Suggestions for Switcher

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by kchronister, Dec 5, 2004.

  1. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Hey all, a question:

    I've run into a problem. My little 0-6-0 switcher (bachmann spectrum) won't handle more than 1-2 of my 80' passenger cars in the yard. Obviously, I'd like a switcher that will pull at least 3-4 passenger cars for convenience sake.

    So the question is, prototypically, what would real RRs have done here. Would a 0-6-0 normally pull that many cars and the model is simply not up to par? Regardless, any suggestions for what to use? I've been avoiding the 0-8-0 "yard hog" simply because it's so large relative to my modest yard... But what other options (if any) would be realistic?

    PRR 1935-1945 is my prototype, by the way. Though I still haven't quite settled on the years. This era gives me primarily steam railroading (my main interest) but allows some of the earliest diesels and funky streamliners (i.e. Burlington Zephyr) to be accommodated. I could push it up to 1950-ish without an issue if necessary... Maybe I need one of those first diesel switchers (a "#1" as I recall - a bit hazy on matter diesel, I fear)

    Thanks in advance,

  2. CharlesH.

    CharlesH. Member

    I guess a GE 44 ton diesel cold handle those cars, but I don't think the PRR had them during those years. Sometimes railroads assigned some older moguls , or similar engines, for switching duties.
  3. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    Do your cars roll freely? That loco should handle 4 of them OK unless they are rolling hard, the wheels are out of gauge, or the lokey is sick. Does it spin it's wheels or does it just groan? If you push the cars with your finger do they roll a ways? Fred
  4. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    The cars roll very easily, but are rather heavy. (metal wheelsets, full interiors, etc.). The loco spins its wheels.
  5. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    The loco is also near-new and runs very nicely otherwise. I think it's just that both the Spectrum and Rivarossi passenger cars are heavy.
  6. Fred_M

    Fred_M Guest

    If the wheels are spinning weight is a possibility. Fred
  7. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    IIRC, a prototype loco should haul 4 to 6 times its weight on the level. Can you weigh the loco and the cars? More weight on drivers may be the solution. Also: check that the tender isn't lifting the loco a bit; weight on tender wheels does not help.
  8. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Thanks, David. This loco has no tender, but I will weigh the loco and cars to see what the ratio is.
  9. Gary Pfeil

    Gary Pfeil Active Member

    Is the track level? That 0-6-0 ought to do better on level track. A good diesel switcher would be one of the Stewart Baldwins. Pennsy had them, pretty sure. Not a Pennsy fan so not sure.

  10. CalFlash

    CalFlash Member

    The 0-6-0 would really be the engine of choice for most prototype roads (assuming steam). You could still fit into steam era with a Baldwin switcher (Stewart makes various models). I have an old Hallmark VO-1000 I repowered with an Overland switcher chassis (fair amount of machining and fabrication required) to get one of the sweetest running early era engines and a favorite of the crews.

  11. kchronister

    kchronister Member

    Thanks for the advice, gang. I'm first going to try and borrow and 0-6-0 from someone else of a different make, and see if mine is just particularly weak.

    It also turns out (thanks for the reminder) that the yard was not 100% level (about 99% but a tiny grade). I'll shim out the legs for 100% level and see if it helps (but I'm still not sure, it's gotta be something like a 0.1% grade or less we're talking about).

    Finally, may break down and get an early diesel switcher - but again, will try to "borrow" one to test out first.

  12. wjstix

    wjstix Member

    If you do go diesel, best bet would be a Stewart VO-660 or VO-1000, or maybe an Atlas RS-1. Both were in your era (c.1940-42). Many railroads first diesels were switchers by the way. I think Stewart may even make one or both VO's in Pennsy paint scheme?? Either their website or Walthers' should be able to tell you.

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