Stupid Mistake 19-Invoking the wrath of the track gods

Pete Nolan Jan 26, 2005

  1. sd90ns

    sd90ns TrainBoard Member


    The track gods don’t like it when you get too full of yourself with clever track designs.

    It was only after I had painted and ballasted all of this track, that one of the 45deg. crossings, located on the double track at the far right, developed an internal short requiring me to cut it out and replace it.
  2. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    This thread needs a bump. You know, sd90ns, when I saw that part of your layout, I got a real headache. Cutting out complicated track, and that spot doesn't look especially accessible, can lead to backaches, too.
  3. Lark

    Lark TrainBoard Member

    I say...

    ...ya gotta keep "it" loose. The track that is. I was using the KATO and it was all loose- not nailed down and when it needed an adjustment once in a while- nothing more than a fingertip push. Having had that experience I think making bullet proof- never move (in a million years) tacked down at every tie track is just inviting the gods of trackwork to do their best to free the bonds. I say keep it loose. Let the trains literally "make their way".

    Just a thought. Anyone else enjoy loose as much as I did?

  4. rkcarguy

    rkcarguy TrainBoard Member

    I agree with the "visitors cause disasters" part. I've had a HO scale 30 car train running around my layout time and time again with no problems. The in-laws come to visit and on the 2nd lap a coupler retaining clip popped off and most of the train shot backwards thru the tunnel downgrade across the bridge and almost back to the yard.
    Luckily I'm very picky with my trackwork and even at the 200mph scale speed the string stayed on the tracks.
    Being HO scale also gives you a little more forgiveness, remember the dust, cat hair, and railgaps are all nearly twice the size for you N scalers.
  5. Willyboy

    Willyboy TrainBoard Supporter

    Yeah, I hear you. Despite my strong bifocals when I use to have 20/15 vision, despite that I have cataracts forming in both my eyes, despite that my hands are not as steady as they use to be, despite that my clumsiness has increased, it's going to be N Scale for me till the end because I really enjoy this scale more than any other. ;)
  6. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter


    I think Pythagoras would have a nervous breakdown with your track plan. ;)

    Pythagoras was a Greek mathematician and believed in many Gods (paganism).

    The following was in the Wikipedia text:

    No kidding.
  7. Fotheringill

    Fotheringill TrainBoard Member

    I forgot about #19 in the Mistakes series.

    Now- access in the picture will be a pain, BUT I see what can be accomplished by the wye, loops, crossovers and other things I am sure I missed. The wiring must be a complete nightmare, but, if I could do the wiring, I would do it.
  8. GNFA310

    GNFA310 TrainBoard Supporter

    Yea Brother Pete, I know well this particular form of "Godly Vengence."

    At the last train show my club attended I was quite anxious to show off my new dcc equipped ABA Kato Southern Pacific Daylight PA's on the point of the Morning Daylight. I thoroughly tested each loco to be absolutely sure the addresses were correct; each was programmed for proper direction; and all lights functioned normally.

    Well.... time to display this wonderful passenger train before the admiring public and prepare myself for all the wonderous "Ooooo's!!!" and "Aaaaaahhhhs!!" as they marvel at the magnificently operating consist. NOT!!!! :pfrown:

    The consist made four (4) complete circuits of the layout when suddenly it came to a complete halt. After much consternation and vociferous usage of colorful vocabulary (unprintable here) it was found that the decoder in the 'B' unit had fried. Okay... so now we just run the train with both 'A' units instead. Right!! NOT!! :pmad:

    After another six (6) complete circuits of the layout, the consist once again came to a halt!! Of course there was immediately another round of utter consternation, confusion and of course the required "vociferous usage of colorful vocabulary." This time the problem was the decoder in the trailing 'A' unit.... it just quit altogether.

    By now the TRACK GODS were obviously enjoying all this immensely... at my expense of course!! Two decoders down and out... one to go!!

    Oh sure... wouldn't you just know! The remaining 'A' unit was magnanimously allowed by the TRACK GODS to just run, and Run, and RUN!! No Problems... whatever!! :tb-hissyfit:

    Thanks Pete... I knew I couldn't be the only sacrificial supplicant to the TRACK GODS on this one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 31, 2009
  9. Primavw

