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  • Topic: Long trains on tighter Radius Curves

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    • March 13, 2018 2:54 PM EDT
      • Seattle, Washington
         
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      Ted Doskaris said:

      Nicolas,

      • Longest trains on outdoor layout without experiencing "string-lining" vary as to car type mix, but generally range from 35 to 40 cars max.
      • All cars have metal wheels.
      • Locos do not have traction tires.
      • Longest train ever run on underhouse portion of layout was about 60 cars, mostly consisting of Aristo 40 foot long box cars. 
      • Locos pulling train to outdoor layout typically comprise minimum of 3 but up to 6.
      • Outdoor layout tightest curves are 10 foot diameter at viaduct area, but most are 16 to 20 foot dia.
      • Underhouse layout curves include 10 foot diameter except for some rail yard access is 8 foot dia.
      • The few "S" bends used are separated with a straight track section between their diverging opposite paths.
      • Grades on lower outdoor area double helix average about 2.2 percent with steepest portion at 3 percent section on a 14 foot diameter curve. Grades on upper area are 2.2 to 2.5 percent.
      • Underhouse portion of layout is level, suspended from rafters by threaded rod.
      • Locos and cars (400+) have body mount Kadees "G" centerset type couplers - except USAT SD70s having medium upward offsets (Presently working on replacing these with centersets).
      • Outdoor track is all Aristo-Craft stainless steel connected with Split Jaw brand stainless steel clamps.
      • Underhouse portion of layout is Aristo brass track.
      • Turnouts include Aristo #6, #6 Wye, Wide Radius having 10 foot dia. diverging path, TrainLi R7 plated nickel silver.
      • Track power via Aristo Revolution 15 amp base station with multiple feed 10 AWG wires to outdoor layout.

      -Ted

      Its interesting that you are able to run longer runs under the house even though it has tighter curves then what you have outside.

    • March 13, 2018 3:12 PM EDT
      • Anaheim, CA and Bayfield, CO,
         
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      Max Winter said:

      My solution to running long trains - do it D&RGW style

       

      Very cool.  But eeek!!!!  The last helper should be ahead of the caboose to avoid the loco crushing the wood frame and causing disaster to the crew inside.  Although your train is RGS so maybe they did it differently.

       

      D&RGW helper

      This post was edited by Matt Doti at March 15, 2018 7:56 AM EDT
      ____________________________________

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    • March 13, 2018 3:29 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Another thing to check is rolling friction, i.e. lube the journals and make sure you don't have an issue.

       

      I clean my wheels every so often with a dremel with a SS wire brush (their one). When I lift the brush off, the wheel should spin for a while and if you have something wrong you will see it stop spinning right away.

       

      I know long trains can work without too much fuss.

       

      Greg

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    • March 13, 2018 4:43 PM EDT
      • Saint Johns, Florida
         
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      Max Winter said:

      My solution to running long trains - do it D&RGW style  Fastest up front, next fastest in the middle and slowest one in the back. Stops everything getting shunted off in the curves. The major problem I experience, all my stock has body mounted couplers, is when the distance from the bogie pivot to the coupling ends is too great for the radius of the curve and they swing out beyond the extent that the coupling allows and everything gets dragged off. That and knuckle joints and pivots sticking causing the same effect. I've got a rake of AMS Fn3 framed tankers that I cannot get to run right

       

       

      ____________________________________

       

       

    • March 13, 2018 5:55 PM EDT
      • East Brunswick, N J RRR#22
         
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      Max Winter said:

      My solution to running long trains - do it D&RGW style  Fastest up front, next fastest in the middle and slowest one in the back.

       

      The problem I see with that is that the caboose crew will get in so much later, they may have to claim overtime.

    • March 13, 2018 6:15 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      Dan Pierce said:

      When metal wheels were mentioned, I did not see what type were used.

      Here is what I see in metal wheels for weight, rated lightest to heaviest for what I personally own:

      Trainli Stainless rims  Rim type wheels will always be very light weight

      LGB nickel plated brass rim type wheels.

