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Coal Car Wheels Spin Behind Locomotive

Warren asks this question:

I have a coal car behind my tender engine and the wheels are inclined to spin at times. Is it a cog problem?”

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6 Responses to Coal Car Wheels Spin Behind Locomotive

  • nelson t stahlsays:

    I think we need more information. From what you gave I would think they are free wheeling, probably a coupler is lifting the wheel off the track.

  • David Stokessays:

    When you say “coal car”, do you mean the tender, and is the loco tender driven?
    If the tender drives the loco then all wheels need to be in contact with the rails – check this carefully. Maybe the connection between the tender and loco is not seating correctly, or when the tender pushes the loco it lifts itself off the tracks.
    It the “coal car” is just a piece of rolling stock, then I would expect the wheels to turn as the train is moved.

  • Warrensays:

    Yes a tender and yes the loco is tender driven.

  • Max Mobiussays:

    As the loco is tender driven it could be it is missing traction tyres, you don’t say which gauge it is, a lot of N gauge locos all types have 2 or more traction tyres to assist grip. I believe some HO/OO locos also use them

  • Ken Bristowsays:

    Tender driven locos tend to spin mostly because the tender does not have enough weight in it. If the coal “load” can be removed put some weight there, preferably if not remove the tender body off the frame and carefully put some lead there to add extra weight.

  • Sheldon Clarksays:

    It might be useful to know if you have this problem when the loco is at the head of a heavy train, a light train or no train. If it happens only when trying to pull a heavy train, the train is perhaps too heavy for the design of locomotive, and Ken’s suggestion may help. If it happens when there is no train (and you can actually see the wheels turning) then you need to look at what Nelson said. In any event, Max’s suggestion should be examined – do any of the wheels have loose or missing traction tyres? Do you have no problem with any other locos? If you do, the track may be slippery and need de-greasing with methylated spirit or isopropyl alcohol.

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