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Re: [z_scale] Re: Ideal Radius for Large Passenger (Orient Express)

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  • Tom & Andrea Landauer
    From a New Member: Z to G scale and some in between. As a new non-ranking member of your wonderful group of model railroaders; I need to let you all know
    Message 1 of 20 , Dec 4, 2002
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      From a New Member:
      "Z" to "G" scale and some in between.



      As a new non-ranking member of your wonderful group of model railroaders; I need to let you all know where I come from and why I look forward to reading your exchanges and or dialogues.



      I am a retired Management Consultant to professionals. That is Doctors: Physicians, Dentists and Attorneys (Only lawyers that do not sue other professionals). My specialty as a management consultant: was "Group Practices". Their "Type of Organization" and more specifically: "Income Distribution". It is great to leave the problems involving accounting, personnel, group dynamics, and Government Regulations for building your own corner of the world and make it work.



      You in model building have demonstrated how we humans can tackle problems and have fun. The trains can actually make it around the layout without a wreck. I wish!





      Now to my new mission: I like using a combination of scales in my layout to give a bigger depth view in a small area. I set up a Christmas scene each year for my friends and family.



      I especially like to see the kids and my grand children get down on the floor next to the "G" scale going through a tunnel. Then look into the cars and see the people. Next they look up at table height and see in the distance; a village Dept 56 with train and streetcar in the "HO Scale". Finally, they stand up and see the "Z Scale" train and 'really small' village way off in the distance with Santa high up in the mountains. The "Z Scale" is high enough and towards the back of the scene to be out of a child's reach. What fun it is for all and then; they look for "Waldo". We hid him in the mid portion of the scene and children and adults try to find him.



      Now my challenge is to make it work better and easier to put together after Thanksgiving and take down in January. Your concept of modules is a good start. I do not know how to set up tracks and be sure they run without derailments. I am now learning from you all. Thank you and I hope to build some "Z" modules with one a winter scene approximately 18 inches deep by about 24 to 30 Inches long. Any recommendations for a "Rank Amateur", will be appreciated. The tight curves on the purchased winter scenes do not work at all. The grade is too much and the Casey Jones train will not run consistently. What a waste of several hundreds of dollars on manufactured winter scene.



      Thank you and look forward to recommendations. Respectfully, Tom L.



      P.S. Is there any way to salvage a small "Z Scale", (approx. 12 in. Diameter circle), track with nice winter scene?

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Reynard Wellman
      To: z_scale@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2002 11:35 AM
      Subject: Re: [z_scale] Re: Ideal Radius for Large Passenger (Orient Express)


      Bill,

      Thanks for the article. Good humored writing that is
      on the topic and makes good observations is a real asset to
      the group.

      I am not one who always makes
      specific recommendations because I am not as expert
      in Z scale as others out there. So I need to learn.
      Don't hesitate to send such comprehensive suggestions.

      I agree, some streets are way too narrow for US style layouts
      but European layouts, especially those "Old Town" villages
      will have buildings very close together and even the ox carts
      have a hard time passing each other on those medieval streets.

      Getting rid of rigid straight lines in trackwork is also a very
      good suggestion. One related performance enhancement
      that should also be followed are "easements". I learned to use
      easements back in my old HO scale days. It certainly helped
      my trains make it through my non prototypical HO scale
      reverse loops.

      Easements are gradual curves that are designed to start the
      train into the tightest part of the curve. The easement radii
      can be as much as twice the length of the final curve radius.
      Long, non articulated driver steam engines like the Texas class
      2-10-4's and passenger cars certainly benefit from the use of
      easements. They look cool too.

      Reynard

      zbendtrack@... wrote:

      > James:
      >
      > > I would like to encourage that member
      > > to consider posting the response to share with everyone
      >
      > OK. You asked for it, you got it.
      >
      > Bill K.
      > Houston
      >
      > -=-=-=( offline email ) -=-=-=-=-
      >
      > That IS an attractive train. I don't blame you for wanting it to look
      > really
      > great on the layout.
      >
      > I'll share three concepts with you:
      > 1) Scale
      > 2) Toy
      > 3) Practical
      > 4) Fooling the eye
      >
      > And I'll ramble a bit as well.>SNIP
      >


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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • jmac_han
      The discussion has been excellent and I have enjoyed it immensely. I thought that I would wade in with two suggestions concerning camouflaging curves. View
      Message 2 of 20 , Dec 4, 2002
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        The discussion has been excellent and I have enjoyed it
        immensely. I thought that I would wade in with two suggestions
        concerning camouflaging curves.

