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Improving Our Steam Engines Performance

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 11:10 PM

Trainman440

To the OP: 

I think what youre comparing here is a bit unfair. 

Assuming you're using a Bachmann ATSF/NYC/SP 4-8-4 (which roughly all have a similar design), you're really not giving the 4-8-4 a fair shot. 

First off, these engines have 80" drivers, MUCH larger than the atlas S4 you're comparing it to. Designed for speed. 

Second off the gearing on these engines arent exactly designed with low speed, high torque in mind. 

Third off, Bachmann's engines are far from well tuned enough to operate with precision and balancing in mind. These are upgraded from engines designed all the way back in the 1980s...meant as cheap starter set locos. You're comparing this entry level engine designed with low budget in mind to some of the best diesel drives in the century. 

Lastly, your S4 diesel has diecast in its mechanism. Bachmann's 4-8-4s have a huge plastic shell, and lots of additional space inside for weight. More proof that these engines werent designed for the maximum possible pulling power in mind.

So you're going to use this ONE sample, comparing a low engine steamer to a well made diesel? And conclusively say that all modern built steam engines need to be improved?

I find it logical you took a cheap steamer originally first made in the 1980s and compared it to a "new" diesel and found it to be inferior. Also you openly admitted you compared a plastic engine to one with diecast yet was surprised your diecast engine performed better. 

If youre going to use a mid range atlas diesel with a diecast frame, I suggest you compare it to a mid range steamer with a diecast frame (or diecast boiler better yet). Maybe a T1 or H10 (both with some diecast) from BLI. If you were to use one of these engines (or as someone mentioned an old penn line diecast steamer), you'll realize how much better these midteir steamers perform against midteir diesels. 

My $0.02.

Charles

 

Well said Charles.

Even other Bachmann Spectrum line locos like the die cast boiler USRA Heavy 4-8-2 for example, are dramaticly better performers in all respects than the 4-8-4's.

As I noted much earlier in this thread, my Broadway N&W class A will pull 110 cars up a 1.8%, 36" radius helix. I'm sure it would pull 50 cars up a 3% grade.

Yes, it has those dreaded traction tires the OP complained about. I found replacing the rubber ones with the plastic ones from Calumet Trains solves all the maintenance issues....... And they still work the same.

Agreed, lets be fair here and get past the unrealistic expectations.

This is the OP's problem because of the layout he chose to build, even after some warnings from others. 

This is not a universal problem that the manufacturers are going to try and solve.

Sheldon

 

 

    

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 11:14 PM

RR_Mel

Sheldon

I was able to set some locomotives on my layout and check their drawbar this evening.

I have a DCC Bachmann 4-8-4 SP GS4 purchased about 10 years ago, very little run time.  It has 4.3 ounces of drawbar.  My two Bowser GS4s (DC) have 5.7 & 5.9 ounces of drawbar.

I have several older Bachmann GS4s Plus (DC) and they have 3.3 ounces of drawbar.

 

My method of measurement.



My arthritis pain is off the charts but I thought I needed to check them for this topic.


Mel


 
My Model Railroad   
http://melvineperry.blogspot.com/
 
Bakersfield, California
 
Turned 84 in July, aging is definitely not for wimps.

 

The latest version of the GS4 does seem to be a lot better than all previous versions.

The latest N&W J is better, but not perfect.

The latest/last ATSF Northern still seems weak from everything I have seen.

I have an N&W J that I bought for a kit bash - I think it will need repowering in the process.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Trainman440 on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:32 AM

OP has posted the same topic on multiple forum places, including repower and regear (a rather odd place), and modelrailroadforums. It seems has has given up on this thread haha.

https://modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/improving-our-steam-engines-performance.34036/#post-515789


https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/43900?page=2#comment-493028

https://groups.io/g/RepowerAndRegear/topic/87144608#27489 (for those who have access)

In those forums he says his grade is 4.5% and he shows a pic of a Bachmann ATSF 4-8-4 with an Atlas WM S2 trailing. 

It seems his want of pulling a (1) prototypical length train up a  (2) 4.5% grade viaduct with (3) only one engine. Three conditions thats near impossible to meet.

Charles

 

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 6:33 AM

Some quick math suggests a that the real ATSF 4-8-4 would only be able to move about 900 tons up a 4.5% grade - or about 18 loaded 40' box cars.

A better model than the Bachmann would likely manage something similar.......

