Friday, August 18, 2017


This was time to see just which locomotives would run reasonably well to terrible, and to detect track malfunctions as well. Two of  my club mates from the Garden State Central Model RR Club in NJ came by. Below is Jimmy flying our colors on his tee shirt. Beginning in Atlanta, he engineered the Catoosa to stops in Big Shanty and Kingston for a final stop in Dalton. However the Catoosa gave him (and me) fits of unplanned stops and stalls. 
Below, Martin is in Dalton with the famous General locomotive. He is setting up to reverse the loco on the Dalton turntable in order to run freight south over to Kingston. It was not unusual to have locomotives pulling trains but not long distances. The General has been one of the more reliable locos in my stable. For this session it had less difficulty than Jim with Catoosa.
Jim hovering over Atlanta while Martin continues his reversal.

Looking south as Martin pulls the General from the turntable. You may also notice that we use the NCE DCC system; love it!
The session was fruitful. BIG lesson, which never fails to appear, is the need to have clean track and wheels!. My frustrations ran up watching the Catoosa struggle. The next day I began troubleshooting. I realized that I although I had cleaned the main line, I had Jim and Martin running onto sidings that had not been cleaned. Pulling another loco off to inspect, I discovered the filth on the driver wheels. I am sometimes surprised if not shocked as to the amount of dirt the wheels collect in a short amount of time. However, these Mantua 4-4-0's require as much contact as possible to ensure smooth running. Although I accept the fact there will be the stalls and stops, these can be dramatically reduced by handling the Ops Session Fundamentals 101... a thorough cleaning of ALL track and wheels prior to ops sessions. But we did have fun!


  1. I see you have sounds in your locos, so I'll assume you've got DCC. If so have you considered adding keep alive modules? My experience using the combination of lenz gold decoders with USP module is excellent, my Sn2 forneys run over tape on the rails. Next I hope to start using soundtrax economi decoders with compatible current keepers.

  2. I agree with the previous comment. Keep alive circuits really help provide smooth running.