        View blocks have been mentioned but many of us who have
        been obliged to adopt much tighter curves than we would
        normally like have hidden them from view using cuts and
        tunnels.

        It is extremely easy these days to use extruded styrofoam
        insulation sheets to build up elevations around our base level
        track. You can carve cuts into the foam and color it using acrylic
        water-based paints. Tunnels are a great way to keep the
        unrealistic overhang of long passenger trains out of sight. Just
        make sure that you can remove the top of the tunnel or have
        "easy" access to the track for cleaning or to pick up the
        occasional derailment or stalled train. I have heard that these
        unfortunate mishaps do happen! ;-)

        Enjoy your trainZ,
        Jeffrey MacHan
      • Bill Hoshiko
        ... response to share with everyone ... service would scale out to about100 radius (200 diameter) minimum. ... of the train table allows for the
        Message 3 of 20 , Dec 4, 2002
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          --- In z_scale@y..., zbendtrack@a... wrote:
          > James:
          >
          > > I would like to encourage that member to consider posting the
          response to share with everyone
          >
          > OK. You asked for it, you got it.
          >
          > Bill K.
          > Houston
          >
          > -=-=-=( offline email ) -=-=-=-=-
          >
          > Any prototype mainline that accommodates high speed passenger
          service would scale out to about100" radius (200" diameter)
          minimum.

          <snip snip>
          >
          > Also consider, that as you go larger in radius, the increased size
          of the train table allows for the decompression of scenery

          Another way of looking at it is that you will end up with a whole
          lot of space to fill with scenery. Good for some, a lot of work for
          others. Scared me.


          <snip>

          > The "list" conversation at hand started over the new breed of non-
          Marklin brass locos

          <snip>

          > Most will not go below 9 inches in radius. Depending on
          body/truck mounted couplers on the cars behind them,the minimum
          radius may be up around 14-20 inches.
          >

          Bill, thanks for that information. To spend an excess of $500 only
          to find that it will not operate on your existing layout would be
          very disapointing to say the least.

          What is your experience with AZLs operating through Marklin turnouts?

          <snip>

          > Hope some of this rambling helps.
          > Bill K.
          > Houston
          >


          I hope that Bill K. is not offended by my editing his post. And to
          Bill, thanks for all the insightfull information from someone who is
          fully involved in Z scale layout building.

          I got my first Z scale MT starter set almost 20 years ago. The
          first thing that I did was to buy a set of Marklin passenger cars
          and put up a 15 inch curve of flex track. Passenger cars set up on
          this curve did not look good. The angle at which a passenger car
          followed another was much too sharp. I thought that the 15 inch
          radius of Z track would make a passenger train look reasonable. I
          kept increasing the radius and for myself, the 18 inch radius was
          the minimum with the Marklin truck mounted couplers.

          Havn't tried body mounts on passenger cars but I do not wish to go
          larger than 20 inches on a table top layout. This has to do with
          reaching in to work on the center of the layout. If I had the area
          to build an "around the wall" type or a "stand in the center" type
          layout, then I would consider a larger radius.

          A few years ago I was treated to an Amtrak ride from Los Angeles to
          Seattle. While crossing the mountains near Mt Shasta I looked down
          the center corridor of the car that I was riding and tried to sight
          where a straight line drawn down the center of my car would strike
          the outside wall of the following car. In my estimation it would be
          on the car wall just after the middle of the following car. This
          would only work for a model train coupled together at a scale
          distance.

          Using my totaly unscientific eyeball and straight edge method I came
          up with a 30" radius to match this curve in Z.. Considering Bill
          K's 100" radius, it seems much too short to me,but what the heck?
          HO scale equivilant - 75 inches. This is a speed restricted area
          and the train travels very slowly.


