Logging grades.

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by KentBy, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    That is much better performance than I've seen from any of the ones I have encountered. My surviving shay will just barely do four cars on the clubs 4.5% grade up the big hill.

    experience with other shays tells me that the fit of the lineshaft gears to the gears on the wheels is critical to getting good power out of shays. NWSL now makes replacement line shaft gears and line shafts (they say some of the lines hafts ate not true). If that is the case, it could definitely knock the pulling power in the creek.

    I'm glad you got a good one. Someday when I have enough other projects finished, I'll have to replace the line shafts and gears with NWSL, and re evaluate. In any case I have owned two, and had experience with two or three that Dr. Tom has had, and I would only recommend them for layouts with 20 inch or more radiuses, and grades less than 3%. 3% is pretty wimpy, as I have been running on my Mountain Division, with 8.5% grades for twenty years or so. some of my brass geared locomotive required modifications to work well up on the mountain, The Riverossi Heislers can handle it unaltered, and I was not able to make the Bachmans work up there at all.

    Bill Nelson
  2. Doctor G

    Doctor G Active Member

    Hi Guys,
    Thought I would jump in here on this interesting thread. Bill is correct I had a lot of problems keeping the Bachmann HO three truck Shay happy on my previous C&SRR. It started out OK but after a few weeks of work on a ruling 2% grade with tight curves( rarely down to 15" radius in three notorious spots) it just would not pull and would frequently derail. Close inspection showed the Delrin gears slipping on the lineshafts. Before long it would not even pull itself. A review of this problem all over the internet shows the same thing happening repeatedly to the gears and lineshafts. There has even been a very interesting discussion about the chemical composition of Delrin manufactured in China. That is why NWSL has stepped in to this niche market as there are a lot of pretty Bachmann three truckers out there that do not run well because of the slipping gears on the lineshafts. I basically was left using mine as a nice photo prop as in the picture below. It never functioned well enough to be in operating sessions on the old C&S RR.
    Doc Tom:confused:

    Attached Files:

  3. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    annother issue I had with the Bachman Shay was the way that the locomotive would cog, going down hill under a load. it would run smoothly and slowly for a little bit, and then speed up for a second, as the slack in the internal gearing got released. this would occur every foot or so. I found this very annoying. MY PFM shays had similar issues many years ago, but , due to their design construction ,the gear tower screws could be loosened, and the gear towers could be moved around, filed or shimmed in order to minimize the lash (space between gear teeth). On the bachman, the gears fit into slots in the frame, and one would have much greater difficulty with the trial and error needed to get it right.

    when I get around to doing the line shaft fix on my J. E. Patterson coal and Lumber Co shay ( See Bill and Tom's excellent adventure) I will create a thread documenting it (unless someone else beats me to it and does an adequate job. as soon as that gets done I will report in here to announce any difference in pulling power.

    Bill Nelson
  4. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    On the traction tire subject there is a product which I believe is called Bullfrog Snot, which is basically a paint on traction tire. The traction tire wears off over time and needs to be re applied. and the axle so treated will loose most of or all of the electrical pick up it once had.

    I keep promising to experiment with this stuff, but my motive power assignments reflect the realities of my railroad, and I have gotten used to running my equipment as it is, but the bullfrog snot might help my oriental Powerhouse series 2-4-4-2 and several of my smaller rod engines be more useful on my valley division. Perhaps some might help some on the big hill at the club also.

    Bill Nelson
  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Active Member

    From some of my reading, it appears that roughing up the rails to increase traction can cause them to accumulate dirt faster. Might not be worth it.

    I would think about Bullfrog Snot first.

    I'm interested in this because I am getting ready to set the ruling grade on my about-to-started layout, and I want as much as I can get with a fair variety of early steam locos, some of which like the Bachmann's are not great pullers.
  6. Bill Nelson

    Bill Nelson Well-Known Member

    Mountain man is right. back in the 1970s I experimented with roughing up the rails. As mountain man mentioned the rough spots collected gunk. Once the gunk reached the height if the rail head in the groves, any improvement in traction dissapeared.

    Also it seemed to scratch up the plating on the driver tires, which if that process continues might give places for gunk to accumulate on the drivers, and lead to a lessening of electrical contact, as well as unsightly damage to the pretty sheen of nickel silver on the plated tire surface. I eventually replaced the track in that area to prevent that from reoccurring.

    Bill Nelson

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