What do you believe is the most powerful locomotive in O gauge manufactured today?

 

What kind of a consist can it pull?

 

Is it Steam or is it Diesel?

 

My money is on the Lionel AC6000 Legacy. By all accounts, it appears to be one of the best pullers in O, but I am not entirely sure if that is correct.

 

What say you?

 

Pete

 

......and thank you as always.

Nothing Connects People Like Trains!

Original Post

This is not a matter of "believing" something. It a matter of FACTS. All we have to do is measure the drawbar pull of various locomotives and determine the top dog.

 

Once done, that won't be a "belief" or an "opinion", it will be a fact.

Rich Melvin

I read in reviews (and thus believe) -  the strongest puller I have seen reviewed was the MTH four-motor Veranda Turbine.  There may me more powerful locos but I have not seen a review.  I seem to remember it pulled about five pounds but I could be way off there . . . it's been several years.

Originally Posted by OGR Webmaster:

This is not a matter of "believing" something. It a matter of FACTS. All we have to do is measure the drawbar pull of various locomotives and determine the top dog.

 

Once done, that won't be a "belief" or an "opinion", it will be a fact.

Well stated sir and thanks.

 

All metal type locomotives must not only pull their own weight, but that of the consist as well. Has anyone ever performed a detailed analysis of this?

 

It would be interesting to see which locomotive manufactured today has the greatest pulling power. Also, I imagine the tractive effort must be taken into account as well.

 

Pete

 

 

Nothing Connects People Like Trains!

When they were demonstrating the FT, they compared an A-B-B-A with existing steam locos, and if they hadn't bested the steamer it was said they would simply have added another unit.   So,  if we don't restrict the discussion to single  O-Gauge units (what defines a unit anyway?)  then would an A-B-B-B-B-B....A best all locos?   If its sold as an A-A pair, does that count as one loco? or two

O Gauge: the IMAX of Model Railroading, and a multi-sensory experience.

Originally Posted by Ken-Oscale:

When they were demonstrating the FT, they compared an A-B-B-A with existing steam locos, and if they hadn't bested the steamer it was said they would simply have added another unit.   So,  if we don't restrict the discussion to single  O-Gauge units (what defines a unit anyway?)  then would an A-B-B-B-B-B....A best all locos?   If its sold as an A-A pair, does that count as one loco? or two

Excellent point(s) Ken. True, what if a unit is really several sold as a unit?

 

I was leaning in the direction of a single locomotive. As in, one SD40-2 or perhaps a Big Boy. Just one locomotive against another to see exactly and precisely how much weight they can literally pull.

 

What prompted me to ask this question was, I have watched several videos at "Eric's Trains". Where he measures his locomotives during the review process.

 

Pete

Nothing Connects People Like Trains!

I will consider an A-A pair one loco, but usually only one of them has power, so it really doesn't matter.  

 

Ganging up a multiple set doesn't seem to prove anything - you can double-head steamers, too, and it really doesn't get to the point of the most powerful locomotive - singular.  I converted the dummy in a A-A set of BEEFs (sold as one unit) to power, and with two powered B units, have four units with eight motors that could pull output any single loco I have ever seen.  Still, I would never tell anyone BEEFs were among the most powerful locos I've seen.  I'm sure two MTH Veranda Turbines could outpull them - they probably pull my house off its foundation

Originally Posted by Lee Willis:

I will consider an A-A pair one loco, but usually only one of them has power, so it really doesn't matter.  

 

Ganging up a multiple set doesn't seem to prove anything - you can double-head steamers, too, and it really doesn't get to the point of the most powerful locomotive - singular.  I converted the dummy in a A-A set of BEEFs (sold as one unit) to power, and with two powered B units, have four units with eight motors that could pull output any single loco I have ever seen.  Still, I would never tell anyone BEEFs were among the most powerful locos I've seen.  I'm sure two MTH Veranda Turbines could outpull them - they probably pull my house off its foundation

Good point Lee. Many AA's are simply one unit, but one is powered the other is not. So, in reality, as you stated, it makes no real difference per say.

 

Metal versus Plastic

 

Steam versus Diesel

 

Motor design and type

 

Pete

Nothing Connects People Like Trains!

Originally Posted by Bob:

I don't own one, but my candidate would be the Lionel Vision Centipede A-A set.  With diecast shells, traction tires and 4 motors it should pull down the wall of your house.  I have the MTH Centipedes with plastic shells and they pull a ton.  With diecast shells, wow. 

