Continuing the earlier posting…
Got home early, everything in control. Moved things into place for ops, a very methodical process (in a little house, you have to do a number of things to make it ready for 8-12 operators). Anyway, was performing the final step, adding CRC to spots on the line and then running a set of F3s up and down the track to spread it out. The engines were running smooth and I was actually goosing them right along. On the first uphill, at high speeds, they piled up at the lower Serrano turnout. Odd. Well, I was going TGV fast.
Then the second run up (more sedate) and this time I saw them go off the rails, right behind the sugar refinery. This is one of the problem spots on my railroad, a place where a climbing turn enters a swayback, and of course, there’s the joint. The GS4 has to be rerailed every time through there. But this time, my Fs (four axle railstickers if there ever were such a thing) were going off. I figured the the first pileup was caused by the wheels going off the rails and the train sliding along until crashing at the turnout.
I ran them back and forth, reversing them around, but the same truck set always went off at the same spot. I checked the gauge – fine – and the truck seating – fine. I looked at everything. Then I decided, F-it, its only one spot. So I ran them up the hill and derailed (the same truck) coming off the Stenner Creek trestle.
Okay, that was getting weird. Even though the my gauge showed the wheel spacing spot on, I cracked open the engine (I love doing that right before ops), dropped the truck out, popped it open and pulled the wheels off. Other then a little kitty-cat hair-winding, fine. But just in case – JUST IN CASE – I got out a new set of wheels (I buy these things in batches and keep a bunch around) and put new ones in). Put it together in a minute or too, checked everything, and then ran it up and down the hill across the bad spot. No problems. Ran it across the trestle. Fixed. I don’t know why those wheels were bad (perhaps they had a wobble in them?) but that seemed to fix the problem.
Isn’t it great, simulating the heartburn of a real division superintendent?