Sheldon

    

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 7:02 AM

I did experiments with a 5% grade. A Walthers FA was good for 5 freight cars, a Walthers FM switcher only 3. No steam engine I had would pull more than 3 or 4, but I did not test my EM-1, and I did not own my brass 4-8-4 or 4-8-2s yet.

He is expecting too much. My freight cars are heavy, but not very much over NMRA RP stats.

Also... as stated by others, comparisons to the Atlas S-4 are not really fair. That Atlas model is a beast. It weighs an incredible amount for such a small locomotive, and pulls like an SD-40. I don't know what it will pull maximum, but it would take 18 car trains around my Unitrak loops with no problem.

-Kevin

Happily modeling in HO scale. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Doughless on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 10:09 AM

Trainman440

OP has posted the same topic on multiple forum places, including repower and regear (a rather odd place), and modelrailroadforums. It seems has has given up on this thread haha.

https://modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/improving-our-steam-engines-performance.34036/#post-515789


https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/43900?page=2#comment-493028

https://groups.io/g/RepowerAndRegear/topic/87144608#27489 (for those who have access)

In those forums he says his grade is 4.5% and he shows a pic of a Bachmann ATSF 4-8-4 with an Atlas WM S2 trailing. 

It seems his want of pulling a (1) prototypical length train up a  (2) 4.5% grade viaduct with (3) only one engine. Three conditions thats near impossible to meet.

Charles

 

 

OP has lots of projects that are unique given his unique choices made about his layout and what equipment to run.  Furthermore, although its normal to depart from the prototype to run our layouts and equipment, OP can be pretty set on what he wants to be close to the prototype and what can be far away from the prototype.  These are reasons why threads tend to die with no solutions, very unique set of problems and only a narrow scope of solutions accepted.

That Chattanooga Choo Choo powered tender solution is going to be a problem because OP needs to build the tender to speed match the powered engine, gearing and axles, etc.  The TYCO approach was to use the tender to push an unpowered engine that had a smoke producer. 

As has been mentioned, getting the truck sideframes to look like a tender would also be a big challenge. 

This link shows a pic of a 2-8-2 tackling the 4.7% Saluda Grade in western North Carolina.  Don't know if it had a helper or how many cars it was pulling.

https://www.ncpedia.org/saluda-grade

Towards the bottom of this link there is a pic looking at a train from the caboose.  Looks like a 19 car train pulled by 3 diesels.

 https://www.wearerailfans.com/c/article/the-legend-of-saluda

If OP wanted to research how the railroad operated the grade, it might offer other perspectives.

 

- Douglas

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Posted by NVSRR on Thursday, December 2, 2021 6:43 AM

I am not understanding what he is trying to do.  I see on other forums he has pics posted and using and 80's 4-8-4.   Is he trying to remotor it?   

shane

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An optimist sees the light at the end of the tunnel

A realist sees a frieght train

An engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks stairing blankly in space

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, December 2, 2021 11:57 AM

NVSRR

I am not understanding what he is trying to do.  I see on other forums he has pics posted and using and 80's 4-8-4.   Is he trying to remotor it?   

shane

 

He is trying to make it pull a reasonably long train up a 4.5% grade - not a practical goal, repower or otherwise. The real one could not pull 20 cars up a 4.5% grade.

And to be clear, his Bachmann 4-8-4 may, or may not be that old. Bachmann did upgrade the drive and make those more recently - but they are still not very heavy or great pullers.

He refuses to provide such details about the loco.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by doctorwayne on Thursday, December 2, 2021 12:55 PM

I had one of those early Bachmann 4-8-4s (a Santa Fe loco with two eight-wheel tender trucks) 
I modified mine into a freelanced version with some new details (most of the front end), and an all-weather vestibule cab, scratchbuilt.
I also used the tender trucks and part of a damaged Tyco covered hopper  to modify the too-long oil tender into a centipede-type coal tender.
I thought that it turned out pretty-well, but the loco was never a good puller, even with as much added weight as could be crammed into it.
It later developed slipped drivers on some axles.
A friend bought it, even though I had mentioned that it was not a good puller or, with the slipped drivers, that it was no longer a good runner.  I believe that he uses it on his layout as part of a locomotive museum park.

Here's a couple pictures of it when it was still mine (click on the photos for a larger view)...

Based on Sheldon's "Heavy Mikados", made from Bachmann's Berkshires, and one owned by a friend (on which I had made some minor modifications), that might be a good choice for handling that 5% grade, as there's scads of space in that boiler for extra weight, as long as it's added in a manner that the weight is perfectly balanced at the mid-point of the drivers' wheelbase.