          Bill
          El Toro, ca
        • Bill Hoshiko
          ... digital ... WOW! Looks good. I m lucky to get more layout space in inches. 18 radius to 27 radius would require a foot and a half more space just in
          Message 4 of 20 , Dec 4, 2002
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            --- In z_scale@y..., "Robert Allbritton" <robert@p...> wrote:
            > Hello Group,
            >

            > (Warning! File size is about 400K - it is a very high resolution
            digital
            > picture)
            >
            > http://www.z220.com/private/DSCN0318.JPG
            >
            > That curve has a radius of 27 inches.
            >
            > Or maybe that is a bit too much? (grin)
            >
            > Best,
            > -Rob
            > www.z220.com


            WOW! Looks good. I'm lucky to get more layout space in inches. 18"
            radius to 27" radius would require a foot and a half more space just
            in one direction. Multiply that by two or four for the other end of
            the loop and we're talking about moving the wife out of the house.
            Maybe I could set up a round the wall in my dog's dog house. My
            wife would not let me kick the dog out of his house.

            Thanks for the picture. A picture is worth etc, etc.

            Bill
            El Toro
          • zbendtrack@aol.com
            ... Marklin s turnouts are based on a radius of 19.25 inches (490 mm). I have not witnessed any currently manufactured loco (brass or plastic) having any
            Message 5 of 20 , Dec 4, 2002
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              Bill:

              > Bill, thanks for that information. To spend an excess of $500 only
              > to find that it will not operate on your existing layout would be
              > very disapointing to say the least.
              >
              > What is your experience with AZLs operating through Marklin turnouts?

              Marklin's turnouts are based on a radius of 19.25 inches (490 mm). I have
              not witnessed any currently manufactured loco (brass or plastic) having any
              difficulty going through that radius.

              (Warning, still more personal opinion follows)

              Please, please do not assume that these truly scale brass locos are only for
              display cases. Not only are they a wonder to look at, they are in fact very
              good runners. They are on par with the best brass in any scale. But they
              are not short wheelbase Marlin 8800 0-6-0 steamers, either.

              Will the current Z scale brass run on a pizza layout that measures 15"
              across? No. But consider, as both Z scale and its followers mature over
              time, the 15" diameter pizza layouts will continue to hold an embedded place
              in Z while new territory in layout designs develop. Already, modules are
              springing up all around the US and Europe. Opportunities to run and admire
              them will grow right along with Z scale, either on YOUR next layout or on
              someone else's.

              If no one buys these things you can pretty well forget GS4's and a host of
              other diesel locomotives we would all love to own. Without sales, they will
              never be made. And you'll never get the chance to own one, or run one,
              either.

              The "minimum" curve listed in the Z-Bend Track specification that we use is
              Marklin's standard mid-radius track, to insure that folks who like Marklin
              track could build modules and connect up with others who use non-Marklin
              track. Since we still don't own any metric rulers, we (locally) just use 8
              and 9 inch radius curves on the end modules. With escapements, that comes
              out to track centerlines 19 and 20 inches apart at the 24 inch interface
              point. It makes for a very nice 2 foot wide module that can travel, but more
              importantly, find a place in the home for daily use. However, there are no
              maximum limits to radius of curves. If it will fit in your home (and car)
              the sky's the limit for curves on end modules.


              Having tried just about every type of brass loco that one can buy on these
              modules, experience has shown that "some" of the beauties have trouble on the
              8 inch inside mainline, out of the box. Very few have had trouble with the 9
              inch outside mainline. With a small amount of work, ALL of them will run on
              smaller radius curves (than when you took it out of the box). Read Z-Track
              magazine for some of the details on what that "work" involves. Not much,
              actually.

              We have found "fixes" to getting rolling stock following these locos to stay
              on the track, even at these medium radius curves. These "fixes" would not be
              required if the radius were increased to something (?) around 12-14 inches,
              but we have not tested those radius curves to find out to date.

              No, I don't have any connection to the brass manufacturers or their profits.
              But I do have an imbedded interest in seeing the advancement of Z scale
              beyond a "novelty" scale that's "cute."

              For any of you that were into N scale between 15 and 20 years ago, this must
              all seem like a "rerun" of those days. The discussions were identical. The
              challenges were identical. Early solutions by manufacturers were humorous,
              by today's N scale standards. Today, there are still coffee table N scale
              layouts with 9.5 and 11 inch radius track being built. There are also N
              scale layouts with larger radius curves being built. Everyone in N scale
              knows which layout design supports which locos, and there are no complaints,
              just fun. No N scaler would have any expectations of putting a long
              wheelbase brass loco on 9.5 inch radius N scale track and watching it run.
              They might, on a layout with 14.5 inch curves and even higher confidence on
              16 inch curves. A small handful of brass locos may even require 24 inch
              curves (2-6-6-6 triplex).

