How many cars can a berkshier pull

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How many cars can a berkshier pull
Posted by sanman0516 on Monday, March 14, 2005 9:10 PM
How many cars can a berkshier pull.
it is a new eng it is part of santa fe super freight set. I put it on a level surface
and it pulls 5 cars ok but when i add more cars(4) more it starts to slow down
i am using a cw80 watt transformerthat came with the set

can anyone help or ans.
Jack
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Posted by philo426 on Thursday, March 17, 2005 5:45 PM
You may have to get a more powerful transformer to get the most out of your Berkshire.I would suggest the K-line 100 watt transformer or better still the Lionel ZW or MTH Z-4000.
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Posted by ben10ben on Thursday, March 17, 2005 6:00 PM
If you just add cars with plastic trucks, it can most likely pull more than you can run on anything short of a monstrously huge layout bigger than most peoples' houses and have it still look realistic. Most modern engines are capable of pulling at least 50, if not 100, cars with Delrin plastic trucks, needlepoint axles, and fast angle wheels(like those in the Polar Express).

Slowing down is normal.
Ben TCA 09-63474
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Posted by sanman0516 on Thursday, March 17, 2005 6:59 PM
thank for the ans
I called trainland where i bought it . They said when was the last time you ran it . i told them 1 year ago just to see if it runs then put it away. They said it may need oil. lionel may not have oiled it at the factory or the oil dried out so i brought it to them and they oiled for me now it is good to go.i put on the track with 10 cars and it went fast as it had only 5 cars on it .A zw is in the future[:p]


thanks again jack
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Posted by brianel027 on Thursday, March 17, 2005 8:22 PM
Jack, you may want to check the traction tire too, to see if it's slipping. My little Lionel Columbia 4-4-2 pulls 10 cars with die-cast trucks/fast angle wheels no problem. But I re-adhere my traction tires as a regular proceedure.

The weight of the casting of the Berk should give it some pulling power. I have some Lionel Industrial Switchers from the early 1990's. As is out of the box, they don't pull much at all. Once I got done with them adding more weight, they now pull 10 cars pretty easily. Even my little revamped 8902 2-4-0 with a plastic shell will pull 10 cars. I've actually had these all pulling more, but around 10 cars seems to be good.

brianel, Agent 027

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Posted by ChiefEagles on Thursday, March 17, 2005 10:13 PM
My Polar Express can pull 15 hopper cars [diecast trucks] with coal loads and one caboose. Has a little trouble getting it started but then carries on. A stronger transformer may be instore. Pictured below is the Polar Express pulling the 15 hopper cars and caboose with a MTH SD80 dummy [very heavy]. That was too much spinning to get it started.

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Posted by Jumijo on Friday, March 18, 2005 5:19 AM
Brianel,

How often do you re-adhere or change traction tires, and how do you know when you need to? What do you use to adhere them?

Jim

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 18, 2005 5:31 AM
May want to clean the track and traction tires with denatured alcohol. Using smoke can put a layer of oilyness on the track and reduce traction.
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Posted by Jumijo on Friday, March 18, 2005 6:24 AM
I clean my track and pickup rollers once a week with 91% iso. alchohol. Since alchohol is an astingent, I'm not sure I'd want to put it on my traction tires. I'd be afraid it would dry out and age prematurely.

Jim

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Posted by brianel027 on Friday, March 18, 2005 7:32 AM
Jim, I haven't had to completely replace too many traction tires. I know I have though on the steamers more than the diesels. The traction tire on the Lionel NYC Flyer style Columbia 4-4-2 steamer though is not as wide as the typical traction tire on a diesel. If you can slide the traction tire around the wheel or cause it to buckle by using your fingers, then it needs to be re-adhered. You can also watch the train carefully when pulling a load. When the train slows and struggles (like at a turnout on a curve) watch the traction tire wheels carefully and you can sometimes see the traction tire buckling a little.

I use Scotch 3M Carpet Tape to adhere my traction tires. I cut a strip on a clean piece of glass using a metal straight edge and a razor blade. I clean the wheel first with 91% isopropyl alchohol, then put on the carpet tape, remove the backing, and then slip on the traction tire. I find this works like a charm for me and have little problem with slipping.

I've been occasionally wiping off my traction tires for years with the 91% I.A. and have not had any problems with premature aging or drying out of traction tires. The wear seems to be mostly from just sheer use, especially on locos with only a single traction tire.

brianel, Agent 027

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 18, 2005 5:46 PM
the motor that kline uses in their diecast steamers is very small. I would be careful of pulling too many engines as the cruise control will make them pull way more than normal and waveform modlulation can cause a motor to get very hot.

So much so that if the train starts to slow down for no apparent reason, stop it and let it cool off, or the plastic brush assembley in the mabuchi's can melt and then it is shot.
Dave
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Posted by sanman0516 on Friday, March 18, 2005 7:01 PM
thank every body for all the ans and info

trainland oiled it they said sometimes the oil dries out when not used in a long time or lionel didn't use enough oil at the factory. they check it all out at no charge one thing i don't like is they said it will only pull 5to7 cars. but with the new motors i though they can pull more than 10 cars at least 25 or better i just cant belive only 10 or 8.
i still think their is something wrong with it. i think i will call lionel on monday and ask them what motor and how manny cars it should pull.

just to let you guys know i am using fastrack a CW 80 trans the lay out is on the floor it is a figure 8 with 4 extra strights. i will run the engne tomarrow a will add more cars to it and see how it runs

thank again jack
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Posted by brianel027 on Saturday, March 19, 2005 9:30 AM
Let me add some observations here. I've done some experiementing with single truck-mounted DC can motored diesels and have noticed real inconsistancies.

