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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys,

Im trying to find out if there is an industry standard or even specific model variations on how many rolling stock a single engine should pull? Basically, im planning to purchase 2 of the same engines maybe 3 if needed to pull about 20-25 cars. I know alot of this will come down to size of the engines and who they are manufactured by aswell as what kind of rolling stock that will be pulled. But any information will be great!

Do any of you have a ritual on how many cars you pull per engine?

Thanks in advance

-Chris
 

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I usually pull 20 or less with my GP's and will go up to 30 with the SD60's and 70's. If using 2 engines then I don't worry about maxing it out because anything more than 45 cars and I don't have any space between the lead engine and the trailing car lol..
 

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Alrighty then! 2 Engines will be more then enough. Thanks fellas!!
Depends on how much of a grade incline you have too.
 

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I would say under 15 would be one and over 20 would be 2? idk really :p
 

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I have a steep grade in one section so on my 15 car train I have a spectrum and a dummy. Since they are F3s that would equal about a modern GP I believe. I model in the what I like era so my lines run all types that fall into that category.
 

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Chris...I think some of it may depend on the weight of the cars being pulled, but I would agree with shay's opinion of about 25 cars per loco. I have pulled 52 cars with 3 locos before, but have also pulled the same 52 cars with 2 locos as well. I would bet some of it also depends on the locos, and how good of pullers they are.

I should also say that my layout is perfectly flat...all this changes on layouts with grades, of course. As an average, I pull 12 to 15 cars per single locomotive, with 25 being about the maximum before I add help.

Chad
 

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I've got a Rivarossi Red Box Mallet that has pulled 239 cars before we ran out of coal cars. Obviously not normal, but I wanted to see just how many cars this brute could pull. I run as many as 100 car coal trains with some of my steam engines. Even my early era diesels are up to the task when MU'ed in an A-B-B-A lash up.

I don't own any "dummy" engines unless they are designated as projects. I have a small group of GP9's that are on the bench destined to become "slugs" using Atlas drives when the project climbs higher on the priority list.

The locals and larger switchers, including some big Atlas SD9's and SD7's, Geeps, and early Alco's, as well as a few 0-6-0 and 0-8-0 steam engines, traditionally tug no more than 20-25 cars, plus a caboose, at a time on the layout.

Bob
 

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I use the 25 car rule for aesthetic reasons. The trains are generally too long for the eye to take in from one end to the other in a normal club layout setting, giving the impression of a more realistic train than one usually gets to run on a home layout. Adding a second powered unit and 5-10 more cars really gives a sense of horsepower and effort. My fondest memories at the club were when my P2K E9 A-A setup or my Athearn C44-9-w pair were coming up the grade along the edge of the layout and you could hear the drivers digging into the rails and the motors "downshift" under the load.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
After reading all of your guys input, seems like a good ratio to stick with is 25 to 1. Also, im not quite sure how many cars would be to many on a 4' x 8' layout. Im going to purchase 2 engines anyways as i feel it make for a more realistic feel to it and also if i ever choose to pull more units.

All thats left to do now is to convince my fiancee to let me build a dedicated layout / bench in our garage!!

Edit: One other question, are C44-9W's to big for 18" radius curves? These are the enignes i most commonly see around my house and thats what im looking to get possibly!
 

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That makes a lot of sense...sometimes it seems like if one runs more than 25 cars to a train, it gets so long that it makes the layout look smaller! My layout is 12' X 26', and while I can run 50+ cars to a train, I just simply choose not to because of the fact that it makes the layout look small!

I am impressed with the number of cars that Bob has been able to pull. It really surprises me the pulling ability of some locos! I admit...once in a while it is fun to see just what they will do!

Chad
 

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Hey Chris...I must have posted right when you did! I don't know what other guys will say, but I would DEFINITELY tend to believe that C44-9W's are indeed too big for an 18" radius. I would say at minimum they should have 22" curves. I own a couple Dash 8's, and they seem to slow down some into a 22" curve even...I can't imagine how they would negotiate an 18" one!
 

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C44-9's need a 24 "r turn. Though the engine can negotiate the turn, the 'swing out" can cause trailing cars to derail. With 18"r. turns, engine like the smaller Geeps, Gp7, GP9, GP 35, GP45, would work, and look, much better. Even the old F-units look OK. Small switchers would like prime too. RS units, SW1000 and 1200's, and so on.

Rule of thumb here is 4-axle truck engines will negotiate tighter radii.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, im trying to find a pair of engines in BNSF Heritage scheme that will run on 18" radius turns. The C44-9W's were in question as a possible buy mainly because that is what i see on a daily basis.

Are there any Diesel engines you guys can think of in BNSF paint that will run on an 18" radius turn? I see lots of others but am having a hard time find them in the BNSF Heritage.

Im gonna go to this model train shop tomorrow and have a look around so if you guys have any engine or manufacturer suggestions, im all ears! Would love to walk out of the store with a great pair of power!
 

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I believe that Athearn Genesis, Bachmann Spectrum, Atlas, and Proto 2000 all offer GP40's in Heritage colors. My choice of the above would be the Atlas offerings. I don't know, offhand, if Kato makes that would fit your plan. If so, That would be my first choice, though higher priced, it is of MUCH better quality.

Bob
 

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Well, im trying to find a pair of engines in BNSF Heritage scheme that will run on 18" radius turns. The C44-9W's were in question as a possible buy mainly because that is what i see on a daily basis.

Are there any Diesel engines you guys can think of in BNSF paint that will run on an 18" radius turn? I see lots of others but am having a hard time find them in the BNSF Heritage.
18-inch radii are tight for any 6-axle engine IMO unless you crawl around those curves very s-l-o-w-l-y. :D

I'd try to stick with 4-axle engines like GPs or Bxx-7s or switchers.

Just my opinion...
 
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