Yes, those MTH Centipedes are awesome pullers alright.

 

Pete

Nothing Connects People Like Trains!

Originally Posted by the train yard:

 

It would be interesting to see which locomotive manufactured today has the greatest pulling power. Also, I imagine the tractive effort must be taken into account as well.

 

Pete

 

 

I guess one would have to go through the OGR magazine archives. Every "New Product review" lists the tractive effort for each loco reviewed.

 

The "other magazine" lists drawbar pull for new products.

" No matter how far we travel, the memories will follow in the baggage car."

Originally Posted by RickO:
Originally Posted by the train yard:

 

It would be interesting to see which locomotive manufactured today has the greatest pulling power. Also, I imagine the tractive effort must be taken into account as well.

 

Pete

 

 

I guess one would have to go through the OGR magazine archives. Every "New Product review" lists the tractive effort for each loco reviewed.

 

The "other magazine" lists drawbar pull for new products.

Thanks Rick. Be interesting to see how the new products coming out line up with the older items as far as pulling power is concerned. 

 

 

Pete

Nothing Connects People Like Trains!

I think the old tug-o-war is the best solution to determine the winner.  Just put them on the track on either end of a buffer car with fixed couplers and let them go.

 

It might be a real interesting match between the 4 motored Veranda Turbine, and the new VL Big Boy. I have a feeling weight will win, so my money's on the BB.

 

r0d

r0d

"Experiencing Life, one Band-Aid at a time!"

I also think the only fair comparison would be among single units, not sets of A-A or A-B-A's or other MU combos.

 

When measuring model trains, what is the difference between 'tractive effort' and 'drawbar pull' and how is each one measured? Don't they all use the 'fish weighing scale' type devices like the one sold by Micro-Mark? Or is there something else to measure these items with? 

Ace has a good point.  Another is stringlining, one of the things that can happen is that a locomotive has the power and tractor to pull a long train but the tender is so light that around curves it is pulled sideways off the track by the sideways force of trying to pull all those cars behind it for the locomotive.  This should not happen with the factory provided tender on modern locos, but with older locos or those that you mix and match (you can switch tenders on legacy locos, etc) you can get combinations that do this.  

i was thinking something really heavy with good traction tires and magnetraction - do they even make magnetraction locomotives anymore ?

if you have those 3 features the engine should be able to pull a good freight train

 paigetrain

AKA Cody Parrish

modeler of the sci fi traditional 3 rail o gauge disaster

The Santa Fe Dash-8

Well, I have a small layout . . . . but the outer loop has generous curves, the smallest being in a tunnel at O-80. The rest are wider. 

I made a train out of doubleheaded 3-rd Rail Mikados pulling 35 cars. The locos pulled well, but, at the foot of a grade, the front truck of the lead loco would lift enough to derail. 

Abuse? I would say so. Really long trains demand straightaways or all 0-120 curves I can not accommodate. 

Video of this 35 car train at this link.

I think the pushing contest would be similar abuse.

The closest to this kind of abuse I came was using my two Legacy U-Boats to pull 115 cars.  They were working pretty hard, especially up the long grade!  OTOH, since the train was so long, only about 20 cars or so were actually on the grade at one time.

If you want to measure pulling power, I would think you should use a fish scale type of apparatus.

I think there should be some additional "rules":

The same "fish scale" should be used for all tests

The same type of tangent track should be used for all tests..ie brand of track. A track with flat top rails would be best, with no rail joints.

The rail should be on a flat/level surface.

The transformer or power supply should have the power to perform this test.

The "stop point" for the test should be the final, steady state, volts and amps that the loco can reach without slipping.

Each loco should be weighed. For steam locos, engines and tenders should be weighed separately.

Locos with traction tires should be tested separately from locos with no traction tires. Traction tires should be new and not contaminated. (Sounds like "new" or unrun locos only?)

If it is easy to determine the gear ratio/final drive ratio of each loco, it should be recorded.

Each loco tested should be lubricated (all axles and pickups), and ideally have approximately the same number of break in hours/miles.

The track voltage should be measured. Some loco motors will work best with more (or less) voltage than others, so both volts and amps should be recorded with digital meters.

All parasitic loads like smoke and sound should be turned off. How about non LED headlights?

Steam locos should be tested with tender, since steam locos with no tender (unless tank engines or fireless) never operated without a tender.

Diesel testing should be limited to power units only. So if an "A" unit as part of a set was not powered, it should be removed for the test, OR, two powered "A" units should be used for the test.

