PM EDT
      • Peoria, AZ
         
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      Expensive stuff shouldn't be so maintenance intensive and crappy right out of the box. But, hey, I'm preaching to the choir here, so ...
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    • August 15, 2011 10:44 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      I can't disagree with you, but I bought this NOS tank quite cheap on close-out. Well under $100.
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    • August 16, 2011 8:27 PM EDT
      • Candlewood Valley, Connecticut
         
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      Main-line trials today went pretty good, but there was one spot on a curve where it consistently derailed. It looks like one wheel climbs up the rail then the other wheel falls into the gauge. So I took the trucks off again to check the back-to back. I have a digital micrometer and I am getting crazy readings with it. Three different measurements on the same wheel set. My conclusion was that I was still to wide, so with a little persuasion from a hammer I was able to tighten up the back to back a bit more, but still can't get a consistent 1.575" reading.

      Getting frustrated again thinking the semi-scale flanges were the problem I grabbed a spare set of USA wheels and shortened the axle on the grinder. The shoulder on the axle would not go into the side frames without drilling out the brass. I'm not ready to bugger them up quite yet, so I gave up on that idea.

      I have a ready-to-go set of Delton trucks with metal wheels, but I couldn't come up with any hardware to mount them on the AMS car. Another idea foiled.

      Ready to give up again, I put the AMS truck back together and did one last test run indoors. Now it's was back to dropping into the gauge on one switch. Just for the heck of it, I spun the offending truck around 180 degrees and tried again. It worked!!! Took the car back out on the main-line. Ran it through switches at speed and around the curve that it derailed on earlier. The car tracked smoothly with no derailments.

      It looks like the problem is solved. I just wish I knew what I did to fix it.
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    • August 27, 2011 9:32 AM EDT

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      Realistically, the biggest thing wrong with the car is that the prototype tanks didn't have stake pockets. It probably wouldn't be hard to remove them, however I haven't bothered to do it either. I think they're just plugged into some holes that would have to be filled and painted over. From photos, it appears the flat car part was narrower, and they used 4'8" trucks. The tanks are really the only AMS cars that aren't accurate...

      Robert
    • August 27, 2011 9:51 AM EDT
      • Spokane Valley, Washington St.
         
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      It depended on the era, Robert.
      Early Conoco tanks had stake pockets, as well as several gasoline tanks from the NCO and SP lines.
      I have lots of NG books with pics of tanks on flats with stake pockets
      Except for water cars and a few others, most tank cars were not owned by the railroads they ran on, but by private companies
      like Conoco, etc.
      As they developed into later eras, all steel cars were introduced.
      Accucraft depicts early tanks and Bachmann Spectrum tanks depict later models.
    • August 27, 2011 10:08 AM EDT

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      Ah, that makes sense. Most of the photos I've seen show no stake pockets, but I've also seen photos with handrails installed. When it comes to Colorado narrow gauge, never say never!

      Robert
    • August 28, 2011 9:38 AM EDT
      • Large Curmudgeon, Ft Gay, WV
         
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      In a lot of cases, the railroad owned the flatcar and the consigner owned the tank....
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