Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Welztalbahn: Track Repairs

The approach to the south turnout at Emsingen station has always been a bit problematic. Some cars or locomotives would derail here and I couldn't quite figure out why. Since this is the location where I'm planning to add a turnout towards a modular expansion of the Welztalbahn, I decided to take another look at this. I noticed before that cars with DC wheelsets tend to have trouble here, while the Maerklin "pizza cutter" wheel sets never had problems. I figured that the problem would likely be related to track alignment and how the wheel sets navigate the transition from the uphill grade into the station.

The ESU BR 215 reliably had trouble here as well and likes to go straight over the points instead of  heading left to stay on the mainline, so it's a nice guinea pig to test with.

It turned out that there was a slight vertical kink at the end of the grade just before the turnout which was sufficient to send the wheels a bit higher on the points and there isn't enough flange on these wheel sets to counter this motion. I removed the ballast on the curve leading into the turnout and experimented with vertical track alignment so that the short track piece next to the turnout was horizontal with the turnout, and the grade ends a couple inches before the turnout. That seems to have done the trick. At least the BR 215 has now passed through this spot at full speed several times without any difficulties, when before it would derail even at slow speed. I call that good enough for now.

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