Question from a new train enthusist

Discussion in 'N / Z Scale Model Trains' started by GlacierBill, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. GlacierBill

    GlacierBill New Member

    I recently got back in to model trains after a 38 year gap. I have started setting up a small track and am already starting to plan my new larger one but have a question in the meantime. Once I get my larger set up built I will have several hills rainging from 2% to 4% grade (I was told 4% was the max I could use). Anyway, I tested a long freight train (6 freight cars and 3 passanger cars just to add length) the other day on a 1.5% grade, The engin just spun its wheels most of the time even though it does have traction on them. Is it possible to use more than one engine to pull long loads or is there a better way? Any help is appricated, as well as advice.

  2. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Just stick a few more engines on there and see what it'll do. Nothing wrong with a little experimentation.
  3. Thoroughbreed

    Thoroughbreed Member

    Welcome aboard sir!
    It wont hurt one bit to add as many engines as youd like (as long as your power supply can handle it), or If your like some of us who have more engines than stock, its not a problem.:thumb:
  4. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author Member

    Depending on the size of the layout 4% is about the practical maximum. It's not usually a big issue if you are running short trains which is all that's feasible on small layouts. I'd try for something a bit less steep on a larger pike, though.

    Not all locomotives run well together. Trial and error is one approach; if one loco appears to be dragging or shoving the other one around, it probably is and that's not a good match.
  5. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

    I tried 3 Intermountain tunnel motors the other day: they match well in speed, look prototypical and worked a treat!!
    Good luck .....
  6. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    If the engine in question is the one in your picture, there's a reason it won't make it up the grade. That little loco doesn't have much weight to pull more than 3 or 4 cars uphill. You could try replacing the trucks with better quality (more free-rolling) ones, adding a little weight to the loco (although I'm not sure where you could), or getting a heftier loco.

    Pretty much all the diesels nowadays will handle several cars up a 4% grade. Steamers, because they are light, and tend to have fewer wheels driving, can't handle as many.

    Oops, forgot to add, that locos from the same manufacturer will generally run well together. Sometimes you can mix and match, but you'll have to trial-and-error it. Steamers are a different story, different steamers from the same maker won't necessarily run together, because the driver diameters (and hence the gearing) may be different.
  7. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    I check my loco speeds simply by running them on a small oval for several laps. If they don't gain on each other drastically, it's close enough. :)
    Few steamers in N seem to have the pulling power of diesels. With a pair of diesels I can pull most everything I own.
  8. berraf

    berraf Member

    Welcome back to the wonderful world of model railroads :wave:
    I hope you will keep us up to date with your progress on your layout.

    By the way, are the wagons rolling smooth and fine?
    It´s not always the problems lies with the loco. Ask me cause I know what wagons that are breaking can do to a locomotive :thumb:
  9. GlacierBill

    GlacierBill New Member


    Here is my current progress, for now the track and roadbed is held down using sewing pins. the wiring to my structures is also just pinned down, And I just finished sculpting on my mountian and cutting out gfor my portals. I need to cut my pond and river on the lower section from the waterfall to under the bridge, then I will build my frame and sideboards and finally clue it all down. After that I will figure out what other structures, trees, roads, etc to ad, then I will start on all that. It will take a bit longer but I am having a blast. As for trains set I got 4 different ones (The Little Joe, Diesel Chalanger, Prairie Flyer, and The Centennial) all are not bad, but I will be looking at better Engines and Cars later. Below is a few pics of what I have so far.


    Attached Files:

  10. berraf

    berraf Member

    Great! :)
    Have you done the tunnel portals in foam too?
  11. GlacierBill

    GlacierBill New Member

    I used Woodland Scenics single portals, but because I errored in my layout size I has to trim the side in half.
  12. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Bill, I have 4 of those little Bachmann 4-4-0 locos.

    Three are good little workers, they pull 4 cars up the 2% grades on my layout. Of course, that is prototypical, those little fellows usually pulled only 2-4 cars.

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