Relegate that 4-8-4 to lighter duties or make it a shelf queen.

Wayne

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, December 2, 2021 1:51 PM

Pretty sure I added 6 oz, and kept it balanced, without really trying too hard. bring the weight of the engine from 14 oz to 20 oz. And that seemed to do the trick on my 2% grades. Pulls more up the grade now than it did on level track out of the box. I like them so much I build 5 of them, back when you could buy the DC version of that loco for about $70.

I used all three versions, C&O, NKP and PM, and two Spectrum long Vanderbilt tenders to make three sub classes. The two longer C&O tenders are getting installed behind my two BLI N&W 2-6-6-4's that will be lettered ATLANTIC CENTRAL. I'm a little fussy about tender styles and like having a "family" look to ACR power.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by thomas81z on Thursday, December 2, 2021 9:02 PM

Trainman440

OP has posted the same topic on multiple forum places, including repower and regear (a rather odd place), and modelrailroadforums. It seems has has given up on this thread haha.

https://modelrailroadforums.com/forum/index.php?threads/improving-our-steam-engines-performance.34036/#post-515789


https://model-railroad-hobbyist.com/node/43900?page=2#comment-493028

https://groups.io/g/RepowerAndRegear/topic/87144608#27489 (for those who have access)

In those forums he says his grade is 4.5% and he shows a pic of a Bachmann ATSF 4-8-4 with an Atlas WM S2 trailing. 

It seems his want of pulling a (1) prototypical length train up a  (2) 4.5% grade viaduct with (3) only one engine. Three conditions thats near impossible to meet.

Charles

 

 

I run all  my locos at caloosa trains & hobby shop here in cape coral FLA when i get free time

& since im the " train repair guy" there i push my locos to the limit on the layout since i  have 30 big boys its no shock

that bli mth outpull my athearn rivarossi big boys

but weighting them down does help , suprisingly my allegany 2-6-6-6

is really weak & i need to tweak it & wieght it to get it to pull a decent  load Indifferent

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Posted by SeeYou190 on Thursday, December 2, 2021 9:29 PM

thomas81z
I run all  my locos at caloosa trains & hobby shop here in cape coral FLA

I have been there a couple of times, but they do not stock the items I use the most. It sure is a big clean store, and I hope they are doing well.

-Kevin

Happily modeling in HO scale. A Class A line located in a personal fantasy world of semi-plausible nonsense on Tuesday, August 3rd, 1954.

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Posted by Trainman440 on Thursday, December 2, 2021 10:05 PM

thomas81z

that bli mth outpull my athearn rivarossi big boys

but weighting them down does help , suprisingly my allegany 2-6-6-6

is really weak & i need to tweak it & wieght it to get it to pull a decent  load Indifferent

The load an engine can pull depends on two things: power and traction.

Adding additional weight WILL improve traction (so can traction tires) and therefore prevent slipping wheels, but will NOT increasing the pulling power if the motor is weak. 

Similarly, a more powerful motor (or larger gear ratio) WILL improve power, but will NOT increase pulling power if there is not enough traction in the wheels. (aka if the wheels are slipping adding a more powerful motor wont help.

--------------------

In most cases, it is the traction that is lacking in an engine, and therefore adding additional weight will increase traction. This is true for your big boys. 

HOWEVER, certain Bachmann models will seemingly weak motors and/or small gear ratios suffer from the latter. This is true for atleast the bachmann ATSF 4-8-4 (and Bachmann K4), as I used to own one and remember how weak the motor was. You can tell this is the case when underload the wheels spin slowly/not spin at all despite the high speed step. It is a sign of a weak mechanism, and additional weight will NOT help matters. 

I know nothing about the rivarossi alleghany but I assume it has a powerful drive and weight will help, but in this case, I doubt adding additional weight will improve the bachmann drive. 

Charles

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Thursday, December 2, 2021 10:14 PM

My BLI N&W Class A's will out pull my Rivarossi Allegheny, but only by a small margin, as per numbers I posted early in this thread - I cannot speak for the experiances of others.

So in my view, both locos are pretty similar in performance.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, December 3, 2021 7:23 AM

Here's a question for steam locomotive buffs.

Was a 4-8-4 Northern designed to be a strong puller on grades compared to other similarly sized locos?

The postcard pic that I linked showed a 2-8-2 Mikado assaulting the 4.7% Saluda grade, and there is such a thing as a "Heavy Mike".

