While reading the topic "I Saw Big Boy 4014 today" I read a mention of the reason why the 4014 wasn't making much of any noise, that being that it wasn't pulling anywhere near its capacity.

That got me to thinking about our "little" models. Certainly pulling power has improved over the postwar and MPC eras with the advent of bigger scale-proportioned locomotives, many of whom are capable of pulling more cars than most layouts are capable of hosting.

But back to the biggest of the bunch. Those of you with articulated steamers and the real estate to put an appropriate load behind them, at what point have you observed your locomotives actually seeming to work at pulling their trains?

---PCJ

(My 'test track' is only an 11x17 loop, and my largest locos (currently a Big Boy and an Allegheny) probably won't even notice the longest trains that will fit on it.)

 

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Original Post

I’d say 40-50 cars depending on the manufacture.   Layout has a lot to do with it too.   Track curvatures and Grades I’ve pulled 80 cars with a vision big boy no problem at all.    100 cars is very doable.   I’ll pull 50-60 with a scale 2-8-4. Without issues.   

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In my world there is a cold beer and vision big boy for everyone.

If I run my MTH Triplex out back without many cars, the road foreman will yell at me to bring more to the task. Back when I made my first videos of the full yard layout, I had a certain amount of cars to use (maybe 50?). As I acquired more cars, more things went wrong like broken couplers or ones that would drop out under the load. So I would distribute power thru the train to get it up the hills' 2% grade. I had to go thru my fleet and upgrade most stock couplers or their mounts.

 One thing I noticed that no matter how many cars I got together, this Triplex would pull it. On my RR, it never ran out of steam!

So I should try it again with more cars that I now have. It just gets so expensive trying to get the fleet all uniform. It's easier to keep the trains shorter, or distribute the power. Our road foreman (above video) wants them all and had to learn that they just don't all get along!

" on Sour mash and cheap wine " ??

Why go back to DCC when I have DCS!

I've pulled 70 cars with the VL-BB, including a 2% grade.  With the dual-motored diesels, I'd say around 50 is a practical limit.  I once pulled 115 cars with a pair of Legacy U-Boats, but they were certainly working near capacity!  However, they still ran fine after the experiment, so they were up to the task.

Engineer-Joe posted:

If I run my MTH Triplex out back without many cars, the road foreman will yell at me to bring more to the task. Back when I made my first videos of the full yard layout, I had a certain amount of cars to use (maybe 50?). As I acquired more cars, more things went wrong like broken couplers or ones that would drop out under the load. So I would distribute power thru the train to get it up the hills' 2% grade. I had to go thru my fleet and upgrade most stock couplers or their mounts.

 One thing I noticed that no matter how many cars I got together, this Triplex would pull it. On my RR, it never ran out of steam!

So I should try it again with more cars that I now have. It just gets so expensive trying to get the fleet all uniform. It's easier to keep the trains shorter, or distribute the power. Our road foreman (above video) wants them all and had to learn that they just don't all get along!

Well that sure looks like a BUCKET OF FUN!!! 

 

 

 

 

18.29



I have a small layout with no grades but my collection of 12 mth die cast hoppers is the train that separates mice from men. Lionmaster a, no problem but it is working hard! Most mth diesels also ok. Williams dash 9 and any postwar or non traction tire engine need not try.

Did it work better with the new board?  I didn't have any issue with overheating, ran for about half an hour with 70 cars.

For me, 60 MTH 4 Bay Hoppers and we start to have difficulty pulling them all through multiple curves..... with the Atlas O diecast fish belly hoppers - more like 32.... 

The die cast cars are good for smaller trains   If you plan on running  long train put the die cast cars on the shelf  I found the best cars to put in long trains are the older Atlas cars  I have run the H21 hoppers and the 55 ton hoppers in trains over 100 cars    We have alot of grades so this was with multiple engines.  The longest single engine trains I pulled were with an MTH Triplex 60 cars and an MTH Yellowstone  80 ore cars.   I found that Atlas engines have that problem with heating up after awhile and start slowing to a crawl

 

This is a Y6B and two Alleghenies pulling 94 hoppers

 

 

In the real world larger steam engines had bigger fireboxes and boilers so more power. In the model world the biggest engines all pretty much have the same motor, one large Pittman. I found it interesting Lionel's Vision Big Boy has a large Pittman even though for a few years prior they had swtched to Canons in other steam. That should say something about the Pittman quality and torque.

I wonder if a large Pittman equiped 4-8-4 could pull as much or more than an articulated. Are the extra traction tires on the articulated enough to overcome the added friction of the second gearbox and bearing friction vs the lighter Northern?

Pete

Norton posted:

I found it interesting Lionel's Vision Big Boy has a large Pittman even though for a few years prior they had swtched to Canons in other steam. That should say something about the Pittman quality and torque.

I've had three of the Canon motors croak in Legacy steam in the past several years.  Two of them failed dead shorted and took out the RCMC with them!  I'm totally unimpressed with the Canon replacement, bring back the Pittman motors please!

I did finally have a failed Pittman in a 2-rail locomotive, first time I've ever had a failure of one of those.

Norton posted:

I wonder if a large Pittman equiped 4-8-4 could pull as much or more than an articulated. Are the extra traction tires on the articulated enough to overcome the added friction of the second gearbox and bearing friction vs the lighter Northern?