      Bachmann cast wheels

      USA Trains solid brass, very heavy.

       

      USA train wheel sets are best outdoors for me as it lowers the center of gravity which is very useful for curves and wind bursts.

       

      Yes, the USA wheels are heavy, and the Aristo wheels seam to be even heavier. But the Bachmann wheels work fine on my little railroad. I have run trains of 17 or 18 cars long, and not had any issues with string-lining. Some, a few, of my cars even have the old Bachmann metal rimmed plastic wheels or the LGB metal rimmed plastic wheels.

       

      I did a major check of all my stock a few years back. I checked the wheel gauge, coupler height and swing, trip pin height, made sure the wheels spun free and the trucks turned free, and one truck per car was able to rock side to side a little. Making sure that all my stock was "tuned up" has kept things rolling just fine.

       

      Of course, good track-work is also very important to smooth running of the trains.

       

      The grade on my railroad (2.58%), combined with it being almost all curves, does limit train length, but the biggest limiting factor for my diesels, is the size of the lower reverse loop. The entire train has to be in the loop before the locomotive reaches the section of rail wired through a current sensor, or else the last cars will short out the track when they cross the insulated joints at the start of the loop. That is what limits the trains to 17 or 18 cars (depending on the lengths of the cars).

      ____________________________________

      Shannon car Shops
      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 13, 2018 6:19 PM EDT
      • San Mateo, California
         
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      Lou Luczu said:
      Max Winter said:

      My solution to running long trains - do it D&RGW style  Fastest up front, next fastest in the middle and slowest one in the back.

      The problem I see with that is that the caboose crew will get in so much later, they may have to claim overtime.

      The video shows just 13 cars total, and that's considered to be a long train!

      -Ted

    • March 13, 2018 7:13 PM EDT
      • Norris City, Il.
         
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      I'm pretty sure I have too much rolling resistance. Like Greg suggested. I may try and oil the journal and see if it helps. Most of my cars squeak and squall even on the straights. Well, the AML cars do anyway. The USA Trains cars are quiet and roll quiet nice. Even my aristo stuff is pretty smooth.

      You can hear them pretty good in this last video I did. I tried running 35-ish cars, I can't remember how many now, but it fell over the first trip through the curve. Took several off and ended up with 29 cars and it did fine for an hour or so.

       

    • March 13, 2018 7:56 PM EDT
      • Chaco, Paraguay
         
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      well, indoors my curves are very sharp. most are between (LGB) R1 and R2. grades are up to 6% on straights, up to 4% on curves.

      all locos are stainzes of one type or other with powered tenders. (plus two playmo)

      the cars with bogies are not longer than 16". the fourwheel cars are one foot or shorter. all have hook & loop (bottleopeners)

      the passing sidings limit the total length of cars behind the tender to five foot.

      so the only way to draw these short trains off the track to the inside, is when i, by accident, put the heavy track cleaning car on the trains end.

       

      i am still in the stage, where some bad spots of track have to be changed.

      most common problem is where trains leave a R1 curve onto a straight.

      the bogie mounted couplers of the cars that enter the straight tend to force the coupler of the following car (still in the curve) to the outside of the track and over the rail.

      possible solutions, i am slowly working on:

      - guard rails on the inner side of the curve. (half a foot in the curve, and half a foot on the straight) - seems to work.

      - altering the bogies, that the coupler gets a little bit of play against the bogie. - might give trouble at backing up trains.

      - starting and ending R1 curves with a R3 curve each. - where i got enough room for that.

      - bashing 30° R1 switches into 22.5° switches. - doable, but time consuming.

       

      ____________________________________

       

      My Chaosplace ->  

    • March 13, 2018 10:07 PM EDT
      • Peoria, NW of Phoenix, Arizona
         
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      Matt Russell, I was reading somewhere that a lot of the AML cars the truck frame doesn’t sit properly and the brakes shoes can rub causing them to drag. Might have been one of Ted D’s posts . I did notice a lot of squeaking in the last video and thought it make them more real sounding but maybe it causes more problems.