Just wondering if the bigger pilot and trailing trucks on the Northerns distributed the weight in a way that made it the inferior choice when tasked with pulling up grades.

Is the Bachmann Mike a better puller than the 4-8-4?  Maybe that's a bit intentional on the part of Bachmann?

- Douglas

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 3, 2021 7:59 AM

The 'engine' (cylinders, rodwork, drivers) determines the hill-climbing capacity.  Adhesion sets how effectively the power is delivered to the drawbar; boiler steam-generating capacity how fast it can be done.

4-8-4s are high horsepower at speed.  For somewhat lower speed a Berk is just as good (see the L&N Emmas in particular), and a heavy Mike like a GN O-8 not far behind that.

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, December 3, 2021 8:51 AM

Doughless

Here's a question for steam locomotive buffs.

Was a 4-8-4 Northern designed to be a strong puller on grades compared to other similarly sized locos?

The postcard pic that I linked showed a 2-8-2 Mikado assaulting the 4.7% Saluda grade, and there is such a thing as a "Heavy Mike".

Just wondering if the bigger pilot and trailing trucks on the Northerns distributed the weight in a way that made it the inferior choice when tasked with pulling up grades.

Is the Bachmann Mike a better puller than the 4-8-4?  Maybe that's a bit intentional on the part of Bachmann?

 

The locomotive Wayne and I are refering to is not the Bachmann USRA Mike, which I do not own a copy of to test and have not seen any feedback on its pulling ability.

The locomotive of mine Wayne referred to is pictured near the beginning of this thread and is a Bachmann Berkshire, converted by me into a Heavy Mikado similar to the prototype DT&I 800 class.

Out of the Bac the Backmann Berk is just so-so in terms of pulling ability, but I added 6 oz of weight and improved it balance which provided great results.

 

I also changed the connection point for the tender drawbar to improve overall tracking, which greatly improved tracking and pulling thru curves.

Rather than the factory connection at the very back of the frame, the loco now has a long drawbar connected just behind the rear drivers and the trailing truck is connected to the drawbar. 

These means dramaticly less side pressure on the loco as it pulls the train around a curve, meaning less flange resistance in the curve.

Sheldon

    

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Posted by Trainman440 on Friday, December 3, 2021 9:10 AM

Doughless

Here's a question for steam locomotive buffs.

Was a 4-8-4 Northern designed to be a strong puller on grades compared to other similarly sized locos?

The postcard pic that I linked showed a 2-8-2 Mikado assaulting the 4.7% Saluda grade, and there is such a thing as a "Heavy Mike".

Just wondering if the bigger pilot and trailing trucks on the Northerns distributed the weight in a way that made it the inferior choice when tasked with pulling up grades.

Is the Bachmann Mike a better puller than the 4-8-4?  Maybe that's a bit intentional on the part of Bachmann?

 

The 4-8-4 design (atleast for ATSF and NYC) were 4-6-4 hudsons with an extra driver. They weren't designed to haul freight, so maximum pulling power was a tradeoff for higher top speed and acceleration.

The 2-8-2 (or 2-10-2 for that matter) was designed for slow freight drags, the complete opposite of the intention of a 4-8-4, and really shouldnt be compared. 

A good in between as Overmod mentioned, is the 2-8-4 lima berkshire, which was designed for fast freight. Not quite passenger duties (although one would suffice if needed), but the drivers were large enough for speed. This can also be applied to an extent to some mountains (such as the PRR and moreso NYC), which could handle duel service. 

----------------------------

The biggest difference between all these locos is wheel size, but you really cant be comparing a 4-8-4 to a 2-8-2. Its not the bigger leading and trailing truck and moreso simply just the 80" drivers (ATSF 2900 class) compared to the 63" drivers on the USRA mikado. 

Im sure if someone built a 2-8-2 with 80" drivers, itll pull SLIGHTLY more than a 4-8-4 due to less weight distributed on the leading and trailing trucks, but I wouldnt think it would be a noticable change, and certainly not a good tradeoff for the excessive weight placed on the drivers and poor handling. 

@Sheldon the drawbar change is an interesting concept. I wouldnt think the mounting point of the drawbar would matter so long as it is mounted at the exact height that's in line with the center of the drivers (which from your photo seems like the original Bachmann mounting spot was too high)...since otherwise the load on the drawbar will "tip" the engine forward or back and unbalancing the drivers, depending on if the drawbar is too low/too high.

I assume the new design places less "left/right" rotational force on the wheels through curves? Wonder why this isnt a more common design in RTR models these days. 