              I promise to take my medication now and shut up. <smile>
              Regards,
              Bill K.
              Houston








              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • de Champeaux Dominique
              ... Guys, in my case I tried Marklin Pennsylvania passenger cars (Pennsylvania before kitbashing them into daylight SP cars, but it will be for later) on my
              Message 6 of 20 , Dec 4, 2002
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                > > > I would like to encourage that member to
                > consider posting the
                > response to share with everyone

                Guys, in my case I tried Marklin Pennsylvania
                passenger cars (Pennsylvania before kitbashing them
                into daylight SP cars, but it will be for later) on my
                small module (minimum radius 19"), and I think they
                look pretty good, as I didn't want, when beginning
                with Z scale, to reproduce what I had with HO when I
                was a yougster, having almost an angle of 45° between
                2 long cars on tight curves. And the problem will be
                the same when we have 3 level autoracks available in Z
                scale
                >
                > What is your experience with AZLs operating through
                > Marklin turnouts?
                >
                To be true, not amazing when running them single
                units. Oftenly stalls. But OK when running a 2 or
                3-unit (or more) lashup.

                Hope this helps

                Dominique


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              • Wild Zontar
                At 05:43 12/05/2002 +0100, you wrote: ... So in order to get an AZL $500 loco working smoothly through a standard turnout, I have to spend another
                Message 7 of 20 , Dec 4, 2002
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                  At 05:43 12/05/2002 +0100, you wrote:
                  <snip>
                  >> What is your experience with AZLs operating through
                  >> Marklin turnouts?
                  >>
                  >To be true, not amazing when running them single
                  >units. Oftenly stalls. But OK when running a 2 or
                  >3-unit (or more) lashup.
                  >
                  >Hope this helps
                  >
                  >Dominique

                  So in order to get an AZL $500 loco working smoothly through a standard
                  turnout, I have to spend another $500-1,000? No thanks, I think I'll stick
                  with MTL. I just wish they would make something a little more recent than
                  an F7.

                  Greg
                • Adrian T. Wymann
                  Hello everybody The question of what the ideal radius for a given layout theme might be certainly seems to have hit home with many of us ;-) Rob s example of a
                  Message 8 of 20 , Dec 4, 2002
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                    Hello everybody

                    The question of what the ideal radius for a given layout theme might
                    be certainly seems to have hit home with many of us ;-)

                    Rob's example of a radius of 27 inches certainly shows off well what
                    we all dream of: the stunning visual effect of flowing curves. But
                    what do you do if there's just no way you can have sweeping radii on
                    your layout? I for one will have no other choice than to use the
                    Marklin radii, even right down to the dreaded R1, on my layout.

                    I'm a great believer of the philosophy that you can overcome the
                    visual limitations of model railroad track (remember, most modellers
                    in the larger scales have the same problems) by not affording anybody
                    looking at the layout a panoramic view of those terrible curves. I
                    have therefore chosen a city location for my layout rather than the
                    open countryside, because this allows me to set up a whole cascade of
                    view blockers in the form of short tunnels, bridges, overpasses and
                    what have you.

                    And then suddenly I find that those R3s,2s and even 1s don't look
                    that bad. It's a compromise, but it works well enough for me for the
                    time being.

                    cheers,

                    Adrian Wymann

                    *****
                    Modelling Swiss Federal Railways in Z Scale
                    http://www.wymann.info/SBB_miniclub
                  • jmac_han
                    Hi Bill, Allow me to take exception to the following. ... But consider, as both Z scale and its followers mature over time, the 15 diameter pizza layouts will
                    Message 9 of 20 , Dec 5, 2002
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                      Hi Bill,

                      Allow me to take exception to the following.

                      --- In z_scale@y..., zbendtrack@a... wrote:
                      But consider, as both Z scale and its followers mature over
                      time, the 15" diameter pizza layouts will continue to hold an
                      embedded place in Z while new territory in layout designs develop.
                      Already, modules are
                      springing up all around the US and Europe. Opportunities to run and
                      admire
                      them will grow right along with Z scale, either on YOUR next layout
                      or on
                      someone else's.