    Primavw TrainBoard Member

    My track god will not suffer a 19" radius on an uphill. Just when I find the place where my loco's trucks will jump track and fix it, lay ballast after hours of uninterupted running, another spot on my uphill will cause the trucks to jump and derail. Right now I'm not bowing to them by ignoring the matter until I get the courage and stow the frustration long enough to fix my track woes...
  10. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    You're a better man than I. This gave me a migraine just looking at it. It reminded me of my Bessom's Corner switch, which basically required the wiring of a terribly mis-wired supercomputer, all done with DPDT switches. I'll look for the diagram.
  11. rkcarguy

    rkcarguy TrainBoard Member

    Exactly why I refuse to go DCC. When things start being made in our own country by someone who actually cares about the quality of their items I'll convert.
    It's like buying a truck, when you're younger you want power windows door locks automatic 4wd hubs electronic transfer case, etc. You get older and you learn that all that crap breaks and doesn't work, and then order the base model + A/C and have a truck that will go forever without any issues until the motor wears out...
    All these features are just more things increasing your odd's off a track god occurance.
  12. Grey One

    Grey One TrainBoard Supporter

    Cynic. Er: Realist. Er, I mean, ya, I'm with you.

    As for the "Track Gods"? Hmmm, I'm not saying nothing lest they hear me or read this or well, anyway "Praise be to the Gods of Track".

    //ya, ya, I'm a suckup. :)
  13. GNFA310

    GNFA310 TrainBoard Supporter

    Before y'all get the wrong idea about me and DCC... I like it. Okay, so the TRACK GODS wanted me to know just 'Who' is really in "charge" (get it?? Hehehee!) :tb-err:

    As it happens, the stalled 'A' unit is fine... however, just why it stopped is still a mystery. But there was no mystery about the ozone smell from the 'B' unit!:tb-ooh:

    In any case, I still like DCC; I got an immediate replacement for the burned decoder (Cost: s&h only); now all three units work just fine.

    Hopefully my 'sacrificial offering', i.e., the burned out decoder, will keep the TRACK GODS happy with me... for awhile anyway. :tb-cool:
  14. 282mike

    282mike TrainBoard Member

    Oooo I just know that TROLL'S and GREMLINS use that circular hole in the closet as a black hole to suck in sacrifcial rolling stock!!!:realmad1up:
  15. Bob Morris

    Bob Morris TrainBoard Supporter

    One important fact regarding DCC. If you leave your engines stopped with the lights on, while running a loco with a DC/DCC dual decoder and that engine shorts out on a turnout, ALL of your DCC engines will run simultaneously, causing some really impressive pile-ups (this has happened to me twice while running a Bachmann Heavy Mountain).

    The cause of this is the stopped, but still running engines. This is called "idle worship" and is NOT condoned by the track Gods :)
  16. Powersteamguy1790

    Powersteamguy1790 Permanently dispatched

    Failed decoders do happen. It's a rare occurrence and I have had it happen maybe two or three times in nine years of running the JJJ&E. I use mainly Lenz decoders for hardwired loco's. Lenz has in each case replaced the decoders free of charge.
  17. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter


    Thanks for the 'heads-up' on this phenomenon. I have mostly dual mode decoders on the few DCC engines I own. I'd really hate to have the chaos you're describing occur. I can already envision rolling stock and locomotives falling to the ground or getting derailed in 'cornfield meet' in tunnels or other inaccessible areas.

    'Idle Worship'... funny (LOL). Sounds like the damage could be extensive... though I imagine the Track Gods do like Greek Tragedies.
  18. maxairedale

    maxairedale TrainBoard Member

    Interesting, Very Interesting!

    I guess that I have not upset the Track Gods yet with that problem. I leave most if not all of my locos sitting with the lights on and run in the DC/DCC dual mode. I have never had them all start running when I run a loco through a turnout at is aligned the wrong way and caused a short. I have however upset the Track Gods on other DCC issues. Toasted an Auto Reverser and a decoder when I ran a non-DCC loco and it shorted at a turnout

    Stuff happens

  19. Pete Nolan

    Pete Nolan TrainBoard Supporter

    Whatever happened to this ambitious but perhaps misguided attempt at a spaghetti bowl? It still gives me a headache trying to figure out how to wire it!:tb-biggrin:

    Let alone run it!:tb-confused:
  20. John Moore

    John Moore TrainBoard Supporter

    I now have two temples where the Zen Train Monk Order offers constant prayers and libations to the Train Gods. I regularly burn incense. The Train Gods prefer Sandlewood. For all that I have been blessed with the fact that all my scratchbuilt locos run better than the out of the box factory models. At least until now. I also have a complete wreck train to dispatch to all derailments and pile-ups, and a 2nd wreck train to dispatch to re-rail the first wreck train. I also have obsolutely no power supply issues since I now depend totally on the lightning from the Train Gods to power my locos. And of course I have made ample sacrifices of a number of early Bmann, Mehanno, Rowa, and Model Power species. I should be good up until 2020 on my quota of burnt offerings.

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