Charles

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Posted by Overmod on Friday, December 3, 2021 10:32 AM

"I'm sure if someone built a 2-8-2 with 80" drivers, itll pull SLIGHTLY more than a 4-8-4 due to less weight distributed on the leading and trailing trucks, but I wouldnt think it would be a noticeable change, and certainly not a good tradeoff for the excessive weight placed on the drivers and poor handling."

A properly-designed 2-8-2 with 80" drivers would have exactly the same range of adhesive weight on drivers, the same FA, and the same effective grade performance.  The length would be shorter, although likely less than a full car, so shorter turntables could be used (as on L&N) or slightly longer trains accommodated on leads and sidings.

The weight saved matters in terms of overall train resistance, not distribution.  You would need highly effective draft and front-end arrangements, good combustion, air preheat (e.g. via Snyders) and carefully implemented external and external circulation in the radiant section to make a suitable firebox construction to run above a single trailing axle.

Of course with modern balancing 80" drivers are only needed for speeds above 100mph or more... not something most 4-8-4s would spend much time doing anyway.  Even ordinary balance allows a 74"-drivered engine nearly 100mph speed; the trouble then becoming the relatively stiff lateral required to permit near-zero overbalance in the coupled wheels as well as the main or to achieve low hunting at long cutoff...

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Posted by Doughless on Friday, December 3, 2021 5:35 PM

Trainman440
The 4-8-4 design (atleast for ATSF and NYC) were 4-6-4 hudsons with an extra driver. They weren't designed to haul freight, so maximum pulling power was a tradeoff for higher top speed and acceleration

Trainman440
The biggest difference between all these locos is wheel size, but you really cant be comparing a 4-8-4 to a 2-8-2. Its not the bigger leading and trailing truck and moreso simply just the 80" drivers (ATSF 2900 class) compared to the 63" drivers on the USRA mikado

Yes.  I should have taken a quick look at the two locos to notice the larger drivers on the Northern.  Large drivers are designed more for top end speed than pulling, relative to small drivered locos. I guess the Northern is a passenger locomotive, for the most part.  Or at least a flatlander loco.

I assume that the same basic geometry/physics applies to models.  While both locos may weigh the same and use the same motor, all things being equal, one is going to inherently be a better puller than the other simply based upon wheel size.

The prototype used a Mike to climb the 4.7% Saluda grade.  Not a large drivered loco.  But that was likely a freight route without much need for high speed passenger service.

- Douglas

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Posted by ATLANTIC CENTRAL on Friday, December 3, 2021 7:49 PM

Charles,

I'm just not up for a long discussion, but a great many 4-8-4's did not have 80" drivers. I explored this topic at great length on the TRAINS forum a few months ago.

Railroads selected driver size based on application. 80" drivers, on any loco, are for speed. Here is a good comparison of the more noteable Northerns, only 4 out of 12 have 79/80" drivers:

https://steam.wesbarris.com/locobase.php?country=USA&wheel=4-8-4

The B&O never owned a Berkshire or a Northern, because their Mikados and Mountains suited their operating conditions better. Similar to the GN O-8, they did test one Mikado with 70" drivers - worked fine, just not worth the expense for their needs.

Locos you should learn about:

DT&I 800 Class Mikados - simply scaled down LIMA Berkshires.

GN O-8 Mikados - 70" driver Mikes with more power and steaming ability than any Berkshire.

B&O T-3 Mountains, 70" driver monsters that were similar in performance to LIMA Berks, and faster. 

As for my drawbar setup, yes, less side pull in curves, keeping the pulling line closer to the track center means less power loss with steam locos.

Not my idea, used on many models over the years including the Spectrum 2-6-6-2 and many before that.

Sheldon

 

    

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Posted by Marc_Magnus on Saturday, December 4, 2021 2:12 PM

 

Massive industrial testimony of powered tender and dummy engine 

 

 

For unknown reasons it seems the use of powered tender and dummy locomotives  is not investigated neglected and  receive load of criticism 

It exist a massive industrial testimony about the use of dummy engine and powered tender for small and big steam locomotives both in N scale and HO scale 

There is no doubt possible on the fact this solution is particularly effective with really powerful steam locomotives which are sure footed and great puller in both scale.

Roco, Fleischman, Lilliput, Minitrix use this system and have produced thousands models from years of big and small steam locomotives which are fine runner and big puller and in the both scale with such approach.

