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Old 01-06-2010, 07:42 AM   #1
rob_campbell@comcast
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How many cars can I pull with this train?

I apologize if this has been discussed ad nauseum, but I did not find anything in my search, and the engine's instructions say nothing about it.

I just found a great deal on craigslist for a big bundle of O scale freight cars and an MTH Chessie diesel set . So in total I have about 16 cars, some of which are flat cars with die cast autos on them, which are fairly heavy. Just wondering how much of a load this train can pull (I have not run it yet to test)... I don't want to damage the engine in any way by hooking up too many cars.

Attached are pictures of my haul. Let me know what you think. The train in total is around 12-13 feet long with all attached.





Thanks,
Rob
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:32 AM   #2
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Rob,

I'm going to offer an opinion, and everyone feel free to beat me down if you disagree. Your engine will either pull the load, or it will sit and run happily with it's drive wheels spinning and the train going nowhere. You won't burn up your engine unless you decide to let it sit there and spin it's wheels forever---it's not like it needs an airstream for the radiator to function. You'll get tired of watching it sit there spinning before it can overheat.

Let's assume it can't move the load. You have several options: 1. apply something like Bullfrog Snot to the drivewheels (it's a product that increases their grip on the rails); 2. Remove some cars to lighten the load; and, 3. Look at lubing all those axles to see if you can reduce the friction. Personally, unless you have a lot more track than I saw in the pics, I'd go with shortening the train. More than that, I'd be thinking about breaking it into two trains by buying a second locomotive and a lot more track!
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:56 AM   #3
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Rob,

I'm going to offer an opinion, and everyone feel free to beat me down if you disagree. Your engine will either pull the load, or it will sit and run happily with it's drive wheels spinning and the train going nowhere. You won't burn up your engine unless you decide to let it sit there and spin it's wheels forever---it's not like it needs an airstream for the radiator to function. You'll get tired of watching it sit there spinning before it can overheat.

Let's assume it can't move the load. You have several options: 1. apply something like Bullfrog Snot to the drivewheels (it's a product that increases their grip on the rails); 2. Remove some cars to lighten the load; and, 3. Look at lubing all those axles to see if you can reduce the friction. Personally, unless you have a lot more track than I saw in the pics, I'd go with shortening the train. More than that, I'd be thinking about breaking it into two trains by buying a second locomotive and a lot more track!


Thanks Reckers for the reply. That's what I wanted to know. I was going to just hit some trial and error and see, but didn't want to cause any damage.

Don't worry, I have a lot more track. I am setting up a shelf train that will travel around the 3 bedrooms of our house through the walls, for a total of around 140 feet of track. I also have a second train - a MTH Bantam J passenger steam set, which will also run the circuit. I just wanted to have the option of running a very long freight train at times, so that's why this used haul was so perfect.

Thanks for the info!
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:07 AM   #4
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Rob,

First, it's a terrific looking set---it's gonna look great! Second, it sounds as though you're going to be running more or less level the whole time, which is much easier on your locomotive. Think of pulling a boat or trailer with your car: once you get it up to speed and rolling, the pull is nominal because inertia is now working for you instead of against you. It's the mountains that make your car work hard, not the level stretches. Watch your locomotive and if it's spinning it's wheels, look at reducing the load. Slow starts might help, too, if it's a borderline case. Short periods of testing won't hurt it, and keeping it lubed will prevent any damage. How about sending us some pics, once you have it up and running?
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:28 AM   #5
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Pull vs resistance.

For another opinion, it's engine vs load. The heavier cars should be closer to the engine. On my small track I had to weigh down tenders that pull cars over two 90 degree turns. They would jump off without out it. So this means if you want mucho lineup use really big turns. That is the deciding factor. ALso weaken a turn, by appllying a straight piece between sections. You can add weigh to the engine. So basically it is trial and error. I am guessing ten cars for that engine. No more than two 90 degree turns long. This is where two motors and magnatration help.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
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nice stuff on picures

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reckers View Post
...it will sit and run happily with it's drive wheels spinning and the train going nowhere. You won't burn up your engine unless...

...Let's assume it can't move the load. You have several options:
1. apply something like Bullfrog Snot to the drivewheels (it's a product that increases their grip on the rails); ...
you just explained why any kind of traction enhancers are a big no no.
in case engine can't move the load, instead of spinning the wheels it will be stalling the motor and burning it out in couple seconds.

even if it gets rolling with the traction tires, the load on the motor is still above normal so it will be burning out eventually.

IMHO, better to let it spin instead of toasting.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:54 AM   #7
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T-man, the curves I have are all O31 90 degree turns, as I am going around the perimeter of the rooms. No room for bigger curves unfortunately. I will just play around with adding cars slowly and thoroughly testing at different speeds to make sure the engine is handling it OK and nothing will come off the rails. It will still be a little while before I get to that point.

FWIW, the diesel I bought says it has dual flywheel motors.

Reckers, I will certainly post some pictures of my progress as I go along. I currently am cutting and staining shelves so I should be able to start installing then by the weekend. I can't wait to get these suckers running. This was originally going to just be a simple track around my son's room, and has gotten the "scope creep" into a 3 room circuit going through the walls and closets, 2 sets of turnouts to bypass rooms, and an extra siding area to switch trains. Hehe, a hobbyist at heart I guess.

Also, has anyone bought anything from "Hundred Year Bridge" company? I am looking at a 48" covered bridge from them to go behind my sons bunk so he doesn't accidentally knock the train off so close to his bed. Sounds like they make quality...anyone have one?

Thanks!
Rob
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:46 PM   #8
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Nice find. To bad you didn't have the dummy engine too.

I will add 2 cents..........................,

besides all that was said if you add switches the longer train might jump the track going through them.
And if you add trestles when the engine starts pulling the long heavy train up the grade and you go into a turn the front of the engine will come up and jump the track too.
Not all engines though.

That's an extra 2 cents worth.
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Old 01-07-2010, 06:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tankist View Post
nice stuff on picures



you just explained why any kind of traction enhancers are a big no no.
in case engine can't move the load, instead of spinning the wheels it will be stalling the motor and burning it out in couple seconds.

even if it gets rolling with the traction tires, the load on the motor is still above normal so it will be burning out eventually.

IMHO, better to let it spin instead of toasting.
One think I can't argue with is good, solid reasoning. I defer to tankist on this one---CANCEL THE BULLFROG SNOT!!!!
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