Loco question

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by nolink5750, Nov 10, 2007.

  1. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    I have a ( looks very used) Arnold Repido 4 wheel trucks loco. Looks like the company went out of business a long time ago. Or maybe split up? Pulling 12 cars with it seems to act like it might be putting a strain on it. And this is flat track, no hills yet. Do you think its just getting old and worn out or is this normal? Also, what is the advantage of using a loco with 6 wheel trucks? Is it more powerful? or is it just for looks?
  2. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    6-wheel trucks have two purposes. One is to spread the weight of the engine a bit more, although this may reduce pull. The middle axle may be powered or not. If it's powered, you are getting 3 motors per truck instead of 2.
  3. woodone

    woodone Member

    Three axle trucks don't like sharp curves, if the center axle does not have blind drivers( no flanges) it will bind on sharp curves.
  4. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    It is easy to confuse what happens in modelling to real life. In many cases (maybe most, but my experience is not wide enough to make that statement) an N scale 6 wheel truck is driven by 4 wheels. So there is effectively less weight on each driving wheel, and traction is lost. This is somewhat offset by the fact that the loco with the six wheel trucks is often larger, and may weigh more to begin with.

    Three axle trucks are less tolerant of sharp curves, but blind drivers come into play on steam loco, where the wheelbase is much longer I've never seen a three axle diesel truck with an unflanged wheel. The thing about a three axle diesel truck is that any unlevelness in the track on a curve (rail to rail, not a grade), can cause the truck to pivot, or rock up, kind of pull a wheelie. In a shorter truck, the wheel comes back down still with the flange is still inside the rail. With a longer 6 wheel truck it is easier for the wheel to come down outside the rail, and there you go.

    As far as your loco, assuming it is very gently lubed, it might be doing the best it has ever done, depending on the cars you are pulling. Less than freewheeling wheels on cars can seriously diminish the pulling power of the loco. Also, if it is smal, and hence light, it isn't going to have a lot of pulling power.

  5. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    Maybe I should have ask the question different. But thanks for the info so far. Maybe I should have ask, what kind of loco do you use and how many cars do you pull? Do you have all flat track or hills? The loco I was talking about has both trucks powered. I had another loco I tried that I got off of ebay with a bunch of cars. It only has the back truck powered. I tried it and it just spun the wheels. Didn't even move the cars.
  6. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    Most new N scale locos have both trucks powered. A loco spins its wheels if it is to light to get traction.

    If you are running DC, as I am guess you are, and you are just trying to pull cars, this set will just about pull stumps:
    Walthers Model Railroad Mall -- product information page for 920-7457
    There is no standard for how many cars our locos will pull. It depends on a lot of things. On the flat, some will probably pull thirty or more free rolling cars. On a reasonable hill, ten or fifteen might be it. It is really hard to say any more without knowing what you are trying to do.

  7. nolink5750

    nolink5750 Member

    Hey Jeff, I just bought one. I was really wondering if I should because they were on sale for $39.95 reg. $89.95. I got the Reading though. They all were on sale. That always make me wonder if there's something wrong with them. Quess I'll find out. I decided to take my 4-6-2 out of it's box and try it. Seems to pull 12 cars real well. Hopefully, I will never be running more than a 2% grade. I'm hoping to keep my main lines to 19" radius also.
  8. baldwinjl

    baldwinjl Member

    I don't think there is anything wrong with them. They do have rapido couplers, so they are not a in demand by many people. I think LifeLike just built a lot of them. They will really pull.
  9. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    Exactly. In real life, the 6-axle engine has more pulling power. On the model, the reason for a 6-axle engine (or any specific type of engine) is to emulate the real use of that engine because

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