160' run ,power, pulling capacity and grade ....

Discussion in 'G / O / S Scale Model Trains' started by kfh227, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. pgandw

    pgandw Active Member

    There is some misleading information in some of the posts.

    The current drawn by the train has some dependency on the load, and has nothing to do with the voltage drop. The track voltage controls the speed of the train in traditional DC and AC power. Getting a bigger transformer does nothing to change the speed of the train unless the smaller one can't put out enough current.

    The size of the layout has no impact on the power required to run a train. But a bigger layout often has more accessories and lights than a smaller layout, and these do consume power.

    As others have stated, the way to overcome the resistance of the track (which causes the voltage drop) is to add copper wires called feeders. The current then travels through the low resistance copper wire to a feed point near the locomotive, and a maximum of half the distance between feeders through the track. The general rule of thumb is feeders at least every 10ft or so to minimize voltage drops due to track resistance.

    Very few locomotives are going to draw more than 3 amps running - if they did draw more, they are likely to overheat with use. The CW-80 is current limited to 5 amps. The only way to draw that much power is to have lighted cars or double-headed engines. 16 gauge wire is rated to carry 10 amps safely, so you have plenty of margin. 14 gauge is commonly available for house wiring (rated for 15 amp circuits), and is as big as I would go. Use short runs of 20 gauge (18-22 gauge will work fine) to actually tie the track and the 14-16 gauge wire run together.

    As far as trains high on the wall vs a smaller layout, try a mockup of a shelf on the wall to see what you think. Visibility of a train high on the wall is often not what we would desire it to be. Also, if you go with the high wall shelf, consider a retaining system or make sure both your track and operations scheme are absolutely bullet-proof. The sight of a locomotive and/or cars making an 80" high dive (the height of a door) has been known to reduce grown men to tears.

    my thoughts, your choices
  2. kfh227

    kfh227 Member

    There is something about the idea of a train going around a room. I'm still debating it.

    What is the clean way to tie the 20 gauge wire into the 14 gauge wire?

    My biggest concern other than an 80" fall is what the train will look like if it is 8' in the air. I'll be taking a car with me this weekend to get an idea of what it will be like. I figure a consist of 20 cars would be highly visible though. Assuming 8" per car that is 160" or so. So, the train should be atleast 13' long which is 1/3 of a 40' long wall. In terms of appearnece, I might go with G scale but I don't want to. I love O gauge Lionel to much.

    Derailments do frighten me. I plan on using O-72 and putting atleast one 10" section between each curved piece. This is part of the preplanning. What can be done to make things safer on the curves? I'm considering a tunnel in one corner. A mimicked crossing in another. Maybe I could put a fence in the third.

    I doubt a derailment wold occur on a straight away.
  3. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    "I figure a consist of 20 cars would be highly visible though. Assuming 8" per car that is 160" or so. So, the train should be atleast 13' long"

    and is you run more scale trains (you can with the o72 curves) 4 cars can be 60 some inch long, my scale ABA and semi scale 8 passenger cars are over 14 feet long all together.
  4. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    so then it would look something like this, Scale ABA units with 7 scale passanger cars

    :thumb: :wave:
  5. ozzy

    ozzy Active Member

    wow, i like that train!!!! who made it? and its cool that you have o27 cars in the background of the pic so show the size difference.
  6. kfh227

    kfh227 Member

    ozzy and spanky,

    Thanks for your posts. Those pictures are invaluable.
  7. spankybird

    spankybird OTTS Founder

    This Train is made by MTH (1999) PS1 Permier. :thumb: Both A units are powered with 2 motors in each unit for a total of 4 motors.
  8. kfh227

    kfh227 Member

    I have a new question. Since I am doing an around the room setup that is 8' off the ground, I was thinking that I should add ballast (weight) to maybe the first 5 cars of the 20 car consist. That should help around corners a bit.

  9. Geno

    Geno Member

    I don't think you need to worry about 'stringlining' (when cars tip over the inside of a curve due to pulling forces) if you're using 072 curves, especially if you're running newer rolling stock with diecast trucks and metal wheelsets. The majority of these have needle point bearings and offer little rolling resistance. I would however put weights in the older MPC-era semi-scale cars, which are a bit lighter. Stopping on a straight section helps too.


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