2-6-2 pulling power

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Matt Probst, Apr 10, 2003.

  1. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

    Hi folks...I have a Bachmann 2-6-2 that has a pulling problem. Even though my rolling stock is not all weighted per NMRA standards, this engine IMO should be able to pull more than 4 cars up a 2% grade. Instead. I get a lot of wheel slippage and need to use the ole 5 finger helper engine to get it to the top. Not very realistic!:D :eek: :D . Any suggestions?
    Matt--Hershey, Pa.
  2. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    How much does your engine weigh? Adding weight over the drivers will help pulling power. Also, how does it compare with other engines you may be running? What I am getting at is - is the track the cause and not the engine?

    Just for comparison, I can run my P2K 0-6-0 switcher up my ~4% grade at slow speed with about 4 cars. My Mehano/IHC 4-6-2 will haul 12 cars up no prob, but it has to be "at speed".

    Just a few thoughts... I am sure more information will be available shortly...!

  3. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

    Andrew-thanks for the quick reply! The engine less the tender weighs 8 oz. I have a 4-6-4 and a SW1 that have no problems. Both will pull 20 cars easy up the grade and the 4-6-4 weighs 9-1/2 oz. less it's tender. I'll try adding some weight to the engine to see if that helps any.

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    One other thought

    Hi Matt,

    One other thing I thought of - When I was performing maintenance on my 4-6-2 a while ago, I got some Neo-lube on the tread of the drivers. Neo-lube is great for blackening siderods, but wears off with handling and time. So I was recoating the various parts, and ended up spilling/slopping some on the treads accidentally.

    All that to say, the 4-6-2 couldn't even pull itself up the slope with lubricant on the treads. Maybe your wheels need cleaning...

    Hope that helps.

  5. jwmurrayjr

    jwmurrayjr Member

    Just for a comparison my IHC 4-8-2 will pull 6 45' hoppers and a caboose up a long 3.8% with no problems. Bachmann Spectrum 2-8-0 will do the same with 34' hoppers.

    Is your Bachmann a Spectrum model?
  6. Clerk

    Clerk Active Member

    I think I would go with the dirty track or wheels.

    Also some steam engines have rubber tires on a set of driving wheels and some do not. Maybe????

    I have a new Bachman 2-8-0 with rubber tires on one set of drivers and it pulls 12 cars up a 3% grade. Also I have a Bachman Northern 4-8-4 with no rubber tires and it pulls 20 cars up the 3% grade. Figure!!
  7. billk

    billk Active Member

    To see if more weight is the answer, try temporarily fastening weights of some kind (coins, whatever) to the outside of your 2-6-2.
  8. Vic

    Vic Active Member

    HI Matt, I think I mentioned this in another thread just recently but check the lead and trailing trucks to make sure that they are not pushing down on the rails. If they are that can raise the driver just ever so slightly and cause a lose of traction.
  9. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    I had a Bachmann+ 4-8-4 northern that wouldn't pull 5 cars around a level modular layout with 36" minimum radius. I finally figured out that the springs Bachmann used to hold down the lead and trail trucks were lifting the drivers almost completely off of the track!
  10. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    While I am not familiar with the Bachmann 2-6-2, the talk of the springs lifting weight off the drivers reminded me of the situation I had with the Athearn 2-8-2. This model has poor tractive effort caused by its weight being unbalanced on its drivers. It is very rear heavy. Simply balancing a locos weight over the center of its drive wheels will improve tractive effort. Even if it means having to reduce weight. Unfortunately, it was not easily possible to balance the 2-8-2. (Blake, however, has my two units and is looking into making a temp lo casting to fill the cavity in the cylinder head casting) My point is tho that some improvement was obtained by increasing the spring tension on the trailing truck, in effect forcing some weight toward the drivers. The loco went from hauling 10 cars up a 2% grade to 12. So, try placing the loco on a piece of styrene sheet and place a pen under the center drive wheel. Whichever side is light, replace that spring with one with less tension(this based on above comments about the springs being too strong in the first place) Hey, it's worth a shot. Better yet, if you can add weight to the light side you will see dramatic improvement. Conversely, adding weight to the heavy side will do nothing, perhaps even deteriorate performance. Good luck.
  11. Woodie

    Woodie Active Member

    I had a similar problem with a 3.5% incline. A not particularly long consist (loco and 4 passenger cars) would not get up the incline. (spins about half way up). So I did not run that consist up the incline for quite a while. (at least 6 months). One evening, I ran the consist up the incline, and to my amazement, it just went straight up and over no problems. Iwas stunned. Why???????

    Just after that, I had to rip up a section of it and replace a small radius turnout with a large radius that was the lead onto the incline. As part of that, I had to rip up the track half way up the incline as well. (ballasted etc, up the the join half way up the incline).

    Ran that consist again, and no go. It would now not go up the incline, and slipped half way up.

    What was the problem????? Dunno. The five finger loco again, and as soon as it hit the old piece of track, it gripped just that little bit better and off it went.

    I worked out, it was the way I was cleaning the track. I was using very fine wet/dry sandpaper. A piece under index finger wiping it up and down the track. Gave the "new" section of track a good rub, and VIOLA!! Up the incline the consist went. :):)

    I gather it must have been putting very fine scratches (not visible to naked eye) on the rails, giving the loco just that little bit more to grip on.

    Is the track on your incline new?
  12. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

    Thanks for all the suggestions folks! Upon closer inspection of the loco as it tried to pull a string of 7 cars up the grade, I noticed that the middle driver was tending to "spring" up off the rails leaving the other two drivers on the rails. Very slight pressure from a finger on the top of the boiler pushed the offending driver back down and it began to pull the cars along no problem. I'm assuming it may just need an ounce of weight added above the middle driver. Now comes the question of exactly how to do that. I have a couple lead weights in my parts box that I could use but see no way to detach the chassis from the shell. There is a small screw on the bottom that when removed does nothing. There is also a small screw below the trailing truck and a small screw on the side of the chassis between the drivers and the trailing truck. None of these seem to be the answer. There is a smoking unit in the smokestack and no long screw thru there like there is on some other steamers I have seen. If I can separate the two sections then how would I affix the weight to the inside? Hmmmmmm...... Here is a visual of the little engine that "couldn't"

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.

    Attached Files:

  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Is the small screw on the side of the chasis one that goes through the side of the body into the chasis? If so, look for one just like it on the other side. The body may be mounted like the old Bachmann Consolodation with one screw in the back of the cab and one on each side of and just below the boiler.
  14. Matt Probst

    Matt Probst Member

    Russ: You may have pointed me in the right direction here,but I'm still having trouble. I found another small screw in front of the front set of drivers behind the driving mechanisms, and on the opposite side of that screw, what looks to be a tab. The problem is that the "tab" doesn't depress after the screw has been removed. Trying to pry off the boiler from the chassis with a small flat-head screwdriver doesn't seem to work either as I'm afraid of using too much pressure and damaging something beyond repair....The back end of the chassis is loosened enough from the cab area to allow it to come loose to some extent, but not enough to access the interior of the boiler. Why are things so (insert expletive here) difficult?!?!?:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

    Matt--Hershey, Pa.

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