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How many cars can an HO diesel locomotive pull?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by CSX, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. CSX

    CSX Member

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    How many cars can an HO scale Atlas Dash 8-40CW locomotive pull without struggling or not acting "realistic"?
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

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    My layout is set in the 1930's, so I'm not too familiar with your diesel, although, as I recall, it's quite a large loco. Since it's Atlas, it should pull well, but a lot will depend on the layout that you build and the cars you want to pull. To some extent, a locomotive will dig in a little more on a curve than on straight track. Unfortunately, any curve also increases the drag on the train, and the smaller the radius, the greater the drag. If you plan on having grades, keep them as gentle as possible within your given layout space, as grades also limit train length. A third part of the equation is your rolling stock: the easier it rolls, the more your diesel will pull. If you can wade through it, check out my post in this Forum about Train Dynamics. While it won't provide an answer specific to your particular situation, it will give you an insight into some of the things that affect pulling power.
    Wayne
  3. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

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    If you have DCC and you mu several similar locomotives, you can pull quite a long string of cars. Depending on the size of your layout, the tracks would almost be full of cars for this train.

    At our MR club, http://www.hotrak.ca some of our members put on ling strings of grain cars, auto-racks, inter-modals that are over 8' in length. And they still haven't reached the limit of what they can pull - simply because they have run out of cars.
  4. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

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    there was either a post or a artical i read that related HP into tonnage will see if i can find it.