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Has someone experimented with how much weight needs to be added to a Magnetraction Lionel diesel on Gargraves and other track lacking metal ties, to achieve about the same tractive effort as it can on Lionel track with metal ties assisting the magnetic field?  Question prompted by today’s purchase of a second set of powered AA’s at York, for my Lionel City of LA from the 1980s that needs the second powered F3 for its expanded consist.

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Metal ties are to great a distance from the drivers to have any effect.  The rails should be steel... not stainless steel.   You can add steel wire (piano wire) to hollow steel rail to gain mass and increase the magnetic force.

I think he’s asking how much weight to add to locomotives, not how to enhance Magnetraction. While he specified GarGraves track, he also said “and others,” so if he considered using Atlas solid rail track he would need to add weight to the locomotives to increase traction.

@Jim R. posted:

I think he’s asking how much weight to add to locomotives, not how to enhance Magnetraction. While he specified GarGraves track, he also said “and others,” so if he considered using Atlas solid rail track he would need to add weight to the locomotives to increase traction.

He'd have to add more than weight to get any Magnetraction.

@Jim R. posted:

I think he’s asking how much weight to add to locomotives, not how to enhance Magnetraction. While he specified GarGraves track, he also said “and others,” so if he considered using Atlas solid rail track he would need to add weight to the locomotives to increase traction.

Thanks, Jim, that’s my question. I realize nobody reading may have run the experiment. It’s my 2% grade with a curve on GarGraves tinplate specifically in question. The difference between that and Lionel O gauge steel track is notable from experience (mine and others). Just curious. If four motors don’t lift 2 B units and 10 15” aluminum cars up the hill, we’ll be running the experiment here.

Hoping maybe someone else has played with the question. All part of the fun.

@harmonyards posted:

No science needed here, just use the sneak up approach. Take the shells off, as they bring no revelance to the table, and run the set up your grade. If they need added weight, add weights sparingly until they complete the task you want it to do. If you need to add the equivalent weight of a Chevy small block, chances are you’re gonna have to rethink your drink.

Pat

Yes, well, results to be published in due course. In this heavily peer-reviewed journal, of course 😏 Thanks guys

I believe the magnetism of the wheels can decrease over time if stored improperly. By improper I mean stored where the heat may well exceed room temperatures such as in an attic. The good news is it can be restored or increased by rubbing a strong powerful magnet over the wheels. There is a technique to doing this that you may have to research. I think you need to rub the magnet only in one direction.

@harmonyards posted:

. If you need to add the equivalent weight of a Chevy small block, chances are you’re gonna have to rethink your drink.

Pat

I actually have a couple die cast 1/18 scale Chevy motors.  One is a 350 Small block, the other is a 429 Big block.  They weight about .35 and .5 lbs respectively, fully dressed (accessories, exhaust headers, etc..)

I should add them for weight in one of my old Lionel (1950's) diesels  

Don, I'm a little late to this party, here are my thoughts: (1) If a single powered unit struggles with the train, add a second powered unit.  If necessary, use a bigger transformer to handle 4 motors.  (2) Reduce friction in the consist.  Make sure the coach wheels spin reasonably freely.  Are the bronze ground wipers too tight?  A lot of friction comes from the pickup rollers.  You could remove the rollers from most of the cars and power the lights by rigging a tether that runs from car to car.  This mod goes hand-in-hand with upgrading to LED lighting, which would free up transformer power for the 4 motors.  (3) Some MPC-era F3s had rubber tires which definitely have more grip than Magne-Traction.  Personally I don't like rubber tires, but if you want to pull every time without wheelspin, find these late-70s parts or buy a set of Pennsy F3s and swap the truck blocks with your Magne-Traction ones.  (4) and I should have said this first... Make sure your rails and the locomotive wheels are scrupulously clean!  Good luck and let us know what you find!

cnwdon

Here are a couple OGR links on engine weight, magnetraction and Gargraves track.  The data is from CTT Oct 2004 article by Phil Hays titled "Testing 9 Types of Track” and is available on the Classic Toy Train web site.

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...pes-of-track-article

https://ogrforum.ogaugerr.com/...engine-pulling-power

Charlie

Last edited by Choo Choo Charlie

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