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I am very interested in what you, my Forum friends, think about whether modern loccomotives and Postwar operating cars are a good combination. 

The modern locomotives I have in mind are those like MTH Proto 2 and 3, Lionel LC+, LC 2.0 and Legacy and other modern locomotives that have speed control and  run slow and smooth.

The Postwar operating cars I'm thinking of include the Lionel operating coal dump car, operating milk car, operating log dump car and other operating cars that have a sliding shoe on the bottom of each truck to trigger the operating feature.

I just spent 2 tedious hours repairing 3 Postwar operating coal dump cars that either had loose wires that needed to be soldered back on the top of the sliding shoe, or had frayed or defective wires that needed to be replaced. Replacing the wires required me to disassemble and reassemble the car. This disassembling and reassembling was particularly tedious and tested my patience to its limits. My goal is to never need to do that again.

It occurred to me that one way to accomplish my goal may be to only run these Lionel Postwar operating cars with a slow and smooth modern engine with speed control.

What do you think? Is that a good strategy?

Arnold

 

 

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 "....a slow and smooth modern engine with speed control."

Always a good idea under any circumstance for any reason with any equipment.

Simple, proper gearing actually eliminates most of the need for speed control anyway (oh, if only we had gone that way), but we in 3RO have seldom been offered locomotives with the "adult" gearing, such as the 2RO crowd generally got/gets.

....which then lead to expensive 3RO electronic complication that was not necessary....but I've beaten this drum too often...sigh.

@MELGAR posted:

Slow running behind a modern, speed-controlled locomotive model probably is better for the durability and operation of postwar cars. Let us know what you find...

MELGAR

I believe that the slide shoes of  Postwar operating cars are much less likely to snag in O22 switches if pulled by modern engines that run slow and smooth. 

My plan is to test this hypothesis over time, and I will report back here.

 

I just spent 2 tedious hours repairing 3 Postwar operating coal dump cars that either had loose wires that needed to be soldered back on the top of the sliding shoe, or had frayed or defective wires that needed to be replaced. Replacing the wires required me to disassemble and reassemble the car. This disassembling and reassembling was particularly tedious and tested my patience to its limits. My goal is to never need to do that again.

It occurred to me that one way to accomplish my goal may be to only run these Lionel Postwar operating cars with a slow and smooth modern engine with speed control.

What do you think? Is that a good strategy?

Arnold

 

 

Hmm...I'm not sure that the speed at which a given car is used would have much bearing on whether the wires might wear faster and need to be repaired more (or less) often.

Plus, if you find that working on these cars is so "tedious", to the point of never  needing "to do that again", then perhaps running post-war is not for you.  I think the fact that these cars were meant to be repaired, not simply replaced, is part of their appeal...and I bet I'm not alone in feeling that way.

Opinion, of course.

Mark in Oregon 

Last edited by Strummer

Mark, the idea is that if the track work, like mine, is not perfect, a fast ride will be more rough and bumpy than a slow smooth one. As a result, the fast ride IMO is more likely to have the sliding shoe get caught up in the switches.

For now, my plan is to run the Postwar operating cars with slow smooth running locomotives.  

Regarding the repairs I made today, although I did not enjoy doing them and I would prefer to have avoided them by not having the sliding shoes get snagged in the switches, ironically it gave me a sense of accomplishment to have succeeded in making the repairs, and it was pleasing to know I saved the money it would have cost to have someone else repair them.

I love the Lionel Lionel Postwar operating cars because they are my roots, they are crowd pleasers, children love them, and they are charming and mechanically sound. Arnold

 

Arnold,

I missed out that it was a siding shoe problem.  My cars may not be post-war since all of them have the electro-mechanical plungers in the middle of the bottom of the car.  I bought most of them at one time 5 or 6 years ago.  Since I had HO trains from the time I bought my first set at age 12 until 2012 when I switched to O gauge 3-rail, all of the operating accessories and control was new to me.  I can see exactly what you are saying about running fast on less than smooth trackwork would cause the sliding shoe to catch.  I always had trouble with trackwork in HO and even now.  I can't say I was all thumbs, but I could never be considered a craftsman either.  No matter how much effort I put into some things, I am less than happy with the results.  O gauge track and wheels are much more forgiving than HO; a definite plus as my limited dexterity deteriorates.  Run them at whatever speed satisfies the modeler.  

If you are running a modern loco with TMCC / DCS remember there is going to be high voltage at the rails and UCS tracks if running un-modified wiring. That may be too high and the plungers of the dump cars may stick. And coil couplers will overheat if the car (if equipped) is operated too often. Something to plan for.

Thanks, Chuck

 I don't have DCS or TMCC, but I have run LC+ locomotives in remote mode at 18 volts pulling Postwar coal dump cars, and so far there have been no problems.

I run most of my postwar Heavy duty action cars with postwar locos without problems. I did eliminate the five rail track on the main loops.  You can Always run your postwar locos at a moderate pace ( I have seen your postwar engines pulling long lines of these dump cars without derailment or anything obviously out of kilter) did you check your five rail remote track for irregularities ? Maybe something other than speed is the issue. Speed can exacerbate the underlying problem. I had one that had a loose enough rail that overtime deteriorated the sliding shoes. 
and yes, they can be a bugger to fix or replace if it’s not your bag. Lol.
let us know what you find.

Btw: the mood up here in Maine is Severely altered when Yankees vs Red Sox is in favor of Yankees. 
ask me how I know! There are three former New Yorkers here at work. That’s it! We are in Red Sox territory. I will find out tomorrow. Enjoy the game.

all my best.

leroof

Here is my experience with this issue, as it relates to a train becoming caught on an obstruction.

A postwar engine's drive wheels with or without Magne-Traction will often slip, preventing further damage.

The typical modern-era engine can have far greater traction as they generally have traction tires, higher gear ratios, and multiple powered trucks. These engines can exert a greater force on the ensnared component. Furthermore, with speed control, when one of these engines becomes caught and the tach strip detects a slow-down, the engine will try even harder to accelerate and apply more force, causing greater potential for damage. And, with the often tighter curves found on postwar style layouts, stringlining on curves can happen very easily. And, if you're lucky enough to have one of these can motored engines stall without causing damage to your cars, the stall condition itself may cause a surge in current that can potentially overload, overheat, or damage electronic E-units or other command control components.

Running cars with sliding shoes very slowly can sometimes result in more snags. It has been my experience that under some conditions, when operated at faster speeds, a pickup shoe will "bounce" upward to clear an obstruction.

Leroof, good to hear from you. All of my remote control tracks are on sidings, where trains are run very slowly. I'm sure that is not where my sliding shoes got snagged. 

I may try on occasion to tin some of my Postwar operating cars with Postwar locomotives, but only those that are geared down like the 736 Berkshire steamer and F3s from th ed ratly 19950s with horizontal dual motors. Otherwise, I will run those cars with my slow smooth modern engines for the foreseeable future.

Lately, Aaron Judge of the Yankees has been phenomenal. He had another big game tonight in the Yankee victory. Arnold

Last edited by Arnold D. Cribari

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