Pete

My MTH Premier GS4 (which has a Pittman motor) has pulled 18 15" aluminum passenger cars with ease. Seems like it could pull more no problem.

Santa Fe, All the Way

ajzend posted:

These engines can pull these long loads, but doesn't that eat traction tires?

Alan

Any operation of your engine eats traction tires   They stretch  They dry out and you replace them   If you dont have good trackwork they will go faster  And yes if you tend to pull long trains they will go faster too

Yep, after this one ran a while, the traction tires did show some signs of the run.  They had a bunch of tiny "orange peel" divots out of them from the track joints.  Any wide track joint will show up under heavy load.

Hi John, The new board helped. We run from 4 to 6 hours at a show. That's a lot of wear and tear. I have rarely replaced traction tires on a diesel but the Big Boy eats them up. I am waiting for the new Challenger to come in then I can double head them and take some of the load off the Big Boy. I may also add a few more cars. Ben, I'm going to need a longer storage track. LOL.

Jim D posted:

Hi John, The new board helped. We run from 4 to 6 hours at a show. That's a lot of wear and tear. I have rarely replaced traction tires on a diesel but the Big Boy eats them up. I am waiting for the new Challenger to come in then I can double head them and take some of the load off the Big Boy. I may also add a few more cars. Ben, I'm going to need a longer storage track. LOL.

No your going to need to make a switching move

So far the only RCMC boards I've lost have been to shorted Canon motors.  Apparently, the overcurrent sensing on the RCMC can't deal with a dead short.  When I measured the motors, they had about .2-.3 ohms of resistance!  Since I've seen three of them so far, the next one I'm going to rip apart and see why it shorted.

As a total fantasy excursion train, I double head a VL BB with a UP 9000 18 wheeler. They pull 12 Lionel aluminum "Superliner" cars from days of yore with no sweat (they are heavy cars, not particularly free-rolling and the lighting, which I have not converted to LEDs yet, eats up a lot of current). 

By contrast, I put 4 of those cars behind a VL Niagara and it threw a traction tire pulling them around an O72 curve. Fortunately it did not shred and I put it back in place without having to take off the running gear. It then pulled seven MTH ABS passenger cars with no problem.

I don't run long freight consists but I do run the full sets of certain passenger trains I have. Seven or more 21" aluminum cars requires no small amount of power/traction. My Legacy AC12 has pulled 10 such cars on its own with no issue at all. 

The Niagara has the "force coupler" feature which reflects the load on the engine in sound effects. That probably does not scientifically reflect the real pulling power of the engine but it does indicate that curves and any even slight grade or uneven trackwork make quite a difference to what the engine can pull. (This feature was just a bonus as far as I was concerned but having got it I think it adds no small play value.)

gunrunnerjohn posted:

I've had three of the Canon motors croak in Legacy steam in the past several years.  Two of them failed dead shorted and took out the RCMC with them!  I'm totally unimpressed with the Canon replacement, bring back the Pittman motors please!

Buhler?  Buhler??  My 11203 Berk has a dual-shaft Buhler motor with two flywheels.  Word on the street was that these fairly expensive motors were also prone to burning out under load, at least in the Vision PRR CC2's.  I believe the Canon FN38 is a 5-pole motor, I wonder if it has skewed laminations?  It may also have more turns of thinner wire for better speed-voltage characteristics.  GRJ, if you do a post-mortem on one I would love to hear what you find out.

Pete re: Articulated vs. Northern, #1 thing is the total adhesive weight.  Typically there isn't much weight on the front set of drivers; they would probably slip except for the fact that they're permanently geared to the rear set.  Second consideration is the rigid wheelbase.  Some of the larger eight-drivered rigid locos struggle to pull themselves around the sharpest curves they're rated for!  [IMO the rated curves are kind of optimistic; mfr's want to sell trains!]  The final consideration, at least with regard to continuous running, is the effective gear ratio.  For years MTH used the same fairly small 16-tooth worm wheel on all of their locos.  So I have no doubt that a Premier Y-6 would be more comfortable pulling a heavy load than one of the first-generation Santa Fe 2900s, because the motor is turning ~30% more RPM for the distance traveled.  Around Y2K, MTH's design board wised up and started using larger worm wheels on the large Northerns, and compound gearing on the smaller steamers.  So the first Premier Niagaras had great characteristics for starting a train under load.  I would say these might equal an articulated in pulling power, at least on very wide radius curves. 

Creep, coast, and pull.  We're not talking about cold fusion here.

The new Vision Niagaras come with swiss cheese traction tires. The CCII Niagara came with better rubber. The most I have pulled with my CCII were 13 18" heavyweights and on another occasion, 32 scale milk cars plus a caboose. Limiting factor is the length of the setup track on the club layout.

Pete

Ted S posted:

So the first Premier Niagaras had great characteristics for starting a train under load.  I would say these might equal an articulated in pulling power, at least on very wide radius curves. 

My VL-BB tested at 7 pounds of pull at the drawbar, pretty impressive for a single locomotive.  We had a guy at the club that was testing a custom pull gauge, the 7 pounds was the champ that day.

I had the same problem with the DD 35. It would get hot after 20 minutes of pulling 20 cars and loose signal. I let it cool for 15 minutes and it was good for another 20 minutes. I replaced the board in that one too. Made sure the board was fasten really good to the heat sink with plenty of paste on both engines. It seems OK now. Just something to look out for.

Jim D.

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