                      ***********

                      Model railroad layout design has been evolving ever since the
                      introduction of model trains and track. It didn't come into
                      existence with the introduction of Z scale 31 years ago. It is quite
                      common to see "pizza" style layouts in every scale. Does this mean
                      that the builders or the scales used demonstrate some level of
                      immaturity, or they just having fun?

                      I think that "Z" modelers have shown remarkable maturity in every
                      area of model railroading, ie. participation in public shows,
                      national and regional competitions, DCC development, innovative
                      products and designs, support groups, publications and information
                      gathering / sharing, etc.

                      There is nothing intrinsic about Z that forces anyone to
                      build "pizza" layouts or any other particular design. Z offers
                      increased possibilities for layout planning not less. One must not
                      confuse the "image" of Z that is often portrayed in the large
                      commercial modeling magazines with the reality of Z. Hopefully, our
                      publications, web sites and public appearances will help to change
                      that misconception.

                      I can understand the putdowns from modelers who are ignorant of Z but
                      I find it unfortunate that there continues to be a subtle denigration
                      of Z scale coming from within the ranks of experienced Z scalers.

                      Cheers,
                      Jeffrey MacHan
                    • de Champeaux Dominique
                      ... I must give more details: I encounter problems when running a single unit on 2 Marklin turnouts that are placed together meaning a curve, immediatly
                      Message 10 of 20 , Dec 5, 2002
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                        --- Wild Zontar <wildzontar@...> a écrit : > At
                        05:43 12/05/2002 +0100, you wrote:
                        > <snip>
                        > >> What is your experience with AZLs operating
                        > through
                        > >> Marklin turnouts?
                        > >>
                        > >To be true, not amazing when running them single
                        > >units. Oftenly stalls. But OK when running a 2 or
                        > >3-unit (or more) lashup.
                        > >
                        > >Hope this helps
                        > >
                        > >Dominique
                        >
                        > So in order to get an AZL $500 loco working smoothly
                        > through a standard
                        > turnout, I have to spend another $500-1,000? No
                        > thanks, I think I'll stick
                        > with MTL. I just wish they would make something a
                        > little more recent than
                        > an F7.
                        >
                        > Greg
                        >
                        I must give more details: I encounter problems when
                        running a single unit on 2 Marklin turnouts that are
                        placed together meaning a curve, immediatly followed
                        by a counter-curve. It's due according to me to the
                        fact the center axle of each truck is not powered, so
                        sometimes wheels are rotating freely above the frog,
                        as they are not totally leveled on my turnouts. I
                        didn't try yet any Halwa or Wright turnouts, but I
                        think they are quite better as they are power-routing,
                        i.e. meaning they have a steel frog.
                        Cheers
                        Dominique

                        ___________________________________________________________
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                      • zbendtrack@aol.com
                        ... Whoa. Stop the presses. You absolutely, positively misread my email. Or I wrote it poorly. ... Marklin and individuals both build layouts that would fit
                        Message 11 of 20 , Dec 5, 2002
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                          Jeffrey:

                          > Allow me to take exception to the following.
                          > But consider, as both Z scale and its followers mature over
                          > time, the 15" diameter pizza layouts will continue to hold an
                          > embedded place in Z while new territory in layout designs develop.

                          Whoa. Stop the presses. You absolutely, positively misread my email. Or I
                          wrote it poorly.

                          > that the builders or the scales used demonstrate some level of
                          > immaturity, or they just having fun?

                          Marklin and individuals both build layouts that would fit on a Pizza tray,
                          with just a circle of track. A hundred years from now, these layouts will
                          still be built, and still be enjoyed. I used the word "embedded" to
                          emphasize that. Many are works of art. Some are just plain fun.

                          > confuse the "image" of Z that is often portrayed in the large
                          > commercial modeling magazines with the reality of Z. Hopefully, our
                          > publications, web sites and public appearances will help to change
                          > that misconception.

                          I do perceive there is an "image" in the hobby at large, that Z scale is
                          "only" used for smaller layouts. That they are "toys" and cannot be
                          considered a "serious" scale. That's a bunch of bull. We can match anything
                          that O, HO or N scales can do. Your 1st place layout at the 2001 NTS went a
                          long, long way in shock therapy to the industry at large. The presence of
                          the standalone layouts and modular layouts also sent a shot across the bow of
                          the industry as well.