Video's on You Tube attest without any doubt these locomotives run extremely fine through the sharp curves  and turnouts find on European layouts and with ease climb the big grades found on these  layouts with a big string of car behind 

In any case they pull more easily than any US model and especially compared of medium US steam like a Mikado; this is true in Ho scale and N scale 

Steam engine are dummy well weighted and have free rolling wheels, the boiler contains the electrical and electronics devices and all the wheels of tender and locomotives both side take power from the rail 

Tender allow to put big motors well geared

On US Models we have the chance to have big tender where a diesel model frame can take place including his weight quiet easily,  side bogie are easy to put from casting on the side of the powered diesel bogies, diesel from the most now have flywheel and 5 poles motors and run at extremely slow speed

The choice of model diesel is enormous and tender compatibility with a frame is an easy choice, for the most diesel locomotives pull easily 20/25 cars on level track both in Ho scale or in Nscale 

Acheiving a free rolling dummy locomotives is easy by removing motor and gear motors, tune of the side rods and good quartering do the job for sure, adding some wheight will help probably 

So far where is the disadvantage,

You can even do it with a six wheel tender bogies and put a six wheel diesel bogies a probably quiet monster pulling locomotives 

Water tender can also be modified the same way as a second powered tender to make a real steam monster puller on heavy grade 

This industrial testimony  show there is no real disadvantages of this approach and more important it could be accomplished easily on existing models with a minimum of work and need of big transformation.

very small engine are suitable for a such choice and could pull realisticaly

Let's go 

 

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Posted by Trainman440 on Saturday, December 4, 2021 3:46 PM

ATLANTIC CENTRAL

Charles,

I'm just not up for a long discussion, but a great many 4-8-4's did not have 80" drivers. I explored this topic at great length on the TRAINS forum a few months ago.

Sheldon

I understand that. Many 4-8-4s didnt have 80" drivers, and I dont believe I ever stated that to be the case. I specifically chose 80" for my example though because the 4-8-4 OP is using, a 3776 class ATSF 4-8-4, had 80" drivers. I am assuming the OP is modeling transistion era santa fe, as he shows other santa fe diesels in pictures in alternate forums linked above, and atleast in santa fe's case, 80" drivers were standard on all 4-8-4s after 1940s. 

Im not definitively saying that all 4-8-4s were soley used for this and 2-8-2s were soley used for that, but I am making the general case (to which there are obviously exceptions). Also trying to say that the OP who wants to use a 4-8-4 with 80" drivers to pull long freight trains up steep grades is unreasonable. 

Charles

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Modeling the Santa Fe & Pennsylvania in HO

Youtube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLb3FRqukolAtnD1khrb6lQ

  • Member since
    September 2003
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Posted by Overmod on Monday, December 6, 2021 2:13 PM

It's impossible to read half the preceding post on a phone without actually responding to it.

The 'upcoming' generation of heavy steam locomotives (stillborn after 1947) did not involve 80" drivers in most cases, as lightweight rods and better valve gear promised perfectly adequate speed.  N&W famously got 110mph out of 70", although going even a couple of mph faster was too much, not because of balancing but because of valve tribology.

Lima's answer for the future involved the Double Belpaire... which restricted driver diameter for most Eastern loading gages to 76".  Not coincidentally this was what the fearsome C&NW H dual-service engines used.

It is very important to distinguish the early crop of lower-drivered Northerns, which were like heavy Mountains in the same sort of way Berkshires were heavy Mikes, from the later high-speed engines -- the original ATSF 3751 class had 73" drivers and were relative dogs.

Below 70" you're going to be better with a modern Berk, particularly if you want heavier articulated power with a deep firebox (like a Berk-and-a-half 2-6-6-4) where you can share a wide number of parts.  But a late-'40s 69" is not the same as a late-'20s 69" either.

Meanwhile there was the duplex 'revolution' where 69" was just fine for high speed, and I suspect lower drivers would be in the offing for dual-service double Atlantic engines.  The Withuhn-conjugated-duplex ACE 3000, which was designed to run with diesels and hence have comparable top speed, was to have been given only 58".

 

  • Member since
    February 2012
  • 424 posts
Posted by thomas81z on Sunday, December 19, 2021 4:58 PM

SeeYou190
 
thomas81z
I run all  my locos at caloosa trains & hobby shop here in cape coral FLA

 

I have been there a couple of times, but they do not stock the items I use the most. It sure is a big clean store, and I hope they are doing well.

-Kevin

 

since im the " train guy"at caloosa trains & hobby  come by sometime & let me now what you need Cool

 

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