Grade's impact on motor

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by kchronister, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Just an issue that I'm curious about:

    I have some moderate (2%) grades on my pike... If overloaded, my heavier engines slow down going up them, while lighter engines get wheel-slip and spin the wheels (but don't "slow down" in terms of the motor).

    My question is which of these is worse for the motor? Are both bad? Both not harmful? One better, one worse? Does the slowdown cause the motor to heat up? Does wheel-slip wear down the wheels dramatically?

    Like I said, just curious, really.

  2. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    It seems to me that a grade does make a loco motor work harder with some slowing down so as long as the motor doesn't stall and start smoking I wouldn't worry. The locos that sit there with wheels spinning tells me the weight of the loco is not sufficient or you are trying to pull a too long trainload. You could always double head which is often seen in the real world when grades are an issue. In the Rocky Mountains I have seen as many as six locos at the head of the train with another helper loco in the middle of the train used to climb the 2%grade in the section between Field and Lake Louise.
  3. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Yeah, I typically double-head when necessary. Even the wheel-spin locos actually pull quite well, I had just been "testing the limits" to see how much they could take up the grade when the question occurred to me.

    FWIW, a Spectrum K4 will take 6-7 80' passenger cars up a 2% grade without significant wheel spin. I don't have enough cars to fully stall out my Spectrum Heavy Mountain (well, not without mixing freight and passenger, which I didn't do), but 12 80' passenger cars or about 20 40' reefers will make it go REAL SLOW... All in all, pretty durn good, I think. My old Mantua Mountain is the oddest. It goes uphill slow, downhill fast... It'll pull 100 cars uphill slow, or itself along uphill slow... doesn't seem to make much diff...
  4. JBBVry

    JBBVry Member

    My HOn3 layout has a 4% Grade on it and i use a MDC 2-8-0 it slows dowwn alot on the grade but makes it up every time. I have added alot of weight in it as i do in all my HOn3 engines for just this reason. as far as i know it does not hurt the motor unless it binds it and stop's it alltogether. then it would burn it up fast. The club i use to belong to had a long 3% grade on there layout in a curve about 65% of all the engines i saw try it with more that 15 cars would stop on it either with wheel slip or just bind up and stop. i did see a couple engines burn up there open fraim motors on that hill. so as far as i know as long as they either just slow down or wheel slipit is ok but if they just stop and nothing is moving then there is the trouble and can burn up a motor.
  5. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    Check the heavy engines. Hold the back coupler and turn the power up to see if the wheels slip. If they slip, you shouldn't be able to burn them out. If you can't get them to slip, there is a danger of burning them out.

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