Just for fun, how strong is your engine?

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Bachmann_I10sa, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. Just for fun and to see what's out there, how many cars can you pull with your best engines on your layout or oval?

    My best two:

    Bachmann plus series 2-8-0 Consolidation (I-10sa): 21 cars (before wheels slip)

    AHM Alco RS3(? RS2?), 4-wheel drive (rear truck only): 20 cars (before wheels slip)

    Tyco Alco Century, 4-wheel drive (frt. truck only): 20 cars (before slips)

    I'm new to the hobby...these are my best so far....I know there are stronger ones than that out there...

    Attached Files:

  2. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    A Trainline Dash8-40b pulls 65 HO cars, ran out of room. So does an Athearns GP38, GP7, F7, and a Proto 2000 FA1. Fred
  3. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    On a club layout, I have gotten my Atlas Amtrak Dash 8-32BHW to haul 54 cars. We ran out of cars, so I don't know its maximum limit, but it's a stunningly strong locomotive. (With impeccable ditch lights to boot! :thumb: )
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    My IHC/Mehano Pacific (4-6-2) will pull 18 cars up a 2.5% grade on a 22" radius -- no idea what the straight/flat equivalent would be...

  5. hmm, I've gotta get a diesel like yours, guys...65 cars, wow.

    I run 18" track...not sure about grading.

    MasonJar, does your steamer have traction tires? My 2-8-0 has one on one of the rearmost wheels, not that it's in very "sticky" shape in its 25-yr-old age...

    I'd imagine the diesels mentioned above do not run them, right guys?
  6. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery

    No traction tires, and I actually removed some weight... it probably would do better if I put the weight back! However on the current 4x8 oval, any longer and it looks a little strange.. ;)

    At our modular club setups, some guys do "crazy" things after regular operations cease -- consists are limited only by how many engines you can MU and how much rolling stock you can find! I do not know what the "record" is... :D (No, really, I don't... ;))

  7. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

    Let's see, my MDC Roundhouse 3 truck shay, before retrofit, pulled 40 cars at 55% power on a flat grade. I ran out of cars to test it's full capacity, but i figured it would pull 100 on flat before slipping, not bad at all. haven't regeared it to run better yet, but i'm suspecting, by what i read, that it'll give ti a 40% increase in pulling power.
  8. LIRR

    LIRR Member

    Got a life like SW7 to pull 33 bachmann plus cars with metal wheels on an old layout (That was pretty much my entire roster give or take a few walthers cars), When i went over the crossover to the upper line, the poor things wheels slipped like crazy untill it was just grinding rail.
  9. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    My Cab-forward does 25 NMRA weighted (1 oz. plus 1/2 oz. per inch in length) cars up a 1.75% grade on the club layout. I ran out of my own cars and I didn't figure it would count if I mixed in the unweighted club cars so next time I'll try all club cars.

    Attached Files:

  10. knk

    knk New Member

    I was just at a model train convention in Longbeach california this past weekend, and there was a guy there with the Orange County Module Railroaders, he had a "2 pound" 4-8-8-4 Rivarossi Big Boy that was pulling 36 cars and he said he has pulled 70 cars with it, and it was going strong. My son and I have a Rivarossi Big Boy also, but I could tell his was so much stronger.

    I wish now that I had gotten his name, after coming home I got to thinking about tips and things he told me that I wish I could have discussed in more details.
  11. yellowlynn

    yellowlynn Member


    I have told in another thread about my curiosity being satisfied. After changing out to all metal wheels and knuckle couplers and weighting cars, I used a P2K E8/9 to pull 100 cars. Full throttle looked like about a scale 45-50 MPH. The Challenger used 45% throttle to pull good, but started slipping if I speeded up too much. My Big Boy pulled them good, but seemed to strain just a fraction. This was level track with about 38" radius curves.

  12. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    My BLI Hudson pulled 30 cars with ease. That's all the rolling stock I have right now.

  13. Marxed

    Marxed Member

    i never been able to find out a max number of cars.... since i have turns on my layout, they will pull off the track when going around the corner
  14. rcline

    rcline Member

    I have all of you guys beat !!! My 0-6-0 "wined up" will pull 4 1/2 up my 6% grade!!
    Just try to match that! LOL!! This is the best I could do, and then the spring broke!
  15. how do you measure an incline in percentages? I've only delt with angles in degrees before, myself. I'm not too savvy with a lot of railroad terminology and whatnot, being a newbie and all.
  16. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

    1 ft rise over 100 ft equals 1%
  17. NYC-BKO

    NYC-BKO Member

    It's the amount of rise per 100 feet, 1 foot rise in a 100' = a 1 percent grade and so on!

    Get your scale rule out and a level and start measuring, you'll find that you probably have some pretty steep grades, it happens because we don't have the space for realistic grades. Usually less than 1 percent on the prototype.
  18. brakie

    brakie Active Member

    I have a Athearn GP7 that pulled 28 cars while switching the yard at the club..However..My strongest locomotives bar none would be my Dad's older Hobbytown of Boston RS3s..Just one of these locomotives would pull a large yard full of cars and ask for more..For those that may not know a Hobbytown RS3 is made of metal and weighs around 22 ouches with a Pittman DC 80 motor.Note the kits came with a DC 60(70?) motor but my Dad used a DC80 motor.
  19. shaygetz

    shaygetz Active Member

    A 1.75% grade would have a rise of 1 3/4" in 100". That would be near the upper level of a large layout as far as grades go. Many home layouts have as much as 4-5" in 100 making them 4-5%...and pretty brutal for pulling long or heavy trains. The steepest I know of in real life, without the assistance of racks or winches would be the Western Maryland's Cumberland branch at 12%---12' in 100'---and the reason why they bought the largest shay ever built, ol' #6.
  20. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    What was that address for that guy that has specs like drawbar pulls and such for HO lokeys? I misplaced it. Fred

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