“How fast does it go?” my friend Andrew cheekily asked when I posted those photos of 622 a month ago. At the time, I’d not powered the engine on as I was up to my elbows in the Railway Modellers’ Meet. Since then, virtually all my hobby time has been consumed either by wrapping up the meet, starting on the next one in May 2022, or organizing VanRail.
Through it all, Andrew’s question was nagging me because I knew there was a chance 622 wouldn’t go. Paint has a way of stopping electrical things from working, after all. Sure enough, when I did power it up, the decoder was clearly getting no juice. After an evening of trouble-shooting, I determined that the split coupling is not conducting anything, and one of the water hoses was broken. I replaced the water hose, and the decoder merrily sang to life when I powered up the track.
The wheels would need more cleaning attention, or at least some running, but the engine started to move tentatively down the track.
Almost a full revolution of the drivers, and then the motor stalled, and it stopped.
How could this be? 622 passed its trials late last year; how can it be that the drivers are no longer in quarter? I am so frustrated, that the engine has sat for weeks. I’ve stripped away all the body, and now the chassis sits on the test track awaiting some gentle tugging until it starts to run smoothly again.
I don’t understand this: there are hundreds of loco builders in the world who don’t seem to struggle with drivers the way I do. I even hear of some who quarter drivers by sighting through the spokes, and their engines run smoothly on the first go – in 2mm finescale!
Clearly the fact that I can revolve any of the drivers is a problem. I suspect what has happened is that the drivers may have initially been in quarter, but there was sufficient force even in testing them to push them out of alignment. I responded by easing out the holes in the connecting rods, which probably helped for a moment, and then the wheel moved again: I was likely chasing a moving target – the connecting rods getting looser and looser.
In retrospect, I think this is probably the issue for #10 as well. Now: what to do about it?