A test run in this manner might be destructive, so suggest that magazine reviewers do this type of work!

 

"I think the old tug-o-war is the best solution to determine the winner.  Just put them on the track on either end of a buffer car with fixed couplers and let them go.

It might be a real interesting match between the 4 motored Veranda Turbine, and the new VL Big Boy. I have a feeling weight will win, so my money's on the BB."

Does anyone actually want to treat their equipment this way? Really? It reminds me of the "I pulled 200 cars on my layout!" YouTube videos. Painful to watch. I don't. 

Reminds me of these silly burnouts some guys do with their cars; I drive a muscle car, I use it, but I definitely don't abuse it.

OGR Webmaster posted:

This is not a matter of "believing" something. It a matter of FACTS. All we have to do is measure the drawbar pull of various locomotives and determine the top dog.

 

Once done, that won't be a "belief" or an "opinion", it will be a fact.

Good idea Rich. I'll be looking for the results in the next O Gauge magazine.

 

Keep Your Rails Polished!

NJ HiRailer

(Just Picture The Image)

D500 posted:
Does anyone actually want to treat their equipment this way? Really? It reminds me of the "I pulled 200 cars on my layout!" YouTube videos. Painful to watch. I don't.

They're toys, right?

I don't think I would do a tug of war with my engines. I have very few engines and I would rather not abuse them like that. Though I did have some fun early this morning and pulled pretty much all of my rolling stock with my MTH Big Boy, minus a couple of Presidential box cars and a Detroit Tigers Box Car. Just to see if the Big Boy could handle it.

Forgive my ignorance but didn't the Lionel veranda that was diecast metal have like four motors too  I think originally it was supposed to be equipped with the Odyssey motors and as we all know the Odyssey motors failed and they opted for cans instead

 paigetrain

AKA Cody Parrish

modeler of the sci fi traditional 3 rail o gauge disaster

The Santa Fe Dash-8

Lionelski posted:

This thread brings me back almost 60 years, when my friend Phil and I had several tug of war contests with our Lionel diesels.

His always won and we did not know why at the time. Mine: 2338 Milwaukee Road GP7; his 2321 Lackawanna Trainmaster FM.

Our age was in the single digits and we didn't know about single or dual motored trains

Not to mention the advantages of the additional heft of the FM over the GP due in no small part to its die-cast fuel tank.

Tractive effort is a CALCULATED rating "at the wheel rims" of a locomotive.  (Unless you have access to a chassis dynamometer that can support the weight and absorb the energy of all of the locomotive's traction motors, you can see why it is difficult and costly to actually measure tractive effort.  In steam days, the PRR had a chassis dyno at Altoona, and the DOT in Colorado has one.) 

Drawbar pull is the force in pounds that the locomotive can exert at its rear coupler/drawbar.  This is always measured, including at different speeds, using a dynamometer car coupled to the locomotive being tested.  The front coupler of the dyno car has a oil filled (usually) calibrated drawhead, and records this pulling force on a paper trace and into a computer program inside the car.  This calibrated coupler assembly is coupled to the rear coupler of the locomotive that is being tested.

So...

The difference between tractive effort and drawbar pull is the energy used to move the locomotive down the track.  At higher speeds, the resistance of the wind becomes a factor, in addition to flange forces, etc.

Then it gets more complicated and much more interesting......

I read those product reviews faithfully back in the day... the Williams Crown Edition (brass) Big Boy made around 1990 was tested at over four pounds of pull (this equated to 130 mixed-vintage freight cars.)  It had a single large Mabuchi motor geared at 48:1 to its sixteen driving wheels.  The wheels and axles were sprung in their sub-frames to ensure good contact with the track.  Each set of driving wheels had four rubber tires for a total of eight tires.  I'm not sure how much it actually weighed, but there was a substantial lead weight in the boiler, which brought the total weight in  line with today's die-cast engines.

Because of the weight, the rubber tires, spring suspension , and a super-low gear ratio, my money would still be on the Williams Big Boy.  Also, the drive line (U-joints, gearboxes, etc.) was robust enough to deliver that power to the wheels.

With a model, weight is the most important consideration for drawbar pull, then motor power and gear ratio.  I personally despise rubber tires.  But a loco with tires is going to outpull anything without them, regardless of track or grade.

If you're talking Postwar, then I would say one of the later F3's, like a 2378, or perhaps a GG1.  An FM TrainMaster would be close.  773 Hudson for steam, but it probably pulls less than the diesels.  I know that around 1980, ten Lionel GG1s pulled a 750-car train to set what I think was a world record at the time.  That's 75 cars each, not to shabby!

