Double-heading Locos?

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by RobertInOntario, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Quick question about double-heading locos. On my HO/OO layout, it would be very prototypical for me to run two particular engines together, i.e. double-heading.

    I'm wondering, though, if this is hard on the locos themselves? Would it strain one or cause extra wear? Logically, one of the locos will probably pull, haul or perform better than the other that would probably cause extra wear and tear.

    To complicate matters, the two locos I have in mind are bother tender-driven !! In the real world, these two loco types double-headed together a lot but maybe it's not such a good idea on my layout! Just curious.

    Thanks again,
  2. Alan Bickley

    Alan Bickley Member

    Personally, I would say that it would be best to have one of the locos unpowered. It's not going to make much of a difference to the size of the train. I made a DRS minimodal trial train using a Brawa megafret container wagon set and a Lima class 33 loco at either end. I decided to remove the motor from the trailing loco just for ease of use.
  3. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Robert are you using analog dc or digital dcc?
  4. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Robert the reason I ask is with dcc you can build what is called a consist. The dcc im using allows me to put 8 locos into one consist, so they pull together as one unit. You can fine tune each loco as to be very close as far as start up speed and a lot more.
  5. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    It won't hurt either engine to double head them. If you just make sure you have enough weight behind them to make both work to pull the train, the locomotives will automatically divide the load as required. The main thing to remember is that if either locomotive can pull the train by itself, you don't need to double head the train. If the train is long enough that neither locomotive can pull it by itself, then they will work together.
  6. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    I have two pair I regularly mu together, 2 P2K E8/9s and 2 Athearn C44-9Ws. each has a slower unit mixed with one slightly faster. I've run both sets upwards of 6-8 hours straight at shows with no apparent ill effects. The E8/9s probably have 200+ hours on them, the Athearns are still brand new at about 20+ hours. I would recommend like models i.e. Athearns together with Athearns, Atlas with Atlas, etc.
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Robert: Really, with the tender drives tey should have been able to get the locos all working at the same speed. But they didn't.
    Tender drives from the same make should be pretty compatible. If you have one faster by a little bit you can put it second and load it with enough train to slow it down. Or put the faster one in front.
    The ones that give real problems are old Dublo or Wrenn -- they can just sit on the track while the other loco runs (poorly) or just suck all the power so nothing happens.
    Remember that in British double heading, the train engine was attached to the train while the pilot engine was in front. This usually meant the smaller loco was leading. And the model cos. often don't put a coupling on the front of the bigger locos.
  8. myltlpny

    myltlpny Member

    I generally try to run like manufacturers. Proto 2K with Proto 2K, Athearn with Athearn, etc. I haven't found it to be as much a problem in HO as in N. In N-gauge I find it to be a big issue, not so much in HO. DCC makes lashing up a consist easier as well. I can program individual locos to behave similarly to each other and not run into a real problem. For instance, it's pretty easy to pair up a Proto 2K loco with an Athearn Genesis loco, but my Brass Overland loco is pretty hard to get it to run in a consist properly.
  9. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Alan. I kind of thought of that as well. FYI, the locos in question are a S&DJR 2P 4-4-0 which would pilot a Black Five on the S&D in the 1950/60s, possibly hauling the "Pines" Express.

    Unfortunately, the tyres on the 2P's tender are ruined (due to expansion) and I've been waiting for new ones to arrive for a few months now.

  10. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Analog, i.e. "old fashioned" transformers. Rob
  11. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, David. That's interesting and helpful, especially about the British piloting practices. Rob

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