Hornby A4

Discuss Hornby Model Railway products and related topics here. This includes (Lima, Rivarossi, Jouef, Electrotren).
47FAN
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:54 pm

Hornby A4

Postby 47FAN » Sat Jul 25, 2009 5:37 pm

Hi everyone

I wonder if anyone can throw some light on a running problem with a Hornby A4 over Peco curved points. About a month ago, I purchased a new Hornby A4 pacific, in BR livery (Falcon), with three Hornby Mk1 coaches as part of a limited edition train pack, Heart of Midlothian. Now I have two points to raise, 1, The rear small wheels behind the main driving wheels on the A4, dont seem to turn, Is this a fault?. The last time I bought a pacific loco, was way back in the 1970s and 80s when those small wheels used to independantly turn. After returning to the hobby after nearly 30 years, I am finding so much has changed. But having these flangeless wheels not turning if it is not a fault, is a major step backwards, as it is hindering the running performance.

As for the point problem. It seems that Peco points are a wee bit troublesome to say the least!!, I have plenty of 4-6-0 steam locos that run over these curved points on a good day, but even then it is touch and go. I am not sure if anyone else has this problem on Peco setrack code 100 curved points. In fact the best loco of all for running around curved points and even taking tight radius curves is a 30 year old Hornby King locomotive. It seems that in striving for better running motors in modern locos and adding more detail is at the cost of trouble free running on anything but straight track. But back to the point trouble, This Hornby A4 loco refuses point blank (forgive the pun) to run over these points head on, and just derails spectacularly. It does run ok when the loco is turned and heads over them from behind, but this means I cant run into a siding.

Based on the above experiences, I may well purchase some more 30 year old locos from swapmeets rather than buy new, as they seem a lot less fussy and just run perfectly trouble free.

Would be grateful to hear your comments on this matter.

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58001
Posts: 33
Joined: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:32 pm

Re: Hornby A4

Postby 58001 » Sat Jul 25, 2009 7:23 pm

the rear flangeless wheels should turn freely, and i would check the front pony wheels to make sure the whola assembly is flat to the track and is not catching on the bodywork at all.

Bigmet
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Joined: Tue Aug 14, 2007 2:19 pm

Re: Hornby A4

Postby Bigmet » Sat Jul 25, 2009 9:09 pm

The flangeless rear carrying wheels are an unfortunate abberation Hornby adopted about four or five years back to achieve (correctly) fixed Cartazzi frames. They are actually carried very slightly above the rail, to avoid them catching on the rails when the end of the loco swings out on curves, particularly through pointwork; thus the tendency to not turn. There is a much better way of achieving the objective of fixed frames, with a regular flanged wheelset on an inside bearing truck in a slide or on a pivot within the fixed frames. Check out a Bachmann A1 to see how it can be done. It is possible to cut away the mounting block for the flangeless wheelset, and make and mount a small pivoting inside frame to take the flanged wheelset Hornby provide: most people however feel that is too much work.

As for the points. You have noticed that with the improvement to RTR locos, there is some loss of flexibility on curves. Bigger locos like pacifics are often near the limit on the specified minimum of 2nd radius curves. A very small deviation in track geometry will prevent reliable running. Check that the point is dead flat; the process of forming the curve in the rails when the point is constructed often leaves a slight upward bow set into the point. Sight along the rails to ensure there are no kinks in the point itself or the track immediately before the point. Then watch the loco alone at dead slow speed to see exactly where it 'trips up'; it could be something simple like a wheelset out of gauge: should it go through OK loco alone then check with the tender for something like the cab fallplate fouling on the tender step and limiting flexibility between loco and tender.

But to be absolutely candid, set track radii really are something of a trial, and your proposal to buy locos with both chassis and wheels better adapted to set track is a way forward if you are committed to retaining set track. The alternative is to abandon set track for a product like Peco streamline, and use larger radii; the improvement in running reliability is very noticeable.

47FAN
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:54 pm

Re: Hornby A4

Postby 47FAN » Sun Jul 26, 2009 7:47 pm

Thanks guys for the advise. I have found that the leading pony truck comes off at the points when run at very, very slow speed, guess the problem may be with the locomotive rather than the points, but even then it can be dodgy with some of the others. Perhaps there may be a way to tighten the screw underneath the loco, to make the pony truck tighter or loser?.

