A reader writes:
What radius track does Lionel G scale 4-4-2 Atlantic need to run on. Jumps off on my Bachmann haulers standard curve track.
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Technically the 4-4-2 will run on a 4'-diameter circle, but it runs WAY better on a larger circle. The track has to be almost perfect, whatever the radius. BTW, I stole the "pilot wheels" (the little ones in front) off a Bachmann Big Hauler and put on the front of my Lionel 4-4-2, and the extra weight of the metal wheels helps. Also I stretched out the spring that puts pressure on the pilot truck a little so more of the loco's weight goes there. That doesn't keep the drivers from crawling up out of tight curves, but it does help keep the pilot wheels on the track.
I bought lead weights to way the thing down, but I haven't done that yet.
For me one of the biggest hassles is the paper-clip-like wire connecting the valve gear popping loose. But my track is probably bumpier than yours.
I'm a PRR fan, so I appreciate Lionel's attempt to give me a PRR-designed locomotive (It's roughly patterned after a PRR E-6 Atlantic). But the engineering is not up to the level of the other Large Scale manufacturers.
Here's a link to another fellow's very long description of the thing and possible fixes for various problems: http://girr.org/girr/tips/tips1/atlantic_tips.html
Best of luck, and have a great holiday season,