Feight train with multiple powered engines

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Jeffs_Railroad, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. Hi railroaders,
    My layout is DC running 2 freight trains. I would like to put two or three Providence & Worcester engines pulling each of the freight trains. I compared each of the 3 Atlas Providence & Worcester diesels with power and each ran at different speeds when run next to each other. So here are my questions.

    Question #1:
    Since the 3 engines run at different speeds on a DC layout can I run two or more engines without causing damage to the electrical motor?

    Question #2:
    I would like to use a dummy but cannot find a dummy for the Providence & Worcester. Does any one know where I can get them or have any suggestions.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Heya Jeffs,

    As long as the speed discrepancy isn't too great, there shouldn't be any harm in running two locomotives together in a consist.

    As far as I know, Atlas doesn't sell any dummies... But you can always grab an Athearn dummy and paint it up yourself... P&W has GP38-2s on its roster, and Athearn happens to offer a very nice GP38-2 (and it's available as a dummy). The P&W red-and-black paint scheme looks pretty easy to do. :thumb:
  3. oldtanker

    oldtanker Member

    The P&W red-and-black paint scheme looks pretty easy to do. :thumb:[/quote]

    Easy for someone who has done it to say.....sign1

    I'm going to buy a cheap engine and try painting it....maybe if it looks ok i'll try a good engine.

  4. Hey Tom, the speed is not much but it is noticable. I will look into the Athearn dummy.

    Hi Rick, my thoughts exactly, especially when you have 10 thumbs like me. Very scary thought painting anything..

    Thanks to both of you, wish I could do what you guys know and do.
  5. Skammer

    Skammer Member

    I don't think it matters that the engines run at slightly different speeds.

    Think of a big, strong man struggling to pull a heavy sled. Then imagine that his young boy grabs the rope and pulls on it to help him. Even though there is a great difference in the amount of power they are supplying, it is still true that the boy is helping a little and certainly does not hurt the father's ability to pull.
  6. My concern is that the motors may work against each other.

    Tom, Since you mention that Ahearn has one, been searching and it appears that none in stock. Got the following info: Athearn, ATH4653 "HO Kit GP38-2 Dummy, ICG". Been checking for gp38-2 dummy. Still looking and hoping.

    Thanks for the input, its great stuff.

  7. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    I see a few places on the web where the Athearn GP38-2 dummy is still available:





    Ebay is also flooded with these.. I don't know why these are becoming harder to find though.

    Anyway, it's pretty easy to paint.. The P&W paint scheme is all straight lines which is EASY to mask-- If you can make a straight cut with an X-acto knife and a steel rule, no reason why you can't cut a straight-edge piece of masking tape! :D

    After masking, it's just a matter of laying down an even, thin coat of nice paint with an airbrush or spray can.

    YOU CAN DO IT!! :thumb:
  8. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    A friend of mine is a member of the La Mesa Model Railroad Club. That is the club at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum that built the Tehachapie layout. They run serious trains on prototypical grades, and he told me that any engine will run with any other engine as long as there is enough weight behind it. Just put a long enough train behind those locomotives and they'll work together. If the longest train you have isn't heavy enough, add some heavy loads to gons or hoppers at the front of the train. By the way, unless you have added weight to the locomotives, you can't hurt them with too much weight in the train. They should just spin the wheels if they get overloaded. It also won't hurt a locomotive if it isn't speed matched to another locomotive and there isn't enough weight behind them, it just looks funny as the couplers cop mpress. One more thing, put the fatest locomotive in back just in front of the train. Put the second fatest in front of the fatest and the slowest in the very front of the consist. The weight of the train will slow the 2 engines in back to the speed of the front unit.
  9. Russ - I will give it a try.
    Tom - Will check those sites out Monday.

    Thank you both for the information. Hope some day to beable to return the favor.

  10. Glen Haasdyk

    Glen Haasdyk Active Member

    I would have thought to put the fastest on the lead with the next fastest behind, that way you wouldn't have the coupler comression between the units.
  11. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    I'd encourage you to try painting. Its fun! Start with a chep flea market loco for practice. I recently became interested in creating a freelance and purchased a pair of used F units (one powered, the other a dummy) from the back room of my LHS and spray painted them using blue painter's tape as masking tape. For the thin straight line on the P&W I wonder if thin chart tape (sold at office supply stores) might work?

    Here's my first attempt at painting a scheme before putting decals on them:


  12. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

    eays: Athearn stopped making them. there are almost no blue box locomotives available anymore, atleast not anywhere in the numbers they used to be. alot of the hobby shop owners i know are very agnry with this, because it means they can't sell somthing that works for cheap anymore, and there fore lost the "10 year old" market who may have bought that $30 GP7, but now can't because the only thing out there is some rand sound eqipped engine that costs almost 10 times as much.

    I'm not even sure they sell dummies as RTR units anymore either. Except for locomotives that had like cabless booster units or somthing on it, it seems they only sell powered models.
  13. Herc Driver

    Herc Driver Active Member

    Thanks Russ for that tip on engine placement...I thought you put the faster in front to help pull the slower along, but I never thought about the train drag slowing the faster engine down just enough to better match the slower engine. Great tip.
  14. Hi Folks,
    You gave me some great ideas. I have some old junkers that are broke and I will try painting them.

    Just want to make sure I got the sequence correct:
    first engine should be the slowest.
    second engine should be faster.

  15. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    Um, Russ they run NCE Dcc though.
  16. Nomad

    Nomad Active Member

    Jeff, if you just gotta doublehead, make your own dummies by pulling the running gear out of your locos. You could always put them back together later. Add extra weight to compensate for what you take out.:D

  17. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    since I am not an expert, I can voice thoughts that border on being really dumb, and might even be at times.

    Look on e-Bay or elsewhere and buy yourself a crapped-out unit really cheap. There is bound to be somebody looking to unload a loco that is used up and useless out there somewhere. Take out the power guts, paint it, and you have a dummy all your own. All you really need are the wheels, chassis and body.
  18. Hi all,
    Well I got the dummies, which leaves me to painting them. Should be interesting..

    Wanted to thank each and everyone of you. You people are great!!

    Thanks,:) Stay tuned
  19. LongIslandTom

    LongIslandTom Member

    Sweet! :thumb:

    If you got the undecorated dummies, you should be good to go with the painting.. Just cut masking tape and start masking the model, fire up your airbrush and paint on the red and black.

    If the dummies you got has factory paint jobs, you will need to grab some Chameleon paint stripper.. Our fellow poster Dan Raitz is redoing an Athearn F45 and he used Chameleon-- Talk about a squeaky-clean job of taking off the factory paint: http://www.the-gauge.com/showthread.php?t=25123

    Looking forward to seeing how this turns out! :cool:
  20. As I start on it will post pics.

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