The first experiement I did a long time ago just confirmed what I had always noticed with my eye, that Mabuchi DC can motors do not run at the same exact speed even with consistant track voltage. I'm sure the Mabuchi motors are manufactured with quantity in mind more than precise quality. But these operating inconsistancies may be inherient to the type of motor that it is. Lionelsoni could comment on that one more deeply as he seems to have a deep knowledge of electronics that I don't have.

I've noticed too that some Mabuchi motors (of the same type) warm up much more quickly than do others, under the same identical operating conditions. Of course the same can be said for the open frame AC Lionel motors, but with those, brushes can be replaced and general maintenance performed that will probably improve operation.

Also according to K-Line's parts llist, the motors used in the S-2, RDC, Alco FA, and MP-15 are identical (as are Lionel's for many of the similar kinds of locos) whereas the motor for the K-Line basic Pacific-style 3000 series steamer has a different part number for that motor, so it may be a slightly bigger motor, I can't recall.

brianel, Agent 027

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Posted by sanman0516 on Saturday, March 19, 2005 9:53 AM
how would tell what motor the lionel berkshier has i look in all the papper work it came with and nothing. I will call lionel on monday and see wha they say.
i will run the train later when i come home
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Posted by Anonymous on Saturday, March 19, 2005 11:13 AM
I'm sure it is the small mabuchi. That is what i have in my c@nw 10 wheeler. They are mass produced motors and made cheap. Even so they do run fairly well. They do vary in how well they operate, some will run very smooth when laying in your hand at 12 volts and some will vibrate allot. They do not have a balnced armature and that makes a big difference.
If you would like to know how to balance a armature and true a flywheel. email:
lickness2002@yahoo.com.
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Posted by brianel027 on Saturday, March 19, 2005 11:28 AM
I'd be willing to bet Jack that if the motor on your Berk is a side mounted DC can motor (you'll see the gold spur gear off the motor armature hitting the other gears when you turn the loco upside down), which I would suspect is the same identical motor being used in most of the basic Lionel lower end Lionel locos.

Mabuchi is the company that makes these DC can motors and they are used by Lionel, K-Line and probably others. The new locomotives that have vertically mounted DC can motors have a bigger motor: there's more space for it with the vertical mount and a sensor flywheel is needed for the locos that are equipped with the speed control function.

I talked to a Lionel tech years ago that I knew and he told me the motor being used in the Industrial Switcher loco was the same one used in the GP's, NW-2's and the basic DC motored die-cast steamers. I was curious about adding additional weight to the Industrial Switcher locos, which I did, improved their operation tremendously and have had no problems. I did remove the traction tire entirely from the Industrial Switcher to help with electrical contact and prevent stalling.

5 to 7 cars is I think a conservative number for your locomotive's pulling capacity. You should have no problem with pulling 10 cars. I'm sure your dealer is being conservative as they don't want to see you "abuse" the engine.... ever notice all the normal disclaimers companies print with their instructions nowadays? Companies are getting sensitive on the liability aspect of things because of our friend, the lawyer and his friend, the lawsuit.

Although there are other variables: do you have track grades up and down, are you pulling heavier die-cast cars or cars or cars that are illuminated and have roller pickup assemblies (there is some drag from the wheel contacts on the roller pickup assembly).

My Industrial Switcher will pull more than 20 cars, but that's not something I would recommend doing on anything more than an experiemental basic. With the nature of the DC can motor, the harder it works, the more it heats up. The more frequently it heats up, the shorter it's life becomes. DC cans motors have advanatages, but when they quit working, they can't be fixed - they have to be replaced. Even my NYC Flyer type Lionel Columbia 4-4-2 steamer will pull 10 cars with no trouble. So your engine should do at least the same. Even my weighted cheapie all plastic DC motored Lionel Docksiders and 8902 pull 10 cars with ease.

Matter of fact, my nephew's red all plastic Lionel Rock Island Docksider pulls like a real champion - after I made some alterations. 15 cars and more with that little engine no sweat, but again I advise my nephew to be more careful and keep it 10 cars or less. Can't help myself... I paid a whopping 95 cents for that engine plus a few more dollars in renovations and I don't want to be out on my big "investment." [:D] Actually the big payoff is seeing how much my nephew loves that engine.

Why there's an ad in the train magazines that show that little guy is worth $350.00 [?][:D]

brianel, Agent 027

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Posted by ben10ben on Saturday, March 19, 2005 3:06 PM
The Berkshire and Baby Hudson actually have a drive train that's improved quite a bit over older Lionel locomotives.

It should have this motor


Although it's not as big as

used in practically all mid to high end diesels being made today, as well as steamers from K-line and Williams

Or
used in Postwar Lionel, it is still bigger than the traditional starter set can motor(insert relevent picture). I'm assuming that the motor is a Mabuchi, although that's not printed anywhere on it.
Ben TCA 09-63474
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Posted by sanman0516 on Saturday, March 19, 2005 3:20 PM
brainel027
the motor is mounted vertical. the motor look kind of small, I opened up to see what it look like in the engine. Not too much to it. i am going to try it now and see how manny cars it will pull.
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Posted by Jumijo on Monday, March 21, 2005 5:45 AM
Brianel,

What modifications do you make to your starter locos to make them perform better? I'd especially like to know about the Docksider and the 4-4-2s.

Also, a general question or two for anyone: Are the K-Line 4-6-2 Pacifics found in their starter sets known to be good smokers, and pullers, and are they reliable runners?

Jim

See the Scenic Jumijo Railroad in CTT and OGR magazines! 

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