                          > I can understand the putdowns from modelers who are ignorant of Z but
                          > I find it unfortunate that there continues to be a subtle denigration
                          > of Z scale coming from within the ranks of experienced Z scalers.

                          None was intended. I believe we need a balance of ALL size layouts out
                          there in the public's eye, in magazines and in homes. Pizzas, briefcase,
                          suitcase, standalone, modular and room/basement sizes. And all of them
                          working toward a goal of ever improving "stages" on which we display the
                          "actors" of trains.

                          Would it surprise you to find out that I'm currently building a Pizza layout
                          of my own? Yes, its true. It's being built for a number of reasons: (1) to
                          improve my techniques in new areas, (2) something easy to carry to
                          presentations to groups to advance the awareness of the hobby and (3) plain
                          enjoyment. Will a brass loco run on it? Positively no. I have no
                          expectations that one ever will.

                          The current discussion of large radius, long locomotives and larger layouts
                          is, and was not, intended to imply that anything less then a full sheet of
                          plywood is a toy layout. Hopefully, for those interested in that size
                          layout, some of the posts may have been informative.

                          Let me define the word maturity as I use it: weathering, kit-bashing, a
                          greater selection of locos (not just F7s), new turnouts, products like
                          "scratch" I can buy and copy prototype buildings, DCC, bit-and-pieces that
                          make a layout come alive, more rolling stock, and getting Z-Track advanced to
                          a 100 page 3 color magazine, and for those that enjoy it, "operations." Many
                          of these things didn't exist 5 years ago, but do today. I hope for an even
                          brighter tomorrow.

                          Maturity does not mean that anything less than a sheet of plywood is
                          "inferior" or "non-serious." You have no idea how many times that I've
                          noticed and admired the feedwater heater you have added to your steamer.
                          I'll call that a pretty serious effort at scale modeling.

                          Last year, I looked at the travels you have made with your suitcase layout
                          over the years, and discovered you must have gone through no less than 3
                          automobiles, countless thousands of hours over 10 years, and a half million
                          miles taking Z scale to the public in three countries on two continents. Was
                          it worth it? Heck yes. Without it, we would still be without much
                          recognition in the hobby, no presence in the NMRA publications, and a reduced
                          number of enterprises building new things to buy in an expanding scale. My
                          congratulations for being in the top ranks of highly detailed Z scalers out
                          there.

                          If my post offended you in any way, then I most sincerely apologize.

                          Bill K.
                          Houston




                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Wild Zontar
                          ... Thanks for clarifying that, Dominique. You had me worried that the AZL s couldn t handle a standard turnout. I can see the potential difficulty any loco
                          Message 12 of 20 , Dec 6, 2002
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                            At 17:55 12/05/2002 +0100, you wrote:
                            >> >> What is your experience with AZLs operating
                            >> through
                            >> >> Marklin turnouts?
                            >> >>
                            >> >To be true, not amazing when running them single
                            >> >units. Oftenly stalls. But OK when running a 2 or
                            >> >3-unit (or more) lashup.
                            >> >
                            >> >Hope this helps
                            >> >
                            >> >Dominique
                            >>
                            >> So in order to get an AZL $500 loco working smoothly
                            >> through a standard
                            >> turnout, I have to spend another $500-1,000? No
                            >> thanks, I think I'll stick
                            >> with MTL. I just wish they would make something a
                            >> little more recent than
                            >> an F7.
                            >>
                            >> Greg
                            >>
                            >I must give more details: I encounter problems when
                            >running a single unit on 2 Marklin turnouts that are
                            >placed together meaning a curve, immediatly followed
                            >by a counter-curve. It's due according to me to the
                            >fact the center axle of each truck is not powered, so
                            >sometimes wheels are rotating freely above the frog,
                            >as they are not totally leveled on my turnouts. I
                            >didn't try yet any Halwa or Wright turnouts, but I
                            >think they are quite better as they are power-routing,
                            >i.e. meaning they have a steel frog.
                            >Cheers
                            >Dominique
                            >

                            Thanks for clarifying that, Dominique. You had me worried that the AZL's
                            couldn't handle a standard turnout. I can see the potential difficulty any
                            loco may have on your setup. Did you see Reynard's message: "S" Curve?
                            His suggestion should solve your problem.

                            Greg
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