Do you own Lionel Challenger(s)?

I bought a Lionel HO Challenger a while back. While we could argue some issues like the weight in the tender, proto paint and details, I am happy enough with it in all respects except one:

The driver/axle assembly is misaligned badly enough that at low speeds, the boiler moves from side to side, and at medium to high speeds, it shakes rather noticably.

If you have one or more, do they do this?

I sent the thing back and it took 8 weeks for me to get a "repaired" unit (total new mechanism) with the same problem. So I am wondering if most or all of these have this objectionable characteristic.

Reply to my email if you prefer.



Reply to
Hal Greenlee
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I can't say much about this particular model, and what it's problems may be, without seeing it operate. However, a certain amount of 'waddle' is normal for a steam locomotive (model or prototype). Whether your model's behaviour is excessive, I can't say.

Dan Mitchell ============

Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell


A certain amount of the waddle would also be produced by the challenger being of the Mallet configruation. The front engine unit is pivoted off the front of the rear engine unit.

================ Boiler >


-------- -------------------- Rear | -| Front |

--------- --------------------

The acsii picture is supposed to show the way the front engine unit on a Mallet is pivoted.

My Website:

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Reply to

of similar size. This is due to the quite short rigid wheelbase of the rear engine. I'm not sure they all NEED to do this, as various centering mechanisms have been tried and used on the front engines.

The only Mallet I've ever ridden, a small 2-6+6-2 logging loco, 'waddled' a LOT, and more than any other loco I've ever ridden. The entire cab oscillated back and forth sideways the better part of a foot every time the front low pressure cylinders csaused the front engine to move in the opposite direction. Thus the whole loco was basically bending in the middle every turn of the drivers. It went down the track rather like a snake. It ws totally rythmic, however, so you could adapt to it, and sway in time to the loco ... kind of like 'sealegs'. LOTS of fun though!

Dan Mitchell ============

Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell

So now you have your "Locolegs?"

Reply to
Frank A. Rosenbaum

Yup! ... but only for THAT loco at that speed.

You have to learn to adapt to each one. Most steam locos have certian speeds at which they run smooth, or conversely, rough. This is due to balancing (never perfect, somtimes hardy any at all), piston thrust, suspension tuning, and similar factors.

Dan Mitchell ============

Reply to
Daniel A. Mitchell

"Daniel A. Mitchell" wrote in news:yzF0e.1014$

Even small locos can have oscillations like this. Back in the late 1960's I had a part time job working in an amusement park in Wichita, KS. Their park train was a Chance C.P.Huntinton. 4-cyl Ford industrial engine, driving the pilot and "tender" trucks through a 2 speed automatic transmission. It was a pretty thing that they kept polished up and since they had just a tad over a mile of track, you didn't get that "driving in circles" feeling, making it fun to operate. It went all the way around the periphery of the park and passed through a lot of different scenery as a result...over a rather large trestle crossing a creek, through a bunch of woods, behind a western-themed village, plus the usual midway stuff.

The engineer sat on top of the faux woodbin on the tender, just behind the cab roof. I can remember it having a kind of "waddle" at certain speeds. I also remember not getting too carried away with the whistle on the last half of the trip if you wanted to have enough air to stop the thing at the station!

Reply to
Norman Morgan

Wow, driving the train at Joyland! I thought only minor deities were allowed to do that. Located in south Wichita Joyland is, or more accurately WAS one of the last small locally owned amusement parks left in the US. Unfortunately, a few years ago, it was sold by the original owners to a new operator who ran it straight into the ground. It closed half way through the season last summer. The former owners took it back (buyer defaulted on the purchase) and are trying to open it again this season.

I remember that going there was a special treat and my family only went there for my Dad's company picnic and for the "School night" where you got ride tickets for good grades. Several creeks crossed the property and you entered the park over a foot bridge which added to the drama for a 5 year old. I LOVED the Whurlitzer organ played by the automated clown next to the Merry-go-round. Half the kids in Wichita must have fallen in love or broken up with their BF/GF at Joyland.

I arrived in Wichita in 1965 as an infant and left as a junior in high school in 1981. There was a HUGE swimming pool to the right of the entrance which was always closed and crumbling when I went to Joyland. For a kid you knew you were getting close to fun when you could see the top of the Roller Coaster over the trees which surrounded and filled the park.

As part of a class project in 6th grade I got to visit the Factory of what was then Chance Manufacturing. Way cool.

Reply to
Dana Miller

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