      ____________________________________

       

      Butt Modeler #2

       

       

    • March 14, 2018 5:27 AM EDT
      • Tingewick, Buckinghamshire
         
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      Ted Doskaris said:

      The video shows just 13 cars total, and that's considered to be a long train!

      -Ted

       

      Long relative to what I usually run on my 35 total yards of line  Short compared to some of the stuff they ran in period. I got a few of the Otto Perry and Emery Gulash filmed runs, quite astounding given some of the grades and curves they ran them on.

       

    • March 14, 2018 10:59 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Right, but this thread is by Nicolas asking for advice to help him solve his problem... 

       

      Greg

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    • March 14, 2018 4:40 PM EDT
      • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
         
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      He was also asking for what the limit was, no pat answer. And what our experiences was...were, several answeres.

      ____________________________________

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      Home of the infamous leg lamp

      I.A.R.R.R. Member #12

      and King Butt Modeler

    • March 14, 2018 6:48 PM EDT
      • Cape Cod,
         
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       There is going to be lots of train action on that layout Nicolas. 

       

      As others have mentioned grades and tight curves are the enemy of long trains.  On my RR I don't usually run trains longer than 10 cars due to grades and curves that range from 5' to 10' diameter.  If I'm running a heavy train I run it up the long slow rising grade but even that has posed problems.  I once ran a 12 car train made up of Bachmann short wooden hoppers with metal wheels and truck mounted hook and loop couplers. It is a lot of weight.  The train went through the LGB wide switch with the 8' tangent before hitting the top of the grade and half way through the train was pulled off the track!

       

      The answer for me was to cut off a couple cars and limit the trains to 10 cars.  I think if you are having problems with 20 cars on your RR then drop a few and limit the trains to 18 cars.   

    • March 14, 2018 8:36 PM EDT
      • Post Count ,PA ,
         
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    • March 15, 2018 1:12 AM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      David please go back and read the first post, and see if you agree he was not asking about other peoples layouts and their definitions of long trains (which 13 cars is not), but for help with his specific problems:

       

      "I am wondering though what the potential pulling limit would be on my layout. I have included a picture of the current layout. What is the best way, other then running a long train and hoping it doesn't string line, to determine what my potential safe max capacity is?"

       

      What I am saying is what I said, the thread is Nicolas asking for help in his situation, not someone else's layout with completely different definitions of "long", different cars, etc.

       

      If someone asks me for help, I indeed strive to give him answers to his question. This really is no different from someone having track power issues and people popping up extolling the virtues of their battery system.

       

      David Maynard said:

      He was also asking for what the limit was, no pat answer. And what our experiences was...were, several answeres.

       

      ____________________________________

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    • March 15, 2018 7:55 AM EDT
      • Marysville, Kansas
         
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      Unless someone has operated Nicholas' train on his layout, how do you expect them to tell him exactly what is going wrong?   Instead, people are offering help by explaining what has worked for them on their layout through their own experience.

       

      Here's a thought, instead of trying to police other people's comments; why not let the OP decide if the answer provided helps him / her out with their particular situation?

    • March 15, 2018 12:10 PM EDT
      • Carlsbad, CA
         
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      Chris, David responded to me, "policing" my comment. I responded to him.

       

      Clearly people with 4% grades, LGB R1 curves, 13 car trains are not giving any insight to Nicolas' specific situation and question, which he went to lengths to explain, as well as all the other information he has posted on other threads he also started.

       

      You can argue with that statement? Honestly?

       

      All I am stating that we tend to stop trying to help the OP and perhaps too often just want to post about ourselves.

       

      Greg

       

       

      ____________________________________

      Be sure­ to visit ­my site, l­ots of tec­hnical tip­s and modi­fications,­ and you c­an search ­for topics­ and key w­ords.


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    • March 15, 2018 12:18 PM EDT
      • Milpitas, California
         
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      What Rooster said.

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