In "real life" an AC6000 would be a formidable opponent to something like a Y-6b.  That would be an amazing contest!  I love steam, but the AC6000 can do a much better job controlling the train on the downhill side ;-)

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

We had a visitor to our club last year, and I trotted out the VL-BB for a test.  We measured just over 7 pounds of drawbar pulling power with his electronic dynamometer car, the best single locomotive showing.

I haven't measured pulling power eith precision, but I find certain Williams locomotives to be great pullers.20190901_223907

I will try to find a short video showing the above Williams dual motored Penn Central F3 in action.

I agree that the Postwar Lionel FM Trainmasters with Magnetraction are also very good pullers. Arnold

In my little world, I leave this troubled world behind.

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hello guys and gals 

l have Williams F-3 ABA # 2347 (Blue bonnet Santa Fe's) with 6 motors and 12 traction tires and 24 wheel drive and metal gears.  Each unit is 4.5 pounds and l have put E-unit in each unit as they can run by them selves if wanted to.  I run them together and takes about 5.1 amps @ 12 volts using the Z4000 going about 60 smph ( less than 1 amp in each motor).  They are my most powerful O gauge 3 rail locomotives.  I have thought of adding another powered B unit but its way over kill and might make red light come on on the Z4000.  I believe it will out pull the BB.  It cost me about 655 dollars for ABA set and 2 power kits, stick on weights ( to balance the 3 units to be close of same weight within each other), LED lights. The 3 units are 39 inches long and i can add 1/2 pound more in each unit making it 5 pound each if wanted to get serious about pulling !!!  I have 48 spare tires for them just in case !!!  LOL.   Its lot cheaper than the VL BB.  I call it a diesel big boy.   I am still looking for a simple diesel horn kit that Lionel made in 90's as it a simple 2 wire hook up ( why not put horns in all 3 units ? LOLOLOL), have some for sale ?

So nothing bad will happen to you. No diseases will come near your home. Psalm 91:10 ERV (Easy to Read Version)

rOdnEy posted:

I think the old tug-o-war is the best solution to determine the winner.  Just put them on the track on either end of a buffer car with fixed couplers and let them go.

 

It might be a real interesting match between the 4 motored Veranda Turbine, and the new VL Big Boy. I have a feeling weight will win, so my money's on the BB.

 

r0d

Not sure that would work. I am thinking that both locos would throw their traction tires.

RoyBoy

A lot of apples and oranges mixed here in this thread.   Similar to comparing gas mileage on different cars from different time periods.  1950's Muscle cars vs 1960's VWs vs modern hybrids.

But this thread is almost 5 years old, so some technology advances and differences are inevitable. 

Without some technically uniform test setup it, the results stay pretty subjective.  Comparing a single motor engine to a dual motor engine and then to 3 dual motor ABA engines is an obvious flaw.  

I remember that CTT did some objective tests on engines in an issue in the past and pulling power was one of the items measured.  They also did an issue with some comparative tests on different types of track.

My guess that real railroads would also be seriously interested in pulling power, as well as the comparitive fuel cost, MTBF,  serviceability etc.

Thankfully we don't have to worry as much about those things in our railroad empires

the train yard posted:
 

It would be interesting to see which locomotive manufactured today has the greatest pulling power. Also, I imagine the tractive effort must be taken into account as well.

Pete

 

Tractive effort is pulling power, to me. TE is what starts a train; horsepower is what keeps a train moving. HP is TE over time. (Automobiles: TE is torque; HP is HP. Torque wins drag races; HP wins road races.)

There were - and are - locomotives that could not start a given train, but could keep it moving once it was started. The L&N used to use diesel pushers to help start a long coal train behind one of their M-1 Berkshires. The M-1 could not start a tonnage that it could haul once moving; inertia and all that, from both angles. This, of course, applies to all locomotives. 

Unlike most/many RR's, for a while, the L&N was wise enough to use diesels where they were best (starting TE), and steam where it was best (sustained horsepower at speed). The diesel-electric has improved much since then, but, at first, was not the equal of modern steam in the horsepower race. Some RR's complained that it took so many diesel units to equal a big steamer on the road that they took up an inordinate amount of room just to park them somewhere in the loco facilities.

An A-B-B-A is a long thing. One NYC Niagara produced 6600 cylinder horsepower. 

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