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Old 01-03-2020, 04:50 PM   #1
Murv2
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New Vs Old Engines

All my engines are purchased second-hand, most from the 70's or older. Even my best engine (AHM GP18 from Yugoslavia) can only pull about 15 cars. My brother visited with a proto 2000 EMD E8 and it easily pulled a 35 car train. Are modern engines that much better than older ones? Or are six axle diesels that much better than four?
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Old 01-03-2020, 05:16 PM   #2
DonR
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I don't really believe that the older locos were that
less capable of pulling as compared to today's locos.
Perhaps those with rubber band belt systems
might be weaklings but those with good gear trains
should do well but with a caveat: Weight.

Weight of the loco has much to do with it's
pulling power. It is very unusual for a loco
to stall, it normally slips wheels when trying to pull
a long train. More weight in the loco
adds to the wheel grip on the rails. In addition, the E8
mentioned has 6 wheel trucks...those extra
4 wheels plus the proper weight enabled the
extra pulling power that you saw.

Add some weight to your locos and watch their
pulling power increase.

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Old 01-03-2020, 07:52 PM   #3
Jscullans
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I have a couple old engines ive used bullfrog snot on and its almost miraculous the added pulling power that stuff gives. my tenshodo blue goose would barely drag a 6 car train when I got it now it will easily pull my 12 car rendition of the santa fe scout. I also used it on my nickel plate products brass pioneer zephyr and it was a night and day difference in that too
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:05 PM   #4
blackz28
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HONESTLY ITS MORE ABOUT CONTROLLING SYSTEMS LIKE DCC VS DC
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:47 PM   #5
MichaelE
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Could you elaborate on your statement?
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:54 PM   #6
Jscullans
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how does dcc or dc effect the tractive effort of a locomotive? I can understand that you can ramp up the power to the engine a little more controlled but that doesn't effect the true tractive effort of an engine?
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:14 PM   #7
Murv2
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I stacked 2 1/2 ounces of lead on top the engine and it pulled the 15 car train no problem. I got some Bullfrog Snot for Christmas but haven't had a chance to play with it yet (Must buy a transformer for the worktable...). Thanks to all for the help!
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Old 01-03-2020, 09:34 PM   #8
prrfan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murv2 View Post
All my engines are purchased second-hand, most from the 70's or older. Even my best engine (AHM GP18 from Yugoslavia) can only pull about 15 cars. My brother visited with a proto 2000 EMD E8 and it easily pulled a 35 car train. Are modern engines that much better than older ones? Or are six axle diesels that much better than four?
If you like old 70s diesel models get yourself some Roco E7s. I have a few of them and they will pull more cars than I ever had room for on a layout.
They are as heavy as a brick and have huge motors that take up the width of the shell. (I read someplace that the motors are O scale but I’m not sure that’s actually true.)
The painting and details are horrible but you can usually find them custom painted/detailed on eBay.
I have a couple of the AHM GP18’s. They are very light. As was mentioned, you definitely should add weight but even then, a Roco would probably out pull them 10-1.
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Old 01-04-2020, 02:20 AM   #9
mesenteria
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackz28 View Post
HONESTLY ITS MORE ABOUT CONTROLLING SYSTEMS LIKE DCC VS DC
An engine that spins its drivers at 4 oz of resistance will do so regardless of whether it gets DC voltage or DCC voltage. IOW, the type of controlling voltage is completely irrelevant. The reason: can motors are DC only, and that's what they get from decoders: rectified AC square wave.

What limits the tractive capacity of any one locomotive is its ability to apply power to the limit of friction between the driver's tire surfaces and the rail bearing surface. When the drivers begin to spin, that's when more weight helps. If you keep adding weight, you will eventually cause a stall.
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Old 01-04-2020, 09:22 AM   #10
Eilif
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Many of those old AHM locos are good candidates for a repower. Especially the ones with 8wd. You might never get to 35 cars but a new motor and more weight can greatly increase the number of cars they pull.

Also Athearn from the same era will likely pull better even before a motor swap.
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