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TerryB
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Location: Loftbrough Central [aka ....a spider infested loft in Rotherham]

Re: Hornby A4

Postby TerryB » Sun Jul 26, 2009 11:52 pm

47FAN wrote:Thanks guys for the advise. I have found that the leading pony truck comes off at the points when run at very, very slow speed, guess the problem may be with the locomotive rather than the points, but even then it can be dodgy with some of the others. Perhaps there may be a way to tighten the screw underneath the loco, to make the pony truck tighter or loser?.


I had a similar prob with Hornby 60021 Wild Swan.
A spring cut down from an old ball-point pen partly cured the prob [at least it will now take points .....as well as 2nd raddii curves] ....I also found that the "back to back" measurements of the front wheels has to be exact.

hth
T.
I know it's the fastest .....but why did they have to name it after a duck?

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Peterm
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Location: Bribie Island. Australia

Re: Hornby A4

Postby Peterm » Mon Jul 27, 2009 12:14 am

47FAN wrote:Thanks guys for the advise. I have found that the leading pony truck comes off at the points when run at very, very slow speed, guess the problem may be with the locomotive rather than the points, but even then it can be dodgy with some of the others. Perhaps there may be a way to tighten the screw underneath the loco, to make the pony truck tighter or loser?.

Bigmet always gives good advice, so if you can, ditch the set track and go for streamline in as large a radius as you can, The front pony truck: set track points have very large flangeways compared to streamline (which are also large, but better than set track), this is what is probably letting the wheels run over to the tip of the crossing vee. Also,the back to back measurements on Hornby stock, can be a bit iffy. If you can, measure the distance between the backs of the wheel flanges, this should be about 14.5mm. Another thing you could do with the pony truck is to glue a little bit of lead to the top of it. By doing it this way, you negate the chances of taking weight off the driving wheels, causing loss of adhesion (Sorry Terry).
Pete.

Martin71
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:47 am
Location: Perth WA

Re: Hornby A4

Postby Martin71 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:25 pm

Hi

Great advice there....get yourself a back to back gauge. Plenty of hobby shops in the uk will have it. I got mine in Australia.

Image

m

Andytrains2309
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Joined: Mon Aug 03, 2009 10:00 pm

Re: (HELP!) Hornby A4

Postby Andytrains2309 » Tue Aug 04, 2009 10:49 am

Hi, I wonder if anyone can help me. I have been trying to aquire the the "Heart of Midlothian" for a while but I am confused as to the specification of the train pack. I went on to the Argos website and the train pack is listed as containing A4 Woodcock! I want the Falcon version...does anyone know where I can get it!

47FAN
Posts: 27
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 4:54 pm

Re: Hornby A4

Postby 47FAN » Thu Aug 06, 2009 8:47 pm

Hi

I have very recently purchased the Heart of Midlothian train pack from Argos. It does contain A4 Pacific Falcon and not Woodcock. It also comes with three very nicely detailed Mk 1 coaches which are a credit to hornby, the detail is a joy to behold. I think that the new catalogue is out now and dont think it is in there. Give ebay a try if not.

Hope this helps.

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Flashbang
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Contact:

Re: Hornby A4

Postby Flashbang » Fri Aug 07, 2009 12:01 pm

[Image << Click the Icon to go to my website
Broken? It was working correctly when I left it.

Martin71
Posts: 160
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:47 am
Location: Perth WA

Re: Hornby A4

Postby Martin71 » Sat Aug 08, 2009 5:37 am

Hi

That looks like a very good price and the coaches look like the latest B&C by Hornby which have excellent detail. Shame they dont ship overseas.

I would snap it up at that price.

m

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chris_geeza
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Location: West Mids, Bloxwich

Re: Hornby A4

Postby chris_geeza » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:37 am

Hi is the Heart of Midlothian train pack from Argos dcc ready by any chance?

steviesparx
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Apr 17, 2007 4:06 pm
Location: LONDON

Re: Hornby A4

Postby steviesparx » Thu Oct 29, 2009 5:08 pm

chris_geeza wrote:Hi is the Heart of Midlothian train pack from Argos dcc ready by any chance?

The A4 is DCC ready, although you'll be lucky if you get one now after the price drop !

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SirMeliot
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Joined: Sat Dec 23, 2006 2:25 pm

Re: Hornby A4

Postby SirMeliot » Thu Oct 29, 2009 6:05 pm

There may be one or two lurking in shops. Bang in some postcodes and see if anything turns up. I got mine from Newbury, some 35 miles away where they had one in stock.

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Peterm
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Joined: Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:26 pm
Location: Bribie Island. Australia

Re: Hornby A4

Postby Peterm » Sun Nov 01, 2009 1:50 am

Now that's what I call going off topic. :)
Pete.


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